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Norfolk State to Provide Every Student with Apple Devices, Training in App Development

Norfolk State University has announced it will provide all students, faculty and staff with a bundle of Apple devices as part of a new Spartan Innovation Academy program dedicated to improving access and affordability as well as giving students training in coding and app development.

After a pilot with first-year students for the 2019-2020 academic year, NSU is expanding the program to all traditional undergraduate and select graduate students. All incoming and returning students will receive an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Apple Smart Keyboard Folio and Airpods Pro for the duration of their enrollment. Upon graduation, they will have the option to purchase the devices for just $1. (Faculty and staff will receive the devices at no cost.)

The program builds on NSU's 2020 work serving as a community coding center for HBCU C2, an Apple-supported initiative led by Tennessee State University that provides coding and creativity experiences to Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.

"The Spartan Innovation Academy program is all about giving students the tools they need to be successful in and outside of the classroom," said NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston, in a statement. "The university is committed to access and affordability for all students. We know that providing access to powerful tools for learning will help ensure that our students will have a successful academic career while reducing the cost of obtaining a degree. Moreover, we know that the creativity of our students is endless. I am excited about the possibilities for coding and app development, with the help of our amazing faculty, that will be beneficial for the entire Spartan community."

Additional facets of the initiative include:

  • Use of a full-time Apple Professional Learning Specialist for engineering services and project management;
  • Providing MacBook Pro notebooks to students in majors or courses that require them;
  • An innovation design lab equipped with iMac desktop computers for students to learn coding and app development;
  • Use of Apple's coding curriculum and Swift open source programming language; and
  • Partnerships with K-12 systems in the region to create academic and professional development opportunities for both NSU and K-12 students.

For more information, visit the NSU site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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