You’ve made the decision to pursue your dreams by attending an online college. Congratulations! You are on your way to an education that will push you to be all that you want to be. The challenge though, comes in not just the coursework, but in the preparation. Get yourself ready for taking your classes online by gathering your materials and, most importantly, by preparing your computer for the journey ahead.
Different schools require different equipment. Some, for example, may require that the computer or device you are using for your schooling be from one particular company. There are campuses that are completely run with Apple devices and technology. Knowing this ahead of time can help you determine what products you need to be compatible with your college professors and peers.
You may also find that your device will need to be hooked up with a microphone and speaker system or some way you will be able to effectively communicate with the rest of the school. Take a printout of your school’s requirements to your local technology store so that they can assist you in locating and purchasing the correct equipment.
Depending on your coursework and the number of classes you’ll be taking at a time, it is essential to look at and understand how much memory your device should hold. Consider what you will be downloading, writing and reading on your device. A great way to figure this out is by looking at your college’s course catalog to see what a typical course load requires in multimedia downloads. Will your current computer or device be able to handle it or do you need to replace it with something that can handle more? Would purchasing an external hard drive solve your device’s memory problems?
Once you’ve figured out your school’s requirements for a device and the amount of memory you will need, you’ll want to go ahead and purchase the necessary device as well as any software that you need to be compatible with the remainder of your online college campus.
Be sure to download antivirus protection to keep your computer from malware, which can at best just slow down your computer and at worst steal your personal information.
Making sure you have access to the internet is absolutely essential. Online coursework mandates a reliable connection with the online world. Figure out where you will go to do the majority of your classes. If you’ll be doing them at home, ensure that your internet speed matches what you’ll need to view any videos or download any documents that you may be assigned. If you will be setting up a wireless connection, put a password on your internet account to protect your computer and connection from potential hackers.
No, I’m not talking about finding sources to back up your paper. Rather, you’ll need to figure out how to ensure your computer’s data gets stored safely should your device or power supply crash. It’s helpful to connect your device to a surge protector like this one from CoastTec. That way, should you experience any power issues, your data and computer hardware remains safe.
Just in case, it’s always a good idea to back up your coursework on an external hard drive or flash drive.
Endeavoring to change career paths or build up your knowledge through online college coursework is commendable and well worth the effort. By ensuring that your computer or electronic device is prepped for all that the online learning world will require you’ll be ensuring that you are set up for success.