Topics Map > Campus Services
Topics Map > Technology Purchasing
ITS FAQ - The Top 5 Questions Parents Ask About Technology - NSR 2020
These are only the top five questions we receive from parents. Feel free to search this knowledge base (KB) for additional information about technology at UW-Platteville.
1. Can I view my student's grades?
Yes! But, only if your student grants you guest access to PASS, the Pioneer Administrative Software System. Depending on the level of access granted by your student, you may be able to:
- Pay/View What They Owe
- View Class Schedule
- View Financial Aid
- View Grades
2. What kind of computer should we buy?
First, ITS does not sell new computers, so you have the option to shop for the best system to suit your student's needs and your budget. Look at computer manufacturer websites for Student or Higher Education Discounts. If searching at a store, ask a salesperson if they offer any student discounts.
The sad reality is that our experience has shown "you get what you pay for." Every manufacturer sells both bad and good computers. It is less about who makes them and more about the quality and price of components. The following is a rough comparison of price ranges and performance based upon our own experiences.
- $500-800: What we typically see on main campus, can last 3-4 years if treated with care, e.g. not stepped on, dropped, spilled on, etc.
- Up to $500: Not uncommon to have these devices visit the ITS Help Desk 3-6 months into the semester with failing hardware, e.g. hard drives, keyboards, displays, etc.
- $800-$1,000+: Typically used by students in STEM majors if they want to use their own device for coursework.
When it comes to computer specs, it all depends on how your student will use the device. A tablet, like an iPad, or a Chromebook is good for taking notes, but won't be able to support most campus software. A laptop is a good, portable option with a full operating system that allows you use standard programs. However, students using their own devices to run STEM software like CAD applications, engineering simulations, and statistical packages will require more horsepower. If your student is in a STEM major, you may want to spend more money to get a more robust computer system. More details and recommended specifications are posted at go.uwplatt.edu/its-nsr-faq.
3. What software deals are available?
Every student has access to download up to 5 copies of the Office 365 applications to their personal devices free of charge for as long as they are enrolled at UW-Platteville. For additional software titles, the WISC Software Catalog provides discounts for UW-Platteville students. New students will get access to the WISC Software Catalog around mid-August.
Students also have access to UW-Platteville's Virtual Labs. These virtual desktops are accessible via a software client installed on the student's personal device. Once logged in, the student has access to general lab software and their network storage as if they are working in a campus computer lab. For more information, see Virtual Desktop - Getting Started in Virtual Labs.
4. How can my student secure their devices?
There are several things students can do to secure their devices. It all starts with physical security.
- Record the make, model and serial number of each device so that it can be identified if lost or stolen.
- Do not leave devices unattended in public areas. If you are going to step away to use the restroom or grab something from the vending machine, take your devices with you.
- Utilize a laptop lock. Similar to a bike lock, a laptop lock can attach the device to a piece of furniture to prevent quick grab-and-go thefts.
- Lock doors when leaving the residence hall.
In addition to physical security, it is important to install anti-virus software to protect against malware. There are many reputable, free products available.
5. Who can we call if we have questions about technology?
This is a great place to start! The ITS Knowledge Base (KB) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and contains over 1,000 articles on campus tech topics from downloading Office 365 apps and connecting to the wireless network to enrolling in two-factor authentication and using PASS. Our KB documents are also searchable from our "home base" at portal.uwplatt.edu: enter the search term and select the Knowledge Base tab for results.
Students, parents, and guests are invited to contact the ITS Help Desk with any additional questions. Follow the ITS Help Desk on Facebook for tech tips, resources, and information throughout the year.
If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit the Help Desk on the first floor of the Karrmann Library.