In the fall, each incoming freshman will receive a state-of-the-art laptop computer. This personal computer will constitute a focal point for your learning experiences throughout your career at Ursinus. It will be an essential learning tool that you will frequently use regardless of your discipline or chosen major.
Ursinus launched its Laptop Computing Initiative after an extensive analysis and evaluation of the potential benefits to be gained through such an initiative. This marks the seventh year of the program. The program has been a tremendous success. Both the faculty and administration have been prepared to support this ongoing effort and to insure its continued success.
The most important benefit of laptop computing for the entire college community is that the powers of direct inquiry, exploration and dialogue are placed in the hands of teachers and learners virtually any time and any place. Collaboration and communication, among you and your professors and you and your fellow students, are enhanced by offering the latest technologies to facilitate these interactions.
Ursinus believes strongly in the following five advantages of campus-wide laptop computing:
- Communications: a wired campus where communication is possible virtually any time and any place.
- Community: an ethical environment where students share values, challenge ideas and arrive at collective community principles.
- Computer Competence: a functional environment where high-level e-skills are the standard for all faculty and graduates.
- Equal Access to Computing for All: a college of shared and equal means where, regardless of financial need, no one is left behind.
- Teaching & Learning Innovation: an intellectually charged environment where cutting-edge resources excite faculty and students with the newest and best educational technologies.
Ursinus has the infrastructure in place to support this endeavor; a robust and reliable computing network environment, fully wired dorm rooms and classrooms, state-of-the-art projection equipment, high-speed network connections and a high level of technical support.
The Laptop Computing Program
Each incoming freshman will receive a new Dell laptop. Also included are network connectors, an internal wireless card, and audio with internal stereo speakers and microphone capability.
The laptop you receive remains the property of the College but is for your exclusive use. More detailed specifications are posted on the Ursinus College website in the Technology Resources area under the Hot Links Menu.
Software installed on your laptop will include the Windows operating environment, Microsoft Office with Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, and Picture Manager, Microsoft Internet Explorer, several plug ins, and other specialized software. Some of your classes may use other specialized software that will be accessed from the Ursinus College network on campus.
Access to Resources this Summer
Ursinus has implemented a program especially for first year students. We want you to become a part of the Ursinus community prior to your arrival on campus for the fall semester. We have set up capabilities for you to be able to access Ursinus computing resources during the summer. All you need is access to a computer and an Internet connection. If you don’t have access to the Internet at home, you may be able to use a computer at your local public library. With your assigned Ursinus User Name and password, you will be able to log on and interact with Ursinus staff and other students in your class. Look for the letter in your Orientation packet that describes what you can do using these resources along with detailed instructions for access. We urge you to take advantage of this opportunity.
You are provided an email account for use while an Ursinus student. Ursinus uses the Microsoft Outlook application. You will be expected to use this email address for your four years here, even though you may have other accounts available to you through the Web or via an Internet Service Provider. In early June, you will receive your email address and password and you will be able to access email through Microsoft Outlook installed on your laptop. Over the summer, from any computer, you can retrieve your Ursinus email via Web Access Outlook.
Blackboard Site for First Year Students:
Class of 2013 First Year and Beyond
Posted on this site are many of the documents and communications that you will want to reference about housing, campus policies, dining services, and many aspects of campus life. You will also be able to communicate with campus staff to get the answers you need for a smooth transition in August. Be sure to log on and visit your site often!
Computing Support & Technical Help
Technology Support Center
Walk-in technical support is available from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM weekdays when school is in session. Professional staff are available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Student workers are on call on weekends from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturday and from 12:00 noon to 10:00 PM on Sunday. Ursinus ID cards can be issued until 6:00 PM during the week. You can call the Tech Center to reserve a projector or other AV equipment for class demonstrations, for networking and software questions, and for assistance with your laptop.
The phone extension for Tech Support is ext. 3789, or email staff at TechSupport@ursinus.edu. The Information Technology Support Center is located in the Myrin Library on the lower level.
We employ students to staff Tech Support, assist with technical repairs, and help with web and multimedia project development. If you are interested in these opportunities, we invite you to call or email Tech Support for more information.
Appropriate and Responsible Use of Computing Resources
As members of the Ursinus community, all students have the responsibility to use information technology resources in an effective, efficient, ethical, and legal manner. Central to appropriate and responsible use is the stipulation that, in general, computing resources shall be used in a manner consistent with the instructional, public service, research, administrative and student life objectives of the college. Inappropriate, unethical or illegal uses of college information technology resources may result in the suspension of access to those resources and the application of other, appropriate sanctions.
Computing Facilities and Services
Although you will likely use your laptop for all your needs, there are also computer labs located in the Pfahler and Myrin buildings on campus. Pay-for-print stations are located near these labs in those two buildings. In addition, there are special purpose computing facilities in some classrooms and labs.
Student Multimedia Resource Workstations
There is a multimedia workstation located on the lower level of Myrin outside the Tech Support Center. Students can drop in to scan, make CDs, create videos, and use other multimedia resources for academic projects.
Multimedia Projectors Available for In-Class Presentations
If creating a presentation for use in a class, students can call the Tech Center and reserve a data projector to use with their laptop to project material for viewing by the class. Many classrooms are already equipped with a ceiling mounted projector that can be connected to the student laptop.
Student Webpages and File Server Space
All students are allocated space on the web server for posting their webpages. Staff are available to offer assistance in setting up your personal webpages, if desired. Students are also allocated personal space on college file servers.
Connectivity and Networking
Connectivity in the Residence Halls
There are network ports in all freshman residence hall rooms allowing you to plug in, access and utilize campus network resources and the Internet. There is a limit of one connection per resident. The dormitory network is intended for individual student use ONLY. Using the connection to create any type of server (game, web, FTP or other) is strictly prohibited and may result in the loss of your connection.
All classrooms have been wired with network connections and some have electric power on the classroom desks (particularly those in the Pfahler Hall of Science). A presentation podium that provides for a laptop hookup and data projector for presentation is also available in many rooms
Many faculty will be using a web-based course management software tool called Blackboard to enhance the classroom experience. Your professor will be able to post course announcements, assignments, and evaluations to a course web site on Blackboard that you can use any time from anywhere. In some classes, you will be able to turn in your assignments electronically and hold online discussions with other members of a study group. Accessing the First Year Students site in Blackboard will give you an understanding of how this will operate for your academic work also.
Your Laptop Responsibilities
A laptop will be provided to you for your use while a full-time student at Ursinus and will be your responsibility for the next two years. At the end of your sophomore year it will be replaced with a new laptop model for your use through your senior year. You must take care of your computer and take every measure to protect it from theft and damage. The laptop will be thoroughly checked and assessed for damage when you return it to receive a new laptop for your junior year.
You will be responsible for purchasing a suitable laptop carrying case that will offer protection for your laptop and make it easy to carry. We also want you to be able to pick out a carrying case or backpack that you will be able to recognize and identify as your own.
Supplies for your laptop and printer such as a carrying case, paper, ink cartridges, CDs R&RW, etc., will be available in the College bookstore.
The laptop is fully covered under the manufacturer's extended warranty until the required return date. There is a mandatory annual charge of $150 for accidental damage and theft insurance coverage that is included in the student bill. There is a $125 deductible for the first accidental damage incident ($250 for subsequent incidents) for which you are personally responsible. For theft, the deductible is $500. Deductibles will be billed to the student.
The Myrin Library
The Myrin Library offers you a world of resources at your fingertips. With your laptop you will be able to access the library’s web-based on-line catalog also known as Libcat at http://myrin.ursinus.edu. You will be able to search Myrin’s collection of books, journals, electronic and Internet resources, videotapes, audio compact discs, cassettes, and our new and expanding DVD collection.
You will also have access to many electronic resources, research materials, subject and style guides, as well as the ability to request an inter-library loan from your room. You may ask a reference question, see a floor map of the library, browse the archives and access government information. With your laptop, the library is a wealth of information waiting to be explored.