FAQs

Don’t risk hearing it through the grape vine. Get your information from the source. Here is the truth about some of the common myths about the laptop requirement:

Myth 1) MIAD is requiring all students to buy a new MacBook Pro.

Truth) The MacBook Pro is the recommended laptop because of its durability, hardware specifications, and its reputation as the art and design industry standard. This does not mean that another type of laptop would be best for you. Please see the hardware page for more information.

Myth 2) MIAD is slowly removing all labs since the laptop requirement is in place.

Truth) The current lab count is where the school is planning on staying for the foreseeable future. There are even spaces in the school that are available for laptop use, like the Cintiq lab, and work stations in the library.

Myth 3) Laptops are replacing traditional artistic tools.

Truth) MIAD will continue to push the development of all artistic media, be it painting, drawing, sculpting and all traditional skills. Laptops are here to enhance the learning experience, give greater access to inspiration, and develop yourself as a professional.

Myth 4) MIAD is going to a paperless system.

Truth) Moving toward a digital-based learning style will not replace the need for physical handouts, brochures, or assignments sheets. Some instructors will decided that saving paper and doing things online may be a better course of action, others may not. There will be no school-wide policy on going paperless.

Myth 5) MIAD is trying to profit off of the laptop requirement.

Truth) MIAD receives zero compensation from any company, business, or industry due to the laptop requirement. The process of having each student purchase their own laptop removes MIAD from having any financial attachment to the laptop and software suppliers. MIAD actually spends money to better facilitate laptops.

Myth 6) MIAD will start to shift to an online school.

Truth) MIAD has no plans now or in the future of offering online courses. MIAD knows how important hands-on learning is, and will continue to provide education in the arts in this fashion.


Why is MIAD requiring laptops?
Over the past several years, MIAD had been looking into the benefits, the drawbacks, and the logistics of requiring each student to purchase and own a personal laptop. This process has lead to new ways of thinking about education, delivering information, and creating a community amongst the student body and faculty. The benefits of Open Book can be found in the 7C’s:

  1. Communication: Communication among students and between students and faculty will be on the same level.  Whether it be via social media, email, or forums, every student will have full capabilities to communicate ideas, questions, and concerns to each other and to their teachers.
  2. Coordination: Working with other students, staying on top of deadlines, and creating connections between you and others at MIAD will be much easier. Knowing that everyone has the same access to information will help with confidence in group projects, as well as making new connections with students and faculty from other majors.
  3. Contemporary Learning: The future of education is digital. Schools from elementary through college are making the transition toward laptop-based curricula. Now is the time to embrace this trend and utilize it to better educate MIAD students both in and out of class. Greater accountability will also provide better education to all students.
  4. Contemporary Creating: New avenues of creativity are open to all students. Fine artists will benefit from using digital technology for creating works of art, 2D, 3D, and 4D. Laptops will also bridge the gap between fine arts and design students, allowing for more artistic connections between the disciplines.
  5. Community: When each student has the ability to create, communicate, and coordinate, equality is universal. The MIAD community will be stronger as each student is on the same level of technology. Working together on projects, sharing ideas, and discovering new technologies to aid in artistic development will all be easier and portable when each student has their own laptop. As a laptop learning community, MIAD will be distinct from other art & design schools.
  6. Control:You will be empowered by owning your own laptop. You will have the freedom of mobility with the freedom of customization. There are no restrictions because it is your own personal property. Software, entertainment, even painting it allows you to personalize your laptop without the concerns of leasing or returning it to MIAD. Have fun and confidence knowing it is your own.
  7. Confidence: Confidence comes from knowledge, and that is what Open Book Learning is all about. Knowing you have the best hardware, software, and communication will help provide focus for what is really important: education.

Why is MIAD recommending a MacBook Pro?
We recommend this model because whatever major you decide on, this computer will cover your needs. Choosing another machine may or may not get you by, but with the suggested laptop we can assure you are covered. Additionally, faculty use Macbook Pros.

What software comes with the Mac?
Every Mac comes preloaded with the iLife suite—including iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand and iWeb. The iLife suite enables you to incorporate digital photos, video, and music into your coursework. For additional software titles, such as Photoshop and Microsoft Office, you can receive a substantial educational discount at journeyed.com. Please see our software page to review the required software according to major.

What are the advantages of the Mac OS X operating system?
Only a Mac has an operating system, hardware and software built by the same company, so everything works together seamlessly and reliably. Beneath the surface of Mac OS X lies an industrial-strength UNIX foundation hard at work to optimize computing performance and protect against crashes. Time-tested security protocols in Mac OS X are designed to keep your Mac out of harm’s way. Since the Mac is a truly integrated system, one phone call resolves most technical support issues.

How secure is a laptop at MIAD?
MIAD has always provided studio space and lockers for students. However, it is still the students’ responsibility to keep track of their possessions. In order to be as secure as possible, students may want to consider purchasing a lock for their laptop, which can keep a laptop secure on and off the MIAD campus. Kensington is a time-tested company that has developed a locking system that works to provide additional security for laptops. Information on the MicroSaver keyed notebook lock can be found on the Kensington website. Additionally Kensington lock-compatible laptops lockers are located on the 2nd floor across from the Technology Services Desk. For insurance options see our insurance options page.

What support does Apple provide?
Every MacBook Pro comes with 90 days of toll-free phone support and a one-year limited warranty. Customized One to One personal training sessions are also available at your local Apple Store. You get expert advice and assistance from those who know the products best, because Apple designs the hardware, the operating system and the software. Also available is the AppleCare Protection Plan, offering years of extended support. The cost of the Recommended Laptop includes 3 years of Apple Care.

This seems very expensive. Will there be financial aid available? YES!
We understand that purchasing a brand new MacBook Pro, or any other laptop is not cheap. Since laptops are required, we will be offering financial aid for those students that need help with payment. Please see our financial aid page to get more information about the financial aid process.

Will a Mac work with the campus network? YES!
Every MacBook Pro comes with built-in wireless capability, so you can connect to MIAD’s network.

Does Apple offer educational discounts? YES!
As a student attending an institute of higher education, you are eligible for substantial educational discounts on a Mac and on Apple software. Just take a look at www.apple.com/edu/miad.
Am I required to get a MacBook Pro? No.
It is your choice on which computer to purchase, since it will be your own computer. If you decide you would rather purchase a PC laptop, that is perfectly acceptable, however there is no student discount plan. Discounted software will still be available for PC users. PC laptops will also work fine on the MIAD network. To ensure your PC laptop (or the one you are interested in purchasing) is capable of running the required software, please check the system specifications on our hardware page.

I’m considering going into a major than uses mostly Windows OS only applications. Is a MacBook Pro still best for me?
The suggested Macbook Pro has the power to get you through whatever major you choose. Additionally Macs have the capability to be set up to dual boot, meaning boot into a Windows operating system or Mac operating system. This means regardless of what operating system an application may run on, it will work on a Macbook Pro.