DISCOVERe, Fresno State’s program to use tablets in the classroom for innovative teaching and collaboration, has a new lending program that offers use of an iPad at no cost to students who meet certain financial aid eligibility.

The program has 1,200 iPads available for loan on a semester-by-semester basis, said Mike Pronovost, DISCOVERe program manager.

“We know every dollar counts for students and their families, and our new lending program will allow eligible students to participate in tablet courses without any purchase cost,” said University President Joseph I. Castro, who initiated the tablet program in spring 2014.

Pronovost said students enrolled in tablet courses will simply reserve an iPad for the semester, and when they pick it up at the DISCOVERe Hub, student guides will help them load their course materials.

“We expect that in the future students will pick up their tablets with course materials and books preloaded,” he said. “That will provide a more seamless and convenient learning environment. Students won’t have to worry about how to find the resources for each of their individual courses, including looking through the bookstore for each of their course materials.”

This fall, 10,000 Fresno State students will be participating in tablet courses. In previous semesters, scholarships were available to offset the cost of the tablets for students.

Pronovost said DISCOVERe has transformed the classroom experience and resulted in higher levels of faculty and student engagement. DISCOVERe has resulted in a significant cost savings in books and materials to students.

There has been a 73 percent cost savings over a traditional course in regard to course materials and books, and 60 percent of DISCOVERe courses have no textbook or materials costs.

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