Required Technology

Are you and your computer's technology ready for online learning? Your success in an online course requires basic computer knowledge and access to common computer applications.

Computer Requirements

Computer Access

A personal computer with high speed Internet access (such as cable or DSL) is ideal for high-quality video playback. Dial-up connections may perform poorly with video-based content.

For optimal performance, enable cookies and JavaScript. Also, disable pop-up blockers. Additional hardware such as a CD-ROM, sound card with speakers or headphones may be required for some courses. Also see recommended web browsers.

Public libraries may offer public computer access, but may not allow patrons to use computers for extended lengths of time; they may also disallow removable storage devices. The college Media Center in the Eshleman Library has more than 100 computers for students to use and complete assignments. Review the library usage rules before using library computers.

Web Browsers

A web browser is an application that allows retrieving information from the Worldwide Web. Web browsers, like other applications, are continuously being upgraded to offer new features and fix known problems. An up-to-date web browser is recommended for use with an online course.

The recommended browser for HFC Online is Firefox.

Viewers and Plug-Ins

Viewers and plug-ins are software programs that extend the capabilities of a browser or computer in a specific way. For example, plug-ins enable audio or video playback from within a web browser. Viewers enable the viewing of certain documents, such as a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation.

The following viewers and plug-ins may be required for an online course. Many of these are commonly installed on computers. It is recommended to download the latest version.

Note: It may be necessary to restart the computer or web browser after installations or upgrades.

Your Technology Skills

Improve Your Computer Skills

While you don't need to be a computer genius to take online classes you do need some basic computer skills. Below are links to help you gain those skills.

Understand basic Internet functions

Basic functions of Word processing (type, cut, paste, copy, name, save, rename, etc.)

Firefox is the recommended browser for HFC Online. This link provides lessons to help you become familiar with using Firefox.

Learn and Use HawkMail

HawkMail is the official student email system used by HFC. You should check HawkMail daily to ensure receipt of all College and class information. Use your universal HFC username and password to access HawkMail.

Next module: 10 Myths About Online Learning