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Apple names Yale a ‘standout school’ for curricular innovations

Michael Schwartz

The School of Medicine’s iPad initiative, through which all Yale medical students have been provided with an Apple tablet computer containing the school’s curriculum, has won praise on campus and off, most recently by Apple Computer itself, which chose to include the School of Medicine in its “Standout Schools” webcast series.

The series showcases educators from across the country who are using technology to engage students in new ways.

On July 31, the live event featured an interview with Michael L. Schwartz, Ph.D., associate dean for curriculum and associate professor of neurobiology, who described the transition from the mountainous stacks of paper students once received to a curriculum that is essentially paperless. The idea, which began as a five-month pilot program in 2011, has had manifold benefits. “We felt this would allow us to be a little ‘greener’ in our curriculum, by reducing the nearly $100,000 a year we spent on copying costs,” Schwartz said.

But the initiative has also vastly changed the way Yale medical students learn, and may ultimately change the way they practice medicine. “Our goal was to provide a full curricular material set to our students, electronically, taking advantage of what the platform allows,” Schwartz says. “We also wanted to provide our students with a secure mechanism for generating, storing, and reading electronic protected health information, and the iPad met the standard very well for us. And finally, we wanted to create a platform that will provide our faculty with new ways to continue developing our curriculum.”

The webcast can be found online at