SOC recommends any current model of the 13" or 15" MacBook Pro, or one that meets the current specifications for those models.
The educational discount prices from Apple start at $1,199 (July 2015) for the 13- inch to $2,299 for the 15-inch. The decision will be yours, likely based on your preference for portability, comfort, speed and cost.
If you are not purchasing a new computer, the bare minimum computer specs for your existing computer is a MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM. If you are not sure about your current laptop's capabilities, contact the SOC Techline at (202) 885-3570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any MacBook Pro purchased in the last year will have the right processor and video card. MacBook Airs and MacBooks do not meet the minimum required specs.
- Open Office (free)
- GoogleDocs (free)
- FTP Client FileZilla (free)
- Text Editor: TextWrangler (free)
Your instructor will specify which video editing and graphics software packages your class will use, so it's best to wait to make your purchases. Here are some examples of programs your instructor may recommend you to buy Adobe Creative Cloud, including Photoshop, Premiere, and other programs, now monthly subscriptions for the current educational monthly pricing.
External Portable Hard Drive--fast enough to capture video--at least 1 or 2 TB.
Earphones: High-quality "earbuds" or over-the-ear style headphones.
JDS students must register their own domain names and host their own Web sites as part of this program. We strongly encourage you to add to your site during/after each class, so you can build your portfolio as you proceed. We recommend that students sign up for web hosting with bluehost.com.
We recommend that you do not purchase your camera before your first visual classes in case the instructor has chosen a different model. You may wish to plan for the expense.
However, we currently recommend the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 for both stills and video at around $400. The instructor will teach from one camera. But at a minimum you should have a good quality digital camera for stills (10 megapixels or better) and a small HD video camera.
In addition, digital reporters should always carry portable video and audio recorders. You may already own gear similar to the products listed below. Students in the JDS program do not have to have these items for the first class.
Flash Memory USB Thumb drive: 4 - 16 GB
Digital Audio Recorder: Zoom H-1 Kit ($100) or equivalent
Lavaliere microphone: Pearstone omni-directional ($25) or equivalent
This is recommended but not required: Hand-held microphone: Electro-Voice 635A ($140)