Overview: Computer and Web Services
New Mexico State University does not require that its students own a personal computer; however, the majority of the courses offered at NMSU do require documents to be typed and some courses do require documents to be submitted digitally. For their convenience, many students opt to buy or rent a personal computer. For those students who do not have a computer, there are many Student Computing Services (SCS) labs on campus.
New Mexico State University strives to introduce technologies and combine technology resources to produce desired products, solve problems, fulfill needs and/or satisfy wants. At the forefront of eLearning, online learning provides alternatives to the traditional face-to-face mode of course delivery and as NMSU online enrollment suggests, it is among the fastest growing trends in education. Among the eLearning technologies being used at NMSU are Blackboard, Centra, ITV and iTunes.
Student Computing Services' labs are equipped with computers and printers and staffed by a trained lab assistant. There are several computer labs and public workstations located throughout campus. For a complete list of campus labs and hours, see Lab Locations and Lab Hours below. Student Computing Services prides itself in providing services that enhance student learning, among those services are multi-media classrooms, computer rentals and 24/7 computer labs.
24 Hour Lab --Pete's Place
Pete' s Place, located in Corbett Center, is a 24/7 lab. New Mexico State University President William B. Conroy's office and the Associated Students of NMSU (ASNMSU) funded the 24/7 lab which features more than 50 Windows computers, five Macs, two black-and-white printers and one color printer. Additionally, Pete's Place has wireless capabilities. The game room associated with Pete's Place features pool tables, flat screen HDTVs and X-Box 360s that add to the diversity of this student space.
The Internet is a great source for information, entertainment and communication; however, connecting to and using the Internet includes risks such as viruses, hackers and computer crashes. To prevent some of these issues, follow the five easy steps below to keep your computer as up-to-date as possible.
- Use Antivirus Software - Viruses can sneak into your compter simply by connecting to and using the Internet. Viruses can cause file damage and may leave you susceptible to identity theft. New Mexico State University provides free antivirus software called Sophos that you can use to protect your computer against viruses. Go to http:ict.nmsu.edu/software/Licenses/Sophos/ to download and install Sophos Antivirus.
- Install a Firewall - In addition to antivirus software, a firewall can be installed for added protection. It is recommended to install a firewall to safeguard your financial documents, personal information, photos and online communications. The Microsoft website can provide information and a free firewall for Windows computers.
- Update Your Operating System - Keep your Windows operating system current by using Free Automatic Updates.
- Install and Use Antispyware - Spyware programs can get into your system by downloading free software from the Web, clicking on an online advertisement or by visiting a Web site. The spyware program gathers information about the user and sends the information to the companies that created the program. Some of the effects of spyware can be:
•Changing your homepage to a particular Web site
•Producing unwanted pop-up ads - even when your browser is not running
•Causing your browser or system applications to close or crash
•Inferring with your ability to connect to the Internet
•Slowing down your computer at start-up or reducing the performance of
Some commonly used Antispyware programs are:
- Backup Your Important Files - In the event that there is a power failure, your computer becomes infected with a virus or your computer crashes, it is important that you have backed up your important files. External hard drives, flash drives and/or CDs or DVDs are particularly good back-up storage devices.
Computer labs are on a pay-for-print system, which means you pay for your printing. However, if you are a full-time student, your student ID card is encoded with $20 for printing. If you are a part-time student, your student ID card is encoded with $10 for printing. You can add money to your ID card at the Student ID Office or at Pete's Place.
Educational Computer Discounts
New Mexico State University students, faculty and staff can get discounts on computers from Apple, Dell and Gateway. For details about available discounts, visit https://www.nmsu.edu/ONLINE/buy.html.
New Mexico State University students, faculty and staff may rent a computer for a semester from ICT Student Computing Services. All rental computers are equipped with Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Office 2007. For additional information on the rental program, pricing and hardware maintenance, visit http://ict.nmsu.edu/scs/rental.html.
Rental Computer Information
- All rental laptops have wireless capabilities.
- If you are interested in CD burning features, make sure to ask the technician for a computer that has this capability before you sign the rental agreement.
- If your rental computer has a virus or software issue, call 646-4209 or take the computer to Jacobs Hall, Room 121. As part of your rental agreement, technicians will work on the computer at no charge.
- All computers are reformatted when they are returned to ICT Student Computing Services. Remove all your information before you return your rental computer.
- If you wish to keep the rental computer another semester, you must sign a new rental agreement.
If your personal computer does not have the software you need to complete an assignment, you may find it in one of our many computer labs. For a complete list of the software available in each lab, visit http://ict.nmsu.edu/scs/Software/software.html.
You may visit the ICT software site to review links for plug-ins, updates, utilities and browsers that are available.
- Download free software from the ICT software site
- Software available in computer labs
- Purchase software at the NMSU bookstore
- Software FAQs and Documentation
Generally speaking, the following software programs will be needed by the majority of NMSU students:
- MS Word
- MS PowerPoint
- MS Excel
- MS Internet Explorer
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
In the summer of 2008, New Mexico distinguished itself as the first state in the nation to create a statewide eLearning system for its entire constituency. The Council for Chief State School Officers in the North American Council for Online Learning and the Center of Digital Education ranked the state of New Mexico sixth in the nation in terms of policy and practice for its eLearning initiatives.
Online learning or eLearning provides an alternative to the traditional face-to-face mode of course delivery and as NMSU online enrollment suggests, it is among the fastest growing trends in education. Among the eLearning technologies being used at NMSU are Blackboard, Centra, ITV and iTunes.
Blackboard is a web-based interactive eLearning system used at NMSU. It enables instructors to integrate the Internet into course delivery.
Centra is a synchronous web delivery solution for conducting virtual or "live" classroom events through the Internet. A Centra session allows instructors and students to log on to a common event on the web and take part in a lecture, participate in two-way discussions, view slides, share a common application and/or travel to other web sites on the Internet.
iTunes University, commonly referred to as iTunes U, is a web-based service that delivers instructional content via the iTunes program. New Mexico State University has created an iTunes University website and is building a collection of course content.