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 (1) you graduated high school in spring 2018 or later or (2) you took a break after high school and just began your first college 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 have not attended Ohio State or any other higher education institution and are beginning your college experience for the first time, you're eligible for a technology package. 
  • Military Affiliated Student: New undergraduate students with military affiliation starting for the first time at Ohio State in AU18 or later are eligible for a technology package.

Unsure? Email and we'll help verify your eligibility 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 campus 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 will be providing 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 will be offering 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, is currently developing a preliminary set of Swift coding curriculum, which will be available for Ohio State students, faculty and staff at no cost in summer 2019.

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 for a speedy response. 

How do I get Explain Everything on my iPad?

Explain Everything EDU is now available to all students with a university-provided Digital Flagship iPad via request. Please email to request access to the app. We are developing a software request process within Service Now for late 2019. 

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?

Students will get basic guidance on their iPads when they receive them. After they receive their devices there will be a host of ways for students to learn more about their device and really get the most out of the technology. 

  • Workshops: During orientations at Newark and Columbus campuses, workshops will be offered to help students maximize their use of iPad and devices. At other regional campuses, this will occur during their survey courses.
  • Office Hours: Our team of Student Mentors will hold Office Hours at residence halls, Digital Unions, and before and after some iPad required courses to help students when they need it most. 
  • 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?

It depends where you're attending Ohio State.

If you're a Columbus, Lima, Mansfield or Newark campus student you'll receive your device at orientation, but you'll need to remember your state-issued photo ID or BuckID. If you miss orientation or forget your ID you'll be able to pick up your device in the fall when you arrive on campus. Orientation dates occur throughout June, July and August.

If you plan to attend Ohio State Marion or Wooster/ATI, you'll receive your device near the start of Autumn semester. You will receive additional details about your iPad as the semester nears. 

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.

At this time, we anticipate the iPad’s value being approximately $50-75 at the end of two years and $0 at the end of three years. When finalized the depreciated value chart and specific details regarding the opt-out credit will be posted on the resources tab of this site.

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. 

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:

If you're an in-person hands-on learner, attend one of our events across campus. We offer office hours during the semester; it's a chance for you to drop in and ask questions or just learn to do something new on your iPad.

You'll find full dates and details on our events page. 

We also know you're busy. That's why we offer lots of digital resources to make it easy to learn about your iPad on your schedule.

Check out our video tutorials and 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 on campus. 

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.

I’m leaving the university and need to return my iPad. Where do I go?

If you’re leaving Ohio State and need to return your device, please visit:

  • Columbus- Enarson Hall 030 (Classroom Services Equipment Loan Desk). Open M-F from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Newark- 196 Founders Hall 
  • Mansfield- BuckeyeBar in Bromfield Library and Information Commons
  • Lima- Technology Helpdesk in the Rhodes Public Service building, room 122
  • Marion- Marion Library Helpdesk
  • Wooster/ATI- 200 E Halterman Hall

Full return instructions and a mailing address can be found on our returns page.

Questions? Contact

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.

I wasn't able to pick up my device at orientation, what is my next step?

If you attend Columbus campus and were unable to pick up your device at your regularly scheduled orientation you may visit the Thompson Library BuckeyeBar to pick up your technology kit.

All other pickup locations: 

  • Newark: 196 Founders Hall 
  • Mansfield: BuckeyeBar in Bromfield Library and Information Commons
  • Lima: Technology Helpdesk in the Rhodes Public Service building, room 122
  • Marion: Marion Library Helpdesk
  • Wooster/ATI: 200 E Halterman Hall

You will receive your kit and be guided through setup. It should take approximately 15 minutes. 


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.