Te Kura

Computer requirements

What equipment do students need to learn online?

Students enrolled in online courses need access to a suitable device and internet connectivity.

Suitable devices
A suitable device is one that enables the student to:
  • access the internet and Te Kura’s OTLE (via a web browser)
  • make audio and video recordings
  • create and edit documents, including spreadsheets and presentations (using PowerPoint or Prezi, for example).

A laptop or desktop computer, netbook, or tablet PC (also known as a Smart PC) with at least a hard disk drive of more than 80GB and memory of more than 4GB are the best options as they offer a greater range of functionality than most standard tablets or iPads.

 

Internet connectivity

Broadband internet or equivalent is necessary for students learning online. We recommend a data plan of at least 30GB. Households or learning centres with more than one student learning online may need more data than this, depending on the number and year level of the students. Dial-up internet is not suitable.

 

Software

The OTLE itself provides a lot of the software and tools students will need to learn online, along with instructions on how to use them. However, there are some other software and online tools students will need access to that are available for free, including:

  • an email account – Te Kura offers all students a ‘My Te Kura’ email account which also provides access to free Microsoft software. Alternatively, students can use an existing email account or Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc.
  • internet browser – many devices come with a web-browser already installed, however OTLE is not compatible with Internet Explorer so we recommend students use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari, which can be downloaded online
  • word processing software. Find out how Te Kura students can download free Microsoft software using their My Te Kura email account. There are other software packages such as Google Drive and Open Office which are free to download
  • PDF editing software – there are different options available which enable students to write directly into PDF files, save their work and upload it to the OTLE for assessment
  • anti-virus software
  • a Gmail account for access to GoogleDocs.

Links to these and other websites for downloading recommended software are available in the OTLE.

 

Printer

Access to a printer and scanner would be useful, particularly for students enrolled in NCEA Level 2 courses, where they will be using a mix of interactive online modules and PDF files. Some courses require students to write or draw some of their work on printed worksheets which can be downloaded and printed from the OTLE. Full-time students or young adult students enrolled in three or more courses who do not have access to a printer can ask to receive these printed pages through the post.

 

Checklist of equipment or software

Here’s a checklist of the equipment or software students may need.

Item

Essential

Desirable

A suitable device: desktop PC, laptop, netbook or tablet PC

Yes

 

Internet connection and data plan (we recommend 30GB of data per month)

Yes

 

Internet browser – Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari

Yes

 

Webcam – built in or separate

Yes

 

Microphone (may be built into the device or separate)

Essential for courses such as languages and music which require audio recordings

 

PDF editing software

Essential for most NCEA Level 1 courses and for dual-enrolled students

 

Anti-virus software

Yes

 

Printer

 

Desirable

Scanner

 

Desirable

Digital camera – either a dedicated camera or built into a tablet or smartphone

 

Desirable

Headphones

Essential for languages courses

Desirable for other courses

PDF editing software such as Adobe, PDF Escape

Yes

 

Word processing software such as Microsoft Office, Open Office, Google Drive or Office Works

Yes

 

An email account such as My Te Kura or Gmail

Yes

 

A Gmail account for access to Google Docs

Yes

 

USB DVD

 

Desirable if the main device does not have a built-in DVD drive

We also recommend a surge protector for devices while they are plugged into the power supply, insurance and warranty cover.

 

Downloads

Mozilla Firefox

Safari

Chrome 

Adobe Reader – For viewing PDF documents in your course.

Adobe Flash – For viewing animations in your course.