Tag Archives: Technology Guide

Technology Guide

You are about to enter college as an Art student! Over the coming years, you will learn loads of new ways to think-act-make as an artist. During that time, you’ll be introduced to a number of digital processes. While some entering first year artists have been using computers daily for art-making others may view this as new ground. In the Foundation program, you will be asked to use a computer daily to check email, upload images, print out images, make videos, and a variety of other tasks. Towards that end, you will need to purchase a computer and other technology to support your learning. In an effort to help you in your search, we have provided the following Technology Guide.

For your first year of study, we highly recommend that you bring to school a laptop computer, digital camera, and printer and a flash drive**, extra printer cartridges, and paper are also recommended. It is convenient to have them on hand and buying them ahead of time may be your least expensive option. We would suggest that you bring with you any of the following if you already OWN them, but they are not required for coursework: cell phone, camera, or digital recorder.

You may find that you already own some of the suggested items. If this is true for you, it is perfectly fine to start the year with what you have and see how they work for your specific needs. If you do need to purchase new, we have found that buying from a reputable online business is one of the most effective ways to get the most for your money. These sites also can provide product information and customer reviews that are very helpful in choosing the best model for your needs.

What model you select will depend on your individual needs, what you want to spend, and your areas of interest. For example, if you intend to study in the Expanded Media Division you may want to consider a more expansive computer or if you plan to study photography, a Digital SLR camera.

You’ll use a computer most days at Alfred, from checking your email (a Foundations requirement) to researching and writing papers, to adjusting images and printing them. A computer is an expensive investment and should be bought according to your needs, so consider several things: where and when will you most likely use it, a Mac or a PC, a laptop or desk model, what level of computer you need, your future goals and how much money you want to spend.

• While the university as a whole uses PCs, the School of Art + Design and most artists/designers use Apple computers. We, therefore, recommend that if you are purchasing a new computer, it be an Apple.

• Watch out for incentives, often you can get a printer or iPod with your computer purchase.

• Many people find that a laptop is the best choice because you can bring it to class, the library or a coffee shop.

*One note, some of you may be considering purchasing an iPad, while this is a great tool, it does have limitations. Please be aware of the differences before you purchase.


NOT REQUIRED, but if you have please bring:

Digital Camera

During the year you will be asked to use a camera for visual research and to document your work.

Most smart phone cameras work really well and this has been a wonderful and affordable option for many students.  If you are interested in photography, you might consider a DSLR camera. This is optional! Foundations also has point-and-shoot cameras to borrow.


There are many printing options on campus, especially in our libraries.

With our hybrid learning model next year, most of your academic work will be online. However, if you want a printer for printing images, readings, source images for paintings, we encourage you to get one, though it is not required!

USB Flash Drive or Thumb drive**
You will need to purchase a flash drive. These small devices make it easy to take your files to a printer or to share images. They hold lots of data and start at about $7 for a 4 Gigabit.

Things to remember
Printer cartridges (online is cheaper)
Inkjet Paper: photo, regular **
Extra storage card for your camera

**Note: Included in Art Kit.

Additional Art-making Tools (bring if you already own)

Cell phone
Digital recorder