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WSCC Named 2013-15 Apple Distinguished Program
February 7, 2014

Walters State Community College has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2013 to 2015 for its innovative use of mobile technology as a tool for enhancing student engagement and improving learning outcomes.

The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate a clear vision of exemplary learning environments.

“The selection of Walters State as an Apple Distinguished Program highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishments,” said Dr. Wade B. McCamey, president of Walters State.

Over three years ago, each academic division at Walters State developed a plan to use mobile devices and apps as learning tools in the classroom. Since that time, the college has realized a 10 to 25 percent increase in student learning through the use of mobile technologies.

“Our main goal is to enhance student learning and retention,” said Dr. Lori Campbell, vice president for academic affairs at WSCC.

“And through the use of mobile devices, we have created an engaging, dynamic learning environment in which our students have the highest probability of achieving their educational goals,” Campbell also said.

Walters State was recognized for the first time as an Apple Distinguished Program in 2012-13.

Faculty members at the college use apps in nearly every subject to engage students. The college currently provides iPads to students through iPad carts and makes the devices available for check out in the library. Also, students in certain programs have access to iPads any time, anywhere.

For example, the college’s paramedic and law enforcement students are assigned iPads that they keep with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

And instructors are using mobile devices to innovate their classroom instruction. Many WSCC faculty members are using the “flipped” classroom concept in which students watch video lectures of their instructors outside of the scheduled class time. Students then complete homework-related assignments in the classroom so that the instructor can offer more personalized guidance.

Walters State is also sharing its mobile-learning best practices with other higher education institutions and K-12 schools.

This past summer, the college hosted a statewide conference on mobile learning. More than 90 higher education professionals representing 16 Tennessee colleges and universities attended the conference. During the conference, Walters State administrators and faculty members discussed how they have used mobile technology to improve the classroom experience and retention of knowledge.

Pictured above are Walters State faculty and administrators(from left) Dr. David White, assistant dean of online instruction and professor of English; Darlene Smith, assistant professor of education and a WSCC Mobile Fellow;  Dr.Wade McCamey, president; Dr. Lori Campbell, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Jeff Horner, dean of the natural science division and professor of biology, and Dr. Matthew Smith, assistant professor of chemistry and a WSCC Mobile Fellow.