A laptop is helpful at the institute if you wish to work on daily assignments and stories at the hotel, where you'll have free wireless in your rooms. But the Cronkite School's labs are handy to your instruction and to the hotel, and they're open early, during breaks, until 9 p.m. most days and for limited weekend hours. So list laptops as nice to have but not essential as you plan what to bring.
Most participants have brought point-and-shoot cameras, and those have done nicely. The key is bringing something you're comfortable packing and comfortable using.
Arizona State University