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Computer Requirements for Online College

e-learning.JPGThinking of attending an online college or university? Then you’re going to need a computer (naturally), the right software and some peripheral hardware to give yourself the kind of online learning experience you expect.Specific computer hardware and software requirements vary from school to school. However, if you are preparing to attend an online college, here are some of the things you will need:

  • A computer. Should you choose a PC or Mac? That will depend on your school. Some online colleges only work with PCs, while others will accept either system. (Few, if any, online schools work exclusively with Macs.)   The question of whether to get a desktop or portable is a bit more personal. If you plan to always take your online courses from a single location, such as a home office, then a desktop will probably work just fine. However, if you’re likely to move from place to place while watching lectures, writing papers, participating in online discussions, etc., then you’re going to need a laptop – one with a long-lasting battery!
  • Minimum computer hardware requirements. The computer you have — or purchase — for online learning will likely need, at a minimum:
    • Windows Users
      • 28.8 kbps modem (56K recommended)
      • 62 MB RAM
      • Soundcard and speakers
      • Internet Explorer 8.0
    • MACINTOSH OS Users
      • 32 MB RAM
      • 28.8 kbps modem (56K recommended)
      • Soundcard and speakers
      • Safari 3.0
  • Computer software requirements. Your computer will need an up-to-date operating system. For a PC, this means Microsoft Windows XP or higher (Vista, Windows 7). For a Mac, this probably means Mac OS System 9.1 or higher. You will also, a minimum, need a common Word processing program such as Microsoft Word, which today works with both PC and Apple products. (Word comes as part of Microsoft’s Office 2007, which also includes PowerPoint and Excel — programs you may also need for your studies.) Your school may also provide additional software you’ll need to take your online courses.
  • A high-speed Internet connection. For most online learning experiences, it is highly recommended to have high-speed cable, DSL or a satellite-based Internet connection. Old-fashioned dial-up connections will not deliver the high-quality audio and video experience you need to need to make online learning work.
  • An adequate screen/monitor. Your laptop or desktop computer should have a good-sized digital monitor that can achieve at least 1024×768 resolution.
  • Peripherals. “Add-ons” you will likely need for your online college include:
    • Keyboard and mouse.
    • A good ink-jet printer.
    • A quality headset for listening and talking to teachers and classmates.
    • If your monitor/screen does not already have one built-in, a video camera for webcam interactions.

If starting from scratch, the computer hardware and software described above could easily total between $1,000 and $1,500. However, if you’re reading this article online, it’s likely you already have — or know someone who already has — much of this equipment, so any additional expenditures you need to start your online education are likely to be considerably less.

Everest University is Available Online

Looking to improve your job prospects by getting a college degree? Online degree programs are available now from Everest University Online, a division of Everest University. For more information on programs, schedules, accreditation and costs, contact Everest University Online today! Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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