prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Digital Tools of the Trade

Posted by prof e on April 20, 2011

A recent article critical of technology requirements  for students attending Missouri School of Journalism got me thinking about what should be the minimal tool-set required for students of mass media. The article focused on student objections to a proposed requirement that each student purchase an iPad. Previously students were required to purchase either an iPhone or iPod Touch and other journalism programs, e.g. Virginia Tech, have required incoming students to have a laptop with specific software. Specific courses at various universities may require students to purchase a digital camera, audio recorder or external hard drive in addition to a course textbook and recordable media. The days of books, pencils, binders and 3-hole punched paper are long gone!

Here at CSU-Pueblo we have avoided requiring majors to purchase specific hardware but that may be changing. For several years we have been charging a course fee for certain laboratory-based classes that have a technology component. The fee, ranging from $25 to $50 per course, has helped to defray the cost of computer hardware and software and audio and video recording hardware and media. The University is moving away from course fees and proposing “department fees” that would be applied to every student who has declared a major. For example, a $5 department fee would add an additional $5 per credit hour to all MCCNM majors in an attempt to recoup some of the cost of offering courses that require access to expensive technology. For a student taking 15 credit hours, this would add $75 to the cost of each semester enrolled. Some students, and their parents, may object to these additional fees forcing university administrators to look for other ways to address the cost of technology. One such idea, also controversial, is the one taken by Missouri School of Journalism–to make the technology a prerequisite for students enrolling in the major or in specific courses.

So that got me thinking. What exactly should a mass communication major at CSU-Pueblo, or any other respectable university, have in his/her toolbox of media technology? At a minimum, anyone working in journalism should have a digital camera (still and video), an audio recorder, and, ideally, software on a tablet or laptop that allows for photo, audio and video editing. Without endorsing a specific platform or product line it must be noted that an Apple iPhone or iPad contains all of the above features. Better quality and flexibility can be gained by purchasing the components separately, but the cost would certainly be higher. For a few hundred dollars you can secure a digital still/video camera, and an audio recorder can be had for under $100. However, the editing/encoding/uploading process will likely require a laptop and software that may add $1000 or more. Extensive digital audio and video editing will require extended storage. The good news is that a 1TB hard drive can now be purchase for less than $80 and recordable optical media is relatively inexpensive.

If you want to work in design and layout of print media, a laptop with Photoshop and a page layout program such as InDesign may be the minimal setup with a price tag approaching $1,000. For those who want to work in TV/Film and related visual industries DSLR cameras capable of HD are now readily available for about a thousand dollars. Add another $1,500 or so for the editing hardware/software.

My point in all of this is to ask the question, what is an appropriate level of university support for future media professionals and what should be expected of students? Would a music major be expected to own his own instrument? How about an art major? Do they purchase all or some of their tools and supplies? How about in the sciences? At what point do chemistry or biology lab fees kick in to provide everything from beakers to cadavers?

What do you think? What kind of technology would you be willing to purchase on your own and what do you expect your tuition and fees to provide?


42 Responses to “Digital Tools of the Trade”

  1. […] Excerpt from: Digital Tools of the Trade […]

  2. Mary Jane MCCM 101 said

    Starting off college as an art major, I realized the responsibly and the expenses of having to purchase required supplies and tools for the classes. I had to purchase my own pencils, brushes, sketch books and other materials like paint. If a major has to do with the advancement in technology then it only seems fair to have to purchase your own equipment. Especially if it’s required for an upper level class in your field of study, it’s more than likely you’re probably going to have to use it in a career. So if that is the case you’ll have to end up buying it either way. Either way money is going to have to be spent, whether it’s through department fees or out of pocket. College isn’t free.

  3. Chelsi Jackson said

    Considering the fact that attending a college is not too cheap in the first place, what’s a couple hundred dollars here and there going to change? Especially if the items being purchased are used for your major. I see no problem with having to purchase equipment for your major, or upper level classes for that matter. Besides, if you are buying something for your major you will probably use it again in the future for your job or career. The university should not be responsible for having to supply students with the required materials for the course they chose to take.

  4. Dominick Ledezma said

    yeah, the University of Missouri is trippin’…It costs in-state students $21 G’s per year to go to that school and out of state students $33…and then they wanna make them go out and purchase an iPad or iPhone as well? Man, education in this country is already severely overvalued and overpriced and they just keep tacking on lil’ extra, hidden costs. To tell you the truth, it sort of smacks of you having to buy your way into higher education these days. I don’t like that notion at all. And us, as students, we just keep on taking it and taking it. Shelling out more and more loot to these people that try and convince us that their degree is more valuable than this one or that one. It’s a money game. It’s a hustle. It’s exclusionary and now I guess at the University of Missouri it’s an ad placement for some over sized iPhone that can’t make phone calls.

  5. Jen said

    I don’t think it’s out of the question to ask students to pay for some of their tools they will need. After all, it’s basically hands-on training. I would guess that most music/art major students would want to have their own tools. For me personally, I’d rather play on my own guitar or violin than use someone else’s. Same as I’d rather buy my own software and learn how to use it in a hands-on environment and then have it after the class is over and know how to use it in the workforce.

    Additionally, the state is continually looking for ways to save money in its budget and historically, higher-ed always gets cut. I think it’s a fair argument for the university to ask for a small fee to help cover expenses or have students pay for the materials they will need.

  6. Alex said

    If a college education is simply growing in expense with little to no measurable improvements to the final product, then what’s the point?

    I agree partly with another post in that it seems tuition fees increase between 6 – 9% annually. However, simply accepting that costs increase while overall value arguably stagnates or declines is short-sighted. The question becomes how better prepared will students become professionally, considering that they’re paying more to earn a degree, and despite the fact that gizmos are a necessary feature to given curricula? If a university can’t justify increases in program fees with the product of versatile and well skilled graduates, then academics need to question their very existence.

    Many universities seem to be in a constant state of construction, requiring hikes in tuition and fees due to political winds and maintenance needs, but I’m interested in how those increases match up to economic realities. I could care less about a new gym and bigger library. Prove to me that my instructors really understand the latest technology and its function in the profession. All too often, students receive out-dated perspectives from faculty who haven’t competed in the field for better than 15 years. This is even worse for online advanced degree programs, but that’s a separate topic.

    Also, some will argue that the national economy is in a permanent state of contraction; others will argue unending growth. Either way students need to assess whether what they study in college is truly economically viable, and if their choosing fields of study out of intellectual laziness or a real passion for the vocation.

    It seems that for some years university faculty have been quite aware that employers are not often impressed or satisfied with the skills graduates just entering the job market possess, but has this really changed anything? Will the incorporation of the latest gizmos and software improve the rigor of coursework? This same question was posed when laptop computers entered the marketplace, so what educational improvements can we note to justify the latest incarnation of tuition hikes via the technical necessity argument?

    The fact is that only students who already possess the competitive drive to adopt these technologies to prepare themselves professionally will benefit. The rest will be content to purchase increasingly expensive degrees to enslave themselves with debt while standing little chance of ever getting a job.

  7. Nicholas Flores said

    As an art education major, I have come to realize how much money art can be. I first started off when i was younger with pastel and photography. I bought my first DLSR when I was fifteen at the ticket price of about 1800 plus lenses and accessories, so about 3000 in total. I love photographs. Now how else am I to get good quality photos printed, but on a nice printer with seven plus cartridges. That came in the ticket price of eight hundred. Oh and not to mention my computer that I built with Adobe Photoshop CS2 at the time, coming in at a whopping 2400. So as I add all of those up, I realize I spent about 6,400. Now if I were to declare my major in photography, I would be able to save a lot of money. With those course fees, it saves me on the computer and the software. The school provides us with the latest software and Mac computers. That takes a hefty load off of my wallet. I believe fees are great, but I also believe we should only charge fees for the classes that we are taking. There shouldn’t be a flat amount of money per department either. Some departments like art or biology may need to charge more. It may seem like a lot at first, but in the long run it could save you from debt. Now on the other hand I believe if we are charged fees for classes that we are taking, we shouldn’t be charged for services that we don’t use. Some examples may be school printing, the new rec center, or even the day care. Charge only what is needed or applied to the students uses and needs.

  8. Janae Deas said

    I think a lot of people would have a hard time paying for all of this equiptment, but I also think it would be a good investment. However I think this should be for students who have their major lock and this is what your doing 100 percent positive. If i was a freshman or sophomore and I still didnt know if it was the right major for me then it would be a waste of a lot of money. As far as juniors and seniors I think if they are really serious about the major it will be an advantage because you will have the skill already to produce whatever it is. I think the opportunity to have some type of technology that is a major factor in the career you want to pursue is a major bonus because they more experience you have the better your job will be.

  9. Alex Miller said

    I think that even though technology is steadily increasing, I think that some things should be left the same. Having to buy major software equipment and expensive components for technological education is absurd and is asking alot. I feel that education should be cheap an inexpensive to help encourage society to strive for a higher education beyond that of high school. I can understand the labtop requirements because the world runs on computers and the internet is essential in today’s media and classrooms. If universities start requiring expensive software and technology, than students’ majors would start to replicate their income. If they have a low income than they probably would feel less likely to pursue a major that requires this expensive technology.

  10. Molly Gearhart said

    Or, what kind of equipment HAVE I purchased. I am an art major with an emphasis in graphic design. My tools of trade include a laptop with the latest adobe suite installed. This gives me the opportunity to bring my work with me everywhere I go. I don’t believe it should be the universities responsibility to purchase any of the items you need to use for your particular area of interest. What we are doing here in the first place is investing in our future. It is up to each student to stay on top of their career, and the tools they need. Would university intervention be nice? Sure it would! Who wouldn’t want someone to give them stuff! But in the end, we’re paying for it anyway… so, yeah.

  11. Jacob Chavez said

    The University shouldnt be the ones buying our equipment we should. We are they ones that are coming here to get an education to help our future. If you play for a semi-pro football team like me you would know they dont give you the equipment to play you have to go out and get it yourself. We are all grown up now and we now that in the world nothing is free. So buying your own things is better then the university buying it. Plus if your like me I keep my things nice I dont want to use something that is all beat up. and you can also keep it for ever and use it agian.

  12. Ken Sherer MCCMN 101 said

    In my opinion students should have to buy their own supplies, but there are always exceptions for people that can’t purchase them at the time. Therefore, there should be an option for students to be able to borrow supplies in class if needed. However, no matter what it is the students responsibility find a way to get the supplies and if the student is serious enough about their major then it shouldn’t be a hassle.

  13. Shilay Willis said

    I think that asking students to pay for their own supplies is reasonable. Especially when you go to college and you major in something. that will be your job, hopefully for the rest of your life. so the tools you use in college should help you later on in your career. If you cannot afford them then there are ways to get money to pay for them or even some schools allow students to rent things. There should be no discussion about this in the first place because if you’re dedicated enough to getting a degree to pay for school, school supplies are mandatory. Even financial aid can help pay for it.

  14. Jose Cos said

    At the university level i feel that the university should assign certain supplies for each major. whatever your major is and whatever kind of job your looking for in the future your more than likely going to need certain supplies. My point is that we should be getting used to the technology and supplies are jobs are going to acquire us to use. tThe university should have certain kinds of technology, and supplies assigned to certain majors, and if the student cant afford it, then they should have some kind of program where you can borrow or rent the required materials.

  15. Jareth Thomas said

    There are some items in every type of major that will be needed to train with or at least learn your specific trade. Most people know you need a calculator to do high level mathematics or to get precise amounts. The only reason that it is becoming a problem more so now than before is because of the sophistication of our society. Of course your going to need specialized tools for those differing courses and majors and if your going to go through with a specified major and apply it in the job you take after college, you will eventually come to a point where you will need to know the basics at least of every tool that can be used in your area of expertise.

    I would expect some of these cost to come from your own pocket but there should also be help offered from the college. There will always be those who can’t pay for these supplies and they should be helped by the departments of the school or the school itself. I agree with the fact that new and more pricey supplies will be and are needed in some courses. Most of these things that are needed will also probably be used throughout your college career anyways and possibly after so they are not truly just for the course but also for you.

  16. Anna MCCNM 101 said

    Every major has it’s requirements. However, universities hardly require biology students to buy microscopes in order to complete thier program. It is the university’s responsibility, just as it would be the employer’s responsibility, to provide certain tools of the trade. That being said, if an art major was emphasizing in photography, you would expect them to own a respectable camera.

    While taking classes at CSU-P, I have come to learn a few tricks on how to get demos for software I need for classes, and saw the vaulue in owning them beyond the classroom, so I chose to purchase the software. However, had I been required to purchase the software when the class had started, I would not have had the money to invest.

    In a country that has strived to make education an equal opportunity for all, I think it would be a mistake for universities to expect students to have ALL of the latest gear and gadgetry. However, certain staples of the trade should be required and students should look at it as an investment in their future.

  17. Cheyenne said

    In a way I agree with what is being asked of the students to purchase. If the student is being asked to purchase something that benifits his or her major then they will have to purchase it. Think about it, it will allow them to benefit in the future. If they need something for the class they can always keep it when they start there career

  18. Kevin Ortiz said

    One would assume that the majority of 21st century college students own at least a computer, a cell phone, an IPod, and a digital camera. Most high school students, middle school students and even many elementary students could probably boast to owning or having access to the above technology. But for the students who do not there are limited ways in which to access them. When talking about college students at CSU Pueblo in particular, there are ways in which the University could aid media and journalism majors obtain up to date technology. Tuition and fees are already at an all time high; therefore raising costs for students is not the answer. However, the University could purchase a large number of various technologies through grants, and “check” them out to students (almost like a library-but for digital technology). That way students would have constant access to technology when needed, while avoiding covering the cost of permanently purchasing something.

  19. Sarah Matott said

    Buying a laptop for college is pretty normal for most college students. I knew going into college that I would get one, but to require that a student buy an iPad isn’t fare to those who can’t afford. More importantly, I don’t believe that the University should be openly supporting a brand such as Apple. Not that it’s a bad thing, but if they are going to have these technology requirements, then they should keep it open for the student to buy whatever they can afford to meet those requirements.

  20. Courtnee Glenn said

    I Think its reasonable/unreasonable to make students Pay for whatever they need for there major. The Accentuals should be paid for by the student such as a basic laptop. A students always going to need that and that won’t change.But what if you changed majors and had bought awhole bunch of equipment needed for that class but then decided to change majors? You would be screwed cause you would be stuck with that Unnecessary equipment and no money. so thats not beneficial for the school nor you.

  21. Tyler Shomaker said

    Today in the academic world it is impossible to not use a computer. Professors assign homework over the internet, papers, projects, and research that will inevitably require you to use a computer. I think it is not hard for entering college to be required to have a laptop because costs of computers is going down and in order to survive through college you will need this technology. Computers would help students more than hinder them and with the recent moves to many high schools giving students laptops for school use may be an example that this is a successful tool. However, requiring students to buy other things such as software may be pushing a little to far because the sheer costs of such programs will cost you more than a decent laptop. Today however programs are being offered to college students such as Adobe products at a discount of 80 percent. These discounts even though high will allow students to buy Photoshop CS5 for $200 instead of $1000. The future may lead to use requiring such tools for college students but as of today I think that this is still out of the reach of CSU-P because this University’s tuition is much lower than others across the USA.

  22. Tori Craft said

    As a mass communications major, I am realizing that additional expenses that make my learning experience better and more thorough are worth having and investing extra money into a set budget. Being educated in a field that is always improving and transforming comes with the want of having the latest technology, but this is a stretch due to the expensive results that may occur. I believe the things mentioned above that should be required of students at CSU-Pueblo, whether it be in journalism or T.V/Media, are legitimate needs and should even be taken to the next level in some areas. Requiring an Apple laptop for both journalism and specifically T.V./Media students seems plausible to me and also a necessity. I have a biased opinion because of my pride I take in my Apple computer and I think every college student should have one, but that does not seem to be possibility in all circumstances. I think that requirements for incoming college students will continue to increase as technology increases its capabilities. Students may turn away from certain universities as a result of what they are required to have and may become complacent, but if it weren’t for technology, they wouldn’t be able to complete some of their daily tasks. Let’s not complain about technology, but embrace it and live up to a level of excellence with raising the bar for requirements and understanding the vastness of technology.

  23. Alan Wergedal said

    If the expectation of students buying the technology then shouldn’t the students expect that the teachers will then be technologically savvy? So if the students are required to buy hardware there would never be a need for paper again in a mass media class room. But then again why would you need a professor to teach the course. the school should show the proof of innovation and have a virtual class room after all it is mass media not class room media. All class can be done via the cameras and such bought for the class the laptops required easily play streaming video.

    It would be interesting for students to buy their own cadavers since its not easy to do. Would students be required to get the license and requirements to buy mercury to study the chemical attributes?

    If the students really want to enter into the profession of media then there are somethings they will want to buy. A music major would buy the best instrument they could when possible but a singer isn’t going to buy a grand piano. Artist buy the best brushes and paints unless they are a sculpture. However being a mass comm major with requirements to buy a laptop and camera when they plan on going into PR or becoming a sports anchor for ESPN seems a bit extreme.

    If the school requires that a student buy specific items for classes does that mean they don’t have to take other kinds of classes to graduate? If they take journalism why would they have to take any other classes that would not use the equipment they had to buy for the classes for the major they picked they after all are getting a degree in mass comm not math, science lab, or chemistry.

  24. Asking students to purchase things for class is fine as long as the thing that is being required isnt to expensive and is something that the students can either use for a long time or can be returned for close to what they paid for it.

  25. jose lozano said

    There are many students who come into college not knowing their major. There are also many students who change their major number of times before they find something they can enjoy doing and learning about. My point being that the cost of buying technology, instruments, tools or lab materials for all the majors one might have to go through to find a good fit will be considerabley expense. At the end you’ll be left with no money or in debt, and a hand full of materials and tools that you wont use. It would be a bad investment for anyone who isnt sure what they want to do. If the school is going to require students to buy their own equipment, I feel they should only require it for 300 level classes or higher. Anything before that you will have to many students buying equipment that they wont be usful to them in their future careers. School is expensive enough.We dont need to be waisting any money unneccassarily.

  26. charles cruz said

    Considering the costs and how certain items could be used for other purposes I could see that some of these items would be required. Though I couldn’t see why an average college student would be required to have a lap top. Since most schools have computer labs for the sole purpose of students not having to pay for them. As far as requiring specific tech gadgets like an I Pad or I pod; would none apple device of the same caliber be used as a substitute? Also at what point do these items really affect the learning process and marketability of the students after graduation? If the university could arguably justify the requirement of such high end hardware or software then they should be paid for with the tuition that rises each year. This would also make some student shun certain majors that might require high dollar items.

  27. Greg Martin said

    It cost enough to be a college student. We already purchas textbooks and for our class we had to purchase the iclicker. It is an advancment and could connect us better if we had all of these things in the classroom. It is a bit excessive to make students buy whatever product of te3chnology dcesired by the school. At what point will it stop if we begin to purchase laptops, ipad, etc.? I agree with Charles since most schools have computer labs at the campus I see no hurry in m aking students purchase a laptop for school. Most of us have one but for those who do not it is a burdon, laptops arnt cheap and even if they were not everyone has enough to buy one. What did we do before we had laptop computers, and other gadgets. We seemed to be fine then. I am all for improving education and the instruments used to do so but that comes at a great cost, times are hard and with the Mass media we have that we use in the classroom I think we are fine thew way we are without having students purchasing laptops and whatnot for school use.

  28. Chelsy Smalley said

    I think with all the fees and tuition costs of college, other mass media such as iPads,iPhones,iPod Touch and laptops shouldn’t be purchased by the student. I think the college should provide the technology that should be needed for the course.Having a student purchase the technology out of their own pocket can be very expensive and most college students can’t afford it. In a mass communication course it would be great to have all the students purchase technology to visually understand,but it be expensive for students.Most college campuses have computer labs which students pay fees to use,and they shouldn’t have to purchase other technology for a college course when computers is the main technology requirement in most courses.

  29. Alex Hovet said

    a. I do believe that schools should supply necessary tools of trade for every specific major. But I also understand cost pressures that are involved with this type of equipment, so I think schools should role it up into school fees for freshmen. Additionally if students decide to change majors they can keep the equipment and the fees or return it for adjusted fees with new stuff issued for the new major. When the student finishes their specific degree they keep they stuff. Then student can also elect what they need or do not in order to keep prices down. I think this would work for all economic Backgrounds.

  30. Emily K. George said

    I do not totally agree with the actions that the Missouri School of Journalism has taken. For one, college is quite expensive enough already. It is already a struggle for students to pay tuition and board along with lab fees and the like. If you add a requirement such as buying and ipad, or having to install photoshop on your computer, you are going to have quite a number of prospective students who won’t attend your college along with other student dropping out because they are unable to meet those kind of requirements. I believe that the school should be responsible for introducing their students and let them have access to this kind of technology. I know firsthand that just because you declare a major, that does not mean that that is what you are going to get your degree in. I have changed my major about three time since i have enrolled; if I was required to buy photoshop (which costs close to $1000 in and of itself), and then decided I did not want to major in technical design, i just tossed a $1000 out the window. I would not be okay with that. I beleive that if the school teaches it, the school should provide students with the necessary equipment while attending the college and learning their trade. That is why students go to school; to have access to this kind of information. They do not want to have to pay so many additional fees just because the school can’t supply them. If a college of university is unable to give this kind of technological access to their students, then maybe they should not be teaching that subject.

  31. Katy Carpio said

    I have no problem with the requirement that students purchase technology as required by their major. The fact is, the software and hardware that is used in some fields is highly specialized to that field, and shouldn’t be relegated to department fees to be paid by students who don’t need the equipment at all, and so will never use it. Further, college is an assumed expense; we already have tuition and fees, as well as the requirement of buying materials for normal class, and the responsibility for obtaining a textbook. These are responsibilities that are assumed when you choose to enroll in college. Some posters have noted that the cost of college increases, and have gone so far as to call college a “hustle,” but this speaks to a serious flaw in thinking. Colleges have to increase in price, since the funding they receive from the government does not keep up with inflation. It is insane to assume that college could escape a basic principle of economics. Further, the education that we pay so much for is no “hustle” at all. I have seen enough in my major to know for a fact that I couldn’t do this job without this education. Ultimately, it’s worth whatever I have to pay for it.

  32. Dom Harris said

    I also do believe schools/universities should supply the necessary tools of trade for every specific major. Because look at it this way students already pay schools extensive fees for not only the classes but recreations fees as well. Where do they expect student to have all of this money from? Because by me paying for school myself without the help of financial aid nor my parents my loans would reach thousands of more dollars just because of these other fees for my specific major I don’t even know I will be in for 4 years or I will like for even one year.

  33. Dom Harris said

    I also do believe schools/universities should supply the necessary tools of trade for every specific major. Because look at it this way students already pay schools extensive fees for not only the classes but recreations fees as well. Where do they expect student to have all of this money from? Because by me paying for school myself without the help of financial aid nor my parents my loans would reach thousands of more dollars just because of these other fees for my specific major I don’t even know I will be in for 4 years or I will like for even one year. They should be trying to make college less expensive for people in this time of recession but yet they are just trying to add more money into the collection plate.

  34. Danita Wyatt said

    I don’t think that it is asking too much for students to have laptops or a digital camera if needed for their specific major. Today, most kids have these “basic” things. I do think that it is asking too much to ask students to purchase things like ipads, software or specific phones because these things are usually luxuries and not everyone can afford these things. We as students have enough to pay for each semester without professors docking on extra electronics for classes that can cost double or maybe even triple the cost of the original textbook. And where exactly are they expecting us to come up with all this extra money. Some students do have the luxury of having extra money or parents who can help provide, but those who don’t which is usually the majority, how are they expected to provide for these things??

  35. School costs enough already and the added cost of purchasing an iPad seems ridiculous, but if we are in college to prepare for the future, there should be a way for students to acquire these “extras” at a better than retail price. Most majors require computer skills, which most all freshmen have, however we don’t all bring iPads with us to college. The landscape of college life has changed incredibly fast this last decade with the advance of computer technology. It used to be when students were shipped off to college, they would prepare for a career and usually stick with that the rest of their life. Nowadays, college students need to be prepared for encountering many types of technology for their aftergraduation transition into the American workforce. How will they succeed if they are not introduced to as much technology during these critical years? The future prosperity of America and all citizens depends of students having all the skills possible.

  36. K. Williams said

    I’m really glad that CSU-P has not required students to buy technology. I’ve still had to buy a lot of the above mentioned technology, but I’ve been able to pick and choose just what I need to get the job done. It’s been very expensive, which is why I like that CSU-P only charges course fees. I don’t particularly like paying $50 or such for fees, but I’d rather pay that to help the school provide programs and equipment that I don’t have. It may sound pricey, but in the long run it pays off. This is especially helpful given that technological advancements happen so quickly and it is both hard and pricey to keep up with the newest and best.

    As to whether or not schools should force students to own technology, I don’t think it is fair and schools may risk loosing lower income students that are fine journalists but can’t afford the equipment until they are working in their fields. However, I would recommend students buy as much as they can so that they can practice outside of school and never have to worry about fighting for use of school equipment (this is especially helpful during deadlines, midterm, and finals). I also think the same can be said for other departments and not just mass communication.

  37. I discussed this topic with a close friend of mine who is an Art Major and she expressed her deep dislike of how a $35 fee for her class supplies bought her only a single paint brush of low quality, already destroyed after 6 weeks of use, and a group set of paint that is must be returned to the professor after class. This is aggravating, surely, for 3 people to be paying $35 each for a shared kit of 3 inch tubes of paint. I am all for paying higher fees for supplies if it means success in the future and an easier time in college. $75 is a very small price to pay for the immense amount of supplies used up throughout the school year. A new laptop would do me some good, or at least some new software since my MacBook is 3 years old. I know that seems young in general, but as the world of technology is advancing, and Word is no longer using .doc, but .docx, I suddenly feel behind the times and the need for speed is now. I require faster internet, more efficient texting abilities, and larger screens to do multiple tasks at once. Why? All because of my major, as a Mass Communications student. The school should be willing to provide us with the supplies we need, like new software if we do not have it, or a tablet if they decide to require it. It is unreasonable to ask students to dish out $100s of dollars of $1,000s of dollars just because teachers want us to be tech savvy and with the times. A $75 fee, or even an additional $100 fee, seems like a small price to pay into a larger bank, from which students will receive their required equipment to be successful in their chosen fields. Additionally, if students do pay their fees, they should not be given a list of supplies to purchase on their own as well. Perhaps small things like notebooks, writing utensils, and office supplies are not much to ask for, since all students own them from their high school years. Specialty items, however, are novelties in many homes, especially in a low-income area like Pueblo, CO, and would be very appreciated if dedicated students could have access to their own, personal electronic devices.

  38. Greg Burch said

    Having able to pay a couple hundred dollars towards materials/supplies for your major class is no big deal to me. You are paying for what you are going to do with your life and I want to make sure I have everything my class desires me to have to be able to be successful not only in the class but in the working world. Pretty much everything in the world is not free. So I see no big deal to pay another couple hundreds of dollars to be successful in class and in life.

  39. Alexandra Richardson said

    I think that it wouldn’t be a problem to better your selfs education with a few personal supplies. I think many people would be willing to buy supplies for their major without a problem. It would be helpful towards them and make their career that much more successful. Sometimes you have to pay for the best and the best jut may be that one supply you will need. It will help you in the long run!

  40. Vickie said

    It all depends on what the student wants to do with his/her degree. If a Mass Communications major wants to be a journalist or editor then yes, eventually they are going to need specific types of technology anyway. I am a Psych major and although I won’t be editing video any time soon, I am still going to need to write some extensive papers of my own and do research involving others’ research and collecting that of my own. I am strongly considering which type of laptop and applications I will need to help me along my way but since there is a lab for the 207 and 209 classes that are required for my major I wouldn’t mind paying to be able to use them until I can get my own computer. Universities to some extent should be responsible for aiding or at least considering the student when making such requests for a major. It all has to be field specific. If a journalism student is going to just blog all day long then no, they don’t need a fancy camera in order to be enrolled as part of that major at a given school. As far as the iPad, I see it more as a toy than an actual educational tool. Sure its an all in one type of deal but making that specific to a classroom shouldn’t be allowed especially if a student already had a laptop or other kind of technological tool to help them out with a specific class.

  41. John Geonetta said

    As a Art major with an emphasis on Graphic Design and Photography, I know how it feels to have to buy tools and technology for a class and sometimes for just a specific assignment. Every art class carries a few to cover something, I’m usually never informed what that is, but it covers something. Yet I still have to go and buy $20 worth of supplies for every assignment. I had to purchase a new photo editing software, layout software and a new laptop powerful enough to run that software for my Graphic Design and Photography classes. I would gladly pay higher class fees to cover some of the necessary supplies for projects that we pay for and only ever use once. Things that can be used over and over again are what students should have to pay for on their own.

  42. Tyler Hunter said

    I’m a graphic designer studying at the University of North Texas for Art Direction. I’m gonna have to say the most expensive thing for me is a Macbook…. It’s either a car… or a Macbook lol

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