This year, University of Wisconsin–Stout changed MacBook Pro models from 13.3 inch to a 13 inch. Sasha King, e-Stout program coordinator, explained, “As technology changes, we adapt.” UW-Stout works to obtain the newest, most relevant technology, but some students aren’t appreciating the change. There are clear differences in both MacBooks; the most recent MacBook is thinner and has smaller USB ports. When students were first issued these laptops, they became worried when they noticed there weren’t any “regular” USB ports.
Student Alex Demskie said, “The lack of provided adaptors for USB Type-C has left students paying $30 to $50 on adaptors alone.” They were assured that people, like King, thought this through before implementing the Apple product at UW–Stout.
Students majoring in art (excluding interior design and game design and development), art education, professional communications and emerging media and graphic communications receive these MacBooks. The reason why assigned laptops vary from major to major is based on each major’s faculty leadership. King explains, “Each major has different programs that will be used in their specific workforce. So the faculty really makes the decision on the laptops because they know what will be used more often than most.” Those of us with these new MacBook Pros have nothing to fear. King further explained that the USB-A ports—the “original” USB—are no longer as popular, and that USB-C ports are starting to take over the Apple industry.
During these first few weeks of school, some students were immediately shocked to find that there is not a USB port. Immediately, they began asking questions such as, How are we going to download important documents, print off papers, etc.? Once they found out that there are USB-A to USB-C adapters, many students felt more at ease. “The adapters were going to be a challenge, but I’m happy that they decided to keep the headphone jack. Everyone will be switching to the USB-C,” said King.
All around campus, faculty and staff (including King) are taking steps to incorporate the new laptops and find solutions for students whose laptops don’t have USB-A ports. In the residence halls, the basement printers now have USB-C to USB-A adapters, so that students with these new laptops can print off assignments. The library at campus also provides USB-C adapters. “There are a variety of USB-C adapters to check out. According to the library, the two most popular USB-C adapters that they check out are multi-port adapters to USB-C/VGA/USB and USB-C/HDMI/USB.” King further explains that adapters are available for purchase at the bookstore on campus, and there are even USB-C adapters in the classrooms. If students need any assistance, they can go to the Technology Help Desk, located in room 109 in Millennium Hall.
All in all, King and her fellow colleagues have worked hard to make sure that MacBook users have all the resources they need. There’s no more worry about where you can purchase, find or retrieve one of these USB-C adapters. They’re easily accessible for all students with MacBooks. King’s final remarks were, “… once we learned that Apple was switching to USB-C ports on all new MacBook Pros, we worked with people around campus to prepare for the change, but we are always open to suggestions for how we can help current students make the adjustment and improve our process for the next deployment.” Again, those of us with these MacBook Pros, rest assured that there are USB-C’s all around campus to use.