iPad grant brings art classes to life

The Bellevue College Foundation is a non-profit organization in cooperation with Bellevue College.  The mission statement of the BCF is, “to raise funds to support quality education and learning opportunities for all BC students.”  However, the foundation also offers mini grants to faculty and staff to support projects and programs that otherwise might not receive funding from other sources.  Back in December 2011, BC’s own Ginny Banks was awarded a mini grant.  This grant has allocated an iPad for the use in Bank’s art classes.

Banks uses the iPad for her basic photograhpy classes.  With the iPad, Banks has a multitude of resources and apps at her disposal.  “I have created many lectures and slide talks in Keynote, which I show my classes,” Banks said. Keynote is the Apple equivalent to Power point and Banks believes the former is more visually pleasing.  Another app at her disposal is Diigo, which is an online digital library from which Banks can access at any time, even during class.  The Dropbox app allows Banks to access the same files from different computers.  Another feature of the iPad that Banks enjoys is that it connects wirelessly to any projector mounted in the classroom and also to Apple TV.

According to Banks, the difference in having the iPad for the class versus not having it is astounding.  “I can’t think of how my classes would be without my iPad.  I rely on it as a teaching aide and I think my classes would be very visually boring without it.”  The fluidity of the iPad is helpful to the learning process of students in Banks class.  The device can access websites, blogs, video clips and other various forms of media in a smooth motion, quick motion compared to professors pulling clips from YouTube with slow results.

Banks is attempting to incorporate the use of the iPad in a new documentary photography class that is going to be available this coming spring.  According to Banks, students will be working with various Seattle non-profits to tell visual stories. The use of the iPad will help the students with their research during the process.  “I think the iPad will help them with their ability to get their stories out there.” Banks also said.

According to the BC Foundation webpage, “This year, the Bellevue College Foundation has awarded 71 scholarships totaling nearly $120,000.” In addition to scholarships awarded directly by the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, scholarships funds are also awarded in conjunction with various BC departments.   When added together, the BC Foundation will fund approximately $200,000 in financial assistance to BC students in the 2012-2013 school year.

If interested in news regarding the BCF,  follow their blog located on the website, which is also accessible from BC’s homepage.