REXBURG, Idaho — In an effort to further increase the quality of the student experience, Brigham Young University-Idaho is introducing a new initiative strongly encouraging students to obtain and use a laptop computer. The initiative, which has been under development for more than a year, is designed to provide students with better access to network resources and online learning opportunities.

“Students will be equipped with better tools to learn, communicate, organize, and complete assignments. In addition, expenses will be reduced over the long term as students have more access to less expensive learning material,” said Spalding Jugganaikloo, Chief Technology Officer at BYU–Idaho.

“By incorporating the laptop initiative into the learning experience, students will be better prepared for lifelong learning and employment in the information age.”

The laptop will improve student learning by enhancing collaboration and group learning; improving class preparation, research, homework, and study; and facilitating better organization, planning, and scheduling.

The new program will also help incorporate technology into the BYU-Idaho curriculum. Foundations, the university’s new general education courses, are currently being developed along with other curricula that have a greater emphasis on technology and digital resources. The initiative will also encourage internally developed course materials, reference libraries, and resources.

“Faculty will be increasingly encouraged to publish digital resources to supplement and facilitate learning,” Jugganaikloo said. “In some cases, these resources may entirely or partially replace the need for textbooks. E-textbooks will become an optional replacement for heavy and expensive print versions.”

Students will be encouraged to purchase university-recommended laptops. Agreements between BYU-Idaho and vendors will provide students the best price, technology, and technical support. Recommended laptops can be purchased online or at the University Bookstore. Students can also purchase a laptop from an outside source, but they should ensure it meets university specifications.  

A desktop computer is acceptable for students who already have one or for those who are planning to graduate within a year. Students attending BYU-Idaho prior to serving a mission can rent a laptop from the university for up to two semesters.

Students who have financial needs should contact the Student Financial Aid Office to be considered for need-based aid.