Computers, Internet Connections & Browsers
Please read this information very carefully. Most Helpdesk calls from students come in because student computers do not meet the technology requirements!
1) Access to Computer | Internet Connection
If you are taking online courses, you must have access to a computer. However, simply having a computer is not enough; your computer must meet certain requirements to support an online course at our College. Computer labs are available on campus, but it is difficult to take a distance education course without having a computer and high-speed internet connection at home or on your campus.
It's all about speed! For the most part, bigger and faster is better. Computer speed is measured by the size of the CPU (Central Processing Unit) in Megahertz (MHz) or Gigahertz (GHz) such as 1.8 GHz or 3.0 GHz. Requirements change quickly as the internet changes. For the most part, if you have a computer that is less than three years old, it should be fast enough to manage the web content.
Another measure of a computer's ability to perform quickly when browsing the internet is the amount of memory or RAM (measured in Megabytes or MB). Your computer will perform much better with the online course applications if you have at least 256MB of RAM. 512MB, 1 GB or more is even better. (Computer geeks will tell you: You can never have too much RAM).
The third measure of speed would be your modem speed and type of internet connection, though a 56K dial-up may work (but it will be very slow).
We do not recommend that you try to take an online course through a dial-up connection.
If you live in an area with access to Mediacom online, they now offer speeds 128 x faster than the 56K dial-up.
In some communities DSL or ADSL is now available. This provides very fast connection speeds with only one phone line for both voice and Internet connection at the same time.
Cellular network “aircards” present some of the same problems as dial-up, are inferior to DSL or cable broadband, and can be problematic in some classes.
Wireless connections to the internet are faster than dial-up and also available in many communities.
Your local community library may be a good place to start if you don't have a computer and need access to the internet.
ALERT for Satellite Service Users: Satellite connections, such as Wild Blue, may not fulfill the minimum technical requirements for using ANGEL or Blackboard Learn. You may experience timeouts, IP address issues, session problems, or course mail issues caused by latency. You should make every effort to use ANGEL/Blackboard Learn with a different service provider. You may have problems responding to emails, uploading attachments and the like. For additional information, you may refer to this link. Also, you may want to check the FAP (Fair Use Policy) of your satellite internet provider.
2) System Check on Your Login Page
Look at the System Check nugget and read all of the announcements. For help and services, get familiar with links provided; this page is frequently updated.
For detailed information, please check this link: Everything You Need to Know About ANGEL.
If your operating system is Windows, you should install Internet Explorer 7 or above or Firefox 3.6 or above. Please note that Internet Explorer 6 and earlier are not compatible with the ANGEL software. If your operating System is Macintosh, you should install the latest Firefox, Chrome, or Safari browser.
UPDATE: Since May 8, 2012, Google Chrome and Apple's Safari browsers are compatible with the
latest version of ANGEL.
Mobile: While they may work for some tasks, such as content reading or downloading files, you may find it impossible to reply to emails, submit assessments, or open attachments.
Browser requirements are listed on a link from the login page of Blackboard. At this time, current versions of Firefox and Chrome are the recommended browsers to use with Blackboard, although Safari may also work. Internet Explorer (IE) is not recommended unless you are using Windows 8 and have the latest updated version of IE.
Mobile: You can access Blackboard Learn from the browser on a tablet or phone, though you may not be able to do all class tasks like submitting assignments, joining discussions and taking tests. Blackboard also has a mobile app that you may purchase for Android and IOS devices, but even from the app not all class functions are supported.