Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a shift to online learning, Bowdoin College has announced that it will supply all students not only with an iPad Pro, but also with a Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil. The school cites four primary reasons for choosing the iPad Pro.

Schools at all levels regularly provide students with iPad hardware for distance learning, but Bowdoin’s implementation is particularly interesting given that the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil are also being included. This means Bowdoin students will have access to the latest and most powerful iPad hardware and accessories.

You may be wondering why Bowdoin went with the iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil combination instead of the more affordable MacBook Air. There appear to be four key reasons for this decision, according to Bowdoin College administrator Michael Cato: the iPad Pro’s support for LTE connectivity, the availability of apps, camera hardware, and accessibility features.

Cato says the iPad Pro model was chosen for its overall functionality—coming closest to a laptop experience while including built-in cellular internet for students who need it—and because apps for the iPad are much more universally available. He also cited the Pro’s superior camera and processing power to support video conferencing, recording, and editing.

Students will have the opportunity to connect to their classes, build community with each other, and run the same apps and software, at the same performance level, and also receive the same support, regardless of their economic situation.

Bowdoin says that all students will be able to run the applications available through the university’s licensing agreements, plus access assistive features for students with vision, hearing, mobility, or learning needs.

Once a student graduates, they can buy out the iPad Pro and accessories from Bowdoin College for $1 — but the university will encourage students to return the products so they can be used by other students.

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