Tech Essentials for New Students

To help ensure your success at Luther College, please review the technical requirements for all new students. Completing the requirements will allow you to have the best possible experience while at Luther College and ensure you are set up for success at registration and orientation.

Before ROAD and Registering for Classes

Change your Norse Key password

Your Norse Key is the username and password you will use to log in to almost every Luther service, including your Luther Norse Mail and Norse Hub. Norse Hub is where you’ll register for classes during ROAD. Your Norse Key was mailed to you on a red sheet of paper within your deposit packet. Please change your password to something more memorable at Choose something strong and unique. If you cannot find your Norse Key information, please contact the Technology Help Desk prior to ROAD.

Sign in to your Luther email

Start checking your Norse Mail on a regular basis. Important information regarding registration, move-in, and orientation will be sent to your Norse Mail. To access your Norse Mail, log in with your Norse Key username and password at You'll have your Norse Mail account while you're a student at Luther and you should only use it for school. Please use another email for personal, non-school communication.

Turn on 2-Step Verification

All Luther Norse Mail accounts must have Google 2-Step Verification enabled. Turn this on the first time you sign in. After your first login you have 14 days to enable 2-Step Verification or your account will be suspended and you will need to contact the Technology Help Desk. If you need help or more information on the process, our 2-Step Verification guide is a good starting point.

Turn on Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Norse Hub, along with many other Luther services, is protected by a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) sign-in that uses your Norse Key. This is a separate sign-in and multi-factor process than the one for your Norse Apps (i.e. email.) Visit to set up or alter your Multi-Factor Authentication settings. If you need help or more information, our Multi-Factor Authentication page is a good starting point.

Know how to get help

If you can’t find your Norse Key, are having trouble resetting it, or ever forget it, contact the Technology Help Desk. The Technology Help Desk is here for any technology problem you encounter as a student. We help with all kinds of questions, like assisting you with Luther’s online services, troubleshooting problems on your personally-owned computer, or training you to use software for class. Our team is made up of students just like you—consider joining our team.

Technology you can bring to campus

What you bring to campus is largely a matter of personal preference, but we do have recommendations for what works well. If you plan to access the internet using your device, you need to register it after you get to campus. This includes computers, phones, tablets, game consoles, smart TVs, etc.

Personally-owned computers and other devices

Most students bring personally-owned computers to campus, but it’s not required. Broadly speaking, most students are best served by a traditional Mac or Windows laptop. If you are a student who is thinking about buying a computer, Apple, Dell, and many other manufacturers will give you a discount if you use your Luther email.

Other personally-owned devices are also welcome on campus, though some have  troubles because they weren’t designed for a campus environment. The only prohibited devices are those that broadcast a wifi signal as part of normal operation, like routers, certain wifi-enabled printers, or some NAS backup solutions like the Apple Time Capsule. We’re not concerned about devices that generate temporary wifi signals during setup.

For more information about devices on campus, visit our Personally-Owned Computers and Other Devices page.

Cell phones

Northeastern Iowa’s topography, while beautiful, can be challenging for cellular signals. CDMA carriers like Verizon and US Cellular have strong support, but GSM carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint don’t have many towers regionally, though there is a GSM tower on campus. If you’re having trouble getting a strong signal, we first recommend hard rebooting your phone to force it to update its list of towers. If that doesn’t work, you can call your provider or enable wifi-calling.

If you don’t have a phone or can’t get any signal at all, we recommend that you use an Authenticator app for your 2-Step Verification and Multi-Factor Authentication.

Software you need

Google Apps (a.k.a. Norse Apps)

Your email is just one part of a larger suite we call Norse Apps. Norse Apps is the most widely used software service on campus. Norse Apps includes Gmail (a.k.a Norse Mail), Calendar, Drive, Hangouts and Meet, the Google productivity suite (i.e. Docs, Slides, Sheets, and others), and many other services. We have support pages and  Google Tutorials to help you use and navigate Norse Apps.


If you bring a Windows or Mac computer to campus, it needs to have an anti-virus. Windows has Windows Defender pre-installed. We also recommend Sophos, which can be downloaded for free at We don’t recommend using a trial period anti-virus if you have no intention of renewing it indefinitely.

Optional: Microsoft Office 

As an alternative to Google Docs, Microsoft Office is available to current students and employees on personally-owned and Luther-owned devices.

On personally-owned devices, students can visit and either use a web-based version of Microsoft Office 365 or download the core Microsoft Office 365 apps. Office is preinstalled on Luther-owned computers, including those in labs and classrooms.

If you’d like use Microsoft Office 365, you can find instructions here.


The software listed above is only some of the software you’ll use at college—just enough to get started. You’ll likely have cause to use our computer labs for specialty software or need to download other software for class. Luther provides some of that software for free, and often you can use your email address to get discounts on software straight from the developer.

Sites you’ll use is where you reset your Norse Key password. As mentioned previously, your Norse Key username and password are used to sign in to almost everything, including all the sites below.

Norse Hub

Norse Hub  is where you register for classes, plan your academic career, see your financial aid, pay bills, and more. If you want to give your parent or guardian access to your final grades or financial information, you do that in Norse Hub. To learn more about Norse Hub please visit our Norse Hub overview.


Many classes use KATIE. If your course uses KATIE, it will appear on your KATIE home page the day after you register for classes. Instructors use KATIE to distribute documents and readings. It also allows students to submit assignments, complete quizzes and tests, review grades, and more.


PaperCut is part of how you’ll print when you’re on campus. After you’ve installed a campus printer, you’ll use PaperCut to pay for your print jobs. Paying for the print job releases it to the printer to be printed. We grant students an allowance for printing every semester that is more than enough for most students. Learn more PaperCut and Printing at Luther.


There are many other sites you’ll use while you’re at Luther. Most will use your Norse Key to log in. If you’re looking for information on another site, you can often learn more on the Technology Help Desk website.

Services we offer

Technology Help Desk

Contact the Technology Help Desk anytime you have a question about technology or a problem with one of Luther’s services. We most commonly help incoming students connect to Luther’s internet, install printers, turn on 2-Step Verification, enable Multi-Factor Authentication, and reset Norse Key passwords. We can also teach you how to use software, troubleshoot problems with your computer, repair your laptop, and provide many other services. 

Digital Media Center

The Digital Media Center in Preus Library is half lab and half studio: The lab has high-end computers for photo, media, or video editing; the studio has a green screen and equipment for photo or video shoots. Staff is available to help with media conversion, event recording or streaming, and classroom technology.

Equipment Checkout from Circulation Desk

At the Circulation Desk in Preus Library, students can check out digital video cameras, external hard drives, laptops, headphones, and computer and phone chargers. Some items like laptops and chargers are meant for short term use within the Library, whereas other items can be checked out for longer periods and can leave the library.

When you arrive on campus

Register devices

Every device that uses the internet needs to complete a short registration process. This includes computers, phones, tablets, game consoles, smart TVs, etc. You can register most devices on your own. If you have questions, contact the Technology Help Desk.

Install Printers

After you install printers, you can print to Luther printers from your own computer—You won’t be able to print from Chromebooks or tablets. It is possible to install printers on your own, though most students opt to visit the Technology Help Desk.