Student FAQ

Current Students + Eligibility

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Am I eligible for an iPad?

Choose which option best describes your Ohio State status:

  • Current student: You may be eligible for a technology kit if you started at Ohio State during or after fall 2018 and have no prior higher education experience at any other college or university. (Classes taken during high school for college credit are not counted as prior experience.) 
  • Incoming first-year student: If you are graduating high school this year, you are eligible for a technology kit. 
  • Incoming transfer student: You are eligible if you began college at your original university in fall of 2018 or later. When you transfer to Ohio State we use this original college start date to determine if you are part of an eligible class of students.
  • Incoming gap year or delayed start student: If you graduated high school prior to 2018 but are beginning your college experience for the first time, you're eligible for a technology kit. 
  • Military Affiliated Student: New undergraduate students starting higher education for the first time at Ohio State in Fall 2018 or later who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces to include active duty, reserve, and national guard service are eligible for a technology kit.

Faculty, staff and graduate students are not eligible for Digital Flagship technology. Technology requests can be made through your department or college. 

Unsure? Submit a ticket and select Eligibility Status from the Request Type dropdown menu. The IT Service Desk team will look into your records and respond in five to ten business days with your status.

If you aren’t eligible for a technology kit, don't worry, there are be plenty of opportunities for you through Digital Flagship. The Mobile Design Lab travels to all Ohio State campuses and provides a variety of programming and tech. Free, self-paced coding curriculum is available to all at Ohio State. Fill out an application to join one of the course sections launching this year. 

Will I benefit from this initiative if I'm not receiving a device?

We provide numerous opportunities for all students, faculty and staff at the university.

In March of 2019, we opened the Mobile Design Lab on campus, a space that offers training and support for those interested in app design. 

Additionally, we offer workshops for students, faculty, and staff covering topics from basic coding to building a programming environment with Xcode and teaching and learning with iPad in mind. Workshops can be found on our events page.

The Digital Flagship team, in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, has also launched a Swift coding curriculum, which is available for Ohio State students, faculty and staff at no cost.

Where should I go for questions not listed here?

If your question is not answered in this FAQ, be sure to visit our master list of FAQ items.

Question not there either? Email it to

Where can I find a Mac with Xcode installed on campus?

You can find Mac computers with Xcode installed on all Ohio State campuses.

Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of Macs at each location. 

Marion: Morrill Hall 281 (4) or Library and Classroom Building 220 (4)

Lima: Galvin Hall 340 Lab (5)

Newark: Reese Center Cyber Café (4)

Wooster: ATI Library (3)

Mansfield: Conard Hall Writing Lab (5)

In Columbus Macs are available in: 

  • Thompson Library room110 (10) and 0045 (10). 
  • Stillman Hall Digital Union, room 145 (19) and 130 (9) hallway (row of computers in hallway outside 145).
  • Hagerty Digital Union, room 171. (16)
  • Enarson Classrooms Building Digital Union, room 0012 (10) and 0005 (9) hallway (just outside of 0012 Digital Union).
  • Prior Hall Digital Union, room 460a. (6)

Parents of Incoming First Year Students

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What training will be available for students to learn about their iPad and apps?

We are committed to helping your student get the most out of their device. When your student receives their device, we'll provide setup help and guidance around using technology in college. Throughout their time at Ohio State, we will provide plenty of opportunities for them to develop new skills and get the support they need. 

  • Workshops: Workshops will be offered throughout the school year to help students maximize their use of iPad and learn technology skills.
  • Peer Assistance: Our team of Student Mentors will be available to help students at Digital Flagship programming and during drop-in hours.
  • Tutorials: Short video tutorials and “challenges” will be highlighted in the Discover app for students to learn tips and tricks for using their iPads and apps.
  • Handbook: The Digital Flagship Handbook will be provided to students on their iPads. It will cover important information related to their iPads, apps, OSU tech tools, privacy, security and some basic digital literacy tips.
  • Student Staff Training: RAs, Peer Leaders, and Dennis Learning Center Academic Coaches (among others) will learn how to best guide and direct students in using their iPads or getting help with something goes wrong.

The Technology

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When will I receive my device?

You will receive your device at the start of your Ohio State experience. Continue to check your Ohio State email for more information. You'll need to sign the Student Technology Agreement and update or confirm your mailing address to receive your iPad kit. We will continue to provide training and ample resources to help you make use of your technology in college. 

We have selected the 10.5" iPad Air with 256GB of storage for 2020-2021 academic year distributions. 

We look forward to equipping you (our newest class of Buckeyes) with a technology toolset that will support your learning and life at Ohio State; facilitating the development of digital literacy skill sets and preparing you for future careers and opportunities. 

Do I still need to buy a laptop?

The answer depends on what you plan to do on your computer.

While we know many students will find that the iPad will cover most of their computing needs, others will need to purchase a computer with additional features.  We find that many students take their iPad to class and around campus, and use their laptop in their residence hall or at home. 

The iPad can do many of the same functions of a traditional computer, but there are specific software programs and tasks that will not work on iPad. 

We recommend visiting Tech Hub if you are unsure whether you should purchase a laptop. They will use your major and hobbies to help determine if the iPad covers your needs or if an additional device would make sense. 

Students attending regional campuses are encouraged to call, email or visit Tech Hub's online laptop decision guide to help inform additional technology purchases. 

If I decline the iPad, do I receive another device, credit, or other compensation?

If you decline the iPad AND graduate from Ohio State before the value of the iPad depreciates to $0, then you are due a form of credit (as determined by the university) at the time of graduation as determined by the depreciated value chart.

Please note that only students who opt-out of receiving an iPad AND successfully graduate before the iPad is valued at $0 are due a credit, those who opt out and graduate after the iPad is valued at $0 are not eligible for a credit. 

In the event that you change your mind about your decision to decline, you may accept the technology kit at any time during your undergraduate studies.

What if I already have an iPad or other tablet?

We know you may own another iPad or tablet, but the iPad you get from Ohio State is different than any of your personally owned devices. While it has many of the same freedoms, the iPad you will receive this includes additional security and a suite of apps made available to you free of charge as an Ohio State student.

Can I take the iPad home over breaks?

Yes. You're welcome to take the device home with you over breaks. 

Where can I learn more about how to use my iPad?

You've got options:

Visit the Discover app on your iPad for new challenges, tips and tricks throughout the semester. You can also find the Digital Flagship handbook on your iPad for even more information about using technology for your classes.

If you need to ask a question or would like one-on-one help using any of the technology tools Ohio State provides you, check out tech tutoring with Student Mentors.

Check the events page to find virtual workshops that dive deep into specific features of your device. 

Is Ohio State committed to only one type of technology?

No. Ohio State students, faculty and staff will continue to use a wide variety of technology from a number of brands. The iPads will be a common tool in Ohio State’s integrated learning community, but other computers and technology devices can and will be used across the university.

Who owns the devices?

The devices will be university property while you're at Ohio State.  When you graduate all Ohio State management will be removed and ownership of the device will transfer to you. 

What if I withdraw or transfer from Ohio State?

If you withdraw or transfer from Ohio State you will be required to return the equipment and all related accessories, or purchase the equipment at its depreciated value as established by the university.

Return and Purchase Instructions


Will I be able to customize my device?

Yes, you will have access to change settings on your device to help it best fit you. 

We will manage these devices with a Mobile Device Management system (Jamf), which will require a strong passcode but will allow you to customize most settings. 

Apps from Ohio State will be made available on the device, but you will be able to add additional apps from the Apple app store and Self Service.

Are there any prohibited actions on the device? Will I be locked out of Netflix?

We encourage you to use your iPad throughout your time at Ohio State, both in and outside the classroom. That means writing that term paper and taking a break to watch Netflix.

Banned actions include trying to jailbreak or otherwise remove the mobile device management system on the device, and installing alternate app stores or using the device for illegal activities. Complete guidelines can be found on the Student Technology Agreement

What information is being gathered through my iPad?

We will not be monitoring your day-to-day activities on your iPad. The mobile device management system does collect data on the apps that are installed on your iPad but does not provide data on when, where, or how those apps were used. 

That being said, Ohio State does monitor all network traffic and the mobile device management system will have the ability to alert us if you do something illegal, try to jailbreak your device, or download an app not found in the official Apple App Store. If we are alerted to these activities we notify you and reset or 'brick' your device. 

The full answer can be found in the Digital Flagship Student Technology Agreement.

Each app you use has a privacy statement that explains how the app collects and uses information.  For more information, check out the Ohio State Privacy Statement.

How do I get help? What if my iPad is lost/stolen/broken?

This information can be found on our 'Get Help' page.

What if I need to use assistive technology?

There are many ways to configure your iPad to meet your needs. We will provide resources as we near device deployments this summer. 

The Office of Disability Services is also available to help any student with assistive technology needs. 

Apple also has a variety of accessibility resources linked to iPad. 

How do I back up my Explain Everything files?

If you're graduating or leaving the university the Digital Flagship team will remove device management from your iPad. When this happens, Explain Everything will be deleted along with any associated data.

To retain access to your Explain EDU files, you will need to back up or export the individual files you will want access to.


  1. Set up Cloud Storage:
    1. Explain EDU > from the library > ellipses > settings > integrations.
    2. Switch the sliders of the personal cloud storage you will use.
  2. If you want to export an individual project file, which allows you to edit project files at another time:
    1. Explain EDU > Load the project you want to export > Export as (near the top right of screen) > project > copy to the cloud storage of your choice.
  3. If you want to export an individual video file:
    1. Explain EDU > Load the project you want to export > Export as (near the top right of screen) > Video > copy to the cloud storage of your choice.