Central Methodist University Unveils ‘Digital U’

Multi-million dollar iPad initiative takes learning to the next level

November 6, 2017

Digital UCentral Methodist University understands it’s crucial to remain innovative and proficient in order to ensure the brightest possible future for its students.

Beginning next fall, CMU is taking its academic experience to an entirely new, ahead-of-its-time level, as it introduces “Digital U.” The evolutionary, multi-million dollar education initiative is designed to make learning faster, smarter, and more collaborative – an impressive advantage for undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) at the main campus in Fayette, according to CMU President Roger Drake.

Through the free distribution of personal Apple iPad Pros to all full-time undergrads at CMU-Fayette, the installation of monitors and Apple TV devices in classrooms and labs, and their use across the curriculum, Digital U will deliver advanced access to academic tools and resources.

“Through Digital U, students will gain the cutting-edge, real-world experience top companies look for in the candidates they seek,” Drake said. “Not only will this initiative take our students to the next level of learning, but it also will drastically enhance their overall college experience – strengthening the connection to fellow students, clubs, athletics, music, and various campus activities.”

All full-time undergraduate students attending the Fayette campus are qualified to receive iPads. The devices are Wi-Fi enabled, 64 Gigabyte (GB) iPad Pros (10.5” screen), complete with an Apple Pencil and charger. Additionally, students will be offered a standard assortment of downloadable, University-provided apps designed to help build skills and expertise in an academic setting.

Digital UOf even greater importance, CMU faculty have undergone training sessions to explore ways to integrate the new technology into classrooms and labs. Some students and faculty in the nursing and music departments have been piloting Digital U this fall, and there is great excitement across campus about the new initiative, Drake said.

Current CMU students who have not yet received an iPad are scheduled to be given their devices at the beginning of the fall 2018 semester. Incoming freshmen and transfers can get theirs during spring or summer Eagle Days registration program upon completion of CMU’s financial readiness program.

The iPads will benefit students in countless ways, according to Drake. For example, every CMU classroom and lab features an Apple TV, which can be synced to the students’ iPads for uses including interactive presentations and lectures. Note-taking apps and opportunities to use printed textbooks or “e-texts,” instead of hard-copy textbooks, are other convenient advantages.

Through Digital U, CMU students will receive academic opportunities available at only a few other colleges and universities, according to Drake. After taking advantage of its convenient resources, access, connective learning, collaboration, and unlimited capabilities, students will graduate even better prepared for their professional careers.