Home Online Learning Are You Technologically Savvy, or Virtually Challenged?

Are You Technologically Savvy, or Virtually Challenged?

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Help ButtonI was reminded the other day that saving or submitting a post should come before stepping away to take a snack. When I left the room the other day to munch on my favorite treat, my son walked up to the computer and found out what the D-E-L-E-T-E button did. He was fascinated with the progress he made as he scrolled backwards by just hitting one button. Moments later he excitedly told me he found the “easy” button.

How prepared are you to keep up with technology demands?

Computers come in all shapes, sizes, speeds and specs, but do you have what it takes to keep up the pace? Children as young as three, nowadays, know how to use smart phones, tablets and even laptops. Many know how to download new apps, watch YouTube videos and make personal phone calls within seconds. Pass codes are created and changed to keep these pint-sized intruders out. But do you know your gadgets, or are you just getting by with minimal knowledge?

You will need to be up-to-date as an online learner. Let us examine what you might need. As an online student you will need a desktop computer or laptop with a minimum requirement of Microsoft Internet 3.0 or Mac OS as browser requirements. Next, you are required to have internet with preferably dial-up or high speed service – depending on how fast you want your connection to be. I would not recommend using Wi-Fi (wireless internet) for posting submissions or discussions due to the fact that different services have different reliability, especially when you are in a time crunch. If you’re just viewing material and typing up a document, Wi-Fi is acceptable. You should also have updated versions of the following web browsers:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Internet Explorer

As well as the following recent software:

  • Java
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader

You may never know what your campus or instructor may require in order for proper navigation of their classes and instructional materials. In addition, not only must you navigate, but you must also participate. Once you are able to do the following, you are ready for a virtual class:

  • Use word processing software such as the Microsoft Office programs
  • View websites
  • Save and print various documents
  • Send and receive messages to you school and personal email accounts

Here are some additional tips for discussion posts and weekly submissions.

Keep in mind the following when participating in online classrooms:

  • Discussion posts must have uniformity. Whether it is your own style of writing, or the instructor’s specific format, your writing should flow smoothly.
  • Grammar, spelling and punctuation errors should be taken care of before your work goes live. Just because you have a deadline doesn’t mean that you should rush and submit just anything. Sometimes your instructor will give you a few extra minutes or hours if you explain to them your circumstance (whether technical or personal).
  • Make sure you follow campus guidelines of minimum participation in weekly discussion posts. Also, know the submission guidelines for the class.
  • Whether stated or not, you should always use citations accordingly in APA (or MLA if stated) format – even in posts.

By Trinita Gay
Online Learning Tips, Guest Contributor

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