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Stanford School of Medicine equipping students with Apple's iPad

The School of Medicine at Stanford University has adopted Apple's iPad, providing the device to all incoming first year medical students and Master of Medicine students.

The school cited four reasons behind the new program, including student readiness, noting that iPad "creates opportunities for efficient, mobile, and innovative learning."

Stanford also noted "the flexibility of iPad technology," noting that "iPad allows students to view and annotate course content electronically, facilitating advance preparation as well as in-class note-taking in a highly portable, sharable and searchable format."

Access to information and "information literacy" was also a consideration, with the school pointing out that "students will be able to easily access high-quality information at any place, at any time (for example, images from textbooks on digital course reserve, image databases, journal articles, Lane Library’s various search tools, etc.)"

A fourth rationale was Stanford's intent to go green, "replacing printed syllabi with PDFs is in line with the Sustainable Stanford initiative, which aims to build sustainable practices into every aspect of campus life."

Stanford and Apple

Located near Apple in Silicon Valley, Stanford has long had a history of interaction with Apple and its chief executive Steve Jobs, both in computing technology in general and within its School of Medicine.

The university invited Jobs to give a commencement address in 2005, and Stanford doctors later treated Jobs through his battle with pancreatic cancer.

The university was also an early participant in Apple's iTunes U program, which enabled schools to share free educational courses and other content with the public.

In 2008, the school announced an iPhone development course, and last year it began publishing its "iPhone Application Programming" course on iTunes U for free to the general public.