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iPharmacy: Pharmacy Professors, P1 Students Use iPads in the Classroom

April 7, 2022

The iFisher: Next Generation Learning Initiative is changing the way St. John Fisher College faculty and students teach and learn. Dr. Ramil Sapinoro, associate professor in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, shares his experience watching technology change the classroom environment.

Dr. Ramil Sapinoro helped distribute iPads to first-year students in the fall.

Sapinoro has been teaching at Fisher since 2010, just four years after the School was founded. Over the past decade, he has seen how College-wide changes affect those in the School of Pharmacy, which was one of the first buildings to implement lecture capture systems. “Pharmacy classrooms were converted into classrooms with multiple screens and pod-style seating,” Sapinoro said, adding that the change allowed pharmacy students to work in small groups to create solutions on screen.

The implementation of iPads onto the Fisher campus has been a more gradual change for Sapinoro and his colleagues. While at the moment, only first-year campus pathway pharmacy students were provided iPads, thanks to a technology gift to the School given by Lucy Malmberg, he said Pharmacy faculty members are engaging with iPads as part of a pilot to evaluate the potential for use in the classroom. “A lot of our pharmacy faculty went through the Fisher Apple Academy, partly to help us transition during the COVID years and partly to give us the resources of what the iPad could do,” he said.

To date, 27 faculty members in the School of Pharmacy are now Apple-certified, after completing the Fisher Apple Academy training.

Feedback from the pilot study was recently gathered from students regarding their use in the classroom and for exams, compared to laptop computers. The students found the use of the iPads to be very helpful, easy to use, and helped to meet their needs in the classroom.

Outside of his own practice, Sapinoro is uncertain what role technology will play in the future of pharmaceuticals and their study. Studies that look at how college students are using iPads and other similar devices may change the choices professors make in their teaching style, he said. And, the impact on the profession is yet to be seen.

“I think for the pharmacy profession, technological shifts may open up different pathways that are not your traditional end product for our graduates,” Sapinoro said. He speculated that there may be more focus on information technology, gathering statistics on how, where, and to whom drugs are prescribed. When this technology is introduced early on in preparation for professionals, it can change the field itself.

This article was written by Marcus Lindenburg ’23, an English major, who is a PR writing intern with the Office of Marketing and Communications.