There was once a magical time when college did not demand access to technology. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your thoughts about computers, those days are long past. Today, most classes require at the bare minimum access to a computer and the internet. Some classes have even gone as far to integrate gaming platforms like Second Life into their curriculum. Due to the importance of technology, students should not forget the importance of locating, purchasing, or updating their current technology.
Check What Your School Provides
First, off. Before you make any purchases or updates to your current stock of technology, check what your college, program, or class provides. Most programs will provide students access to a word processor and antivirus software; however, some programs offer far more. For example, the University of Southern California gives their master of library science students’ iPad minis, headsets, and webcams.
Analyze Your Devices
Take stock of your current devices and determine if they are working optimally. Can you trust them to work from the start to the end of the semester? The school year is not a time to be blind-sided by a computer or tablet melt-down that will require you to ship it out to the manufacturer for a month to be fixed.
If you’re one of the one in ten individuals who lack basic technology tool skills, you might want to get one of your technologically skilled friends or family to check your computer. If you seem to collect technology illiterate friends, check your computer’s warranty to see if the company you bought the device from will check the device for viruses or bugs.
Clean Up Your Device
Before you get too far into the semester, do a deep cleaning of your current electronic devices. Dust can be cleaned from your computer, keyboard, or printer with a vacuum or a can of air. A cotton swab can of air can be used to remove dust between small spaces. Either create your own or buy some screen cleaning spray. Use a soft-cloth, not a napkin or rough towel, to clean the screen.
If you don’t want to clean the device yourself, you can bring them to an electronics shop to be cleaned. Many warranties include one free cleaning and upgrade.
Here are some signs your device may need to be cleaned:
- The fan sounds louder than usual.
- The device has shut down due to being overheated multiple times.
- It’s been more than 6 months since you last did a deep cleaning.
Transform Your Tablet or iPad
Laptops or desktops are no longer the king of the tech world. Today, thousands of individuals choose to invest their money in tablets or iPads. Here’s a bit of good news: the decision to go to school might not require you to purchase a traditional computer. Rather than invest $500 to $1,000 in a new computer, you can transform your tablet into a laptop with a few easy and inexpensive changes.
- Purchase or dig out a wireless keyboard.
- If the keyboard does not connect, you may need to purchase a USB OTG (On the Go).
- Purchase the app versions of a word processor of your choice.
- Invest in a cloud storage for any files you will need to save.
College is an exciting time relies heavily on access to functioning technology. You can hone your ability to succeed in school by ensuring that you have the proper electronic devices that are fully functioning.
Before you buy new devices, you should see what you, your library, and your college has already.
By Samantha Stauf.
photo credit: Laptop en koffie via photopin (license)