Ohio State Partners with Apple to Launch Digital Learning Initiative

Ohio State University and Apple plan to expand their Digital Flagship University initiative following a successful pilot program that involved about 130 students (Johnson, 2018). The initiative includes an iPad for all incoming freshmen.

Beginning in the autumn semester 2018, all first-year students at all campuses of The Ohio State University will be given access to Apple devices in a first-of-its-kind partnership to support digital learning through iOS technology. The digital learning initiative is part of the university’s goal to support educational innovation for students and economic development opportunities for the community.

First-year students will be given a free iPad Pro, smart keyboard, case, Apple pencil, Apple Care+ and a suite of applications (Ohio, 2018). The iPad package provides students with tools to enhance their learning experience as well as to enhance their career-readiness for the technological economy in which we live.

The application development lab on the Columbus campus will offer technological training and certification to students, faculty and staff, and members of the broader community interested in developing apps in Swift, the Apple programming language.

“I believe that the Digital Flagship initiative has the potential to do many things. For some courses, the iPad will be a tool that professors and students use collectively and with multimedia technology in the classroom to engage with subject matter,” said Ohio State University at Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald.

The university’s eLearning team is assisting professors interested in incorporating the device into classes. “I am excited about that kind of experience, but I am even more excited about what we have yet to imagine doing with the technology,” said MacDonald (Ohio, 2018).

A pilot program that put the technology into five courses on the Ohio State Columbus campus during the spring 2018 semester was a success. A team of students, administrators and developers visited Apple’s Cupertino, California, headquarters for a three-day intensive design session. They brainstormed ideas and ran through student scenarios in order to build out the wireframe of an app focused on incoming Ohio State students. Students in journalism, civil rights, chemistry and biology classes participated in the initial experience of working with the new technology in the classroom.

Not every first-year course will require an iPad in the fall, said Corey Tressler, the associate director of learning programs for the university. However, he explained, “In the spirit of the initiative, each year, another group of 10,000 or 11,000 first-year students will receive an iPad. As that grows, we’ll grow more first-year courses that incorporate Digital Flagship concepts” (Johnson, 2018). The ultimate goal is to support classroom integration across all academic disciplines.

Students can expect to receive their iPad package during orientation throughout the summer. Ohio State will retain ownership of the technology suite until the time of a student’s graduation when ownership is passed on to the student. For more information about the Digital Flagship University, visit go.osu.edu/digitalflagship.

About Ohio State University

Founded in 1870, the college began with a focus on training students in agricultural and mechanical disciplines but it developed into a comprehensive university under the direction of Governor (later, President) Rutherford B. Hayes. In 1878, the Ohio General Assembly changed the name to “The Ohio State University,” and it has since grown into the third-largest university campus in the United States. Along with its main campus in Columbus, Ohio State also operates regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and Wooster. Ohio State is a participant in the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Big Ten Conference in most sports.

Undergraduate admissions to The Ohio State University (commonly referred to as Ohio State or OSU) are classified as “more selective” by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. According to the data, OSU is the most selective for any public university in Ohio. 67% of incoming freshmen in Autumn 2017 were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. The middle 50% range of ACT scores is 28-32, while the middle 50% SAT scores (Critical Reading and Math only) is 1310–1430. Ohio State’s freshman class has included at least 100 National Merit Scholars for nine of the last ten years.

The Ohio State University offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive, with world-renowned professors and more than 200 majors. Research, study abroad, and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected. Alumni and former students have gone on to prominent careers in government, business, science, medicine, education, sports, and entertainment. Ohio State alumni include Nobel Prize recipients, Pulitzer Prize recipients, Olympic Games gold medalists, Medal of Honor recipients, ambassadors, governors, senators and members of Congress as well as Fortune 500 CEOs.

For more information about Ohio State, visit the official Ohio State University website at https://www.osu.edu.

Homeschool / Alternative Education Students

Ohio State welcomes applications from alternatively educated students, including homeschool students. These students follow the same admission process as freshman applicants or transfer applicants (if college credit was earned after high school) and are reviewed for admission based on the same criteria as students from public and private high schools no matter which campus you are applying to.

In addition to the required application materials, which include ACT or SAT scores, homeschool students must submit:

  • Written verification from the appropriate school district that the student has been excused from compulsory attendance for home education. Students applying from states that do not require school districts to issue a statement excusing the student from compulsory attendance may have this application requirement waived.
  • A detailed curriculum, including course content descriptions and assessment of performance (letter grades, percentages, portfolio commentary, etc.) with an explanation of any applicable grading scales.

For more information, see http://undergrad.osu.edu/apply.

Ohio State Online

U.S. News & World Report recently named Ohio State Online the best program in the country for earning online bachelor’s degrees (Ramos, 2018), even though it only offers three online bachelor’s programs: dental hygiene, health sciences, and nursing. Ohio State Online also offers an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Development and several master’s degrees. Explore all of Ohio State’s online offerings.


Johnson, Ryan. (2018, May 3). Ohio State, Apple Expand Initiative to Create First ‘Digital Flagship University.’ EdScoop. Retrieved from https://edscoop.com/ohio-state-apple-expand-initiative-to-create-first-digital-flagship-university
Ohio State Collaboration with Apple Creates University-Wide Digital Learning Initiative. (2018, March 15). The Ohio State University, Newark. Retrieved from https://newark.osu.edu/news/ohio-state-collaboration-with-apple-creates-university-wide-digital-learning-initiative.html
Ramos, Lucy. (2018, January 9). Ohio State’s Online Undergrad Programs Ranked #1. Ohio State Online. Retrieved from https://online.osu.edu/news/2018/01/09/ohio-states-online-undergrad-programs-ranked-1

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