Information Technology Support Services at the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR IT) applies technology in innovative ways to help students improve their academic performance. UMR IT works with students, faculty, and staff to develop technology solutions that increase efficiency, connections, and learning outcomes – all with the aim of helping students maximize their education.
The UMR Laptop Program for students in the bachelor of science in the health sciences and health professions programs is one example of how UMR IT is helping students take advantage of the best in available technology. From program start to finish, students benefit from the availability of a high-quality laptop that comes preloaded with the tools that they need for their program, as well as from ongoing technical support.
What We Do
The laptop is an essential element of the educational environment, as a student you want it with you almost at all times. UMR emphasizes a collaborative learning environment, and the Laptop Program offers students the mobility and capability to access assignments, videos, podcasts, and curriculum materials, and work interactively with others. The laptops come equipped with what students need from the start to end of the their program.
As an undergraduate student in health sciences or health professions, you will receive a Lenovo ThinkPad, a sophisticated laptop with ample capabilities for professional scientific work.
When you pick up your laptop, it is ready for your use. Its features are designed to meet your needs as a student. They include:
- 14-inch LED screen with high definition and webcam
- Intel core processor i5
- 320 GB hard drive with 4 GB of memory
- Intel integrated graphics video card
- Built-in wireless connectivity
- Bluetooth and 4-in-1 card reader
- Three-year warranty with accidental damage coverage
- Comprehensive software package including Windows 7 and Microsoft Office
- Pre-tested compatibility with the University of Minnesota network
What if your laptop doesn’t work? What if you have a bad day and accidentally spill coffee on it? The vast majority of University students would be on their own – losing valuable computing time while finding a place for repairs and waiting for those repairs to be completed.
UMR’s Laptop Program offers you unparalleled technical support. Our technical staff members are available to answer questions, to make repairs as quickly as possible, or to issue a replacement unit if necessary. It’s easy, convenient, and keeps you focused on your studies.
What That Means
From the start of your program, UMR IT is there to make sure that you don’t have to worry about your laptop equipment. It is ready for you when you arrive and will become an integral part of your learning experience while you are in the classroom and while you study, research, and collaborate.
Why do I need a laptop from UMR?
RESPONSE: We started our Laptop Program for a number of reasons. At UMR, technology is an integral part of the educational experience. From our innovative curriculum management system to this Laptop Program, we recognize the importance of applying technology to help you make the most of your educational experience. By providing laptops, we can make sure that you have enough computing power for your classes and labs and compatibility with the UMR network.
The laptops complement the UMR curriculum management system (iSEAL), an online initiative that makes readings, quizzes, exams, student papers, faculty notes, podcasts, videos, and other information easily available to students, Your laptop will offer you access to learning modules for courses, and our technical support takes the hassle out of any technical issues, which, as one student worker in IT relates, is very valuable to students:
“Whether it be as trivial as a cosmetic issue to a major hard drive issue, the students are always ecstatic at being able to have a place to go to resolve the issue instantly and have someone to talk over the issue with them. I can’t count how many times I’ve been called a ‘life-saver’ for just doing my job.”
When do I receive my laptop? What do I have to do?
RESPONSE: We distribute laptops when students enter the program at orientation. We keep track of the laptops that we issue for repair and inventory purposes. The laptops are preloaded with the software that you will need, and we will distribute any relevant information and instructions when you pick it up. You can turn it on and begin using it once you receive it. You also have the option of leasing it for the summer.
Is this a good laptop?
RESPONSE: Absolutely – this is a business-class computer with the capabilities to handle your class assignments with speed and ease. It is durable with plenty of space, memory, and other features that you will find useful during your time at UMR. If you travel within North America, you can take your laptop with you. If you travel outside of North America, UMR IT can provide you with an appropriate computing option. You also can use it in your personal life – to Skype home, for example.
What about upgrades?
RESPONSE: Every two years, UMR IT will issue a new laptop, complete with upgrades. If courses require new software or software upgrades, those are provided.
Is there a place to turn for help?
RESPONSE: UMR IT offers comprehensive assistance for Laptop Program students. We are available to answer your questions, to explain the laptop’s set up, and to demonstrate its features. But even more importantly, we are there if you run into any problems with the laptop. Each laptop comes with a three-year warranty. UMR IT provides technical support for your laptop during your college experience, whether that means repairing or overseeing repairs, or replacing a laptop. You don’t have to worry about being without your computer, because we an issue a temporary replacement for more time-consuming repairs.
Do I return the laptop when I graduate?
RESPONSE: You can, but you also have the option of keeping the laptop for a small fee. If you do, you will have a quality laptop to start your professional career that comes with a one-year warranty.
Case Studies: Support When You Need It (Really)
The Laptop Program provides the kind of technical support that may spoil you for years to come. In most cases when the laptop isn’t working quite right, UMR IT is able to make quick repairs. We are there in ordinary and more extreme circumstances. Here’s what our students say:
“I dropped my computer one day, and it turned off. When I turned it back on the screen was all blue. So I brought it into IT, and they gave me a loaner computer. I was lucky because I had a test that day.”
“I was very thankful for the laptop program when I accidentally spilled coffee into my keyboard while working on a paper. I brought my computer to the laptop support office the next morning and they were able to take out my hard drive and put it into a different computer that I could use while my coffee soaked one was repaired. Without the laptop program I would have been without a computer and probably would have had to start my paper over from scratch. The people working were very helpful and understanding. I am so thankful that my school has a laptop program! I don't know what I would have done without their help.”
“I know a student that was studying abroad in Hawaii and dropped her computer from the top bunk in the dorms she was staying at. Her screen broke and her computer was not working. She contacted the IT department here in Rochester and they were able to ship a new computer and a box to send her broken one back. There was no out of pocket expense because she was covered by the technology fee.”
Let us know if you have any concerns or issues regarding your laptop or the Laptop Program. Our support desk is easy to find in the commons area of University Square across from the tutoring area or you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.