We recommend using a standard laptop or desktop computer for online courses. We do not currently recommend using tablets and smart phones as a primary station for taking online courses. While some may work, many mobile devices use apps which may not be able to display or run some online course content and resources. As a general guideline, a computer three years old or less is best. It should be running at least Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, or Mac OSX. (Note: Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and is not recommended.)
A satellite, DSL, or cable connection or higher is required. Dial-up connections should be avoided, and will be problematic. If you rely on your employer's Internet connection, be aware that firewall restrictions and network policies may exist that prevent you from accessing all or part of your course when using our online tools.
We recommend that you install multiple browsers to use as options. For PC users, we require the Firefox, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Edge, browsers. (Note: Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Microsoft and is not recommended) For Mac users, we require the Firefox and/or Google Chrome browsers.
Depending on your course and instructor, you may have to purchase software. Contact the instructor for this info, or look at the course description page located on the SBCC course schedule page. Additionally, many instructors post lecture materials online in various file formats (typically PowerPoint, Word or PDF files). To open these files, you will need the appropriate software or software viewer plug-in.
Some courses require that your browser have special apps, plugins, add-ons or programs in order to take advantage of audio, video, or PDF files in the course. While not neccesarily required, these are some commonly used tools you might need.
Plugin/Program: Instructions: Macromedia Flash IMPORTANT NOTE: Flash will no longer be supported by most browsers by the end of 2020.
Please click on this TEST LINK. If you could not see the Flash example, click the icon to download and install the plugin.
QuickTime Please go to the Apple's Movie Trailer Website and click on a trailer. If you could not view the QuickTimemovie trailer, click the icon to download and install the plugin.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR WINDOWS USERS: Apple QuickTime for Windows is no longer being updated for security patches. To play QuickTime files, we recommend to use the free VLC player listed below.
VLC Player VLC is a free player that will play most media file formats. We recommend that Windows users download and install the VLC Player as a replacement for QuickTime. You can download for free it from the following site: videolan.org/vlc/ Software Viewers (Optional)
A viewer allows you to view a file created with a program you do not have installed on your computer. If you need any of these viewers, click on the appropriate link below to download and install it for free.
To view Word, Powerpoint, or Excel files for free, Microsoft recommends installing their mobile app or storing documents in OneDrive or Dropbox, where Office Online opens them in your browser.
For the Microsoft Office mobile app, visit the store for your device:
INSTALL anti-virus software on your computer and keep the virus definitions up-to-date. Hundreds of viruses are discovered monthly, and your software is only as good as the most up-to-date definitions!
SET UP your anti-virus software to boot automatically when you start up your computer.
MAINTAIN your anti-virus software by keeping it up-to-date.
KEEP your anti-virus software running at all times.
NEVER automatically open attachments in your email. Let your anti-virus software scan them first. Most anti-software settings can be setup to scan incoming files automatically.
USE CAUTION when downloading files that contain an .exe in the file. Save downloads in one place, and then scan each program before running it.
DELETE chain emails, and junk mail. These are commonly unsolicited, intrusive mail that may have been passed through unknown sources.
TURN OFF your computer when you are not using it. Broadband connection which are "always connected" to the Internet, provide an unlimited time for hackers to potentially do damage to your computer.
BACK UP your important files to an external storage drive on a regular basis.
USE COMMON SENSE! If you are unsure about where an attachment came from, are unfamiliar with an email that's in your Inbox, or cannot verify the origin of a file, then delete it. It's better to err on the side of caution.