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Hardware & Software

Many programs in the College of Education require students to have continuous access to a laptop computer with specific hardware and software. This page provides an overview of hardware specifications and software applications that are recommended to have on your laptop or computer to be a successful distance student.


60 GB hard drive or bigger
802.11 b/g or better wireless connectivity
DVD/CDRW drive
2 or more USB 2.0 ports
15-pin Monitor port (or adapter)
Sound card
Microphone/headset for audio-conferencing

Operating System

Windows 7 or later; OR
Macintosh OSX 10.6 or later; OR
a current Linux (ie Ubuntu 14.04)

Required Software
  • LibreOffice - A free office productivity suite. ETEC 501 students must install even if they have MS Office.
  • Adobe Reader - Allows you to read PDF files. Only needed on Windows machines.
  • Firefox (Mozilla) - Internet browser; preferred over Internet Explorer and Safari browsers.
  • Skype – Internet telephone, video and messaging
  • Zotero - Free citation management program. Be sure to install both Zotero for Firefox, and the Word processor plugins for LibreOffice. 
Required Web Apps
  • Flickr - Online photo organizer and sharing tool; requires Yahoo, Google, or Facebook account
  • Pixlr Express - Online photo editor
Required Plugins
Optional Software: