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Information Technology Services

 

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Students
ext. 3333
717.796.1800 ext. 3333

 

Faculty & Staff
ext. 4444

717.796.4444


STUDENT TECHNOLOGY RECOMMENDATIONS

 

Student Computer Services Introduction

Hopefully the information below helps answer some of those questions and will make your transition to Messiah’s Computing Environment as smooth as possible. If you have any computer questions, please feel free to call Chad Keene or Berte Thompson at (717)796-5039 between 7:15 and 4:30, M-F. Or by email at ckeene@messiah.edu or bthompso@messiah.edu. They are available to answer any computer questions you might have and can help with passwords and MCSquare problems.

 

CELL PHONES

 

Cell Phone Carriers on Campus:

As the importance of cell service to students continues to increase rapidly, we feel it is necessary for Messiah to inform students about what seem to be the most reliable cell service to use on campus. While signal levels for even the best services have issues on certain floors of various buildings, there are several carriers that should be avoided if possible. We are seeing an increasing rate of complaints from those using carriers with poor cell service on campus (T-Mobile, Sprint, and others). Unfortunately, students are arriving on campus with these carriers having just purchased a 2 year contract and they must live with terrible cell service for the next two years. We are hoping that this communication on our part will help resolve some of these problems.

For our location, it is strongly recommended that students come to school with AT&T or Verizon Wireless phones.

 

The two reasons are:

  1. AT&T has the best signal on campus overall. Verizon is edging AT&T at the moment.
  2. We currently have a cell boosting project underway. Our efforts to boost signal levels only do so for AT&T and Verizon. This cell project is very expensive for just the two carriers. After careful consideration it was deemed not practical to add other services to the mix because of the cost.

 

COMPUTERS

Regardless of the type of computer you use during your time at Messiah, we want to offer guidelines that will help ensure the computer you start your college experience with is adequately equipped to carry your through your time here. Therefore, we provide the following basic recommendations:

 

Laptop vs. Desktop vs. Netbook:
Approximately 99% of the students have laptops on campus (although some may also have a desktop in addition to that laptop). We do not recommend the use of "netbooks" as a main PC. Many students that come with netbooks quickly realize that the netbooks just are not what they need as it just isn’t enough.  For students who will be carrying laptops to class, we have found that business class laptops tend to hold up better than consumer class models.

 

Basic Computer Recommendations:
The following list represents configurations that provide the best performance with our learning management system and synchronous software. These are the configurations the College is ready and able to support.

  • i3 processor (i5 or i7 is better)
  • 2 GB of memory/ram minimum (4 GB, or more, is better)
  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 or 8, Mac OS X 10.6 or higher
  • If you plan on putting a lot of pictures, movies and/or music on your PC, you may want a larger hard drive (such as 500GB) 
  • Dual-Band Wireless-N
  • Extended warranty (if financially feasible)
  • USB headset\mic (if course requires it) e.g. Logitech USB
  • Video Camera (if course requires it) Reliable brands include Sony, Kodak and Canon. Department-specific recommendations/requirements will be detailed in the course syllabus.

 

NOTE: Undergraduate ART and MUSIC majors are required to have Mac laptops.

 

For the best online experience, a wired connection will typically outperform a wireless one. 

 

Specific Model Recommendations:
Toshiba and LAM computers are available at LAM Systems (a local Christian computer supplier that has excellent equipment and service). Our sales representative is Dani Sauve, (717) 697-7500 x140

 

 

SOFTWARE

 

Antivirus Software: DO NOT purchase antivirus software. Messiah requires that students use AVG antivirus software. Download AVG now or Student Computer Services will install this for you if you bring your computer to our office (located in the Hoffman building).

 

Office Suite Software: Ex. Microsoft Office 2007 or newer, OpenOffice 3.1, or Google Docs

 

Internet Browser: Mozilla Firefox is currently recomemnded and will maximaze funtionality within the Canvas LMS (Learning Management System).

 

Additional Software: Some courses will require additional software and/or hardware as it pertains to the instruction of the course. These additional requirements will be clearly spelled out in the course syllabi.

 

Need to Buy Software?

Visit the online software store at: http://www.JourneyEd.com/SELECT.  Select Pennsylvania as the state and then select Messiah as the school from the directory. Add desired items to your cart and checkout. Academic verification is required and you can elect to be verified instantly online during the checkout process or fax/email your verification after you place your order. Verified orders ship directly to the customer. (If calling, be sure to tell operator that you attend a "Select Pricing" school to ensure your special pricing.)

 

 

DISTANCE LEARNING

 

If your role requires you to participate via the Internet from off campus, please be aware that the quality of your connection is impacted by a number of issues that are outside of Messiah College's control.

  • Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may impose limits to customer connection speeds that are unsuitable for videoconferencing. (See this list regarding ISP ratings and quality of service, specifically the upload/download speeds they provide, is most important; higher is better)
  • Whether your ISP delivers access to your area with Cable or Fiber
  • The capabilities and age of your modem (older is often unable to take advantage of higher speeds)
  • A wired connection to your router/modem is highly recommended for video conferencing.

 

 

F.A.Q.

 

Frequently Asked Questions of First Year Students:

Do I need to bring a computer to Messiah College?
Messiah College does not require students to bring their own computer. There are 13 labs on campus with over 250 computers available to students 24 hours a day. Note: Undergraduate Art and Music majors are required to have Mac laptops.

What should I bring with me to connect to the network?
Wi-Fi is available in the residences and throughout most of campus if your computer has Wi-Fi built-in then you do not need to bring anything to connect to the network.

 

In each residence hall or campus apartment bedroom there is only one live jack. This means that if two or more students in the same room wish to connect to the internet with a wired connection, they will need to have a hub (RJ45 cable not USB). Hubs are available from Student Computer Services (Hoffman building) A network cable is required for each PC (10-15ft is recommended) plus one to connect the hub to the live jack in the wall.

NOTICE: DO NOT bring a router (wireless or wired) as you will be prevented from connecting through one as routers tend to interfere with our network

Can I send my computer to Student Computer Services to get configured ahead of time?
Yes! We actually prefer it this way as it allows us to get as many done as possible before the "rush" at the beginning of the semester. We also send a "Do It Yourself File" at the beginning of August.

Computers may be shipped to following:
Messiah College
Chad Keene
One College Ave - Suite 3055
Mechanicsburg PA 17055

Computers will be configured and ready for pickup when the student arrives on campus.

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