Kathleen Sullivan, For The Miami Student

The iPad provides many innovative features that Miami journalism professors are able to use. (SAMANTHA LUDINGTON | The Miami Student)

The Journalism Program at Miami University is preparing for a technological upgrade. The department was authorized for five new iPads for professors to incorporate into the classroom and assist student needs.

According to Richard Campbell, director of the program, the department requested the iPads because of a need to study the ever-expanding world of interactive media.

Campbell said the professors could receive the iPads as early as December.

Cheryl Gibbs, professor and assistant director of the Journalism Program, said the iPad will help faculty and students meet the demands of new technology.

“The iPads were requested so that faculty can both become familiar with the way tablet technology is revolutionizing journalism and demonstrate in class how news is being formatted for tablets,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs said the cost of the iPads were actually smaller than other requests made by the department.

“The iPads were a very small part of our fall technology request,” she said. “The biggest share of the funds went for two new video cameras that will help our broadcast classes move away from tape-based cameras.”

According to Campbell, Miami is providing the iPads to the professors with funding from student technology fees.

Each semester, students pay a student technology fee, according to Cathy McVey, senior director of strategic communication and planning at Information Technology Services. This fee goes toward increased support desk services, software for student academic use, increased bandwidth and enhanced classroom technologies.

McVey said the fee for full-time on-campus students is $114 per semester and $168 for off-campus students. The fee evens out for all students, with on-campus students having the reaming amount incorporated into their housing contract.

“The primary use has to be used for students,” McVey said.

McVey said there is also a pool of funds from the student technology fee that goes through a competitive process for students, faculty or staff to apply for the $525,000 available in funding.

According to McVey, guidelines are in place of what the money can or cannot be spent on, and all proposals have to go through an approval process.

Junior Rachel Petri said the iPads are a good investment.

“The iPads will be a great addition to the classroom and I’m excited to see how the professors integrate them into the class,” Petri said. “It’s very useful especially given the increase in social media and interactive news sites.”

According to Gibbs, the iPads will give students more multimedia experience.

“We (hope) our students will enjoy using the new cameras and having a chance in class to see newspapers and magazines as they are appearing on the iPad,” Gibbs said.