A Boise State University proposal that students carry laptop computers to class by the year 2000 has been canceled after students complained that the computers cost too much and faculty members said they needed more training.
But university officials have not given up on the idea. "I believe students will have to have laptop access or personal computers," said Jim Haskett, director of the Office of Information Technology. "The time frame is another issue."In August, Boise State President Charles Ruch suggested that the campus consider a laptop computer requirement by 2000. Computers would let professors extend their instruction range.
But in a campus survey, students said laptops, with a price tag of $2,000, would be like adding another year of tuition.
Faculty training also would be expensive, said Carolyn Thorsen, Boise State's director of technology programs. Training the education department's faculty would cost $80,000, she said.
Boise State's decision moves away from the trend toward personal computers in higher education. The University of Florida, with 42,000 students, just adopted a computer requirement. Other schools provide computers for students for a semester fee of $300-$500.