Communication majors to receive Apple laptops

Amanda Hanley

The Department of Communication and UNIT have decided that communication majors will receive Apple laptops starting next fall.

They plan to provide the same level of on-campus services and support as they do for the Dell laptops.

“We are very proud of this new program, which, with UNIT’s help, will enable our students to work on the multimedia applications that are the industry standard for many communication fields,” Department Chairperson Bryan Crable said. “We think that students who are interested in careers or further study in journalism, public relations, advertising and media production will especially benefit from the new Mac laptops.”

UNIT’s Director of Technology Support Services Robin Allen said that UNIT began training its support team for this enterprise last spring.

Members of UNIT underwent a certification course and became more familiar with Apple products as part of this preparation.

“Communication graduates will encounter this kind of technology in the real world upon graduation,” Allen said. “We used a similar rationale for implementing Outlook Express this year. It was a curriculum-based decision because of what communication majors will see in the future.”

Freshmen will still receive a Dell laptop, but when rising juniors who have declared a communication major turn in the Dell, they will receive an Apple.

There will be an “early ship” option to receive it in June before the student’s junior year.

“We are looking at working with Apple to provide a personal purchase Web site in the same way we provide the Dell personal purchase Web site,” Allen said.

Allen noted that they do not yet have a date set for this. “Again, this is another learning experience for us, and we are working with Apple,” she said.

While working with universities is not new for Apple, Villanova’s tightly structured implementation of the laptops is different from most universities.

Instead of having the option to order the computer through the University’s Web site, Villanova communication students will receive it as part of their tuition payment.

Students will also have access to full support and integration into the department’s curriculum.

“We’ve developed a new, cutting-edge undergraduate curriculum, and this initiative is simply a way for us to enhance the experience our students receive in their communication coursework,” Crable said.

There will be a suite of programs already installed on the laptops using iLife, such as Final Cut Express.

How these programs will play a role in the classroom will be up to the faculty.

“Many of our faculty have already been working with Macs, either in their classes or at home, and are now designing some Mac-specific pedagogical applications so that this new technology will allow our students and our faculty to really utilize, and reflect on, the latest computer and communication technologies,” Crable said.