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What you'll need for the online portion of the classes.

  • Your computer system (desktop or laptop) needs to be less than 2-years old. Either a Macintosh or Windows-based system will be sufficient. All service packs, security patches, and antivirus definitions must be in place so that your computer will be available to you.
  • For the web browser, please use Firefox 3-10, Google Chrome 16, Internet Explorer 7-9, or Safari 5. Newest versions of Firefox have not yet been tested with ANGEL and will produce a warning when accessing ANGEL.
  • A built-in webcam and microphone or an external webcam with microphone is required. Given that support resources planned for the at-home lab component take advantage of the ability for a webcam to be close to the experiment for the purpose of sharing images/video, it is strongly suggested that students look into owning a laptop computer system. In addition, a laptop will allow students to enter data directly into lab data sheets (Word files) during the experiment instead of needing to re-enter the data when at a desktop computer system.
  • Microsoft Office (or equivalent) is required to open and use many files provided by faculty in these courses. Many assignments must also be submitted in an Office-type format (e.g. .docx, .xls, etc.). You do not need to purchase Microsoft Office itself. A product that opens and 'saves as' an Office-format is sufficient. As a student, the University provides a link to OpenOffice at https://downloads.its.psu.edu. This open source project will be sufficient to meet these requirements.
  • If you choose to use the material in iTunes U, you will need to have both iTunes and Quicktime installed on your computer system. The iTunes folder in this orientation contains information on these applications.
  • Finally, an inexpensive scanner will be required for the Organic Chemistry courses in this program. The scanner will be used to scan your take-home examinations. Your examinations in these courses will be distributed as a Microsoft Word document that needs to be downloaded and completed (with dark pencil or ink drawings). Once completed, it needs to be scanned, saved as a PDF document, and uploaded into the assigned ANGEL drop box. A black/white or greyscale scanner is sufficient. The software bundled with the scanner must be able to store multiple pages in a single PDF document. A scanner such as the Canon CanoScan LiDE100 Color Image Scanner or the Epson Perfection V300 Photo Scanner will be sufficient. Information on scanners can be found at Microcenter.com.