Your computer's operating system should have Microsoft Windows (XP or above works best) or Macintosh (OS X or above works best).
Any relatively recent PC with the Windows operating system or a Macintosh will work just fine with Blackboard. The processing speed, hard disk space and RAM for these computers should suffice. You'll need your own Internet Service Provider, and though fast web speed is preferred, all speeds will work with Blackboard.
It's always best to have a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, on your computer. This way, prior to submitting assignments, you can check work for spelling and grammar errors. If your instructor requires you to submit specifically formatted documents either through the Assignments tool in Blackboard or via email, it is suggested that you submit a Word document (.doc) or a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. By doing so, you are ensuring that your instructor will be able to open your assignment on her computer.
Alternatively, you can use Google Docs, in which you can create a document online, then download it to your computer in the Word format. Google Docs is available when you log into Zonemail.
Some online courses, such as many of LPC's Computer Information Systems courses, require specific software like Microsoft Office. This requirement will be detailed in the Schedule of Classes.
If your instructor allows you to submit assignments as web pages, you might need a web-page editor, such as Macromedia Dreamweaver. You can download a free web-page editor, or you can use Google Sites, which is available when you log into Zonemail.
Certified: fully tested and supported.
Compatible: partially tested but should function properly.
Provisional: future technologies considered supported by Blackboard Support.
Unsupported: either impossible or not tested.
Note: Firefox is the preferred browser for Blackboard. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, be sure to enable Compatibility View by clicking its icon on the right side of the address bar.
|Internet Explorer 9||Internet Explorer 8||Firefox (latest release)||Firefox 3.6||Chrome (latest stable release)|
|Windows XP (32-bit)||Unsupported||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible|
|Windows Vista (32-bit)||Certified||Compatible||Certified||Compatible||Compatible|
|Windows Vista (64-bit)||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible|
|Windows 7 (32-bit)||Certified||Compatible||Certified||Compatible||Certified|
|Windows 7 (64-bit)||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible|
|Safari 5.0||Safari 4.0||Firefox (latest release)||Firefox 3.6||Chrome (latest stable release)|
|Mac OSX 10.5 "Leopard"||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible||Compatible|
|Mac OSX 10.6
It is recommended that you have at least two browsers installed on your computer because if something doesn't work in one browser, it should work in the other.
Blackboard requires that cookies be enabled in your browser. Cookies are small text files that are stored in your computer and contains information from web sites, such as your preferences when visiting those sites. To enable cookies in Internet Explorer:
- From the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
- Click the Privacy tab.
- Move the slider to Medium, and click OK.
To enable cookies in Firefox:
- From the Tools menu, click Options.
- Click Privacy.
- Under History, choose Use Custom Settings for History in the drop-down next to Firefox will. Make sure Accept Cookies from Sites is checked. Click OK.
In order to view certain multimedia elements and documents on the Web, you need specific plugins. Your instructor will tell you exactly which plugins you need for your course. The most popular are Windows Media, QuickTime, RealPlayer, Flash, Shockwave, and Acrobat Reader, and they are all freely downloadable.
Note: If you do not have a particular plugin, Internet Explorer or Firefox may ask you to install it. Internet Explorer displays a yellow bar across the top of the window with instructions, and Firefox displays a similar message. Following the instructions will usually install the plugin sucessfully.