Devices/Computers

IT Use at Thomas

At Thomas, information technology (IT) is an important tool in education. IT is incorporated into much of the academic curriculum, as well as into many administrative, research, and extra-curricular activities.

Thomas primarily uses one platform for notebooks and desktops; Microsoft Windows, but we also support all major systems. For mobile devices, we primarily use iOS, but support all major systems. Almost all faculty and staff at Thomas College use Windows on a daily basis. After personal contact, e-mail is the primary method of communication for many of our students, faculty, and staff.

Thomas’s Academic Technology Facilities

The College provides many information technology services to enhance learning and living on-campus including state-of-the-art facilities, cloud-based services, Internet and Internet2 connections, Wi-Fi, e-mail, storage, web-based collaboration systems, e-portfolio systems, smart HD-equipped interactive classrooms, a learning management system, video production and editing systems, a variety of software, 275+ workstations, sign-out equipment, dozens of servers and a secure video conferencing system with dial-in phone and recording capabilities.

Each student is assigned an account giving single-sign-on access to Office 365, Google Apps, e-mail, Intranet, and Moodle. A web-based student information system (MyThomas) provides access to class schedules, student grades, student bills, and other information. A Microsoft Campus Agreement allows undergraduate and graduate students to upgrade to the latest version of Windows, download/install Office Pro Plus or Office for Mac and use Office 365 cloud services (including OneDrive, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Office Web Apps and Office Mobile for iPhone/Android/iPad) on five devices for no additional cost while taking courses at the College. Students are also provided with Microsoft Endpoint Protection anti-virus and anti-malware software. Internet and Internet2 access is provided by an 800M connection.

The computer labs and clusters at Thomas are comprised of Windows 8.1 computers. Students have access to printers and computers 24×7 in our academic and residence hall buildings. Technical assistance, training and sign-out equipment is available from our Service Desk in the center of the Alfond Academic Center. Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Publisher), Adobe Creative Cloud, Visual Studio, Project, Visio, Minitab, QuickBooks and many programming languages are available campus-wide.

Information Services, a combined IT Services and Library Services department, is staffed by seven full-time staff and 17 work-study students. The facilities are generally open Monday through Thursday from 7:30am to 11:00pm, Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday 8:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday 1:00pm to 11:00pm. The GPH, Hinman, Bartlett, and Townhouse labs and clusters are accessible 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Student access from off-campus is also available.

Computer Recommendations

We recommend a notebook/laptop computer with either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, with specifications below. Thomas College purchases commercial-grade Dell Latitude E5450 laptops for its faculty, staff, and student sign-out computers with the following specifications.  We recommend the same device for personal purchases to reduce emergency hardware repairs and inconveniences that take student focus away from learning.   The computer specified below is typically between $1,500 and $2,100.  If you would like the lowest-cost device, we have found an ASUS notebook with Windows 8.1 and a touch screen at Sam’s Club for under $300.  Smart phones and tablets may also be helpful to students as a secondary low-cost/smaller device.

  • Intel i7 2.6Ghz, 4M Cache or higher
  • 802.11a/g/n WiFi/WPA2 wireless 802.11a/g/n WiFi/WPA2 wireless with 5Ghz connection
  • 14.0 inch wide (1920×1080) touch LCD display with camera and microphone
  • Intel Integrated Graphics 5500 Media Accelerator
  • 8Gb RAM or higher
  • 256Gb or larger solid state drive (SSD)
  • Wired network (built-in)
  • “all day” Polymer battery (newer technology than Lithium Ion, thinner, smaller)
  • 24×7, on-site next business day 4 (or 5) year warranty with accident insurance (many students need this at least once)
  • (for theft insurance, please add this to your homeowners policy and/or purchase Absolute Computrace for $20+ per year)
  • Available “extras”: backpack, wide screen, AT&T/Verizon broadband cards, fingerprint reader

We recommend you use the following software, but only buy Windows with the computer. Office, anti-malware, etc. is included in your tuition.

  • Windows 8.1 or Windows 10
  • Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013 (Word, Excel, Outlook,PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, OneNote, Office Web Apps)
  • Microsoft Endpoint Protection
  • Adobe Reader

For special Dell pricing for Thomas students, faculty, and staff, go to http://www.dell.com/thomas (Member ID:US126355861).

Compare Dell Latitude notebooks to other models.