Why is Bowdoin College offering iPad Pro + Magic Keyboard instead of Macs for online classes?

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

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

You might be wondering why Bowdoin chose the iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil combination over the more affordable MacBook Air. According to Bowdoin College administrator Michael Cato, there appear to be four key reasons for this decision: iPad Pro support for LTE connectivity, app availability, camera hardware, and accessibility features.

Cato says the iPad Pro model was chosen for its overall functionality, which is closer to the laptop experience and includes built-in cellular Internet for students who need it, and because iPad apps are much more universally available. She 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 a community with each other and run the same applications and software, at the same level of performance, and also receive the same support, regardless of their financial situation.

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

Once a student graduates, they can purchase the iPad Pro and accessories from Bowdoin College for $ 1, but the university will encourage students to return the products for other students to use.

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