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Student Technology Checklist

For First-Year, Exchange, Transfer & Current Students

Top Tips for First Years, Transfers & Exchange Students

1. Initialize your official Macalester College account
Information Technology Services (ITS) will send an email message with the subject “Initialize your Macalester Account” to your personal email address on file with Admissions (ACTC students should expect this email message to be sent to your college email address). Read it carefully and follow the instructions to initialize your official Macalester College account.

2. Sign into your Macalester Gmail account and turn on Google 2-Step Verification
Follow the enroll prompts from Google when you log in or review get started wtih 2-Step verification. You’ll get 30 days—and more if you need it—after your first Google/email account login to turn on Google 2-Step Verification.

3. Set up Duo Mobile app for 1600grand
The very first time you log into 1600grand, Duo Mobile 2-factor authentication is required. Follow the instructions in our Duo Mobile Setup Guide to get ready to use the Duo Mobile app.

4. Claim your Zoom Meeting license
You’ll need to sign in with SSO to set up your Zoom account with our site license.


✓ Know how to get help
ITS Help Desk |  [email protected] | 651-696-6525 | Humanities 316 | Start a chat |

✓ Forgot your password?

No problem! You can reset it yourself with our self-service password reset tool. Go to and click Forgot Password. Checkout the password requirements and how to change or reset a forgotten password.

✓ Check your email regularly
Sign in with your email address at

Get Your Technology Ready

✓ Purchase technology at a discount
You can purchase a laptop, tablet and other technology from Apple, Dell and other tech companies who offer education discounts for personal computer purchases.

✓ Download software for class
Course-specific software is available for download at no cost or can be accessed in computer labs. Microsoft Office is available to students at no cost as part of our Microsoft volume licensing agreement. software download | Microsoft Office for Windows (gdoc) | Microsoft Office for macOS (gdoc)

✓ Review technology packing list

Do bring

  • Laptop and charger. Laptops are strongly recommended for all students. ITS supports both Windows and macOS. Review the minimum recommended computer specifications. 
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Earbuds or headphones
  • External hard drive – for backing up your laptop

Don’t bring

  • Wireless printer
  • Wireless router
  • Ethernet cable, pick one up for free in the ITS Help Desk instead
  • Other networking devices. ITS will block devices that cause problems for others.

Keep Your Data Secure

✓ Turn on 2-factor authentication for your Google & 1600grand account

✓ Make a plan to back up your data and stick to it
Question: When would be a good time for your hard drive to fail and to lose all of your classwork? Answer: Never. Reduce your chances of losing valuable data by choosing a backup solution that’s right for you.

✓ Use a password manager (optional)

✓ Set up your VPN for remote connections
Use GlobalProtect for Macalester’s VPN to securely connect your laptop, smartphone or tablet to our network when you are not on campus. VPN setup guides for macOS, Windows, Chromebook

✓ Start serial number tracking sheet
Get it logged. Get it back. Keep track of your stuff by recording the serial number and description in a Google Spreadsheet. serial number tracker template (gsheet)

eduroam (wifi) & Gadgets

✓ Set up your laptop, smartphone or tablet to use eduroam wifi
You don’t have to be on campus to use eduroam’s configuration assistant tool to install and enable the service before arriving at Macalester. Once on campus, just select eduroam from the list of available wireless networks. eduroam connection guides

✓ Register gaming device or smart TV for network use
If you are planning on bringing a gaming device or smart TV to campus, its MAC address must be registered before connecting to the network. Once here, connect your device in the Residence Halls with an ethernet cable or on the Macalester Gadgets wireless network. Macalester Gadgets connection guides 

Computer Labs, Printing, and Technology Checkout

✓ Visit computer labs
Public computer labs are located in the residence halls and Library. Academic departments also offer specialized computer labs for student use. In some cases, students may use a virtual computer to access specialized software for course work.

✓ Set up your uniFLOW account and associate it with your MacPass to start printing
There is no charge for students to print. Printers and multifunction printing devices are available in the dorms, Campus Center, Library and Humanities Building.  uniFLOW: Student Printing Services

✓ Checkout tech equipment from the Digital Resource Center
Students can checkout technology equipment at no cost from the Digital Resource Center. Book and browse equipment via ITS TechCheckout.

Streaming TV, Movies, and Music

✓ Stream live TV legally
Stream live TV from on campus and thousands of Xfinity On Demand shows and movies directly to your laptop, desktop and mobile devices at Additionally, you can use your Macalester credentials to log into over 90 TV Everywhere apps when off-campus. 

✓ Find out how sharing music and movies could get internet connection turned off
Find out what it means to be a responsible user of technology services. Locate legal resources for online movies, television shows, and music. When students violate copyright laws, owners take action.  Information Technology Responsible Use  |  Filesharing  |  Digital Copyright Violations