iPads Serve Student-Athletes on the Roadway at Norfolk State University
A brand-new Apple iPad device, keyboard and AirPods were awaiting all trainees at Virginia’s Norfolk State University when they got here on campus this fall. For student-athletes in specific, the gift was a video game changer, states Ivana Rich, NSU’s associate athletic director for administration.
“The iPads actually broadened our student-athletes’ capabilities,” she states. “They can do their work anytime, from anywhere. On the road, the iPads provide access to all the resources on our Blackboard finding out management system, and with the keyboard, they can even compose papers.”
NSU likewise runs a dedicated computer lab and research study space for student-athletes, equipped with Dell All-in-One computer systems and networked printers. Some first-year professional athletes and transfers are needed to invest 6 to eight hours a week in the computer laboratory, which is tracked by time management software application. The lab was recently updated, thanks in part to an NCAA grant, and is staffed by monitors to help professional athletes with the technology, says Rich.
The athletic department utilizes another program for scheduling and messaging, she states. Students can likewise communicate with professors and scholastic advisors through the app.
Academic support of NSU professional athletes is paying off. Student-athletes are finishing at a greater rate than ever– greater than the general trainee body, Rich says.
“Over the seven years I’ve been here, I have actually seen the improvement that’s come from having these resources for the professional athletes,” states Rich, who has a doctorate in instructional technology. “The university has provided tools and a location to come to study. We make academics as much a part of the routine for professional athletes as practice or working out.”
Enough staffing to handle the innovations and ensure that student-athletes know how to utilize the tools is essential, she says. More important, however, is listening to trainees and gathering data about what scholastic resources they require.
“It’s all about digging into the real-life scholastic obstacles the student-athletes are dealing with and determining the innovation that will help them,” Rich says.