Accessibility and equity in online learning will get a major boost from Bowdoin College’s initiative to provide all students with a Wi-Fi-enabled iPad, keyboard and Apple Pencil 2.
Faculty and academic support staff will also receive the device, leaders of the Maine college announced.
“With this common mobile computing platform, you will have the opportunity to connect to your classes, build community with each other, run the same apps and software at the same performance level, and also receive the same support, regardless of your location or learning situation,” Michael Cato, senior vice president and chief information officer, and Jennifer Scanlon senior vice president and dean for academic affairs, wrote in a message to campus.
Bowdoin is planning to bring first-year students, transfers students and students who don’t have adequate places to do coursework at home back to campus for the fall semester.
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Most classes, however, will be taught online via an enhanced model that “will bear little resemblance to the emergency version that was created in the spring,” President Clayton Rose said.
Most sophomores, juniors, and seniors will remain off campus for the fall semester.
The internet service for the iPad will be covered for all students who need assistance. Students will keep the device throughout their time at Bowdoin and, if they want to keep the iPad after they graduate, they can buy it for $1.
Bowdoin’s Continuity in Teaching and Learning Group determined that iPads would be the most effective device for teaching foreign languages, and for completing computational problems in chemistry, math, physics, and economics.
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