Just imagine carrying 20 books in your bag, having 15 more in your hands, and trying to finish your paperwork all at the same time. Impossible, right? Well, for people studying before the computer’s invention, this is one of their main problems.
Technology has become very advanced, paving the way for the evolution of computers. Computers started as gigantic devices only used for processing data. One computer unit can fill an entire room with just its essential parts and wirings. As time went by, people have devised a more convenient kind of machine that is much faster and lightweight than a regular desktop computer. With such development, people’s needs have changed as well. Now, they have developed a quicker way to communicate, work, and finish tasks. That is why from big old chunky computers, people now have what we call a laptop.
Laptops are personal computers that are portable due to their lightweight and size. They are very compact and can do various functions that are very similar to a desktop computer. Since you can bring it anywhere, it has an all-in-one design that includes the following essential features:
- Operating system: Your laptop’s operating system is its central brain and backbone. It lets you communicate with your device without necessarily knowing the tech language of your computer. It is also where your laptop’s memory and processes are stored and connected.
- Built-in screen or monitor – This is where you can see the images on your computer. Most laptop monitors have LCD or Liquid Crystal Display technology that plays with light to transmit images into your screens.
- Laptop keyboard – The keyboard is the part of your laptop that lets you type words into different applications and programs. Some laptops have virtual keyboards where users can click and type words within the built-in screens.
- Touchpad or trackpad – Touchpads or trackpads are motion-built pads that can make you move your mouse pointer using your finger. The touchpad helps you click items on your screen while using your laptop.
- Audio Speakers – There are also audio speakers attached to your computer to make sure you can hear any computer sounds.
Laptops nowadays are so advanced that people now include Artificial Intelligence into such machines. Artificial Intelligence or AI has the purpose of performing a specific task in replacement of humans. Laptops having AI systems can communicate to users and let the machine do work on its own. One example is that laptops can now search for what you’re looking for on the internet. It is now possible to talk to your computer, ask what’s the nearest restaurant in your area and you’ll get the answers in seconds! This type of advancement is even applicable to self-driving cars, computer-assisted homes, and electronic workspaces.
With all of these fantastic built-in features, there is no doubt that laptops have created a convenient culture for people to work and study. Professionals, people in the academe, and even children enjoy the use of laptops. One of the main groups of people who have benefited from the use of laptops is college students.
A Laptop Is A College Student’s Best Friend!
Students from universities and colleges can’t survive their schoolwork without using a laptop. This machine has given them an easier way of dealing with paperwork, assignments, research, examinations, and projects. Students tend to save their lessons on their laptops and read through them when it comes to studying. They can download special applications and software that can maximize their habit of checking. These include having digital sticky notes, using automatic laptop reminders, and letting audiobooks read for them. Moreover, group works and projects are now easy to manage as students can easily do their research online. Using a laptop can help them do their project meetings, communicate via social media channels and finish work on time.
In doing class presentations, laptops are also very loyal buddies to college students. Using this machine, they can automate their content, add designs and insert multimedia features to make their presentation unique and presentable. Video conferencing is now very much available because of the rampant use of laptops at class presentations. Video conferencing is a communication process that uses a virtual program between people to share audio and video materials in real-time. Students can now communicate online, even from distant locations, using computer software and tools, making their class presentation experience more convenient and fun.
Studying is essential, but you also deserve the time to relax and enjoy yourself. By having a laptop, you can maximize your rest days for leisure and entertainment. Students can watch or stream a movie during their break time, play brain games, and socialize through their social media accounts. Laptops are also widely used for creating blogs and video blogs or vlogs. A vlog is a kind of blog that produces content in video form. Many students are resorting to vlogging nowadays as it increases their social media engagement and reaches. Media platforms are considering vlogging as a trend as well.
How The Education System is Embracing the Use Of Laptops
Traditional learning is one of the standard forms of learning where it takes place inside a classroom. This setting usually has a teacher to give out the lessons, and the students are the learners inside the learning environment. With traditional learning, a fixed schedule is imposed and required from students and teachers. It includes face-to-face sessions so that the teacher will thoroughly explain the lessons or subjects. It requires more effort as several factors need to be considered for traditional learning to be a success. Such factors are active interaction between teacher and student, quiet setting, cooperative pacing, and availability of learning resources or materials.
However, with the rise of digital tools among students and teachers, the traditional type of learning has now been challenged by other learning methods. As technology has progressed with time, the school systems have embraced a different kind of approach using tech. The approach is now known as online learning.
Online learning is a new way of understanding where you use the internet and virtual communication to conduct lessons. Resources to be used in education can be accessible anytime and anywhere, both by the student and teacher. One of the main tools for this type of learning is the laptop. Teachers can create lesson presentations, digital workbooks, online exams, and grading evaluations with this device. What’s even great is they can do these tasks right in their very own home without stressing about traffic, fixed deadlines, and an unpredictable teaching environment. Here are some reasons why teachers, students, and the education system are gearing towards online learning with the use of laptops:
- Accessibility to learning – As laptops are very portable, bringing one with you wherever you go widens its functionality for accessible learning. Access your lessons, view any presentations, search for answers on the internet, communicate with other learners, and easily finish other class tasks—all in just a few mouse clicks.
- Flexibility – The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning revealed in a survey that 87% of corporate learners prefer to take online courses during work hours. With laptops’ help, students and teachers learn to work at their own pace without thinking about the pressure from fixed schedules. This also makes them align their learning schedules based on their daily activities and might squeeze in some urgent tasks within such learning schedules if needed.
- Independent learning style – Laptops give you the advantage to embrace your teaching and learning strategy. Teachers can evaluate student performance via video presentations if they prefer this kind of assessment. They can also do online exams if that’s what they are comfortable with. Whatever style they go for, as long as they have laptops, they can adjust their methods and see what technique fits their needs.
- Cost-saving – Buying a laptop or owning one is an investment. It’s a one-time purchase but has many benefits that can help you in the long run. You can save gas by staying at home while you study or work. Also, free resources can now be downloaded instead of buying hardbound copies or getting them to print yourself.
Online Colleges Offering Free Laptops?
Owning a laptop is a great investment as this is a beneficial device that can certainly help you in college. However, not all people can afford one for themselves. A regular laptop’s price range can sit between $500 to $800. This is the laptop with most of the basic features, programs, and applications to help a student during college. With those that have advanced specifications, they range between $800 to $1,500.
If you can afford a laptop in college, then good for you. However, those with no means to buy are forced to stick with traditional learning materials that may not give maximum value in learning.
But don’t lose hope because the good news is that some online colleges and universities provide free laptops for their students. As online learning has been taking a massive surge in teaching and studying, schools have adapted a way for their students to acquire laptops. The incentive is also added as this attracts more students to enroll in their degree programs and course training. There are different ways on how colleges offer free laptops to their students. Know about them below:
- Grade-requirement basis: This means that students have to meet the minimum grade requirement in their respective degree programs for you to acquire a laptop. This type of laptop incentive is mostly applied to scholarships and academic grants. Each university has a specific policy for its scholarships. They might require students to submit necessary documents, write an essay on why they should be approved, or other supporting details for eligibility. A scholarship can be sourced from state institutions or private individuals or entities.
- Loaner laptops: Other schools offer free laptops as long as they are students of the learning institutions. However, they are required to return the device once they finish their program or once they graduate. The loaner laptop program is one of the main trends in online colleges as it attracts a lot of student enrollees. This type of laptop program usually has signed agreements in case of damages or loss of the device. There is also another form of a loaner laptop program in some colleges. This form of loaner program lets libraries or tech support services have prepared laptops, and students can borrow this within a limited number of hours or days.
- Advanced graduation gifts: Some schools provide laptops for free and allow them to keep them for good. Most of these colleges include the laptops’ cost in the total amount of tuition fees or have partnerships with tech companies that give out free laptops in exchange for internship contracts. An example of a tech company partnering with colleges and universities is Apple. The company has established a school-type distinction and award to academic institutions that are innovative with tech. They call it an “Apple Distinguished School.” There are 535 schools in 32 countries all over the world that have this distinction.
By now, you’re probably thinking of enrolling yourself in college to get a chance of having your laptop. That is possible today as long as you know the right schools that offer them. If you’re looking for a list of online colleges that provide such device, then have a read of them below:
Situated in McLemoresville, Tennessee, the university has a wide range of online degrees and programs that the students can apply to. In total, they have 37 offerings for online courses and degrees. That is why they have maximized the free laptop incentive to their students. Their laptops have a variety, including a Chromebook with a built-in touchscreen monitor. All of their free laptops will have Moodle (a learning software specializing more in personalized teaching environments) and Microsoft Office 360 Suite. Their website also has a full webpage of laptop support FAQ’s that can assist their students anytime they have issues with devices.
Dakota State University
The school is located in South Dakota and has a Laptop Program initiative fully purposed to support their freshmen students. The school has prepared a Fujitsu-T series laptop fully configured with their school’s academic programs. Such a device can help the students with their digital note-takings, record audio lessons, electronically receive and submit paperwork and connect to their campus-wide network. After completing 59 credits or more, freshmen students are then asked to return the devices to their respective programs.
Full Sail University
You can locate the university in Winter Park, Florida, where it houses many online degrees specializing in 3-D Arts, Audio Arts, and Application Development Fundamentals. They have a Project Lunchbox program in which the school provides a complete set of learning equipment, including a free Macbook Pro and some laptop accessories. They aim to give students the appropriate resources to help them create and build their portfolios. The devices are included in the cost of their tuition fee but on an educational discount.
This university is based in Utah and offers many online courses with flexible learning schedules. They promise their students free laptops and tablets as they believe that this will help them achieve educational success within their learning programs. The school is loved by students as there are no extra fees for you to obtain a laptop and what’s even better is that the students get to keep their laptops even after they graduate. They also have a very dedicated tech support team, ready to help the students with their tech concerns.
Delaware State University
In partnership with Apple, the university provided Macbook Pros to their students under the Department of Mass Communications program. As the department has some technologically advanced courses, giving such high-end laptops to their enrollees will better prepare them for their schoolwork. Moreover, all of the laptops have been installed with Adobe Suite applications to ensure students are covered in tech resources. Together with the free laptop comes its computer accessories and even a tablet.
Northwest Missouri State University
The school has a complete set of online programs from Undergraduate studies to MBA’s and also Nursing degrees. Students enjoy their online courses, especially as the university offers free laptops while they are part of the academic institution. This is specifically catered to all undergraduate (12 credit hours) and graduate students (9 credit hours). You have to keep in mind that you’ll be required to surrender the laptops once you graduate.
They are one of the pioneers in terms of introducing technological resources to their students. They started to provide laptops in 2008 and have been continuing ever since. It has to be noted that the laptops’ warranty will be under the student’s name so they can keep this after college. This also helps if the laptop might get broken or needs repair to directly go to the service center without going through the school’s warranty policy. To acquire one, they have to enroll full-time for at least six consecutive semesters and sign a Macbook Pro contract to complete the agreement.
Seton Hill University
The school is located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and has a blend of online and traditional degree programs. Their primary aim is to promote mobile learning within the students and faculty. Apple has recognized their initiative and has named them as an Apple Distinguished School for the 6th time. Their free laptop incentive includes Macbook Air laptops to all of their graduate and undergraduate students. Furthermore, they have an Apple Care Service within the school. This means that students, faculty, and staff don’t have to go to Apple Centers for repair or tech fixes.
St. John’s University
Established in Queens, New York, this university has an Academic Computing Initiative that gives free laptops to those who have enrolled in the tech-based program. Students have three options on what laptop specifics they would like to acquire. Laptop models’ choices include Apple MacBook Pro, the Lenovo ThinkPad L380, or the Lenovo ThinkPad L380 Yoga. Most students prefer the first laptop model as it is fast, lightweight, and convenient to use. One requirement to keep the device is if they can graduate from the university. Such requirement serves as a motivation for the students to work hard and finish their degree.
The school is based within Utah and has great online programs to offer to its students. Together with these courses, the school can offer free laptop resources to all its undergraduate enrollees. To secure the laptop and keep it after graduation, students have to finish their degree. Otherwise, they will have to return the device. The school is also known to provide free textbooks, lab supplies, and a wide array of career support services, all free of charge.
University of Minnesota-Crookston
They believe that technology is the future in employment. That is why their curriculum is more on experiential learning, as they don’t want to be stuck inside traditional classrooms. They prepare their students early by providing them free laptops to enhance their tech skills fully. Their aim is for students to learn simulations, video presentations, and the latest applications. As they want to make a habit of studying very advanced, everywhere on the campus is wifi-ready, and their faculty and staff are all tech-savvy.
Wentworth Institute of Technology
The school is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Ringing true to its name, the school is very technologically advanced in terms of learning materials and resources. They have a free laptop program wherein the device’s cost is incurred in the total amount of tuition fees. There are no excess charges when you decide to upgrade your laptop as the school will do this for you in your 2nd year of study. The best part is the laptop’s ownership will be under the student’s name once they graduate.
Saint Leo University
This university is based near Tampa, Florida, and offers many undergraduate and graduate programs. They want to ensure that all of their students have full access to tech resources, especially those on a full-time degree. A laptop provisioning program is initiated by their University Technology Services, where all undergraduate students who live inside the campus will get free laptops. They have a model-specific laptop, the HP X360 laptop with an 11.6″ LED touchscreen, and Intel Pentium N3700 Quad-Core processor. You’ll love how the device is complete with Microsoft 360 Suite, antivirus software, and a fully updated operating system.
The school’s educational system supports their student’s academic and career success. That is why they have established a free laptop incentive for all of their newly enrolled students. All you have to do is enroll, fill out their laptop agreement form, and you’ll receive a confirmation email from their laptop supplier. What’s even better is that you don’t have to pick up the laptop yourself as there will be direct shipping to your address. It is also complete with Microsoft tools for your everyday studying. Once you’re able to complete your first three-quarters of classes within your chosen program, the laptop is good as yours.
Indiana State University
This well-known university is located in Terre Haute, Indiana. The school has two types of laptop provision services. One way to get their free laptop incentive is by applying to their Fall Sycamore Technology Awards. A first-time enrollee wanting to get a bachelor’s degree can be approved in such a program if they qualify for the Federal Pell Grant. This grant is for those who display a deep financial need and have not earned their degree yet. Another option is to go for their laptop lending services to borrow a laptop free of charge.
The school is very proud of being an Apple Distinguished School since 2018. Colleges with this distinction are considered as pillars of educational excellence, especially in innovation and leadership. They have centered around using technology to inspire students’ creativity, critical thinking, and learning. With this, the college has partnered with Apple and is readily providing free Macbooks and iPads to their enrollees. They receive the devices once they accept their offer for admission and, at the same time, submit their enrollment deposit.
This college is a private and nonprofit school with various online courses, including undergraduate degrees, associate programs, and master courses. In terms of providing laptops to their students, CollegeAmerica gives free laptops complete with tech software that can be used for online learning. They also don’t require their students to acquire traditional learning materials such as textbooks. They encourage them to use their tech devices such as laptops in doing school work and projects.
Such an institution loves tech as they have a complete Student Technology Guide for their tech services. Within such services, they have a laptop loaner program to acquire and borrow one from their school library. The area has designated lockers for laptops, and the students can reserve one ahead of time. If you decide on buying your laptop, you will be redirected to a device discount site and choose from specific laptop models. The discount is specifically offered to undergraduates of the school. The laptop models can range from Apple Macbooks to Dell laptops.
Arizona State University
Like other universities, Arizona State University wants to support its students with the highest service level, especially in tech. Such a school has a laptop lending program where students can borrow one as long as they are currently enrolled in any course. Their enrollees are also eligible to borrow an internet hotspot if they don’t have internet access. All of these services are available through their Experience Center, which is open 24/7.
West Liberty University
It is one of the US’s advanced tech schools that provides students with a student laptop program. Their IT department is one of the main forerunners in such a program. Support is greatly offered which includes hardware and software repair by their IT students and staff. To secure a laptop, first-time freshmen students should be registered with 12 or more credit hours. The initiative also lets their IT staff help the faculty use more advanced applications for teaching.
- Laptops are multifunctional devices designed to make work and tasks easier to accomplish. They are lightweight, compact, and complete with features similar to a desktop computer.
- Some of a laptop’s main features include an Operating system, screen or monitor, keyboard, touchpad, and speakers.
- A college student’s basic essential is having a laptop. Owning one can greatly help with student tasks such as paperwork, projects, research, and presentations.
- Laptops are not just reserved for academic purposes but leisure and entertainment as well.
- Online learning is now being a trend in schools as it promotes quick access to learning resources, flexibility in schedules, and independent teaching styles.
- Free laptop programs in schools have a variety of provisions. They can be in the form of a grade requirement incentive, offered as a loaner laptop, or an advanced graduation gift.
- Suppose you attend online colleges and universities that offer free laptop programs, read and understand each school’s policy on acquiring one.
- If one of your college’s main goals is to get a laptop, choose an educational institution that will meet your tech needs. Look for a supportive tech service, affordable tuition, and advanced learning systems.