The Public Relations Office is making peace...iPad by iPad.

The department is currently exploring how iPads can be incorporated into campus communication and marketing. The office first obtained several iPads last year following Apple's release of the light-weight electronic tablets. This year, four of the latest models are being used by Public Relations and about six in Admissions.

Richard Aguirre, director of Public Relations, sees high potential for the use of iPads at Goshen.

"Many colleges and universities are already using or exploring the use of iPads. [The iPad] is a beautiful example of outstanding form and function. We are only limited by our imagination on how to use them," said Aguirre.

There are several options being explored for iPad use on campus.

One option is for iPads to aid prospective students on campus tours. Since an iPad is hand-held and WiFi-accessible, it could be used when walking around campus and entering buildings. A tour guide could show pictures of campus life, movies of theater performances, pieces of student interviews and sound clips of music concerts. This would greatly enhance a feel for campus activities and community.

A second option for iPad use on campus is in classrooms. The device holds a variety of applications that could be beneficial when integrated into a curriculum. One application, called FaceTime, allows a user to conference through live video with another user. For American Sign Language students, FaceTime could provide a way to record hand-signing videos almost anywhere, and connect to professors and fellow students. In return, professors could record signing and present them to students. Other benefits would be the iPad's ability to store online books, dictate lectures into notes and connect to classroom projectors or laptops.

"It takes time and effort to incorporate new technology into the curriculum, but at this point it seems like there are some worthwhile opportunities to pursue," said Michael Sherer, director of ITS.

An iPad could also be used when interacting with alumni or donors. The iPad's video and photo applications would form an easy and accessible view into the college's current events. The capacity for quick blogging could also increase networking and more efficiently convey the college's mission to those interested.

Though iPads have not yet been officially incorporated into any curriculum, they are a highly-beneficial tool to be analyzed.

"The mission of the Public Relations Office is to tell the story of Goshen College in the most effective way possible. The iPad would not at all replace a real person, but it's important to be aware of and incorporate new technology when it can help us be more effective," said Aguirre.