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BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop)

Those graduating from college prior to the late 1980s would barely have dreamed of owning a personal computer, let alone bringing one to college with them; today, students carry them in their pockets. Technology is a must-have in today’s society and now laptops at St. Norbert are, also.

Students arriving on campus this fall will all come with their own laptop in hand. This new requirement doesn’t come without support: Students who are also eligible for Pell Grants and are without means to meet the requirement are invited to apply for aid through a Student Technology Fund. Those awarded will receive either a Chromebook or a Windows laptop during move-in week.

A necessary tool for learning
The majority of students already bring a laptop with them to campus as a matter of course. They’ve discovered that it benefits their learning in and out of the classroom. Use of laptops and other educational technologies at St. Norbert help enrich students’ learning experience, promote greater communication and collaboration, and better prepare them for digital technologies in the workplace. 

With regard to her own laptop, Emily Vetter ’16 says, “I use it to take notes in all of my classes … except chemistry.” Chemistry is the exception for her simply because of the symbols and diagrams used.

Lauren Pavlik ’17 adds, “I never thought of not bringing [my laptop].” Whether students choose to bring an existing laptop, be it Windows- or Macintosh-based, or purchase a new one, they can find laptop guidelines for most academic programs at St. Norbert College. Some academic programs have additional or more specific laptop requirements: art, computer science and teacher education among them. While tablets and phones make great supplemental tools for class, collaboration and communication, students find they’re not the most suitable devices for primary computing in most majors.

A computer lab with no computers
Student-owned laptops are already so prevalent that the new computer science lab in the South Teaching Wing of the Gehl-Mulva Science Center was designed without its own computers installed. Fourteen 32” display monitors dot the tabletops for students to connect to their own devices. All the displays are linked so the instructor can push content to every table for easy viewing, explains Krissy Lukens ’92, director of academic technology. Students will be able to take advantage of larger screen real estate and can connect to whichever mobile device they have on them, including tablets or phones.

Soft seating, a dual-surface projection-screen/whiteboard and huddle boards (mini-whiteboards for brainstorming) round out the space to make it a truly collaborative, state-of-the-art learning space.

Aug. 4, 2015