iPad FAQ

Kent State University School of Art iPad Requirement

Frequently Asked Questions

The School of Art iPad initiative began in 2012 for students enrolled in the School of Art 2-dimensional composition classes (ART 10022) and 3-dimensional composition classes (ART10023).

Students enrolling in 2-D Composition and 3-D Composition classes are required to purchase an iPad.

Why is incorporating an iPad into the curriculum important?

It’s become clear to us as artists, scholars and educators that, to prepare you, our students, to be competitive both now and in the future, you will need a range of tools that you can learn easily and use right away. The iPad is such a tool, flexible and offering multifunctionality, as well as portability, replacing and supporting other materials and processes in our classes. It’s easy to learn and use immediately in planning, making, manipulating and documenting art in many media and materials.

We’re starting with our studio classes, where you will discover all kinds of ways to use your iPad; you’ll quickly find it invaluable for your other art and non-art classes. The iPad can serve as a communication device (email; web-based social media, i.e., Facebook, Ning; and Kent State’s course communication software Blackboard Learn) and a documentation (audio and visual) device, along with providing access to the wealth of material on the web. It’s easy to pack along, weighing just over a pound and smaller than a standard sheet of paper, so there’s no excuse not to have it with you.

I already have a tablet device – can I use that instead?

No. While other tablets may appear to be a better initial value, Apple products have become standard in the visual arts disciplines. If you’re going to work in the arts, Apple products are a necessity. The iPad is at the center of the rapid growth of tablets in creative fields, and the exciting visual art and design apps being designed for the iPad offer unparalleled user experience. A standard platform across School of Art foundations courses ensures compatibility between you the student and your instructors and enables the kind of interaction and collaboration that makes your experience in the School of Art great. The best education available demands the best tools available.

Which iPad is required?

The minimum model that qualifies is the iPad 2, which can be found refurbished from Apple online for $279.00. Used iPads can be found elsewhere, but exercise caution when purchasing used electronics, as problems can be hard to detect. A refurbished iPad from Apple comes with all accessories and the same one-year warranty as a new iPad.

Get special deals on refurbished iPads

The new iPad mini also qualifies for the 2-dimensional composition classes (ART 10022), the iPad mini starts at $329.00.

I already have a netbook/laptop. Can I use that instead?

A laptop (whether a Mac or a PC) will be a great companion to your iPad, but they are totally different devices. Your iPad can be outfitted to work like a netbook by adding a Bluetooth keyboard, but your netbook or laptop won’t work like an iPad. With its phenomenal portability and the touch-based interface, you will interact with your iPad in ways and places that laptops simply can’t.

Does this mean we’re going to make only computer-based art from here on?

No. The iPad is a tool that replaces a number of other older technologies in our classic curriculum. You’ll still make drawings, paintings, 3-D models, sculptures in various materials, and other media-based art works. The iPad will serve as your sketchbook and probably save you some money as a try-out and planning device, allowing you to preview possibilities without having to discard valuable materials on lukewarm ideas. The iPad will also make it possible to document your work quickly, clearly and readily, including in-progress works, for inclusion in required critiques, sophomore review and your portfolio.

What’s more, you will NOT need a textbook for this course nor will you need to buy for the course any other art materials (course fee will cover those). The iPad will connect you with online resources and design/planning tools that will save considerably in exhaustible raw materials like pencils, paper, watercolors, glue, etc. Don’t pitch what you’ve already got – it will just last longer.

Do I need to come in knowing how to use my iPad?

No, not necessarily. One way in which the iPad differs from a traditional computer is that it’s an intuitive tool, relatively easy to learn. Many users just begin experimenting right out of the box and find, after using smartphones, the iPad is simple to figure out. And it’s been designed to be responsive to some basic, easily learned gestures and actions (the swipe and the pinch, for example). But you’ll be using your iPad right away in your 2-D composition class – and thinking of many other ways it can be valuable to you in other classes – with support from a teacher who is also a relatively new learner. To some extent, we’ll be all learning together.

What are some free apps that I can start with?

The iPad will be used as a tool to play with visual ideas, collect information and to create presentations. Explore the potential of free apps like: Chrome, Mobile Learn, Dropbox, PBS, TED, ColorSchemer, Flipboard, Adobe Reader, Blendoku, Snapseed, Pocket, iMotion HD, Kaleidopaint, neu.Notes+, Powerpoint and Prezi.

Will any of the required apps cost me?

For ART 10022 you’ll need iDraw and IsoSketch. ART 10022 and ART 10023 require PhotoShop Touch ($9.99, as compared to $350 for Photoshop on a MacBook). Individual instructors may require additional apps as the semester progresses. Teachers and other students discover new apps daily, but they are relatively inexpensive (think smartphone apps).

What accessories will be needed for this device?

We recommend a folio/cover to protect the edges of your iPad and its glass surface, as well as a stylus for control over mark-making on that surface. You may also decide to add a built-in Bluetooth keyboard to make typing fast and easy. These accessories are all easily obtained at local vendors or from online sellers, giving you a range of options.