Essential Technology Tools for Online Learning

If you’ve enrolled in online courses for the first time, you may be wondering if you’re technologically equipped to meet the demands of your online learning experience. Here are the technology tools you will need and computer features to test before entering your online classroom.

Videoconferencing Tools

Some online classes rely on videoconferencing tools. This may be Skype or other software tool that the professor has selected and expects you to download ahead of time. It’s important to test out the videoconferencing tool before entering your online courses. Check your computer speakers to ensure that they are working properly. Additionally, if the teacher expects you to speak during the class, you will need a microphone. Conduct a microphone check before classes start.

Productivity Tools for Online Learning

Many online programs expect you to download reading materials and write papers demonstrating your understanding of the material. PDF files are the common mode of transmission for academic materials because students can easily download Adobe Acrobat software and view documents that may have been created in other applications.

To write your papers, you will need word processing software such as Microsoft Word. Check with the professor ahead of time to ensure that you have the appropriate software. If the class requires you to calculate and track numbers and/or make presentations, you will also need spreadsheet and presentation software.

Other Necessary Equipment

If you will join an online class from a noisy environment, be sure to turn off your microphone and invest in noise-resistant headphones. This will guarantee that you hear the class and block out unwanted noise.