Skip to content

Hornet Connected Learning

Hornet Connected Learning - Frequently Asked Questions

Your Input is Important

ESU Elementary Education majors should have received a Survey Monkey invitation in the ESU gmail on July 16. Each student should complete the survey ASAP (


Need Help with your iPad?

  1. Look up your questions on our website at
  2. Call the Helpdesk at 620-341-5555 or 877-341-5555 (toll free)
  3. Email your questions to

Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ Revised - May 13, 2014 

Note: This revised FAQ is in response to a decision announced by ESU President Shonrock on May 2, 2014. The previous FAQ described a plan to have students purchase iPads from ESU. The university will not be charging students an iPad initiative fee or issuing iPads. The revised plan still requires students to acquire their own iPad and bring it to the first day of classes in August 2014. This change allows for more individual choice in response to questions raised by students and their families. Use of the iPads will be monitored during the year to determine utilization of apps and technology.  Results from this assessment will drive recommendations for future academic years, including whether standardization of devices/apps would promote seamlessness and improve the teaching and learning experience.

What is Hornet Connected Learning?

Hornet Connected Learning is a tablet-based learning initiative designed to prepare Emporia State elementary education students to teach effectively with evolving technology. Currently, more than one-third of elementary students in Kansas are using tablets and other mobile devices in the classroom. Nationwide, similar one-to-one initiatives are being launched at the K-12 level.
The Teachers College at Emporia State has a long history as one of the nation’s model teacher preparation programs. As part of this legacy, the college continually adapts coursework to incorporate innovation in technology and instruction – which includes the increasing use of mobile devices in the classroom. Through Hornet Connected Learning, The Teachers College is continuing its tradition as a forerunner in the transformation of educational practice.
You will learn to use your tablet to increase your engagement as a student and learn to better serve your students once you are a professional educator.

Do I need to get a tablet? If so, what kind?

If you are a student majoring in Elementary Education who has already earned at least 30 credit hours by the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester, you are required to purchase and bring an iPad, beginning on the first day of class. Where you purchase your device is your choice. If you are a Block 3 student teacher in Fall 2014, participation is optional.
Specifically, we recommend an iPad Air WiFi, 32 GB tablet. This will benefit you because this device...

  • is Apple’s latest generation, this device’s remaining lifespan is 3-4 years; see the university’s lifespan predictions at

  • can access the iLife and iWorks apps for free (Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, and Keynote)

  • can use the latest version of apps

  • has airdrop sharing capabilities

  • has longer battery life

  • is more light weight

  • is the same model being used by elementary education faculty

If you are a freshman, you also have the option of purchasing and bringing an iPad at the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester.  
If you are transferring to Emporia State from another institution, majoring in elementary education, and have earned 30 hours, you will be required to purchase and bring an iPad.

What if I already have an iPad or another tablet?

Our recommendation is an iPad Air WiFi, 32 GB tablet. Through what Emporia State faculty have already observed and experienced in classrooms using mobile devices, an enhanced learning experience is most successful when all students are using the same device - with the specifications Hornet Connected Learning requires - so instruction time is not lost in adapting lessons to varied brands of tablets.

However, we recognize that some students already own an iPad or want to choose where they purchase their device. Providing it meets the iPad minimum requirements (, you have the option to use your current device (iPad 2 or above) and may choose where you purchase your device. Please keep the lifespan of the device in mind when making your iPad decision.  

Why is this being required?

Currently, more than one-third of elementary students in Kansas are using tablets and other mobile devices in the classroom. Nationwide, similar one-to-one initiatives are being launched at the K-12 level. The Teachers College exists to prepare educators for the classroom environment – including the tools used by K-12 students.

The iPad is one of many components of the Hornet Connected Learning initiative. Emporia State Elementary Education faculty members have gone through intensive training on these devices to create a customized learning experience for you. As you pursue your degree, you will create and collaborate with others using your iPad.    

You will also have opportunities to use it in your field experiences while working with K-12 students. 

Why is an iPad required? Why not another tablet?

It has been widely reported that iPads make up 94 percent of the market for education tablets. Since it is statistically more likely our graduates will enter classrooms already using iPads, this was clearly the best option. In addition, Apple offers more apps for education than other tablets.

How will I be using the iPad?

Your use of the iPad is part of Emporia State’s initiative, Hornet Connected Learning. By being part of this program you will:

  • possess a device capable of providing a multitude of learning resources helpful to you as a learner and a teacher

  • share a common tool, creating a controlled learning environment, thus simplifying usage and instruction

  • participate in a teaching and learning project similar to many current K-12 one-to-one initiatives in Kansas and across the country

  • become a member of a technology learning community

  • learn how to help others learn and teach with technology

  • become a leader in technology integration in education

  • have the choice of purchasing textbooks required for many Emporia State courses in e-textbook or paper format

  • have the option to reduce textbook costs as some e-textbooks will be less expensive than paper copies

I already have used an iPad, why do I need to be part of this?

As a student at Emporia State, you are already a part of a learning community. Hornet Connected Learning is creating a learning network to assist you with evolving technologies.
Through this initiative, you will receive both online and face-to-face support, both in and out of the classroom, from trained elementary education and instructional technology faculty and staff.
Self-paced, online tutorials will be available for you and will focus on usage of the device. These tutorials will engage you in early activities designed to improve learning in the university setting.
You will learn together with your Elementary Education faculty and fellow students.
Instruction in your Elementary Education courses will incorporate use of technology so that you are continuing to learn.

What are other financial considerations?

No specific accessories will be required. Accessories such as covers, cases, or keyboards are optional.  An iPad protective sleeve or cover with an Emporia State graphic will be available for purchase through the ESU Memorial Union Bookstore.

If you receive financial aid, it may be used to purchase your device and your award has already been increased for sophomores through seniors. This is a one-time award. Freshmen may opt in early and apply for a financial aid award increase by completing the Computer Funding Request form.

The iPad is a program requirement so the cost of the device should be eligible for a qualified educational expense.

We highly recommend the purchase of  AppleCare+. Since this device is integral to your coursework it is important to keep it protected. Having AppleCare+ will extend your coverage to two years from the original issue date of your iPad and includes up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage. Each incident is subject to a $49 service fee plus applicable tax. AppleCare+ is also highly recommended because it will provide you with free, 24-7 technical support from Apple.                                                                                                                         

Why can’t I lease or purchase an iPad from Emporia State?

The decision of purchase or lease was closely examined and determined to be a less equitable and economically feasible option for the university and the majority of our students, at this time.

Will I still need a computer or laptop?

This will be a personal choice. An iPad is a useful tool because it is light, portable, and can be used to create projects and read e-textbooks. If you already own a computer or laptop, these tools can continue to be used, but you may find you will transition to the iPad for most, if not all, of your coursework.

What will this mean for my purchase of textbooks?

Textbooks are in a transition time, as ebooks and mobile devices become more common. The e-textbooks enable you to lighten the backpack load and to personalize the reading experience by changing fonts, lighting, and orientation. When possible, faculty will provide you with the option of purchasing e-textbooks, an e-textbook/paper bundle, or paper textbooks.

Often the e-textbook cost is below the cost of the same paper textbook, so saving money will likely be an added benefit. Emporia State Elementary Education faculty sampled across five courses and discovered the following:

Paperbacks, new Paperbacks, used eTextbooks
$610 $458 $257

What types of apps will I need to purchase?

The Elementary Education faculty and the Student Advisory Board are creating a list of recommended apps. Many of these apps are free. Those students bringing an iPad purchased after October 22, 2013 can access the iLife and iWorks apps for free (Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, and Keynote). Devices purchased prior to this date must pay for these apps, with a total current price of $39.95.

When and how will Hornet Connected Learning get started?

Hornet Connected Learning Kick-Off events will be in August 2014. Experienced iPad users and those who are new to the iPad are all invited. The purpose of this event is to ensure you and your device are ready for the first day of class.

If you are a student on campus you are invited to attend a Kick-Off event on campus. If you are a student at one of the Emporia State University distance sites, you are invited to a Kick-Off event at your distance program location. If you are not able to attend a Kick-Off event in your location, you may request to attend at another location by emailing Watch your ESU email for more information.

What types of support will be available to help me learn how to use the iPad for my coursework?

Sophomores through seniors will be enrolled in a zero-credit course, EL344A - iPad Tutorials,  through Canvas. Within the course a series of modules are available for learning how to use various apps on the iPad (e.g., Pages, Keynote, iMovie). Information is shared through written materials and video tutorials and a short quiz at the end of each module will let students check their learning. Badges for completion of modules will be awarded to students.

Beginning in the fall semester, informal iPad user group meetings will be held at the various Elementary Education sites. These groups bring together iPad users, students and faculty, to discuss new apps and issues with commonly used apps.

Where and when will I be able to get more information?

Additional details about Hornet Connected Learning, including Kick-Off event details, will be shared on the Hornet Connected Learning website at this web site (  and through student e-mail. Send further questions to