While Chelsey Voglewede’s children are on the field for soccer practice, you’re likely to spot the third-year nursing student on the sidelines spending time on her iPad.
She’s not shopping on Amazon or chatting on social media but rather doing her nursing schoolwork on a device gifted to her from AdventHealth University.
Voglewede is one of 44 nursing students at AdventHealth University Denver to receive an iPad through a generous donation to AdventHealth University. On May 16, 2022, the third cohort of new nursing students received their iPads as well.
“Many of our students are the first in their family to attend a college or university and many of our students are working or raising a family, so we want to make sure they have the tools they need to learn and interact,” said Katie Shaw, Chief Operating Officer for AdventHealth University Denver. “At AdventHealth University, we are developing highly skilled professionals who live the healing values of Christ, and we want to do everything we can to set our students up for success.”
A 2018 study published in the Communication Research journal, titled “Technology Problems and Student Achievement Gaps: A Validation and Extension of the Technology Maintenance Construct,” found a noteworthy digital divide among college students, even though cell phones and laptops seem to be prevalent.
Nearly all 748 students in the study had laptops and cell phones, but nearly 20 percent reported having trouble finding devices that worked consistently or with reliable internet access. The majority of those 20 percent were from low-income or at-risk families. The study also found that those with unreliable technology had lower grade-point averages.
AHU Denver nursing students and professors agree that the tablets are improving outcomes.
“I can see the difference it makes in my scores,” said Gina Gomez. “That’s been encouraging to me. I can really see that reflected in my grades.”
Nursing Professor Kim Martin, MSN, RN, OCN, said she is seeing a difference in student performance since the iPads were introduced.
“I do see significant improvement in grades, just generally speaking,” Martin said.
In addition, Voglewede loves how lightweight and small the device is. “I really like the portability of it. I take mine to clinical rotations at the hospital. I like having something portable where I can keep everything for school together.”
Faculty members like the iPads as well.
“My iPad is a game changer for grading,” Martin said. “I can take it with me everywhere I go. It cuts down on a lot of time, and there isn’t a ton of paper that I have to carry with me.”
As Voglewede mentioned, the iPad offers students many benefits that a print textbook does not.
“The iPad will read the textbook and lessons to you. I’m an auditory learner, so I can be doing laundry or driving and listen,” said Mechelle Guzman, Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing student at AHU Denver.
What everyone likes about the iPads is that each student has the same apps and device, leveling the playing field, so to speak.
“Technology can be cost prohibitive,” said Martin.
Each iPad bundle, which includes the iPad, Apple pencil, magic keyboard and 2-year Apple Care protection, costs approximately $1,500.
The size of the nursing cohorts at AHU Denver made them a great starting and discovery point for the technology donations. AdventHealth University is one of only a few colleges and universities nationwide providing technology to ensure its nursing students have equity in learning.
“We are so grateful for the generous community support that allows our students a better opportunity to learn and grow,” Shaw said.