How UK Students Use Their iPads

Watch this video to see why our students are so grateful for their Apple technology.

Video produced by UK Marketing and Brand Strategy. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2021) — In any given day, University of Kentucky students — in-state and out-of-state — will utilize iPads, provided to them through the Smart Campus Initiative, in myriad ways. 

In its third year of the program, the Smart Campus Initiative has provided incoming, first-year students with an iPad Air, Apple Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. Currently, more than 12,000 UK-issued iPads are on campus being used by freshmen, sophomores, faculty and staff. 

The Smart Campus Initiative was recently approved by the Board of Trustees for another year, which will continue the partnership with Apple by purchasing additional iPad technology aimed to: 

  • Refine and optimize student recruitment, retention and graduation efforts. 
  • Enhance pedagogy for both in-class and online learning. 
  • Better prepare underrepresented students for college. 
  • Increase safety, mental health and well-being among students, faculty and staff that could be scaled to other audiences and for other uses beyond the campus. 
  • Leverage access to financial wellness and online learning to increase the opportunity for lifelong success. 
  • Enhance student skills in application development with Swift coding. 
  • Assist interventions and programs in health care. 

The initiative has been a historic pairing of a leading-edge technology company with a flagship, land-grant institution, reshaping the higher education experience and proving that innovative learning begins with innovative teaching. 

“Our smart campus strategy underscores our promise to put students at the center of everything we do,” said UK Provost David Blackwell. “It supports our strategic plan goals of increasing retention and graduation rates and prepares students for the technologically advanced and interconnected world they will enter after leaving our campus.”

Many university students use their iPads in conjunction with technology they already have to maximize their class experience — especially during these unprecedented times of the pandemic. Providing new students with additional technology has helped students cope with the reinvented normal. 

“I use my iPad daily alongside my laptop,” said Taylor Tharp, Transformative Learning tutor. “I use my iPad and Apple pencil to take notes in all of my classes on the Microsoft app OneNote. With most of my classes being virtual, I absolutely love having my iPad because I can watch/participate in my Zoom lectures on my laptop while taking notes on my iPad.” 

The benefits of the partnership have not gone unnoticed by students. 

“To me it means I have the necessary resources I need to excel at school,” said Princess Agbozo, Lewis Honors College student. “It's an affirmation that the school cares enough about my success and my education to put in the effort to get us such an advanced (and probably expensive) resource for us students to utilize.”

To learn more about how the partnership is shaping the student experience and providing limitless possibilities, watch the video above. 

Girl working on her iPad.
Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.