George Fox teaching program using iPad mini to prepare teachers

The iPad mini will be distributed to master's degree teaching candidates at George Fox this year. In keeping pace with technological advances in education, George Fox University is now supplying all incoming students to its master’s degree in teaching program with Apple’s new iPad mini device.

Candidates in the university’s Master of Arts in Teaching program – offered at the school’s Newberg, Portland, Salem and Redmond locations – receive the iPad mini as part of their tuition. The decision reflects a national trend toward using more electronic devices in the classroom.

Reasons for implementation

Linda Samek, dean of the George Fox School of Education, said the reasons for implementing the iPad distribution program are twofold.

“The first is that we have a strong commitment to preparing future teachers who are as far ahead of the educational curve as possible,” she said. “Secondly, it is more economical for our students to purchase a digital textbook than a print textbook.”

Samek said candidates have the option of buying their textbooks in either digital or hard copy versions. “The iPad gives them a number of good options that we think enhances their education,” she said.

An estimated 125 master of arts in teaching students in George Fox’s Oregon programs annually receive the devices. George Fox has one of the largest teacher education programs among Oregon’s private colleges.

Application of devices

The iPad mini allows students to download iBooks, PDF notes or other reader applications. They are ideal for working with course syllabi and other handouts, as well as for sharing documents and course notes. It also opens up a vast amount of educational interactive online tools and curriculum.

“I think the iPad’s most valuable contribution in this time of scant resources is the access it provides to online resources,” said Samek, who is helping develop iPad applications for teaching math.

The iPad program puts the George Fox School of Education on the cutting edge of classroom technology – and provides teaching candidates a training ground for using such devices in their future classrooms.

“This decision provided an opportunity to be out front, and with the increasing use of iPads in K-12 classrooms, it is important that our graduates understand how to leverage them for learning for all kids and for themselves,” Samek said.

George Fox's MAT program

George Fox offers three formats in its Oregon Master of Arts in Teaching program – a full-time, three-semester format at its Newberg campus that begins in mid-June; a four-semester “In Your Community” part-time format that begins in January in Portland, Newberg, Salem and Redmond, Ore.; and a five-semester “MAT at Night” part-time format the starts in late August at its Portland Center location. Both part-time offerings meet one evening per week and approximately one Saturday a month.

Applications can be made at

George Fox’s Master of Arts in Teaching program offers initial licensure at all four levels of authorization – early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school. MAT candidates earn two authorizations at adjacent levels and choose between early childhood/elementary, elementary/middle school or high school/middle school.

For specific program information, visit