iPads Mandated in UCSD Classrooms


Written by: Katie Campbell

Students are reportedly bringing back the tradition of putting an Apple on the teachers desk.
Photo by Amit Roth

In preparation for Spring 2024 course registration, UC San Diego introduced a new requirement to maintain good financial standing: all students must purchase an iPad for use in the classroom. Citing a “forward-thinking mindset,” university spokesperson Elroy Jetson said, “This was the only logical step for UCSD to remain on the cutting edge of research and education. We believe the iPad heralds an enlightened future for our institution, where students can finally draw diagrams in real time and write out equations without LaTeX. The ancient fossils our ancestors used in their schoolhouses have no place in the lecture halls of today — laptops and five-subject spiral notebooks are incompatible with our professors’ twenty-first-century teaching. There is simply no way change can be achieved while we cling to the inferior past.”

In a webinar delineating the specifics of the iPad requirement, Jetson further clarified: “Yes, all students — without exception — must purchase an iPad to be used for coursework. This includes undergraduates, graduate students, medical and pharmacy students, and any student who graduated after Fall 2023 but has not yet received their diploma.” Cortland McIntosh, the university’s official “Supreme Apple Bro,” added, “A suitable device must be manufactured in 2023 or newer, as older iPads will not be able to keep up with UC San Diego’s light-speed educational standards. Of course, it is only appropriate that students also purchase an Apple Pencil, wireless keyboard, and protective case for their device. Students who fail to bring their iPad to class fully charged and with all requisite accessories may be subject to disciplinary actions up to and including academic probation, in-school suspension, and dishonorable discharge from the university.”

Several students and organizations have shared their responses to the announcement. “What the hell is this?” said first-year student Cara Seville. “It’s required, but we have to buy it? An iPad is like $500, and I just bought a new laptop before I started school. Besides, my last iPad only worked for a few years before bricking itself.” Second-year student Gala Golden, however, “[didn’t] see a problem” with the change. “I love my iPad! It’s so convenient that I can just write directly on the slides. Who wouldn’t want that? Really, it’s just annoying when professors waste paper by printing out exams,” Golden shared. “Sure, yeah, it was really annoying when I got a zero on that open-note midterm because my iPad fell off my desk and the screen broke, and then I fell two weeks behind because I couldn’t take notes while it was getting fixed, but that just seems like a good reason for me to buy the iPad Pro for my next birthday.”

In response to students’ criticisms, Franc Drachma, a Financial Aid Office representative, shared a list of “Tips, Tricks, and Entirely Ethical Life Hacks” for purchasing an iPad that meets the university’s requirements. “First option: students with an approved Victoria’s Secret credit card and a minimum 800 credit score will be eligible for a loan of $100,” Drachma said. “Second option: just try harder. Ninety-five percent of our students would be able to afford the device within three months if they worked another job. Consider picking up extra shifts or applying for on-campus employment to bolster your finances. Third option: ask your father with whom you have a distant, tumultuous relationship to purchase it for you. He will likely be unhappy with this request, but the divorce settlement obligates him to pay for your educational costs.”

For students dissatisfied with these offerings, Drachma had one additional suggestion: “Well, you could always try the five-finger discount. But when the cops catch you, they’re gonna turn you over to the Apple Firing Squad. Good luck with that one, kid.”

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