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Technology & Skills Requirements
Your learning experience as a DCU Connected student is enhanced through the use of learning technology and rich digital media. We understand that students will have varying degrees of technical experience and ability when they begin their studies. Due to the key role technology will play in your studies you should be ready to engage with relevant technologies to a minimum level when you begin your studies. That is, you should be familiar with using email, browsing the Internet, downloading files, managing files in folders, and using the word processing package Microsoft Word. when you begin your studies you will then further develop your skills with using technology as you study. Becoming more confident in the use of technology will then help you succeed as an Online Distance Learner.
The My Computer Skills tool can aid you in getting a good sense of the computer skills needed for studying in higher education. If you feel that you need to further develop your skills here are some tips on how you can do this:
● Ask family members or friends for assistance
● Take an introductory course in the area you need to develop. Some online examples include:
○ https://alison.com/ provides free online courses such as: Microsoft Office 2010, Computer Basics, how the internet works.
○ https://learning.mozilla.org/web-literacy have created a useful series of free web literacy resources.
○ http://www.gcflearnfree.org/ offers free online tutorials on a wide variety of computer skills
○ https://www.bettercloud.com/ has tips and tricks for using Google apps and Office 365 Online.
○ https://digitalgarage.withgoogle.com/ has free tutorials produced by Google.
○ https://www.microsoft.com/en-ie/learning/training.aspx provides training and support for products like Word, Powerpoint and Excel.
A computer (with Microsoft Office) and a broadband Internet connection are needed in order to be able to access learning materials, communicate with your tutors and other students, and attend live, online tutorials. In order to communicate in online tutorials a headset/microphone and a webcam are needed. Our recommended minimum specifications* for your computer are:
● Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz Processor
● 500 Gigabyte hard drive
● 4 Gigabytes of RAM
● Sound card and speakers
● Windows 7 (or later)
● A printer
● A model running at least OS 10.6.8 that meets or exceeds the requirements listed above for PCs. While most new Macs will meet these you should check this with the retailer from whom you are obtaining the computer. Please note that, where students are provided with software by the University, for example SPSS, it will be for Windows Computers. In these instances it is not possible to provide Apple-Mac versions of software.
*Please note that some of the DCU Connected Information Technology and Language Learning programmes have specific technology requirements that are different from those stated above.