Soon, some of last month’s high school graduates will have those excited yet fearful knots in their bellies as they head off to colleges and universities.
The days of sending them off with a manual typewriter are long gone. A tradition of this column is to consider what we should equip these new freshmen with before they go.
It seems this year the picture is clearer than in past years. I think a student needs primarily three devices.
Foremost is a laptop. A laptop to today’s young person, and I don’t really need to tell any parent this, is their window to learning and also to entertainment.
They will use it to research and write papers, interact with their professors and coursework through sites like Blackboard, and use a variety of online services and software needed for classes.
And they will use it to watch videos on Netflix, Hulu and network television websites. Many students will not want to haul a TV to a dorm, content with a laptop.
The risk of losing or breaking a laptop that is carried from dorm to classes and back again is great. I do not believe most students need a high-end laptop. There are students who need a high-performance laptop if they need to edit video, run high-end architectural computer-assisted design software or some kinds of application development.
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