UW-Eau Claire behind the technology curve

UW-Eau Claire needs to give its students a computer with the programs they need most embedded into that computer.

They can take the money needed to get the computers from the tuition costs we pay every semester. That’s how UW-Stout does it, and it seems to me like a great idea.

Stout senior Aaron Johnson said you get the computer when you are a freshman and programs that are hard for students to get because of their cost are already on the computer.

Adobe programs that cost a bunch of money are automatically preset into your brand new computer. Those are computer programs that sell online anywhere from $100-$1000. Music majors can get Adobe Audition for free, journalists and graphic designers can get Adobe InDesign for free.

All of the Adobe programs, along with other programs specific to certain majors can be at your disposal. Imagine having all the programs you usually go to campus for right on your laptop.

This not only would be super convenient, but would benefit all students and would make campus more commuter friendly.

Imagine having a project due tomorrow morning. You have everything you need in front of you, except the software you don’t have enough money for; therefore, you have to go to campus to finish it up.

With the university giving us computers, it would save the students time and give us a more interactive college experience with the top notch technology in a changing technological world.

There is a problem with this, however. You don’t get to keep the programs. Stout takes all the software off once you graduate, but you do get to keep the computer forever.

Some people may argue that this is a waste of time and money, neither of which college students seem to have a lot of.

My argument is that the time spent while a student is in college is the time they will get the most out of these programs anyway. Once they graduate, the necessity for all the programs might go down a bit.

The initial value of a college freshman saving some money from not having to buy a new Mac computer for $1500 is huge. Use the programs to the best of your ability early and often. Use the money you saved after you graduate to buy the programs that are essential for your career that you now have experience using.

It just makes sense. If the next argument on your list goes to additional tuition hikes, I say, what’s a little more? Give an extra $30 to $40 a year for a new computer with a bunch of necessary programs on it? I’ll cough up the five hours of work needed for that money.

It could be more, but I don’t see what we can’t at least draw up some proposal to check out if its a feasible option at Eau Claire and I can’t see how it couldn’t be.

The potential benefits definitely outweigh the cost in this scenario, and I think it is about time Eau Claire follows its I-94 rivals from down the highway and adopts this great idea into its curriculum.