California State University, Northridge has always pursued the future of learning. That is one reason why CSUN launched its myCSUNtablet initiative in 2013. Today, CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison is pleased to announce that the initiative has been named an Apple Distinguished Program. The designation is reserved for schools and campuses that demonstrate visionary leadership, innovative teaching and learning, ongoing professional learning, and flexible learning environments.
“Our students are technologically savvy,” President Harrison said. “They appreciate having personal interaction with their professors but also benefit from the addition of powerful technology and resources delivered via their tablets — both in and out of class. CSUN is honored to receive Apple’s Distinguished Program designation as it speaks to the effectiveness of our efforts to equip students for success and push the boundaries of learning.”
To apply, CSUN and other schools and programs create an iBook that highlights their programs and impact. CSUN’s iBook submission was developed by Deone Zell, CSUN’s senior director of academic technology. It includes a description of the program that illustrates the depth of the myCSUNtablet initiative, from the innovative learning and teaching methods being used to the year one assessment with a look toward the future.
“Receiving this Apple Distinguished Program designation is such a wonderful recognition for the myCSUNtablet initiative and reflects the expertise and dedicated work by our CSUN faculty and staff to help our students succeed,” said Hilary J. Baker, CSUN’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
A strong proponent of the myCSUNtablet initiative, CSUN Biology Professor Paul Wilson has actively embraced technology to advance his teaching and student learning, publishing various eTexts that can be used with iPads.
“The eTexts that professors are writing are an extension of what CSUN professors have always poured energy into,” Wilson said. “They can be rich in multimedia and fun little activities.”
Students have found the new technology and resources critical to their success.
“It’s nice to be able to interact with the text [of Paul Wilson’s “A Northridge Natural History”] by simply clicking links, entering photo galleries, and easily making notes and highlighting for future reference,” said Dani Amoroso, a graduate student studying under Wilson. “It’s almost like a virtual tour of the natural history of some beautiful Southern California locations.”
Since myCSUNtablet initiative’s launch, 100 instructors have taught more than 200 iPad classes in eight departments (biology, journalism, physical therapy, kinesiology, liberal studies, health sciences, psychology and special education). Student enrollment in myCSUNtablet classes has reached more than 8,000 and the program continues to grow.