All Students Mandated to Own Tablet or Laptop for 2014-2015 School Year

Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, iPads will be required for all Juniors. All Lowers, Uppers and Seniors will be required to have a “tablet or portable laptop” that “must be able to connect to PA wireless and can be used in classes,” said Trish Russell, Dean of Studies. This decision was made after consultation with all departments, the Academic Council and the Senior Administrative Council. The requirement for Juniors to have iPads stems from the standardization of tablets in “most 100-level language courses,” as well as some sections of History 100 and Biology 100, said Russell. While it is required that students have the technology, Russell stressed that the technology might not be used in all situations and courses. “There is no mandate that teachers must utilize these tools in classes, but many faculty are clearly eager to take advantage and begin planning courses knowing that all students will have devices in their bags beginning in September,” said Russell. iPads were utilized in some courses this year, including chemistry, Russian and Spanish. Next year, the administration will be able to see how the iPads can effectively be used in all classrooms. “We will continue to gather data on this year’s expanded iPad pilot and see how having these devices in a wide range of classes this year influenced the teaching and learning,” said Russell. As part of a new iPad pilot initiative, 28 individual class sections incorporated iPads into their curricula during the 2013-2014 school year, according to a previous article in The Phillipian.