Fisher Celebrates Apple Distinguished Schools Designation

November 23, 2022

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, members of the St. John Fisher University community gathered to celebrate its recent recognition as an Apple Distinguished School.

Randy M. '75 and Susan White, Katie Sabourin, Eileen Lynd-Balta, and Kevin Railey.

Fisher’s engagement with Apple began in 2018, when Dr. Kevin Railey, provost, and Dr. Eileen Lynd-Balta, associate provost, attended an event in Silicon Valley, where they were introduced to the wide range of educational uses of iPad. From there, Fisher launched a pilot program into the use of iPad in the classroom; and by the 2020-2021 academic year, 175 faculty began using them in their classes.

That success led to the iFisher: Next Generation Learning Initiative and the deployment of iPad to all undergraduates and the creation of the DePeters Family Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence; both of which were made possible through the generous philanthropy of Randy and Susan White and Jack and Donna DePeters.

To date, almost 300 faculty have engaged in Fisher Apple Academy training, with more than 240 receiving the recognition of Apple Teacher. For its efforts, Fisher was recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2022-2025.

“So much work has gone into all that has led to this moment, and it is truly a special day to be together to realize what we have accomplished,” Railey said while offering remarks during the ceremony. “These efforts have resulted in an integrated learning experience where faculty and students seamlessly connect and collaborate. It has been an important step in our ongoing process centered on improving the overall educational experience we provide for our students.”

Nicole Smith, a senior marketing major with a minor in media and communication, described how she uses her iPad to read textbooks, take notes, give speeches, and share screens in class through the classroom app.

“When it comes to preparation for life outside of school, using an iPad for collaborative exercises is the perfect stepping stone. iPad is a segue to high-level learning, critical thinking, student collaboration, and an overall premier learning experience,” she said. “They provide students with an opportunity to expand upon the traditional scope of classroom learning and we are very thankful to have been given the opportunity to use them.”