Technology Requirements for Distance Education

OntarioLearn online courses

  • Hardware: Pentium III PC (600 MHz processor or faster) with 256 MB RAM or greater (512 MB recommended) or Mac (Intel x86 processor) with 512 MB RAM or greater (1 GB recommended); Internet connection (high speed recommended)
  • Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 or Mac OS X
  • Software: Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 (or higher) (PC) or Safari (Mac) web browser; word processing software (in most cases); email application

You must access and use your own Internet account to connect to your online course. An Internet account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) providing SLIP/PPP connections is required. (Freenet accounts will not work.) High speed is recommended for the ideal learning experience. However, for the patient learner, a 56k dial-up connection will work. Cable or DLS connections will also work. In some instances, it may be necessary for some users to upgrade their Web browser programs. Technical assistance is available.

After you have registered, your department co-ordinator will send you any additional course details by email.

Blackboard online courses

If your course requires you to use Blackboard, refer to the Preferred System Requirements on the George Brown College Blackboard Login & Help Getting Started page for the Blackboard requirements. After you have registered, your department co-ordinator will send you any additional course details by email.

Other online courses

If your course does not require you to use Blackboard, refer to the requirements below. After you have registered, your department co-ordinator will send you any additional course details by email.

  • Hardware: Pentium III computer (1 GHz processor) with 1 GB RAM or greater (2 GB or higher recommended); Internet connection with high speed cable or telephone line
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP (or higher) or Macintosh OS X (or higher); Java Runtime Environment
  • Software: Microsoft Office XP or greater; Internet Explorer 6 (or higher); email application (e.g., Outlook)
  • Plug-ins: Some courses use browser plug-ins, which are small programs that enable you to view interactive items on your web pages. This means you may need one or more of the plug-ins below. Browsers will generally automatically download any plug-in required by a particular page. You will most likely be prompted to download one of these plug-ins in areas of your course where they will be required.
    • Windows Media Player (for video and audio)
    • RealPlayer (for video and audio)
    • QuickTime (for QuickTime video)
    • Adobe Flash Player (for animation and interactive content used in interactive quizzes, animations, and activities)
    • Adobe Reader (for viewing/navigating/printing PDF files across all major computing platforms)

If not specified in the course title or description, check with the required department to find out if your course can be run on a Macintosh computer.

CD-/DVD-based distance courses

  • Hardware: Computer (3 GHz processor or greater); 2 to 3 GB RAM (higher amounts required for advanced CADD courses); 2 GB hard disk space (higher amounts required for CADD software installation); CD/DVD drive; 16-bit sound card; speakers or headphones; Internet connection (high speed cable or telephone line recommended)
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP (or higher) or Macintosh OS X (or higher)
  • Software: Internet Explorer 7 (or higher); email application (e.g., Outlook); specific Autodesk software (CADD courses only); VMware Fusion/Parallels Desktop/Boot Camp (CADD courses only if using a Macintosh)
  • Plug-ins: Some courses use browser plug-ins, which are small programs that enable you to view interactive items on your web pages. This means you may need one or more of the plug-ins below. Browsers will generally automatically download any plug-in required by a particular page. You will most likely be prompted to download one of these plug-ins in areas of your course where they will be required.
    • Windows Media Player 9 series or better (for video and audio)

For more information on technical requirements for computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) courses, refer to the System Requirements for AutoCAD page on the Autodesk website. Requirements will be specific to the version of AutoCAD you are using.

Paper-based distance courses

  • Hardware: Internet connection (high speed cable or telephone line recommended)
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP (or higher) or Macintosh OS X (or higher)
  • Software: Internet Explorer 7 (or higher); email application (e.g., Outlook)

For more information, contact the department co-ordinator for your course. Contact information can be found on the course web page.