What is the purpose of the myCSUNtablet initiative?
The myCSUNtablet initiative equips CSUN faculty and students with tablets to achieve three main goals:
- to increase engagement in the classroom;
- to enhance the quality of teaching tools;
- to reduce the cost of learning materials for students.
Why was the initiative launched at CSUN?
The academic plans and IT Vision@2015 anticipated a widening deployment of portable devices and cloud technology for teaching and learning. Faculty already were using such strategies to engage students with different styles and paces for learning. At CSUN, some departments and colleges had begun issuing iPads to faculty. The device had recently 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 indicated that CSUN had reached a tipping point for strategic change.
Who is part of the initiative, and when did it start?
In Fall 2013, seven programs at CSUN began integrating tablets into the curriculum. These programs include biology, journalism, liberal studies, public health, physical therapy, kinesiology, and engineering & computer science. Some sections are made available as part of the myCSUNtablet initiative and some are not, allowing students to self-select if they want to participate.
What workshops and support are available to faculty who participate in the initiative?
Faculty involved in the initiative 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 Lynda.com 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 do students who participate in the initiative receive?
Student questions about how to setup and use the iPad can be directed to the IT Help Center by phone (818-677-1400), chat or in person. Help Center staff comprised of students and staff are available in the Library Learning Commons to assist all students with questions.
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 is the initiative being assessed?
The myCSUNtablet initiative will continue to be evaluated at regular intervals. Assessment is 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 are also encouraged to convene periodically, either within or across departments, to share thoughts, breakthroughs, new apps, lesson learned, and student/learner outcomes.
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 iOS 7 recommended for myCSUNtablet?
To be able to access the interactive features in the textbooks available through the iBooks Store and other new features available in iOS 7.
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.
What should I do if my iPad is misplaced or stolen?
If misplaced, use the “Find my iPhone/iPad” feature.
If stolen, notify the CSUN Department of Police Services and your department office. All university-owned equipment has been tagged with STOP security tags which should deter theft and helps return the device to the university if it is recovered. See the attached flyer created by Department of Police Services for theft-prevention strategies:
What should I do if my university-issued iPad becomes damaged?
University-owned iPads purchased for use in the myCSUNtablet initiative were purchased with AppleCare warranty service. Contact your department office or the Matador Bookstore to receive Apple Care service.
If your device has been damaged such that it requires replacement, notify Department of Police Services to request that the accompanying STOP plates cease to be tracked. A chargeback from your department will need to be completed for STOP plates to be replaced.
What are some of the benefits of using an iPad versus traditional, print materials?
Students today are now more familiar with a learning environment that is tech-friendly. By using the iPads in the classroom, it enables the classroom to be an extension of the technology environments they are already using. It also provides opportunities for faculty to be more innovative and adaptable to the different learning styles of their students.
Ideally, students can access their course materials from anywhere at any time, thereby increasing the amount of time students can spend with the course material.
In many cases, textbooks are able to be marked up much like they could with a traditional textbook. However, when the app is robust enough, the student will be able to search within their notes and annotate with web clippings, pictures, and audio. Some of the more robust textbooks have embedded videos, quizzes, and study tools.
In some cases, the eTextbook may also be rented like traditional books, therefore making the cost of textbooks even lower.
Also, some applications may be able to replace textbooks (electronic or traditional) entirely and allow students to engage with course materials in much more engaging ways. Many times, the apps can immerse the students in a 3D environment that enables the student to experience a foreign country, to hold a molecule, or to demonstrate the laws of physics.
What are some best practices?
myCSUNtablet faculty and partners have created a best practices guide specifically for the initiative.
How do I demonstrate cost neutrality to students?
To help balance the cost of the iPad, faculty are encouraged to seek and use lower-cost teaching materials when possible. It is important to document the difference in cost pre- and post-iPad implementation, so that these savings can be demonstrated.
Where can I find more information?
Faculty can contact the Faculty Technology Center at