Indiana State University has become possibly the first American University to not only require students to buy laptops, but to ask them to buy a certain type
The University has chosen Lenovo to provide its students with mobile kit. The Chinese firm is the new maker of the IBM ThinkPad, following its purchase of IBM's computer business last year.
The ThinkPad is held in high regard in the business world for its conservative form factor, discreet power and ultra reliability.
The laptop was chosen by Indiana because of its integrated wireless software, which allows users to easily switch between multiple wireless networks and wired connections - required on a campus as large as Indiana.
The University is becoming a 'notebook institution', believing that “The notebook initiative gives us an opportunity to use technology to support learner-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered and community-centered learning environments. It is a window of opportunity for true innovation,"
according to Susan Powers, who is in charge of the curriculum at the institution.
If students have other notebooks already, it seems like they'll be able to use them regardless, but we can assume that Lenovo is giving a hefty discount to Indiana for a bulk buy.
Is this the start of a new wave of compulsory notebook purchases? How long until we see the Ivy League in the States, and the Oxbridge colleges over here, require computer purchases? They're already highly recommended, with Oxford University teaching organisation running almost entirely over email.
Should we require students to be connected? Should we put other restrictions on their activities on the network? Let us know your thoughts over in the News Forum.
More details: Indiana Tribune Star