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iFisher iPad Distribution = Success

September 13, 2021

1,991 iPads, countless happy students. Over the last several weeks, the DePeters Family Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence led a massive iPad distribution effort, all part of the iFisher: Next Generation Learning Initiative.

Dr. Mike Boller helps students set up their new iPads.

Katie Sabourin, director of the DePeters Family Center, said the process was very smooth. During peak times, over 60 staff and faculty volunteers from across campus distributed 72 iPads per hour. The process included a check-in, device set-up, and a stop for free Fisher swag. She said overall, students were really excited to receive their iPad – many pleasantly surprised to receive the keyboard case and Apple Pencil as well.

Sabourin and her team at the DePeters Family Center have also trained 245 faculty in the Fisher Apple Academy 1.0 and another 113 faculty through the Fisher Apple Academy 2.0 this summer. Of the 245 faculty who completed the first Fisher Apple Academy, 197 also received the designation of Apple Certified Teacher. Currently, 18 new faculty members are enrolled in the Fisher Apple Academy 1.0 training.

“The iFisher initiative creates a common learning platform that both students and instructors can count on when designing and participating in learning experiences on campus. Having this elevated standard of technology means we can develop learning activities that aspire to higher goals than were previously achievable in an environment where you don’t know what device or software is available to each member of the class. In this model, you design to the lowest common denominator,” said Sabourin. “With the iFisher initiative, we can develop learning experiences that push students to use the technology in new and exciting ways and push our faculty to design experiences in their courses that expose students to new ways of engaging with and creating content of their own.”

Dr. Mike Boller, associate professor and director of the sustainability program, was a participant in the iPad pilot program and served as a volunteer for the distribution. He shared in the students’ excitement for this new classroom tool. 

“There are so many ways that we can get students to interact with information with the iPads. They can be storytellers more easily by becoming creators of interactive media, sound, and video. It makes every classroom a computer lab and can make things that once needed to be planned happen when it needs to,” he said.

Sabourin said the DePeters Family Center plans to start sharing an “iPad Tip of the Week” to continue to support students with their devices. In addition, the Center has an iFisher Academy Student Resources course posted in Blackboard for all students to access with documentation, video, and tutorials on all aspects of using the devices from installing apps, staying organized, managing files, and keeping work backed up.

To learn more about the iFisher: Next Generation Learning Initiative, visit the iFisher website.