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Feb 22, 2021

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.

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. 


Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.