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Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:46 pm
by Sandy
Sarah's our 1st so we're not sure what will work best computer wise for college next year. Originally we were just planning on getting her a laptop for college but now we wonder if and Ipad2 wouldn't work just as well? She has a full size computer that's only 2 yrs old that she could take with her also but we thought the ipad2 might be more convenient for classes.

Any thoughts? Are very many of your college kids textbooks in ebook format? What did you do and how did it work? Would you have done anything different?

Thanks in advance. Any advice would be appreciated. :D

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:20 pm
by Esther
Matt has a laptop and it seems to work well for him. Consider however that 95% of his classes are music in nature. Not much in the way of the usual lecture format. He & his roommate are sharing a printer this year. As far as textbooks, he has not needed very many which is wonderful, again due to the nature of his major.

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:34 pm
by Sue
Both of my college kids have laptops. So far no textbooks available electronically, although that is bound to change (or, one would hope that is bound to change.) :roll:

I don't believe they take the laptops to class for note-taking, but maybe they do. I haven't thought to ask.

Just FYI typing on the glass screen on an ipad is very different than a traditional keyboard. I don't care for it and wouldn't like it for note-taking. You can get an add-on keyboard, but it's just another thing to cart around.

Frankly, I would ask the college/university admissions office what they suggest since each campus is different and some may have made the switch to e-textbooks and/or have a campus preference for mac vs pc. Many kids don't have printers - there are always printers available on campus to use. My kids both got free printers with their laptops, so they have them. Can't say how much they use them.

How's that for a non-answer!

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:04 pm
by wanda
I would touch base with the school regarding their preference. Assuming they don't care, I vote laptop. It is my understanding there are functions the Ipad can't handle, can't remember but maybe spreadsheets???

My kids do not take their computer to class, although I thought they would. They do take them to the library and both have prefered working in the library because of the lack of distractions. Both kids went off to school with a printer that has scanning capabilities. Far more cost effective than paying to use what is available on campus (at UWF, anyway), and much more convenient.

Ebooks just don't work well for Courtney, as she prefers something in her hand. Brian, we will see. They weren't available when he was in college last, but he may choose one this go round and I think ebooks will work for him.

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:30 pm
by erin
I hate ebooks for text books. You can't just flip through and easily search for stuff. Especially with online classes, it is really tough.

I only use a laptop. Taking anything into class to take notes would be too difficult for me, although I probably type faster then I write, it would be really distracting too. So, it isn't my kid in college, but me in college instead. :)

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:54 am
by Nancy
All the college kids I know have laptops.

I'm not a fan of e-books either. I have a nook that doesn't even stay charged (though I will fire it up for a trip next week for convenience). Something about *feeling* a book that I like!

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:05 am
by RhondaS
Laptop here, too. Ryan does take his to class, but he's in digital imaging, so he needs it for projects, not necessarily notes. He's actually considering buying a desktop because his programs take up a lot of space and he needs more memory. But for a "normal" major, I'd think a laptop would be preferable.

He hasn't used ebooks yet, but again, his major doesn't require a lot of books.

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:00 am
by Tammy
Sue wrote:Both of my college kids have laptops. So far no textbooks available electronically, although that is bound to change (or, one would hope that is bound to change.)


Dh's younger cousin is in college, and his school (Bryant University in Rhode Island) does offer e-versions of all the textbooks. In fact, they are much cheaper than the hard copy versions. That said, I agree with Erin and the others who prefer the old fashioned kind myself. I have heard, though, that finding info quickly within the e-version can be a lot easier -- search functions, etc. You can even highlight info on the iPads.

I'm wondering what things will be like by the time Alec gets to college...

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:12 am
by Tina
Just spoke to my friend. Her daughter is currently in college and she has a laptop and brings her flash drive to the library to print. For the classes she takes, they don't have ebooks available.

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:24 am
by Sue
Tammy wrote:
Sue wrote:Both of my college kids have laptops. So far no textbooks available electronically, although that is bound to change (or, one would hope that is bound to change.)


Dh's younger cousin is in college, and his school (Bryant University in Rhode Island) does offer e-versions of all the textbooks. In fact, they are much cheaper than the hard copy versions. That said, I agree with Erin and the others who prefer the old fashioned kind myself. I have heard, though, that finding info quickly within the e-version can be a lot easier -- search functions, etc. You can even highlight info on the iPads.

I'm wondering what things will be like by the time Alec gets to college...


I think that e-books are much cheaper is why the textbook companies will drag their feet. Right now they have a new crop of customers every semester who need to purchase a new version of the textbook (because professors are notorious for switching to the newest version of the book - they give you the ISBN for the book they want you to have. It's harder and harder to buy used books for that reason, and it's not unusual for new textbooks to run $200-$300 each.)

Of course the textbooks our kids use in school cost this much too, it's just that school systems don't purchase new copies every year.

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:03 pm
by erin
Tammy wrote:
Sue wrote:Both of my college kids have laptops. So far no textbooks available electronically, although that is bound to change (or, one would hope that is bound to change.)


Dh's younger cousin is in college, and his school (Bryant University in Rhode Island) does offer e-versions of all the textbooks. In fact, they are much cheaper than the hard copy versions. That said, I agree with Erin and the others who prefer the old fashioned kind myself. I have heard, though, that finding info quickly within the e-version can be a lot easier -- search functions, etc. You can even highlight info on the iPads.
I'm wondering what things will be like by the time Alec gets to college...


I don't find it easier at all. Nothing like being able to flip through the index of your text book, find the pages and go stright there. With the search, you got a lot of random stuff. Its like google search vs. direct links. I'd rather stick with the direct link if I can.

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:12 pm
by WorkingMomx3
Colin has a laptop - HP. He wants a mac now. No ebooks for him (engineering major). Again - I would talk to the admissions and more importantly, the department Sarah is interested in. What does she want to study?

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:36 pm
by mamaotter
I don't know about ebooks and note taking - but I certainly wouldn't want to type a whole paper on an ipad!

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:20 pm
by Linda
Simon got given a hand-me-down laptop but he ended up passing it along to me as he discovered that he didn't like using a laptop. He uses a desktop. I'll be honest, I'm not a big laptop fan either. So my suggestion is that whatever you're looking at, see if you can find someone who has one similar and is willing to let her try it out - for searching, for typing, for watching video etc...

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:47 pm
by Sandy
Everyone, thanks for the input. Sounds like a laptop would be the best choice. I'm going to call the school tomorrow and see what they recommend. Sarah hasn't decided exactly what she's majoring in but she's leaning towards Marketing. We figure the 1st couple years are all the basic classes anyways so it's no rush to decide. My main concern with the ipad was the problem of transferring files to her desktop. I'm not sure I could take class notes on an ipad or a laptop. I need to be looking at people(professors) when they are talking and alot of times my notes in college were all over the page since I would always seem to need to add to something we already covered. I would love to see more text books in ebook format but like Sue mentioned since ebooks are usually cheaper so text book companies are in no rush.

Thanks again! Once it's all said and done I'll post what we decided but for now it's looking like a laptop.

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:08 pm
by Lora
One nice thing about a lap top would be if she was meeting a group or partner to work on a project and they could both bring their laptops to the library or wherever. They could use the wireless network to search and to share info with each other and perhaps work on a Google doc each from their own computer.

Obviously I am too old to have used computers in college (I had an electric typewriter!) My kids are too young. A desktop and flash drives are great, but I have been in situations where I really liked being able to bring my laptop to work on a group project even as an adult not in school! (I worked with others over the mess our school district created and now am part of a group working to make real improvements in trying to narrow our achievement gap in MN which is one of the worst in the USA.)

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:47 pm
by Esther
Sandy, where is Sarah going to college?

Lora, I laughed at your comment (in a good way) b/c my graduation gift from HS in 1983 was an electric typewriter. My kids can't even imagine a typewriter nowadays. Think about the last time when you saw IRL!

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:37 pm
by mobetsy
I have a typewriter in one of our closets. I toy with getting rid of it,and then I picture a power outage with a sermon the next day...much easier to preach from a typed manuscript than handwritten notes!

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:44 pm
by RhondaS
I actually just bought a new typewriter for work the other week. There are sometimes when I have to use one - filling out bid forms, labeling folders, etc. Not something most people need, but sometimes it's nice to have!

Re: Kids in College - computer, laptop, ipad ?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:34 am
by Esther
Rhonda, where do you even buy a typewriter? I have not seen one in any office supply store in years and years....