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Mobile Media Program

Project Goals

  1. Make mobile media a viable option for any applicable course assignment at all Penn State campuses.
  2. Ensure availability of mobile media production devices at all engaged locations.
  3. Create mobile media-friendly spaces in our campus installations and beyond.
  4. Offer support for mobile workflows on MC and personal iOS devices.

Is a Mobile Media Project Right for Me?

Mobile media projects are particularly rich when students will be:

  • shooting in the field
  • creating spontaneous/unplanned recording
  • sharing media immediately (shoot, publish and share)
  • completing simple post-production (basic editing, transitions and titles)
  • working where small, unobtrusive devices are preferred
Mobile devices (iPads or iPhones) are not the best option when:

  • projects are complex and require extensive editing*
  • projects require extensive incorporation of external media
* in many cases, a rough cut is sufficient for the learning objectives of the project
To ensure you have a successful experience, Media Commons recommends:

  • letting students know early-on that they will be using mobile devices for their projects
  • scheduling training sessions with students (the workflow for media production on these devices is pretty simple but may be new to students)
  • polling participants to determine who will bring their own device versus using one that we can provide

About Project Devices


The iPad mini 4 offers many benefits over the traditional camera -> computer -> delivery workflow, offering features like still photography, on-device editing, web access, audio recording, note taking and video uploading.

This form factor also provides a much larger, Retina resolution screen for framing shots and editing video, audio and still images than phones or point and shoot video cameras.

The iPad also offers hardware accessory compatibility with high quality USB microphones, HDMI video mirroring, Bluetooth keyboards and more.

All of this while still being less than the cost of a traditional video camera that would be available to loan from your campus.

We have 30 devices that are available to loan during the semester.


The software load will change depending on community feedback and project needs. Make a suggestion if your favorite app is not listed.


Contact Us

We’re here to help! If you have questions about one of our Mobile Media Program devices while working on an assignment, shoot us an email at mediacommons@psu.edu or call us at 866-266-7496.

Where We’ve Been: Pilots

Between Spring 2011 and Spring 2014, Media Commons offered the Mobile Media Pilot, an effort to explore the viability of first iPod touch and then iPad mini devices as full-fledged, end to end production devices for video and audio projects. During that time, consultants worked with 37 faculty in 10 different colleges and 1 cross-discipline program at 12 campuses across the Commonwealth. The devices also hopped the globe to 6 countries in three years.

Pilot Participants
Through our pilot partners’ willingness to try something new – and our focus groups and polls with both students and faculty after each engagement – Media Commons was able to solidify our current loaner pool of devices, accessories for students’ own devices (available at local lending pools) and support resources that take what we’ve learned into account.