Computer Basics | JCTC

Computer Basics

HOW DO I FIND MY ONLINE CLASSES?

This short video walks you through step by step how to find your online classes and where to find information to get a head start with learning how to be a successful online learner.

 

DO I NEED A COMPUTER AND WHAT KIND?

Since every student will need a computer for classes this fall, you may have questions about what kind of computer will meet your needs.  Our Chief Information Officer has provided some details you may find helpful.  His simplest advice is to search for a new laptop with 8 gigabytes (gb) of memory installed.  That should give a selection that can meet most general needs.

Whether you are shopping for a new or used laptop, or want to be sure the computer you have will do the job, these specifications should set you up to do most anything required for course work: 

  1. Operating System: Windows 10 or Apple macOS 
  2. Ram: 6-8 gigabytes of memory (4 gigabytes minimum) (does not include Optane Memory – not the same thing as RAM)
  3. Hard Drive: 240 gigabytes or more solid state drive (SSD) (128 gigabytes minimum)
  4. Processor:  Intel i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 or higher (any dual core CPU as a minimum) 
  5. 1 year warranty or better on a new laptop

A laptop that meets the minimum criteria should be available for $250-$300, depending on the deals going on at the time you look. Most of the time Best Buy/Staples/Office Depot etc will have a laptop that meets the ideal criteria for around $350-400.  He recommends avoiding Chromebooks, Android tablets and iPads. Those devices can work to a degree but tend to have shortcomings based on previous student experiences.  

 

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A COMPUTER AND CANNOT AFFORD ONE?

The college has a limited number of desktop computers that have been retired from campus computer labs. To apply for a free desktop computer, please complete the Student Emergency Fund application and explain your need.  You must be enrolled in fall classes to be considered.  You may go to the application on the college website.  The form requires a recommendation and you can upload this email to satisfy that required field. 

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VIDEO CONFERENCING?

There may be times your class meets as a group online or you may have a virtual appointment with an instructor of advisor.  Here are a few important tips for being on camera in class or during a meeting:

  1. Be on time
  2. Mute your mic when you are not speaking 
  3. Do your best to control distractions around you
  4. Dress as you would to go to class
  5. Practice with a friend before the first class meeting
  6. Participate and pay attention 

Here’s a video with other tips borrowed from the University of California, Riverside:

 

FREE Wi-Fi ACCESS on CAMPUS

Wi-Fi is available in the Downtown Campus student parking lot.  Access points have been installed at each light pole.  At the Tech Campus access is available in the lots at B building – not A building.  A solution is being worked on for Southwest.

If your cell phone supports tethering that can also provide a level of Internet access.  Check with your wireless provider. 

 

Wi-Fi ACCESS for HOME

AT&T offers internet service for $10/mo. or less based on the maximum speed available at your address up to 25Mbps. Go to the AT&T Affordable Internet for Low-income Households website to see if you qualify.

Spectrum Internet Assist is available exclusively to qualified households. If you’d like to apply for Spectrum Internet Assist, complete the online application form and be sure to attach all required or relevant documentation.

For additional information, visit the Internet Plans For Low And Fixed-Income Households website for internet assistance for low-income families and existing internet customers during COVID-19.

 

Additional Information

Visit Online Learning Resources for more information