Learning Online

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Computer Software

There are basic software requirements for any online course and specific requirements for individual courses. The software listed on this page is a good place to begin when preparing your computer for online learning.

Software List for Online Courses

  • Operating System:
    The most commonly used operating systems are Windows and Macintosh. If you are a PC user you will need to have Windows 98 or higher. Macintosh users may have best results with OSX.
  • Drivers:
    Install up to date drivers for your video card, sound card, and printer. Check the manufacture Web site for each device for the latest drivers.
  • Email Software:
    Most computer operating systems come with a built-in email program. Windows comes with Outlook and Macintosh OSX comes with the Mail email program.
  • Internet Browser Software:
    A browser allows you to display Web pages. The two most common browsers are Internet Explorer and Netscape. Internet Explorer in included with the Windows operating system. Macintosh OSX comes with a browser called Safari. There is also a version of Internet Explorer for Mac OSX.
  • Plugins:
    A plugin is a small software program that helps browser software display special types of files such as multimedia. Most plugins are free and easy to download and install. Here is a list of common plugins that you should find useful. Several media players are in the list. They may all be needed to play different types of multimedia.
  • Virus Protection Software:
    A computer virus is a malicious piece of software that can invade your computer and cause various problems. It may cause your system to run slowly or delete files. It is very important to have an up to date virus protection program installed on your computer. Two common programs for virus protection are Norton Anti Virus and McAfee Anti Virus Either program will work well for you. Update the software regularly to keep current and effective protection running on your machine.
  • Productivity Software:
    Office software includes programs such as word processors, spreadsheet, presentation, and database software. The table below has links to a few popular office applications for Windows and Macintosh.

      Windows Software Macintosh Software
    Word Processor Word Word:Mac
    Presentation PowerPoint PowerPoint:Mac
    Spreadsheet Excel Excel:Mac
    Database Access Filemaker Pro