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FAQ Index

  1. Why is there a laptop requirement?
  2. I already have a desktop computer. Do I also need a laptop?
  3. Is there a recommended laptop?
  4. I already own a laptop. Can I use it?
  5. Is my different word processor OK?
  6. Is wireless Internet access available?
  7. My version of Microsoft Office does not include PowerPoint? Will I still need PowerPoint?
  8. What if I don't want a Mac?
  9. Can I use a netbook instead of a laptop?
  10. Can I use an iPad instead of a laptop?

Why is there a laptop requirement?

The faculty in the School of Education are aware that Internet and software access are an important part of the teaching and learning process. The laptop requirement allows you and your instructor access to a rich array of Internet content from most classrooms and all School of Education facilities. The SOE expects this requirement to result in higher technology literacy, more technology integration in your own teaching, more effective portfolio development, effective use of software and hardware (such as digital still or video cameras), and better instruction from the SOE faculty.

The School of Education is also aware of the need to prepare teachers to teach in K-12 environments in which ubiquitous computing--for example, "one-to-one" student laptop programs such as those in Virginia, Maine, and even Alaska--are becoming a common vehicle for teaching and learning.

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I already have a desktop computer. Do I also need a laptop?

Much of the teaching/learning benefit of this requirement results from universal access to software and Internet in class, between classes, at home, in coffee shops, and elsewhere. With a laptop, your works goes with you--including to your school for your internship year. Laptops also fit the emerging K-12 "one-to-one" instructional model that is changing the way students interact with technology. It's important to learn to work with a laptop.

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Is there a recommended laptop?

While we strongly recommend Mac laptops, we are not standardizing on a specific platform. All of the SOE required applications are available for both Macs and Windows.

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I already own a laptop. Can I use it?

If your laptop meets current acceptable standards for productivity and internet access, you will be able to use your existing laptop.

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Is my different word processor OK?

You must have a current version of Microsoft Word. While there are many good word processors on the market, the current market standard is Microsoft Word. In order to ensure that your classmates and instructors can readily read your files, the SOE has also adopted this standard. WordPerfect, Microsoft Works, and other word do NOT meet this requirement – even if you “save as” a Word file.

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Is wireless Internet access available?

A major component of the SOE laptop standard is wireless networking. Not only will this provide realtime access to online resources during classes, it will also provide wireless access to ceiling-mounted LCD projectors in SOE classrooms. All School of Education buildings have 802.11b/g wireless access. Many campus locations such as the Rasmuson Library and the Gruening Building have wireless access available.

Ethernet (wired) access is available from all dorms and from virtually every campus location. However, ethernet access is not generally avaibable in Old Universty Park classrooms, so wireless capability is essential.

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My version of Microsoft Office does not include PowerPoint? Will I still need PowerPoint? 

Yes. You will be required to use PowerPoint in many of your classes to give presentations and create instructional units. You can purchase PowerPoint separately, but it will probably be less expensive to purchase the Student version of Microsoft Office which includes PowerPoint.

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What if I don't want a Mac?

While we recommend Macs for compatibility with FNSBSD schools at which you may be doing your internship, you are NOT required to purchase a Mac. Your computer simply must meet the School of Education software and hardware standards. All SOE faculty use Macs as do virtually all FNSBSD schools, but you are free to choose other laptops that meet current standards.

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Can I use a netbook instead of a laptop?

No. Netbooks are tempting because they are cheaper and lighter than laptops, but they are not replacements for laptops. While netbooks are quite capable for reading e-mail and surfing the web, they cannot perform all of the tasks that you will need to perform in the School of Education, particularly in the area of multimedia creation and editing.

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Can I use an iPad instead of a laptop?

iPads are highly encouraged for several reasons--they are inexpensive, sturdy, versatile, and have thousands of apps that are great for K12 and post-secondary learning. iPads will play a large role in your future classroom. However, they are not a replacement for laptops in every situation. We still recommend a laptop as your primary tool, but we also encourage you to use your iPad as much as possible.

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