Fresno State turns to CSU Northridge for insight on tablets

Fresno State Associated Students, Inc. President Moses Menchaca said the push for making digital tablets a part of the university’s curricula – an effort introduced by university President Joseph Castro – remains in its early stages, The Collegian reports.

Fresno State turned to CSU Northridge, which launched the MyCSUtablet Initiative that offers access to digital textbooks and materials to students, to get an idea of how the university operates its tablet program.

Menchaca and 14 school administrators visited the Northridge campus on Oct. 4 and will have a debriefing meeting to further discuss their findings.

Northridge’s tablet program is not campus wide. As of this fall, there are seven majors – biology, journalism, liberal studies, public health, physical therapy, kinesiology, engineering and computer science – that are making the switch to digital textbooks in their respective curriculums, according to the university’s website.

At Northridge, 70 professors offer “E-study” courses.  The school’s bookstore offers students the ability to purchase Apple iPads in either full payment or two- or three-semester payment plans.

“The first step is we had an Apple person come out and talk a little bit about their product and what can be done,” Menchaca said. “We visited CSU Northridge and looked at CSUN’s tablet program, which is just starting. We’re just going to continue to meet and look at that.”

CSU Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison said in a release that the initiative “represents the university’s commitment to explore new technologies to improve student learning and success, as well as reduce costs for students,” echoing similar views by Castro.

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