Public college among first to require laptops

Framingham State College plans to require each freshman to own a wireless

laptop computer next year. It is the first Massachusetts public campus to

require the use of such technology.

The Framingham program is a test case for a statewide requirement endorsed

by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. The larger program is a

$123 million venture to provide 175,000 students at state schools with computers

and software.

Legislators have not approved funding for the statewide program, citing

an overall tight budget and a desire to see the outcome of the Framingham

program.

Peter Chisholm, assistant to the president of Framingham State College

(www.framingham.edu), said the state is "primarily doing this to provide

our students with the training necessary to really enter into today's workforce."

About 40 colleges nationwide — most of them private — require laptop

computers, but no statewide system of public higher education requires them

for all its students.

Framingham plans to sell the computers to its students for about $2,000

each, with grants or low-interest loans available to qualified students.

The laptop provider has not been decided, but plans to seek bids are

in the works. Advocates of the wireless program say it will save the state

money in the long run, citing that wiring all classrooms to be Internet-ready

would cost about $200,000, whereas providing the hardware to connect wireless

laptop computers to the Internet would cost $40,000.

About 1,200 students have been using laptop computers, on loan from

the school, in a 3-year-old test program. School officials hope that the

mandatory requirement will spark ideas on how best to use the computers

during class time.

Plans call for requiring all Framingham students to have a wireless

laptop computer by 2005.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.