SGA, ERC collaborate for iPad program

Quiche Matchen

The Student Government Association and Educational Resources Center have collaborated to unveil a new iPad-lending program.

The program is designed to give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to use the iPad to use test prep applications, such as ones for the MCAT.

Roxanne Spencer, associate professor and coordinator of the resources center, said SGA approached them wanting to have iPads available in ERC.

“They wanted to have iPads available with test prep materials and wanted to do a pilot project with the ERC which we were very happy about,” Spencer said. “It was a very new thing where we were like, ‘How are we going to do this so we’re OK with copyright and iPad requirements and still make them available and useful?’”

Keyana Boka, executive vice president for SGA, said she attended the meeting last year with ERC to start the iPad program.

“We purchased the iPads but couldn’t start the program because the iPads had to be secure,” Boka said.

Spencer said it took a little time to get the program off the ground because of security protocol to prevent someone from jail-breaking the iPad.

“If you lend an item that is devised for individual use like the iPad, when you’re leaving them out in a library setting, it requires a little more attention to security and what materials should or could be loaded onto them,” she said.

Spencer said the checkout process is simple.

“You check it out almost like you check out a book, it has a bar code on it, but it has to stay in house,” Spencer said. “In essence, it’s a tablet for test prep study, and that’s something SGA was excited about.”

Spencer has talked with Cain Alvey, SGA’s administrative vice president, about the program.

“We talked about the iPad program that we bought the iPads for and how they’re working with that,” Alvey said.

He said students can only check out the iPad for two hours but can bring it back to the front, and if there is no one waiting to use it, they can check it out for two more hours.

“Students have to stay in the ERC to use it,” Alvey said. “They’re looking at growing that to take it to a class or have it longer, but with the program’s infancy, they’re wanting to keep it the way it is until they find out how to keep things going.”

Alvey said he thinks this program is a very helpful study tool, and he’s pretty content with what the program has to offer.

“ERC is a great resource for students across campus,” Alvey said. “Supplying that resource center with different items can only help the students at WKU having the iPads there, because we’re in a digital age. It will help them with their tests and projects they’re working on.”

Spencer said there are only two iPads, but if the program is successful, then they might get more.

“This program makes accessibility to library collections just another opportunity for students to access materials that basically have been purchased by WKU libraries; apps and the iPads are a donation from SGA,” she said. “We can give student patrons and faculty and staff patrons the opportunity to use new technology.”

Spencer said the iPads are ready to go and that they’ve got all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed. She said she hopes students take advantage of the new technology opportunity.

“I do hope students come here, check them out, use them here, get what they can out of them and let us know what kinds of other materials and apps they would like to have,” she said.