May 23, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Department of Athletics recognized a record number (548) of scholar athletes for academic achievement (minimum 3.0 grade-point average) last week. To continue support for the athletes’ academic aspirations, the department of athletics will begin providing its student-athletes with iPads this fall, Dr. David Graham, Ohio State assistant provost for student-athlete success, said Wednesday.

Collectively, Ohio State student-athletes in recent years have been some of the most successful in history. The Buckeyes finished No. 2 nationally among NCAA Division I institutions in the annual Director’s Cup last year (2010-11) and are again poised for a Top 5 finish in 2012. The Director’s Cup recognizes overall athletics success with points awarded based on each institution’s finish in up to 20 NCAA sports — 10 women’s and 10 men’s.

Ohio State provides some of the best opportunities for student-athletes to compete nationally in all phases of personal development. The iPad program offers another vehicle for that development.

“The use of iPads will allow us to find creative and innovative ways to enhance our tutoring and mentoring services for student-athletes,” Graham said. “The iPads will be preloaded with athletics department materials currently provided to student-athletes in paper or book form and will be available to students throughout their academic careers.”

The initiative, in collaboration with the Ohio State Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is a part of Ohio State’s Digital First program ( which looks to transform the educational experience on campus through technology.  The Department of Athletics will initially provide about 500 iPads to select teams this fall. The goal is to provide every student-athlete (about 1,100 total) with the technology in the next two years, Graham said.

The athletics department will fund the initial phase while looking for support through development opportunities over the next several years.

“The student scholastic experience at Ohio State increasingly embraces technological innovations,” Dr. John Bruno, faculty athletics representative, said. “The state-of-the-art initiative of providing our student-athletes with iPads is consistent with this trend and, with the academic apps available, will allow our student-athletes to continue to keep pace with our student body.”

With more and more academic books becoming available in electronic form, Graham said iPads offer student-athletes a more mobile classroom through its Wi-Fi capabilities.

Graham also said the project is intended to expand current programs available to Ohio State student-athletes, including:

•              Enhanced learning through digital technology including e-textbooks, digital course materials and online course programming; this will build on and complement Student-Athlete Support Services’ initiative to create iBooks for courses relating to student-athletes

•              Improved academic productivity during team travel, as students will have easy access to email, Carmen (Ohio State’s online course management system), Ohio State library databases, Pages and Numbers for word processing and spreadsheet creation, FaceTime, Skype and other tools that will enable coursework to be completed on the road

•              Better access to content through applications (apps) that will help students engage with subject matter

•              Increased time management and stronger study skills through apps designed to help college students manage their hectic schedules and workloads

•              Better services for students with learning disabilities via assistive technology

•              Stronger familiarity with the latest innovative technology that will prove valuable for student-athletes in the classroom as well as the 21st century workplaces they will join after graduation

The iPads will be available to the student-athletes on an issuance and retrieval basis.