Ichabod shop showcases new technology

Shaun Colins, Washburn Review

Look, in the Ichabod Shop! It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s…

Laptop computers?

Kay Farley, director of the Ichabod Shop confirms that this has been a “long time project” working with Apple for about four years to bring their products to Washburn.

On display are two Apple MacBook Air models with retina display and an HP touchscreen model that runs Windows 8 for students to examine.  

“I’m a firm believer that touchscreens are going to be standard in the next couple of years,” said Doug Lawrence, Ichabod Shop information systems coordinator.

But it’s not just the hardware.

Sales are handled through the website, Ichabodshop.com, where the computers and software can be customized to fit an individual’s needs, all at an academic pricing structure below retail.

 “Software is a pretty important part of what we do here, because we can offer students the academic pricing,” said Lawrence. “Office University right now, we’re selling for $99 it’s a large full suite if you bought it commercially you’d spend almost $600 to get it.” 

Lawrence cautioned that the software model is changing as well.  It used to be that a student could purchase a suite of software and carry it out for the life of the computer, (or longer). But more and more companies are moving toward a limited time license that expires or requires renewal after a set length of time.  

“That’s something that we’re having to deal with and explain to students and everyone else.  Students right now have choices on the shelf… but shortly the low cost academic [pricing] is going to be a subscription based type of application.”

Students will save money over retail pricing, but that’s not the only reason to shop on campus.

“We’re gonna be here” Farley emphasized when asked why should a student elect to buy from the Ichabod Shop. “Our number one priority is the students of Washburn. Whatever we do, we do it with the students… and their best interests in mind so that we can support them.”

Students are the reason the shop expanded it’s merchandise. They will benefit the most from these deals, but so will the Washburn community.

“What we do here at the Ichabod Shop benefits the student and the community campus,” said Farley. “What we do provides revenue, and the revenue provides services and support for the students. The money doesn’t go anywhere else, it stays here on campus.”

While Apple’s display is fairly static, HP will be sending a new model into the store every month.  Lawrence admits that he’s particularly looking forward to next month’s model, which will feature a touchscreen monitor that detaches from the laptop base to be used as a tablet.

Both Farley and Lawrence emphasize the initial display models are just stepping stones to more merchandise and more Apple products, more tablets, and more smart phones in store.  

“The education model is changing,” said Farley. “We’re moving away from the textbook and going more toward technology, and this is a step to support that with our students on campus.”