Student Technology Recommendations

Technology needs will vary by course but the majority of courses are covered by the below recommendations.  Additional information about specific course requirements will be indicated by the professor or posted alongside other course requirements.   Any questions about technology or computer equipment can be sent to the IT Help Desk (helpdesk@Oglethorpe.edu).

  • Students will need access to a modern computer (likely purchased in the last 4 years) to fully participate in coursework, synchronous meetings and other class activities.  Computers should run either Windows 8, Windows 10 (Home, Pro, Education, or Enterprise) or Mac OS X 10.11+ operating systems.  Windows 10 Home S-Mode and Chromebooks should be avoided.  An up-to-date browser, such as Chrome, should be installed to access Moodle and other cloud based applications.
  • Students should have the ability to install software, download large files, play videos, and read PDFs on their computer.   Microsoft Office should be installed and is included with the student’s Oglethorpe email account (through Office 365). 
  • A webcam, headphones/speakers and a microphone are also necessary for video communications.  Many courses utilize Zoom or other video conference software in some capacity.  Most modern laptops have webcams and mics built in but certain shared spaces and situations will require students to use a headset. 
  • Online learners will also need access to a reliable high speed internet connection.  A minimum of 1.5 Mbps upload and 2Mbps download speeds are needed, 3Mbps upload and 10Mbps download speeds are recommended.  Connection speeds can be checked through an online speed test.   Tethering and hotspots are not recommended except when there are not any other viable options.   All students have access to the Oglethorpe network while on campus.  WiFi is provided in most dorms, communal spaces (Library, Student Center, etc.) and classrooms on campus. 

Recommended Computer Specifications:

  • Processor: 64-bit multi-core processor, quad-core recommended.
  • Memory: 4GB minimum, 8GB or higher recommended.
  • Storage: 128GB of space minimum, 256GB or higher recommended.  A solid-state drive (SSD) is recommended.
  • Networking: Dual-Band wireless adapter (2.4 GHz/5 GHz).
  • Battery: 4 hours or more of battery life.
  • Peripherals: Webcam, speakers/headphones and microphone.
  • Ports: USB and audio minimum.  RJ45 (Ethernet) and HDMI recommended.

Recommended Accessories:

  • External hard drive or USB drive for data backup or file transfers.
  • Headset (preferred) or headphones and a microphone.
  • CAT-5e or CAT-6 Ethernet cable.
  • USB to Ethernet adapter if the computer does not have an Ethernet port built in.

Warranties:

Extended warranties are recommended.  These normally cover hardware problems and remote system troubleshooting.  Additional accidental damage should be considered if available.

What NOT to use:

The following devices types WILL NOT WORK for some applications and should be avoided unless they are used as devices of convenience:

  • Chromebooks (Chromebooks cannot install apps not on the Google Play Store)
  • Tablets (iPads, Android tablets, etc. unless they meet all hardware recommendations and run a full desktop operating system)
  • Cell phones (while we have mobile apps for some functions, a computer will still be needed for testing and other tasks)
  • Windows 10 S-Mode (S-Mode devices cannot install apps not on the Microsoft Store)

Purchasing

Special discounts are available to college students through many stores and websites.  Below are some of the places to look for student discounts on computers and accessories.