Laura James of Indiana State University writes in her editorial “Laptops could hurt enrollment” about how many students may actually be hurt by mandatory laptop initiatives. The cost factor is very important for colleges and universities contemplating these new programs.

Schools need to take this concern to heart, and find ways to assist students with laptop costs. I think Laura’s complaint that many faculty are not very digitally saavy may be true in many cases. To remain relevant, our current generation of professors and instructors need to increasingly utilize and model appropriate use of instructional technologies. Universities must not just assume this will happen broadly by itself: it will not. Universities serious about helping faculty embrace the use of diverse technologies in instruction need to hire more instructional support staff members who can help faculty. These are NOT technician types, fixated on virus / printer / email issues. Rather, these are educationally oriented people focused on communication functionalities, rather than just specific hardware and software.

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