Top USM students the first to test tablets

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - It's a good time to be an honor student, or a student leader at Southern Miss. If you are, you're probably walking around campus with a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

James Slater is one of those 700 lucky Southern Miss students. Slater, a non traditional student taking up a double major, also maintains a full time job in Mobile. He says with his hectic schedule, the tablet will only make things easier.

"I have several online classes. So I plan on using it for my online classes and to network with my teachers, to Skype with my Honors Advisor, because she is based in Hattiesburg and I live here on the coast out in Ocean Springs. So that alone is worth the technology," Slater said.

The tablets will allow students to access all the features of a lap top, through a portable, lightweight and convenient piece of technology.

Other students agree that the gift will be beneficial.

"It's an exhilarating experience," said James Moody. "It's really going to help me through this semester of college, as well as spring semester. It's a really great attribute to all of the students, honor students, SGA officials. And hopefully it will help us to succeed with our educational endeavors."

Honors students, top scholars and other student leaders are among those recipients chosen to participate in the study, which will determine how well the tablets assist with learning.

"These students will be able to use these tablets inside and outside of the classroom. They're incredible versatile machines," said USM Dean, David Davies. "This is part of a pilot tablet project in which we will be testing the impact these tablets have on our students and on their learning. Everyone seems to agree that this is where computer technology is heading."

How the students react to the tablets will be monitored closely throughout the academic year. The plan is for students and facility both to find new innovative ways to communicate, learn, and ultimately find new uses for the device that aren't even imaginable right now.

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