Bowdoin College in Maine announced the launch of its Digital Excellence Commitment (DExC), which will provide all current and future students with a suite of Apple technology products, as well as access to a range of course-specific software “designed to advance learning, inspire innovative teaching, and create digital equity across the student body in the use of tools essential for success in the twenty-first century.”

According to a press release, Bowdoin College will provide students with a 13-inch MacBook Pro, iPad mini, and Apple Pencil as part of the program. The school said that DExC will build on the success of its existing iPad Initiative beginning in fall 2022. Bowdoin added that the cost of the program will be covered entirely by the school.

“During the pandemic we witnessed firsthand the power of a common technology platform for teaching and learning, along with the substantial and differential benefits that come with the combination of a laptop and iPad with an Apple Pencil,” said Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose. “Our Digital Excellence Commitment allows us to level the playing field so that every student has the opportunity to fully benefit from the technology that plays an essential and growing role in the learning experience at Bowdoin.”

The college said its initial iPad program, which included an iPad pro and Apple Pencil, was intended to ensure that every student had the tools necessary for learning in the remote environment caused by the coronavirus pandemic. There has since been a college-wide recognition that students and faculty continue to rely on laptops for important aspects of their academic work even after a return to in-person learning, and that inequity of access to these tools creates challenges for students and faculty.

The school confirmed that current students will receive a 13-inch MacBook Pro to use alongside their existing iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. New students will receive an iPad mini alongside the 13-inch MacBook Pro and Apple Pencil.

Bowdoin said its decision to supply all students with Apple technology – rather than just providing it to students who receive financial aid from the school – is intended to create digital equity across the student body and to create a common technology platform across campus. The school said that approach makes it easier for faculty to integrate technology into learning experiences and for the college to provide technical support.

Additionally, the school said students are encouraged to treat the devices as their own during their time at the college, adding that “stickers and unique cases are welcome.” Upon graduation, students will have the option to pay $1 to keep their devices when they leave campus.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs