I am blogging for class and to share my experience with computer systems.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Computers and Education: The Most Useful Gadget for Students on a Budget
Now that you paid for your classes and books, you discover you are short on cash to purchase some of those really cool gadgets to get you through the semester. Now what do you do? Well now you are in triage mode, you make a decision as to what you absolutely need to have and list them by priority. Since I am a part-time student I do understand your pain.
One of the most common computer help requests I receive both on and off campus is "My computer will not start and I need my files".... I cannot count the times this has happened, especially after one of our Indiana thunderstorms and lightning has fried the computer. Students need not ever fall into this by using the gadgets I recommend.
With all the computer labs available on campus, a laptop even though it would be real nice and useful, I cannot put a laptop on the top of the list because you can get through classes without one if you are short on cash. So what should I have?
I believe the most useful gadget is the USB/pen/thumb drive. Why? To backup your homework is why! All the lab computers both PC and Mac are compatible with USB drives. Now a good drive with 4 GB storage is what I recommend and two or more if you are an arts student with lots of graphic files. If you need more storage, get an external USB hard drive with 1 TB drives now available for less than $250.00 you will have plenty of room to backup anything you need for class.
With all the external storage options available, a student can use a Mac or PC in the labs and store their precious homework and research on the campus network drive as well as your own external drive. If a student has a PC or Mac at home, then it is simple for them to move their data to and from school. Let me reiterate, backup ,backup and backup. If you need the document for your grade, back it up, even if it is just a few notes for a speech, back it up. Knowing you have your schoolwork safely stored in multiple places will take a bit of stress off your mind.
Do I suggest any particular brand or model? No for there are far too many out there, but I do suggest Staples or Best Buy stores, online Newegg and Tiger Direct are other useful gadget sites. If you can afford a laptop...I do prefer the new Apple Macbook, it will run Windows as well as OS X and you will have all the built in gadgets you need for school. Now wait for the next episode...