One of the questions I would get from people when talking about my college dorm at college transition events would be about what technology/devices were in my dorm room, and why I chose to use those devices over others. While I recognize that everyone has different preferences for technology, I’m happy to share the devices that worked well for me and provide resources where people can learn more about how I made these choices. Here is a post round up of all the technology items I have talked about that were in my college dorm for four years.
HP Sprout desktop computer
The HP Sprout is a desktop PC that runs Windows 10 software. It can do anything that a standard desktop computer can do, including run applications, access the internet, and help with communication. However, the HP Sprout has many additional hardware and software capabilities built in that make it awesome for creative projects, as well as many accessibility features. I purchased the HP Sprout in August 2015 from the Microsoft store near my college, and still use it now that I don’t live in the dorm- it is an awesome desktop computer, and I’m glad that I brought a desktop computer with me to college!
- HP Sprout For Low Vision Accessibility Review
- How I Use The HP Sprout To Improve My Handwriting
- Why I Brought A Desktop Computer to College
I chose to get a Microsoft Surface for college because it’s a lightweight computer that can run the powerful applications I need for my data science classes. Some colleges or degree programs may have more specific requirements for what operating systems or computers are needed for classes, though my major did not have any of these requirements. I primarily used my desktop computer for completing homework and classroom assignments, and used my laptop in classes or when traveling- I could have gotten away with just having a desktop computer, but I’m glad I had the laptop as well.
- Questions To Ask When Choosing A Laptop For College
- Low Vision Accessibility Settings For Windows 10
- How To Make Keyboards Easier To See
I use my iPad more often than my laptop in the classroom, as it contains apps that I use for all of my classes including notetaking apps, my textbooks, my email, and so much more. I’ve written extensively about how I use my iPad as assistive technology on my website and have linked my iPad post category below.
- How I Arrange My iPad Homescreen
- How To Make iPad Accessible for Low Vision
- iPad post category on Veronica With Four Eyes
The Chromecast is a device that allows users to connect their computer, tablet, or phone to their TV. The device is plugged into an HDMI port on the TV, and it also uses a power outlet. By using the same wifi hotspot as the other device, the Chromecast can project internet tabs, apps, and more, acting as a second screen for various types of content. The standard Chromecast broadcasts up to 1080p and costs $35, while the Chromecast Ultra can broadcast in 4K resolution and costs $69- I have had the standard Chromecast for a few years now and love it, and paired it with a TV monitor that sat on a TV stand in my room.
Some of the reasons I chose to use the Chromecast include:
- I only have to turn on the TV and tap two icons on my devices to start casting, instead of having to connect one of my devices to the TV with different cables
- Many of the apps that I use in my virtual classes support playback with Chromecast
- It works across all of my devices- I can easily cast content from my iPad, Google Chrome browser, and Android phone
- I can use the Chromecast with any size TV, and as long as I am logged into the same wifi network as the device, I don’t have to enter any additional information- I can use my friend’s Chromecast with no issues
- For my web browser and iPad, I can use other apps at the same time as the Chromecast and not have to worry about keeping my screen on the content I’m casting
I love using my phone as assistive technology in class and frequently rely on my cell phone for communication, captioning, and a variety of other tasks. While users will be able to use an iPhone or other non-Android phone, I prefer to use Android because of the customization options and because I don’t like the way other phones feel in my hand.
- How I Use My Phone As Assistive Technology In Class
- Using Google Live Transcribe With Low Vision
- How To Write Emergency Medical Information For Android 10
I was able to get a printer on super sale shortly before college, and it was cheaper for me to have the printer in my room than it would have been for me to print copies of assignments at the library. I would store my printer on top of my mini-fridge next to my desk so that I could easily print or scan items as needed. When my brother started going to the same college, we moved the printer to his dorm so we could share it- at this point, I wasn’t printing out a ton of items for my classes so it made more sense for him to have it.
- Ten Benefits of Having A Family Member at the Same College
- How I Set Up My College Desk
- Choosing Technology: Printer
Amazon Echo Dot
I love using my Echo Dot as a voice assistant to help with tasks such as setting alarms, checking the weather, and researching information. I have several posts on my website all about other ways that I have used the Alexa and the skills available on the Amazon website which are linked below.