Summer is the time of year when many soon-to-be college students and their parents may be wondering what the best technology to take them through college may be. If you fit in with this group of people, here are some tips we have to help you choose the right equipment.
1. Think About Your Major
When considering a device, research the technology commonly used in the major/industry that you are going into. Some classes will require the use of specific software which may only be compatible with either Mac or PC. Knowing information about your classes and coursework should help you decide which platform will fit your needs best.
2. Considering an iPad or Chromebook?
You may want to do some additional research if you are considering using an iPad or Chromebook at college. Some colleges do not recommend these devices for use by students as a dedicated device. To be safe, check your college technology department’s website to see if they have guidelines on this. Some software you might need as a student may not be supported by these devices, and if it is, there’s a chance that it may not run very well depending on what the program is.
3. What Software Will You Use for Your Projects?
Most colleges will offer Microsoft 365 for free to students to accomplish their homework with. Generally the login is the student’s college email address: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/products/office.
In getting your new device, you should probably consider some method of protection for the data you will be storing on it. Some colleges will offer a free home-version of anti-virus for students. Be sure to research this ahead of time by visiting the technology department website for the college you’re attending.
5. Thinking of Bringing Your Smart Devices?
If you are planning on bringing any IoT and other smart home devices to with you to college, you will want check with the college you’re going to be attending. Many colleges will say that IoT and other smart home devices will not work on the school network. The networks might actually have traffic shaping rules designed to block Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google home, etc. Before you outfit your dorm with smart sensors and devices, check with your school’s technology department to see if these devices are supported by the school network.
6. What is the Best Way to Connect Your Device?
An ethernet connection will always be the most reliable and stable way to connect your device to the network. You should plan to have at least one ethernet cable for your dorm room. You may need an adaptor for your laptop if it does not have an ethernet port.