Ohio State University has announced a new digital education initiative in collaboration with Apple that includes a new iOS Design Lab on its Columbus campus and the distribution of iPad Pros to incoming first-year students. Called the Digital Flagship University, the project starts this academic year with the goal of allowing Ohio State’s community to “develop modern mobile skills to enhance learning and excel in the competitive workplace,” said university president Michael V. Drake in a press statement.
The iOS Design Lab will be open to students, faculty and community members. It will offer tech training and certification for developing apps in Apple programing language Swift, as well as other educational and career programs. The university will also get help from Apple to develop apps as part of the initiative.
Starting in fall 2018, matriculating freshmen will also be supplied with an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, which Ohio State says will be funded through its administrative efficiency program.
In a statement, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook said “This unique program will give students access to the incredible learning tools on iPad, as well as Apple’s new coding curriculum that teaches critical skills for jobs in some of the country’s fastest-growing sectors. I’m thrilled the broader central Ohio community will also have access to coding opportunities through Ohio State’s new iOS Design Lab.”
Ohio State has already integrated Apple products into many of its courses. Some examples it gave include using iPads to do fieldwork on plant life in biology classes, teach marching band formations and provide clinical instruction at the Wexner Medical Center. Chemistry lectures and assignments have also been made available through iTunes, while Ohio State’s College of Social Work published the first three iTunes U courses on social work in the United States.