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August 25, 2010

"Monterey College of Law -- First Law School in US to go iPad"

The title of this post is the headline of this new press release, are here are excerpts:

Monterey College of Law, a California accredited law school located in Seaside, California is the first law school in the US to adopt the iPad as an integral part of the law school curriculum. Law students at Monterey College of Law returned from summer break to the exciting news that they are part of a unique pilot program that will provide iPads to each law student at the school. Through an innovative program developed by the law school with BAR BRI, the country’s largest bar exam review company, each MCL law student receives an iPad when they enroll in the BAR BRI supplemental curriculum program that the students use while attending school and in preparation for the California Bar Exam.

“Law schools are rarely found close to the leading edge of technology,” said Mitchel Winick, President and Dean of the law school. “However, it is clear to me that combining this technology with interactive, portable, timely content and harnessing the energy of on-line social networking provides a number of immediate educational opportunities.” This is particularly true for an evening law school like MCL that has a traditional classroom-based legal education program in which many students are balancing a full work and family schedule while attending law school....

Chris Marohn, a third-year MCL law student who is the immediate-past President of the Student Bar Association noted that “excited Facebook posts about the iPad program were circulating through the rest of the student body before the Dean finished announcing the new program to the first-year class. There was a lot of excitement among my classmates, particularly once Dean Winick started handing out iPads," said Marohn. Winick noted that 100% of the entering first-year students and approximately 70% of the upper level students enrolled in the new program by the end of the first week of law school. He expects that most of the remaining students will enroll over the next few weeks as students begin experimenting with new ways to study using the iPads. It is only a matter of time before virtual study groups are formed to support each of the core law school classes....

The second step of the program is to provide access to iPads for MCL law faculty members who are interested in integrating the iPad into their regular course materials and classroom presentations. “Historically, law faculty members are known to be very traditional in their approach to teaching. In some law schools, classes have been taught the same way, with very few changes, for more than 100 years” said Winick. “The objective of the MCL faculty pilot program will be to develop examples of using iPad technology to enhance and expand traditional legal education without diminishing any of the core academic values,” said Stephen Wagner, law professor and President of the faculty senate. The law school will pilot-test the faculty program during the current academic year and anticipates expanding the program to include all interested faculty members next year.

I figured it would only be a matter of time before the iPad and/or other like tablets became a regular part of the law school experience.  But I am still pleased and impressed that this innovation has taken hold so quickly in at least one law school setting.  Will others follow?

Some recent related iPad posts:

Posted by DAB

August 25, 2010 in Technology -- in general, Technology -- in the classroom | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack