iPad Step Forward Program

Trinity College Foundation Studies (TCFS) was one of the first education institutions in the world to pilot the use of iPads in the classroom in 2010 to test their educational benefits.

Since the introduction of iPads to the TCFS curriculum, students have achieved better academic outcomes. 

All TCFS students receive a new iPad when they commence their studies at Trinity and these devices belong to the student during and after the program.

A series of introductory training sessions are provided to students and the Education Technology Manager also provides ongoing guidance and support in regard to educational use of the iPads.

iPad learning enhances personal contact and communication between teachers and students, and increases students' engagement with the curriculum. Individual attention, small class sizes and face-to-face teaching remain an important educational approach at Trinity.

The excellent educational outcomes from introducing iPads into the classroom come from:

  • active learning techniques
  • individualising content for students
  • real-time access to information
  • collaborative learning.

By harnessing the iPad's potential in visual, auditory and kinaesthetic modes of learning, students have found that they can go further, faster and with more fun in their education. 

Students and teachers make the most of the iPad's various features to:

  • conduct research

  • write essays

  • deliver oral presentations

  • record classes, interviews and consultations

  • read e-books and articles

  • watch films and artistic presentations

  • create, store and distribute information

  • conduct mathematical calculations and scientific experiments

  • engage in hands-on educational experiences.

Trinity staff and students continue to innovate with this technology through the use of applications, e-books, recording devices and access to information. Some recent developments in 2012–13 include a student iPad band, collections of student writing, orginal artworks and photography made into iBooks, and an Annual Film Award.

Frequently Asked Questions

iPad Applications

All students receive an iTunes gift card during orientation week to purchase the recommended applications.

The following applications are recommended to assist students with their studies:

Some subject-related applications:

Some free applications related to Melbourne:

iPad Pilot 

Did you know that Trinity was one of the first institutions in the world to pilot the use of iPads in the classroom in 2010? Research from this pilot program revealed students achieved better academic outcomes with the use of iPads.

The trial in 2010 involved all students and teachers in one of our intakes and they overwhelmingly recommended the use of iPads to other TCFS teachers and students. Staff found that students were highly engaged and enthusiastic and were developing certain skills at a faster rate than expected. 

TCFS began phase two of the iPad program in early 2011 and now all academic staff are using iPads to enhance and extend the curriculum. Together with the Education Technology Manager, the College is integrating iPads with other technologies to ensure a dynamic engagement and an innovative approach to education.

View a report of the Step Forward iPad Project


'Final academic results for the iPad Pilot Group showed that these students achieved the highest individual scores in the February Main cohort, and higher overall average scores. Now that iPads are in the hands of all TCFS students, Trinity is keen to continue the improvement of academic programs and academic results.'

 Mr Glen Jennings, Associate Dean of Academic Operations

'With an iPad in the hands of every student and every teacher, traditional ways of learning have had to change. The ability to make videos, record teacher/student interactions, read and make e-books, and research real-time information on the web, makes the iPad a great tool to enhance the learning experiences students have at TCFS.'

 Dr Jennifer Mitchell, Education Technology Manager






Why use iPads at Trinity College?

To enhance learning by making good use of light-weight, portable, flexible and durable technology that enables students and staff to create or utilise a broad range of materials in various learning styles. iPads are effective for study based on sound, text, image and movement, and our experience highlights active learning, individualising content for students, real-time access to information, and collaborative learning.


Have Trinity students and staff used iPads before?

Yes. Trinity was one of the first institutions in the world to run a pilot program to test the educational benefits of the iPad. The overwhelming recommendation from our pilot program with the 2010 August Extended Intake was to use iPads with all TCFS students and staff.


Will all new students from 2012 be issued with an iPad?

Yes. For consistency and equity in education, uniformity of iPad models, and uniformity of warranties and technical support, all students will be issued with a new iPad from the commencement of their studies at Trinity College.


Does the iPad belong to the student?

Yes. TCFS is using iPads to enhance learning while at Trinity and to help prepare students for university life and future employment. Students will take the devices and skills with them when they graduate from Trinity.


Will Trinity replace a stolen or damaged iPad? 

Because all iPads will be issued new to commencing students, the devices will be under warranty during the student’s time at Trinity. But at all times students will be individually responsible for their own iPads, including insurance from theft or damage. Trinity will not replace a stolen or damaged iPad, but under certain circumstances a short-term loan can be arranged while the student arranges a replacement or repair.


Will all teachers have an iPad?

Yes. All teachers have been provided with an iPad and relevant professional development.


Will students receive support in setting up the iPad and using it for educational purposes?

Yes. There will be a series of introductions and training sessions, and the Education Technology Manager will also provide ongoing guidance in regard to educational use of the iPads.


Will Trinity provide IT support forthe iPad?

Trinity Information Technology Services (ITS) will provide assistance with technical issues, such as ensuring that the student’s iPad connects to the Trinity email system and to Trinity Wi-Fi. Students will also be assisted in connecting to Trinity computers to set up accounts. ITS will not undertake mechanical repairs. The new iPads will be under warranty, so any technical faults can be addressed under the terms of the warranty. (Students should not “jailbreak” iPads, attempt to remove the screen or disassemblethe iPad, or undertake any otheraction that voids the warranty.)


Will students be able to use iPads in every class and across the College?

Yes. All Trinity teaching spaces, study areas, the Library, and student common rooms are Wi-Fi enabled.


Will students be able to register their iPads and "back up" their iPad applications and documents on Trinity computers?

Yes. Students can register their iPads and back up their applications and documents on Trinity computers if needed.  Alternatively students can register their iPads and back up applications and documents on their personal computers. It is wise to back up regularly.



Will iPads replace face-to-face teaching and reduce contact time between teachers and students?

No. All students will have the same number of classes and the same class sizes as before, and one-to-one consultation outside of the classroom will remain a defining feature of education at TCFS. iPad learning will enhance personal contact and communication between teachers and students, not reduce personal contact.


What are some examples of how students will use iPads in class and for homework?

Making films, creating soundtracks, drawing graphs and images, reading eBooks, writing notes in lectures, annotating eBooks and PDF documents, researching and writing essays, creating slide presentations, accessing the Internet, doing physical and virtual experiments, sending and receiving emails, reading newspapers, recording interviews, watching YouTube, listening to podcasts, submitting assessment pieces, conducting fieldwork and creating or answering instant quizzes.


What if my typing is no good?

Most staff and students have found the iPad keyboard very easy to use after a little practice. (Anyone familiar with using touchscreen phones have instantly found the iPad keyboard very easy to use.) But for people who prefer handwriting, there are many iPad applications which allow entry of data by writing.


Can I write in other languages?

Yes. The keyboard can be set to include other languages, including character-based languages such as Chinese and Japanese, and the handwriting facility enables entry of handwritten characters that appear in typed form.


Will using an iPad cut down the number of books students need to buy and carry around?

Yes. Many books and paper documents will be replaced by eBooks, PDF documents, web pages and other styles of delivery.


Will students need to buy and carry around a $200 graphic calculator for Maths and science classes?

No. iPad calculator applications are much cheaper and cover all the same uses.


Should students bring their iPads to College every day?