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Technology and Network Requirements for the Online Classroom

Get the most of your online learning time by making sure your technology meets the requirements needed for a seamless online classroom experience.

Users: This article is for all users

Prerequisites: None

Follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below. Skip ahead to section you need: 

Device and Operating System Requirements

Use a Desktop or Laptop Computer

  • We recommend using a desktop or laptop computer with a built-in camera and microphone. 

  • If you do not have a desktop or laptop, a tablet is the next best option. We do not recommend the use of iPads as they are not fully supported at this time. A non-iPad tablet can be used but may have some limitations and/or require workarounds. Please make sure that your tablet has a built-in camera and microphone and is updated regularly. If needed, use a search engine to find the process to update your device.

  • Important information regarding the use of iPads: While our platform is optimized for laptop/computer use, the online classroom is usable with iPads. We've done some testing and here is everything unique about the classroom experience when accessing via iPad.

    •  iPads cannot share their screen but can receive screen shares presented by the other participant

    • When on an iPad, your video will cut out if you open an additional tab/window, or move out of the online classroom for any reason. This can be fixed by revisiting the waiting room and reentering the session.

      • Another part of this: If a student clicks on a file in the "Files" tab when on an iPad, they will be redirected to a download page which will cut their video connection.

      • And last part of this: Most of the settings you can access on an iPad will open an additional page that will also trigger the video feed to cut off.

      • Each of these scenarios cuts the video connection coming from the iPad, so they should generally be avoided. But if you run into these issues, you can start the video stream again by visiting the waiting room.

    • When accessing the waiting room from an iPad, the iPad will not save your audio and video permissions. So every time you revisit the waiting room, you'll need to accept the microphone and camera permissions presented; otherwise, you will not have audio/video.

    • The drawing board and writing board will have much smaller dimensions when accessed via iPad; it's important that the instructor be aware of this in the online classroom as they'll need to focus their work in a smaller area so that the student maintains vision of the workspace.

  • Overall, iPads do work with our online classroom with up to date operating systems. However, there are several uniquities with the experience that can cause a frustrating experience if not accounted for. 

Note: Older devices may have an impact on the experience as some do not have the necessary hardware or run on outdated software. Please keep this in mind when using an older tablet

Caution: At this time, we do NOT recommend iPads or mobile devices to access the online classroom, but it both can be used as a backup device if necessary. The experience is inconsistent across various mobile devices and the small screen is not optimal with respect to the interactive whiteboards. iPads do not allow the use of the screenshare feature. 

Update Your Operating System Regularly

  • We recommend updating your operating system regularly. If you are not sure what operating system you use, click the link below.
    What Is My Browser? - What Operating System Do I Have?
  • Once you know which operating system you are running, update it if needed. Do this by using a search engine to learn about the process of updating the operating system. 

Network requirements

For a successful connection: 

Assess your network speed before your first session
  • Before your first session, try running this test - https://www.speedtest.net/
    If the upload and/or download speed is < 25 Mbps then you can expect issues with the audio, video, and lag times with the interactive tools. 
  • Something to keep in mind during the test is that your network speed fluctuates depending on many factors. One well-known factor is the number of devices active on the network at one time. (For example, multiple people using online apps and/or streaming video use more bandwidth than just browsing. All activity can affect network speed and quality).

Check the network quality while you are in the Online Classroom

  • While in the online classroom, check the Network Quality Indicator.  This built-in feature helps you track your network quality during sessions. If the connection is poor, the indicator will turn red. We recommend toggling off the video to devote more bandwidth to the audio and other interactive tools in the classroom. You can toggle off the video in the classroom by hovering over the video and clicking the video camera icon in the bottom right corner of your video feed. 
Make sure you have a solid wifi connection 
  • To ensure the best experience, make sure you have a solid wifi connection. For those that experience slow internet speeds, try a wired connection to your router if you have access to one.

Web Browser requirements

It is our goal to try and support the most commonly used browsers in order to provide the best experience to all of our users. In order to be sure you get the best experience, please make sure you’re using the latest version of one of our supported browsers below. 

Up-to-date browsers support status:

  • Chrome: Great
  • Edge: Great
  • Safari: Good (Note: screen sharing in the built-in 1:1 classroom will not work)
  • Firefox: Firefox 86 is Not Supported
  • Internet Explorer (IE): Not Supported

Not up-to-date browsers support status:

  • Chrome: Good
  • Firefox: Good
  • Edge: Not Supported
  • Safari: Good (screen sharing in classroom will not work)
  • Internet Explorer (IE): Not Supported

If you need help upgrading your browser, we’ve put together a list of instructions from each browser provider:

How to update your browser

Please note: for Internet Explorer users, we strongly recommend that you update to one of our supported browsers. Microsoft is discontinuing support for Internet Explorer and has released a great new product, Edge, to take its place! Find directions to install it here

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