Technology tips for success in online classes

Within online classes you will be using a variety of websites, media players, and multimedia. You should plan to download Google's Chrome browser because it works best with Canvas, the district's course management system.

Here is a list of the most common programs, browsers, plug-ins, and media players used within online courses:

  • Free office suite:
    • Google Docs. Microsoft Office is quite useful, but Google Docs allows users to work on documents (text, PowerPoint presentation, spreadsheet) through a web browser, allowing docs to be shared with fewer user-based permission errors than with MS Office online. If interested in Google Docs, please go to the following link Google Docs Training Tutorials.
    • Smartphone/iPad access: Google Docs for editing, storage, creation on smartphones and iPads:
  • Best browser for Instructure's Canvas: Google Chrome
  • is an easy way to create a brainstorm session, org chart, or series of idea bubbles.
  • Dropbox offers free online storage (starting at 2 gigs and going up to 8 gigs)
  • Evernote is an easy way to take notes and organize digital information for an individual or collaboration with a group.
  • Komposer is a free html editor.
  • Weebly is one of many free services for basic website templates.
  • Screencast-O-matic is an easy way to make short videos of anything on your computer screen.
  • is one of many free image editors/image sites
  • Video players: You may need to add or update the following video player for your course content: QuicktimeFlash playerShockwave player

  Before your online class begins:

  • Know how to access your course: All online courses have a common website starting point of either Desire2learn or Canvas. To access your online course, you will enter your Insite Portal id and password.
  • Some online courses use book publisher content - which requires an access code. This code is likely included with the books in the college bookstore.
  • Know where to find out if your class has a mandatory meeting: Some classes have mandatory course meetings while others are entirely online. If on-campus meetings are required, these dates/times will be listed in the college schedule with the course. In WebAdvisor/portal, you may have to click on the course link to see this information.

If new to online learning, consider the following: