iTeach, iLearn, iPad: "Utilizing Technology to Ignite Change in PTA Education and to Promote PTA Student Success"


Tablets, technology and education….OH MY! Is your creative side calling you to be more innovative in the classroom? Are you interested in using technology to enhance student success? Just say "yes" and join us for this educational session. The purpose of the presentation is to introduce the physical therapy educator (preference to the PTA educator) to the triumphs and challenges of a longitudinal research study of iPad usage in PTA education. The PTA faculty of Rhodes State College will delineate the project from its inception through post survey results. The session presents a comprehensive strategy for the utilization of the iPad during lecture, lab, and the clinic. The presentation will chronicle the strategies employed in every aspect of the program along with a discussion of student feedback and challenges faced when utilizing technology to complete skill competencies, take notes, videotape student performance, face-time tutoring, etc. Developed from the ground up by the PTA faculty, the presentation will inspire eductors to embrace the creativity and versatility of tablet technology to enrich student learning and ultimately ignite a change in the delivery of PTA education. Participants are encouraged - but not required - to "BYOD" (bring your own devices) to access technology and participate in demonstrations.

Methods and/or Description of Project

Student-centered pilot project with iPads deployed to each student in a PTA Program. The pilot project has evolved into a longitundinal research study to assess the impact of supporting student success.

The session will chronicle the deployment of iPads to each student in a PTA Program from its inception in May of 2012 to the present. Research methods utilized include the quantitative assessment of pre and post surveys per cohort of students, a comparative cost analysis, and student retention along with qualitative research in the form of students testimonials and clinical feedback.


The PTA Program at Rhodes State College initiated the pilot project in 2012 and has almost four years of quantitative and qualitative data to share with the participants. The following outcomes will be addressed:

Pre survey results per cohort of students
Post survey results per cohort of students
Comparative cost analysis
Student retention rates
Student testimonials
Clinical feedback

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education

Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education:
Initial assessment results of the project indicate that tablet technology is a valuable pedagogical approach to teaching and learning within the PTA curriculum. Most students in the PTA curriculum would be classified as bodily-kinesthetic learners and the iPad enables students to bring "life" to lecture and labs through utilization of the camera, video and the touch screen for annotations. More importantly, the mobility of the iPad encourages the student option of accessing information at any time. Students have access to volumes of primary sources, course notes, e-books, and instructional videos at the swipe of a fingertip in or out of the classroom. Through this innovative project, the students are also "leading the way" in educating clinicians in the field about the multiple facets of tablet technology and its utilization in health care in relation to documentation and patient education. The presentation will inspire educators to embrace the creativity and versatility of tablet technology to enrich student learning and ultimately shape the future of PTA education.


Current References:

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2. Blackboard inc.; blackboard mobile learn app now available for iPad. (2010). Biotech Week, 3930.

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4. Carp, K., & Lawton, G. (2012). Rx: IPad for physical therapy. PT in Motion, 4(1), 38-45.

5. Cramm, H., SĂ©guin, J., & Adler, R. (2011). iDevices and occupational therapy. Occupational Therapy Now, 13(3), 19-22.

6. Dahlstrom, E, de Boor, T, Grunwald, P, Vockley, M. The ECAR National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2011 (Research Report). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, October 2011, available at

7. Dixon, D. (2011). The future of apps in the classroom. ASHA Leader, 16(12), 30-30.

8. Dont get left behind: iPads making strong inroads with patient education. (2011). Patient Education Management, n/a.

9. Draper, C. (2011). Health information in the digital age: Is there an app for that? Access : The Newsmagazine of the American Dental Hygienists Association, 25(6), 28-29.

10. Dunham, G. (2011). The future at hand: Mobile devices and apps in clinical practice. ASHA Leader, 16(4), 4-4.

11. Gantly, D. (2010). Theres an app for anatomy too - GMIT. Irish Medical Times, 44(37), 32-32.

12. Health care technology today. (2011). PT in Motion, 3(6), 30-35.

13. Holden, RJ, Karsh, B. The Technology Acceptance Model: Its past and its future in health care. Journal of Biomedical Informatics. 2010; 43(1):159-172.

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19. Newton, D. A., & Dell, A. G. (2011). Assistive technology. Journal of Special Education Technology, 26(2), 55-60.

20. Parker, Judith A, OTD, EdS,O.T.R./L., F.A.O.T.A., & Burkhardt, A. (2010). The virtual world as a context for occupational therapy education. Education Special Interest Section Quarterly

21. Patel, BK, Chapman, CG, Luo, N, Woodruff, JN, Aurora, VM. Impact of mobile tablet computers on internal medicine resident efficiency. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2012; 172(5): 436-438.

22. Peck, A. D. (2011). App-solutely fabulous. Medical Economics, , S11-S14.

23. PumpOne; PumpOne adds physical therapy prehab and rehab tool to FitnessBuilder app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. (2011). Health & Medicine Week, , 193.

24. Sederstrom, J. (2012). Getting technical. Healthcare Traveler, 19(8), 34-38.

25. Skiba, D. J. (2011). A tribute to STEVE P. JOBS. Nursing Education Perspectives, 32(6), 411-3.

Course Objectives

Learning Objectives:
1. Acquire effective strategies to implement iPad technology into the classroom, lab, and clinical environment to enhance student learning experiences.
2. Explore ways to develop kinesthetic applications with the iPad by utilizing the camera, video, and annotated screen.
3. Develop an awareness of free "app" technology to enhance learning experiences.
4. Identify the time and cost saving benefits of a completely portable learning tool.
5. Discuss pre and post student survey results to analyze perceptions, effectiveness, and challenges of the project.
6. Value the importance of igniting change in PTA education at your own institution.

Instructional Methods

This session will feature an interactive presentation with participants. Power point and handouts will be utilized to disseminate information along with discovery and experimentation on personal tablets.

Tentative Outline/Schedule

15 minutes: Overview of the Project
30 minutes: Implementation of the iPad into the Classroom and Lab
30 minutes: Implementation of the iPad into the Clinic
15 minutes: Results and Outcomes (Review lessons learned from the faculty and student perspective)

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  • Control #: 2287271
  • Type: Educational Session
  • Event/Year: ELC2015
  • Authors: Prof. Angela Heaton, Cynthia Brandehoff, Andrea Liles
  • Keywords:

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