A: Yes. This is especially important for academic work to be completed in the classroom, in small groups around campus, in your room, or if you are away from campus. Illinois State has a long standing policy on Student Computer Ownership.
A: Yes. This is where TechZone, a University department, can assist. Explore this website especially looking at the overall University specs and then further recommendations by major. TechZone is happy to provide one-on-one consultations by phone (309/438-8334), via email (TechZone@IllinoisState.edu), or in person at it’s retail location in the Bone Student Center.
A: While mobile/smart phones are a convenient way to access email and your schedule, by the first day of classes you will want to have a laptop or desktop to complete your homework, type papers, etc. If you need to discuss financing college costs, a computer/laptop, textbooks, and other course materials, the Financial Aid Office can help discuss your options. (309-438-2231, https://financialaid.illinoisstate.edu/)
A: This is one of the first decisions you should make when purchasing a new computer… Mac or Windows. Illinois State supports both with approximately 60% of students bringing a Mac. While most departments do not have a preference, some academic programs have specific guidance. Consult our recommendations by major list and talk with TechZone staff.
A: It is important to stay connected and to be able to work in a variety of locations no matter the method of instruction delivery. Having a webcam with a microphone is necessary and almost all recent laptops have good ones. Students find having a headset or earbuds is helpful. You may want to plug your laptop directly into an Ethernet port for better connectivity which most likely requires a dongle/adapter. Our Illinois State Technology Support Center (TSC) has information on many tech topics and this knowledge article gives some great tips.
A: You can purchase a computer anytime now for the fall semester and with TechZone, academic discounts are offered year-round. Mid-July is a great time to purchase because you can take advantage of any new product releases or "back to school" promotions offered in addition to academic pricing. But it also gives you time to receive your new computer to be able to get it going, take your student orientation with it, and download software before classes start.
A: TechZone is a Illinois State University department whose mission is to provide the best technology advice and pricing to ISU students, faculty, and staff. We work with vendors to provide special educational pricing and great warranty options. We also work with other ISU departments to ensure that you have the right technology for your major and needs. Lastly, TechZone provides warranty service in-house for the brands and warranties that we sell, so you can be sure to keep your computer running for the length of your college career.
A: As you spend time picking out the right computer, it is important to understand the basic warranty that comes with it automatically. Further, most families add either an extended manufacture or “Safeware” warranty. We have tried to explain the most common options here, but please contact us with other questions. TechZone is able to provide serving for Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and Microsoft Surface computers – many times directly on campus.
A: First, if you need help deciding what computer to purchase, you should check the recommendations by major. Next, contact us with any questions you may have. Finally, you can use our online webstore to make your purchase.
A: Illinois State University provides two pieces of software- Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud to all students at no additional charge. You are encouraged to get these packages installed before coming to campus, and it is easy. Follow these videos. Other software is class specific and instructions will be provided by your instructor.
A: While some students do decide to bring a printer to campus, it is not required. ISU printers are available around campus- the library, residence halls, academic buildings. Each student is granted an allotment each semester to print from these printers. Additional prints can be made for a small charge. Also, keep in mind that many professors will use Reggienet (our online learning system) for assignment hand-in and test taking, reducing the amount of printing that students might need to do.
A: Even before classes start, you will want to know about the campus wireless, Reggienet (our course management system), and how to get help. A detailed technology orientation course can be found here. Allow an hour to complete this orientation.
A: In addition to the step-by-step guidance found in many IT help articles there are numerous training videos which are available. From overview topics (such as this what to bring video) to specific tasks (such as submitting an assignment in Reggienet) you will find many useful from this Youtube playlist.