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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 site requires an access account). This open source project will be sufficient to meet these requirements.