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  • myCSUNtablet logo displaying on an iPad surrounded by book shelves
  • Student and faculty using an iPad
  • Students in a science lab using iPads and laptops
  • Two students using a laptop
  • Students sitting around a table using iPad tablets

myCSUNtablet FAQs

What is the purpose of the myCSUNtablet initiative?

The myCSUNtablet initiative seeks to reduce the cost and enhance the learning experience for students through the use of a tablet device.

Why launch the initiative at CSUN now?

The academic plans and IT Vision@2015 have anticipated a widening deployment of portable devices and cloud technology for teaching and learning. Faculty already are using such strategies to engage students with different styles and paces for learning.  At CSUN, the largest college has issued iPads to the faculty, as have departments in other colleges. The device has become the industry standard in nearby K-12 and helping professions, with whom we place interns and graduates.  Finally, the surge in hybrid courses and e-books that our faculty author indicates that CSUN has reached a tipping point for strategic change.

Who is part of the initiative, and when will it start?

In Fall 2013, seven programs at CSUN will start integrating tablets into the curriculum. These programs include biology, journalism, liberal studies, public health, physical therapy, kinesiology, and engineering & computer science. Some sections will be available as part of the myCSUNtablet initiative and some will not, allowing students to self-select if they want to participate.

How will students know which courses are included in the initiative?

Students will first recognize that a course is part of the initiative when searching the fall 2013 schedule of classes. The “myCSUNtablet” sections will be identified by a flag as one of the search criteria for classes and the flag will link to a website that explains the initiative and requirements to participate.

How will students who enroll in myCSUNtablet initiative classes obtain their own iPad?

Students can use a personally-owned iPad or iPad mini running iOS 6 or higher with a minimum of 32GB of storage. Students will have the option of buying an iPad outright or can choose to participate in a 2 or 3 semester payment plan.  The iPad purchase is eligible for financial aid coverage just like textbooks and supplies.

What workshops and support will faculty who participate in the initiative receive?

Faculty involved in the initiative will have the opportunity to participate in workshops on iPad Essentials, Pedagogical Considerations when Teaching and Learning with Tablets, Finding Apps, and Finding and Creating Digital Content. Accessibility training will be embedded throughout the workshops. 

Additionally, all CSUN faculty have access to CSUN technical training courses for the iPad by accessing the site through the myNorthridge portal.

Faculty questions about how to set-up and use the iPad can be directed to the IT Help Center by phone or in person.  Questions on myCSUNtablet initiative, content creation and faculty training can be directed to the Faculty Technology Center (OV 34, x3443). Faculty can also contact Apple directly (24x7) or access the Apple website for support with questions relating to downloading apps or basic functionality.

What support will students who participate in the initiative receive?

Student questions about how to set-up and use the iPad can be directed to the IT Help Center by phone, chat or in person. Students can also contact Apple directly (24x7) or access the Apple website for support with questions relating to downloading apps or basic functionality.

Why use a tablet instead of requiring a laptop computer?

Tablets offer convenient, portable access to "always on" teaching materials anywhere anytime, whether CSUN resources such as Moodle or captured lectures, electronic textbooks, or a wide range of intuitive, interactive apps that increase productivity and understanding of discipline-specific learning material. Tablets are multi-functional devices that can simultaneously serve as clickers, notepads, drawing boards, PDF annotators, calculators, and more. Students and faculty can not only consume information on tablets, but they can create information and share - using the tablets built-in video camera, editing tools, and whiteboards. Because so many features are available in one device, the myCSUNtablet initiative seeks to save money for students in the long-run while greatly enhancing the teaching and learning experience.

How will the initiative be assessed?

As the myCSUNtablet initiative unfolds, it will be evaluated at regular intervals. Assessment will be conducted both at the course and program level using experimental designs, rubrics, and qualitative methods to examine the impact of tablets on student learning outcomes while accommodating for their unique, multi-functional nature. Faculty will also be encouraged to convene periodically, either within or across departments, to share thoughts, breakthroughs, new apps, lesson learned, and student/learner outcomes.

Why Apple?

Apple has created a system that integrates devices, applications, authoring tools, repositories, and professional consultation. We at CSUN can benefit from progressive, coherent thinking as we re-think course design and delivery.

In regard to accessibility, the Apple iPad has a number of accessibility features built into the device’s hardware and operating system, including assistive technologies for the visually and hearing impaired as well as those with physical or motor skills impairments.  Apple’s gesture-based screen reader and VoiceOver are enhancements that make the device more usable for the blind and visually impaired.  Additional features include visual alerts, mono audio output, and closed captioning support.  Apple’s AssistiveTouch technology supports multi-touch gestures and the use of adaptive input devices, such as headsets and switches.  

Where can I find out more about Apple’s social responsibility?

Apple has supplied the following links to pages on the topics of social responsibility with regards to supplier relationships, working conditions and environmental impact. Refer to Apple’s website regarding supplier responsibility and Apple and the environment.

See also the Fair Labor Association report covering Apple's progress on improving working conditions at Apple's supplier companies and this recent New York Times article on Apple’s most recent labor audit activity.

Does CSUN support multiple platforms?

CSUN continues to support multiple platforms. However, the Apple iPad offers a unique opportunity because of the innovative hardware and software platform it offers to both students and faculty including a mature and ever expanding suite of software app options (700K+ apps including 20K+ educational apps). In the arena of eTextbooks, it provides full support for a wide range of electronic publication formats which permit the integration of video, 3-D graphical representation and enhanced reader interaction with the text.  

Why is iOS6 recommended for myCSUNtablet?

Using the latest iOS will decrease the likelihood of incompatible course apps and resources. Also, over 200 new features are available in iOS 6 including a redesigned iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore. 

To learn more, visit the Apple iOS webpage.

Why is 32GB recommended?

CSUN recommends 32GB so that students have enough internal storage space to save course resources such as iBooks, ePub and PDF files and media files such as audio, video, and images without needing to save content onto other computers or devices.

Apple notes that the typical book is about 2MB. Books that contain enhanced features such as audio or video will vary in size depending on the content. Therefore, the number of books you can have in iBooks will vary depending on the amount of space available on your device. 

To learn more, visit iBooks Frequently Asked Questions.

Can I use my iPad at home even if I don’t have Wi-Fi available?

Any content such as an iBook or ePub that is saved on the iPad is accessible without Wi-Fi. Some apps also work without Wi-Fi. Students who do not have Wi-Fi at home are encouraged to visit campus or a local Wi-Fi hot spot offered by a library or coffee shop if they need to connect to the Internet, email, or other online resources.

Why should I purchase an iPad through Matador Bookstore?

Students who purchase their iPad through the Matador Bookstore can take advantage of the 2 or 3 semester financing plan if they choose not to purchase their iPad outright. CSUN recommends that students purchase Apple Care extended warranty and support plan. Please note that Apple Care will be included at no additional cost for the first 500 students who purchase their iPad through the Matador Bookstore. 

Per Apple, every iPad comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and up to 90 days of telephone technical support. AppleCare for iPad extends repair coverage and telephone technical support to two years from the original purchase date of your iPad and adds coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage due to handling, each subject to a $49 service fee. To learn more, visit the iPad Applecare webpage.

What can I do to protect my iPad from being lost or stolen?

In addition to maintaining security awareness and contact with their device, students are encouraged to participate in the S.T.O.P. Security Tracking of Office Property program for computer equipment and other electronic valuables available through the Department of Police Services. S.T.O.P security plates deter opportunistic thieves, link equipment to individual owners, and provide the best opportunity for recovery. Schedule an appointment with the Department of Police services or email the Crime Prevention Unit to have the security plate installed for $10.

Reference the DPS flier for more campus safety tips.

Per Apple, iOS 6 and iCloud now offer Lost Mode, making it even easier to use Find My iPhone/iPad to locate and protect a missing device.  When setting up your iPad, enabling a device passcode and setting up Find My iPhone/iPad can help protect your data and help you find your device if it is misplaced.

Are there rules students must follow when using iPads/Tablets?

Absolutely. iPads/Tablets are powerful tools for recording and exploring the world around you. Their ease of use and mobility make filming and recording your activities seem fun and exciting to share. However, there can be dire consequences for invading the privacy of others. All members of the CSUN community are obligated to adhere to the University’s Computing Resources and Student Conduct Policy’s.  Students who use their iPads/Tablets inappropriately may face legal action at the discretion of the University.

Where can I find more information?

Faculty can contact the Faculty Technology Center at or X3443.