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A nursing instructor on the Weirton campus of West Virginia Northern Community College has taken technology to a new level: she received a grant to provide mini iPads to 10 of her students.
Tammy Aftanas, who has been a full-time faculty member at Northern for the past three years, initiated a research project, “Putting Technology into the Students’ Hands,” and received funding for it through a Teaching and Learning Grant from the WVNCC Foundation.
Aftanas said, “Objectives of the project are the enhancement of technology in the classroom and clinical settings and to develop student insight for working with technology.” For the fall semester that opened Aug. 19, she added, 10 nursing students were chosen randomly to receive the iPads which will be returned after the semester to be used again in the future.
“These iPads have been loaded with many medical and learning apps that will put many resources ‘in their hands’ and readily available to them,” Aftanas explained. “Some of these apps include their textbooks electronically and others provide ways to assist in teaching their patients.”
The nursing instructor, who previously taught as an adjunct at Northern, said “having these iPads makes communication easy and readily available with other students and their instructors through email, texting and ‘facetime.’”
The applications also have been used by the instructor to provide course materials. “I believe with this technology studying is easier for students and, again, ‘in their hands,’” Aftanas said.
Aftanas explained the reason she started “this project is because as a Nurse Practitioner student at Franciscan University in Steubenville, a part of an assignment was to apply for a grant. The rest of the research is not a part of any class but I am doing it on my own since I have been awarded this grant.”
Dr. Mary Marockie, president of the West Virginia Northern Community College Foundation Board of Trustees, said, “Tammy’s vision for technology was precisely what the Foundation looks for when providing internal grants to faculty or staff. She should be commended for taking steps to secure such splendid resources for her students.”
Marockie pointed out that much of the work to award such internal grants falls on the Foundation’s allocations committee. “This committee, chaired by Bonnie Ellis, has met often and consistently and its efforts have served the college well,” she added.