By Chef Scott McMillen, Chef-Instructor, Pastry & Baking Arts

Our culinary and pastry students are faced with a number of challenges on a daily basis. First and foremost, they’re asked to learn recipes and techniques with foreign names and to reinforce that learning after class with homework and library assignments. While striving to produce professional quality work, they must also uphold the highest standard of efficiency and cleanliness. And as their lessons progress, students are expected to do additional fieldwork outside of ICE, which includes trailing (short term stints in commercial kitchens) to plan and prepare for their externships.

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Chef Scott using iPads in class with students

For a program that is relatively short in duration—a mere twelve weeks to nine months of in-class work—this is a rigorous course load. So the last thing our students needed to juggle on top of it is a stack of textbooks. That’s why ICE is proud to provide each of our professional students with their own iPad, preloaded with their course curriculum and textbooks. This technology offers our students and faculty a powerful tool that can help organize notes, record lectures and demonstrations and photograph dishes at every stage of preparation.

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The iPad allows students to keep a living record of their day-to-day work at ICE, providing them the clear advantage of documenting their education in real time. It also helps encourage collaboration in the kitchen, enabling students to share documents and notes instantly—or even to submit homework and assignments to their instructor for instant feedback. Not to mention that sharing the day’s accomplishments with friends and family through apps like Instagram and Twitter helps keep our students motivated and proud.

ICE is the only school of its kind to roll out tablet technology to such a wide extent. The process to identify apps and programs that aid our instruction was not without its own challenges, but the benefits have proven to justify the investment. Mostly recently, instructors have been able to add interactive and multimedia elements—such as quick quizzes and slide shows—to presentations that are streamed to overhead Apple TVs in our teaching kitchens or directly onto the students’ own iPads.

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Streaming content from Apple TV

The nature of technology is to evolve. With that in mind, ICE is committed to continuing to find new ways to use technology to enhance students’ learning experience. It is our goal to continue blending modern technological concepts with traditional, hands-on instruction in the culinary setting, making us an innovative leader among culinary institutions.

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