- Since adopting its "DISCOVERe" tablet program, California State University, Fresno has learned what defines success in such an initiative at the postsecondary level.
- Seven best practices recently shared with Campus Technology include setting faculty expectations low, carefully considering initial courses, taking the rollout slow, embracing creativity in the medium, having faculty's backs, incorporating PD ideas from previous DISCOVERe faculty and providing grants for tablets rather than giving them to students outright.
- The grants to help students purchase tablets are perhaps the biggest divergence from tablet programs in K-12, though the $300 awards may not have enough funding to last beyond the current semester.
The five tablets students at Fresno State could use the grants to purchase include iPad Air 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB, iPad Pro 32GB, Microsoft Surface 3 or Samsung Galaxy TAB A. But President Joseph Castro is currently working with the school's provost and CIO to find a solution for making the grants financially sustainable, as the university hasn't budgeted them for the fall. Such programs would be a necessity for any institution requiring students to come equipped with such a device, particularly in the interest of ensuring access for those from low-income backgrounds.
That said, a general selling point for the program has been the potential to reduce the overall cost of college by taking greater advantage of open educational resources. Many incoming students from in-state are also likely already familiar with tablet-based learning from their days in the state's many districts that have gone 1:1 on device rollouts. As the conversation around increasing access advances, Fresno State's template is likely to serve other institutions well in their own experiments.