Westminster Digital Blue program provides students with free technology

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FULTON – Students at Westminster College are getting some high tech help from the school: free iPads and Apple Pencils.

Each student received an iPad, charger and Apple Pencil Friday.

“It definitely takes a load off your shoulders by having an electronic device that you don’t have to worry about buying,” Westminster sophomore Dalton Landreth said. “It’s pretty nice of the college do to something that good for us.”

Westminster’s Digital Blue program distributed the Apple devices to every student in an attempt to integrate technology into every day education.

“It’ll help me in many ways, definitely in the classroom,” Landreth continued. “It’s easier for the teachers to interact with you as well.”

Brett Paglusch, a senior education major at Westminster, distributed iPads to students and received his a day early.  

“I’ve never had an iPad, personally, so I am just curious to just how it all works,” Paglusch said.

Paglusch is studying to be a teacher and said that the iPad will help him prepare to use technology when he has his own classroom someday.

Digital Blue Coordinator Barri Bumgarner said the iPad gives students a notebook, textbook and device in one package that could save them at least $1,000 a year.

"Over the course of four years this could students upwards of $4,000 just on textbooks," Bumgarner said. "Many professors now are not going to use textbooks."

Digital Blue has been a work in progress for the last six years.

Bumgarner came up with the idea for the program when she joined Westminster’s faculty in the Fall of 2013.

“I realized when I came to Westminster that we needed to catch up and we want to stay with that 21st century technology mentality,” Bumgarner said. “It’s taken a while and has been a slow growing process, but it has really taken off in the last year.”

Bumgarner said that her dream of making Digital Blue a reality would not have been possible without a donation from Rob Price, Jr.

 “Rob Price, Jr. has been amazing,” Bumgarner said. “[Additionally] he was very instrumental in letting us teach the faculty this summer.”

Digital Blue will distribute technology like iPads to future Westminster classes.