Choosing the right tech for online learning

Friday, July 10, 2020
Choosing the right tech for online learning

If you’re new to online learning, you may be wondering what tools and technology you need to be able to study effectively online this fall.

There are six technology categories you will need to consider:

  • computer
  • web camera
  • internet access
  • web browser
  • email

Let’s dig deeper to give you all the bits and bytes.

person using laptop for online learning

Choose the right computer for online learning.

You will need daily access to a computer that has a reliable internet connection for the duration of your course or program.

Choose a Macintosh or PC system with these minimum requirements:

  • PC: Pentium III 600 MHz processor or faster, 256 MB RAM or greater (512 MB recommended), Windows XP/Vista/Win7
  • MAC: Intel x86 based processor, 512 MB RAM or greater (1GB recommended), Mac OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard)


A webcam is needed for live classes and exams

Many laptops and mobile devices come with a built-in camera. For desktop setups, you may need to purchase a webcam in order to participate fully in various online learning and meeting platforms such as Bongo and WebEx. You will also need this at exam time to participate in remote proctoring.


Make sure you have reliable internet access.

Students must access and use their own internet account to connect to their online courses. An internet account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) providing SLIP/PPP connections is required (freenet accounts will not work).

High speed is recommended for the ideal learning experience. Most 56k dial-up connection and cable or DLS connections will also work, but they may be very slow. If you are on one of these connections, be aware that you may have difficulty uploading your lessons and other content.


Choose the right web browser for your online classes.

A web browser such as Internet Explorer (version 7.0 or higher) or Mozilla Firefox (version 3.0 or higher) is required. In some instances, it may be necessary for users to upgrade their web browser programs.


Using email as you study online.

All registered Fanshawe students are assigned a FanshaweOnline (FOL) email account that can be accessed within your course or program. Students are encouraged to check this email account regularly to stay up to date on important information.


A variety of software will be needed to complete online courses.

Most courses require word processing and presentation software (for example: Microsoft Office – Word and PowerPoint). Please note: individual courses may have additional technical and/or software requirements.


So there you have it, these are all the technical requirements you’ll need to effectively learn online.  Remember—we’re here for you. If you need technical assistance, Fanshawe’s skilled IT Service Desk team can help.

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