The University Network

Hiram College Unveils ‘Tech and ‘Trek’ Initiative for an iPad-Powered Learning

Over 875 full-time traditional students, faculty and staff members at Hiram College, Ohio will be receiving a new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and a keyboard bundle thanks to its new technology initiative, “Tech and Trek.”

The goal of “Tech and Trek” is to get students to be connected both inside and outside of the classroom. While the technology will help them increase their productivity and learning in the classroom, students are also encouraged to go outside for a few hours a couple of times a month, or once a week.

Source: Hiram College | Tech and Trek Press Release

The Hiram experience is a journey of exploration and inquiry. These tech devices will be a vital part of the many exciting treks that our students take,” Hiram President Lori Varlotta announced in a press release about the new initiative. “Whether they are roaming through the historic 19th-century Hiram Village, hiking the trails at our 600-acre Field Station, trudging through streams and marshes collecting research samples, embarking on study-abroad trips that have visited 36 countries, or gaining work experience at one of our many internship sites, these devices will help students capture and connect the ideas, feelings, images, and questions that will change their lives.”

Heather Balas, director of career and academic development is optimistic about “Tech and Trek.”

“I am certain this effort to put iPad Pros in the hands of our students, faculty and staff will increase student engagement and better prepare graduates,” Balas said in the press release.

Hiram is able to get the new technology thanks to a $2.1 million gift from Dean Scarborough, a Hiram alumnus, and his wife Janice Bini. This gift is the largest gift in the school’s history, according to Crain’s Cleveland Business.

This is not Scarborough and Bini’s first donation to the school; last May they gave $1 million to the school.

“Janice and I are passionate about helping Hiram build upon its 167-year history while positioning it for the 21st century,” Scarborough said.

During Phase I, all 800 of Hiram’s full-time traditional students, as well as 75 full-time faculty and staff members, will receive the iPad, Apple Pencil and keyboard bundle. In Phase II, however, the technology will expand to non-traditional students, such as graduate students and students taking classes at the college’s community college partner sites.

Hiram is the first four-year college in Ohio to adopt Apple mobile technology, but this type of initiative has been done before. Schools in Florida, Missouri and other states have adopted similar measures.



Tandra Smith is a journalism major at Georgia Southern University and an avid news junkie. When she’s not consuming as much news as she can, she is attempting to watch something from her infinitely growing My List on Netflix. Sarcasm is one her greatest joys in life.