a gif of several laptop and tablets

Just look at how far technology has come in the last two decades!

 

Oh beloved laptop, what would I do without you?

We are all very lucky to go to a university that takes into account the ever-changing technology world. Often referred to as a “Laptop University,” WSU gives each incoming student– freshmen and transfer students– their choice of the most recent Apple or PC computer upon admittance into the university. Two years later, they are able to get the new laptop model and when they graduate they have the ability to purchase a laptop as well. Recently, Winona State University became the first public university in the Midwest to distribute both laptops and tablets to their students.

Because the laptop program has had such an impact on our university, I thought a few info-graphics would be a great way to display some fun facts regarding it. After talking with a WSU alumna, faculty members and digging around the Internet, I found some interesting information to share with you guys.

It probably doesn’t come as surprise that most of you, approximately 65%, chose an Apple laptop over a PC. The growing popularity of Apple computers and Apple in general is a relatively new trend. An alumna told me that seeing a Mac computer on campus back in 2000 when she enrolled was very rare, and the only students who used them were the art students. Weird, right? It seems just the opposite these days. In recent years Apple has taken over the technology world and I’m sure we will see that 65% rise as younger generations begin attending WSU.

Surprise, surprise! The same trend can be said for the tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tablet and the iPad Mini. Tablets at WSU were just introduced the spring of 2014, and only 50% of students received one. I don’t have one ( 🙁 ), as I only had one year left before graduating when they were introduced. For those of you who do have them, consider yourself very lucky! I really think our society is going to start pulling away from the laptop and using only tablets. My roommate is student teaching for her degree in special education and she says she uses her iPad mini with students daily! They really are becoming a part of the lives of individuals.

When the laptop program was first implemented 18 years ago, most of us were at home watching Disney movies. Most individuals were limited to large desktop computers and those in business programs were the only ones to use laptops. Three short years later, the program was in full effect, and Winona State students had the choice between an IBM ThinkPad and an iBook. If you’ve ever seen an IBM ThinkPad you would probably wonder how students ever carried something like that around campus. They are massive laptops around 1” thick, and only carried around 6GB of storage! Now days, most iPhones and Droids have more storage than that.

The University went on further to see what it’s students wanted and they responded, “Bigger and better.” Since then WSU has brought in brands such as Gateway Toshiba and HP, and most recently tablets. Of the roughly 10,000 students enrolled in WSU,  100% now have laptops.

Soon IT will announce it’s newest additions to the Winona state laptop family. New versions will be available for students this upcoming year. In February, there was showcase event where students could preview the devices being considered for the next hardware update.  Although the final decision about new devices is a mystery, we know that WSU will be sure to impress like it has done for the past 18 years.

This is just a short history of how we became the e-Warrior nation and you can find more information about the history of the Laptop Program on the Information Technology Services webpage.

I also want to issue a special thank you to Maureen Dolezal Anderson (’05) and Ken Janz, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Information Officer, for their help with this post.

Updated by: Rachel Adam

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Katlyn Plourde

Katlyn graduated in 2014 with a BA in Marketing. She is from Woodbury, MN and her interests include catching up on her latest TV obsession, hanging out with friends, playing piano, listening to music or playing around on Adobe Photoshop.

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