Technology Tips for Success in Online Classes

Within online classes you will be using a variety of websites, media players, and multimedia. You should plan to download Google's Chrome browser because it works best with Canvas, the district's course management system.

Here is a list of the most common programs, browsers, plug-ins, and media players used within online courses:

  • Free office suite:
    • Google Docs. Microsoft Office is quite useful, but Google Docs allows users to work on documents (text, PowerPoint presentation, spreadsheet) through a web browser, allowing docs to be shared with fewer user-based permission errors than with MS Office online. If interested in Google Docs, please go to the following link Google Docs Training Tutorials.
    • Smartphone/iPad access: Google Docs for editing, storage, creation on smartphones and iPads:
  • Best browser for Instructure's Canvas: Google Chrome
  • is an easy way to create a brainstorm session, org chart, or series of idea bubbles.
  • Dropbox offers free online storage (starting at 2 gigs and going up to 8 gigs)
  • Evernote is an easy way to take notes and organize digital information for an individual or collaboration with a group.
  • Weebly is one of many free services for basic website templates.
  • Screencast-O-matic is an easy way to make short videos of anything on your computer screen.
  • is one of many free image editors/image sites
  • Video players: You may need to add or update the following video player for your course content: QuicktimeFlash playerShockwave player

  Before your online class begins:

  • Know how to access your course: All online courses have a common website starting point on Canvas. To access your online course, you will enter your Insite Portal id and password.
  • Some online courses use book publisher content - which requires an access code. This code is likely included with the books in the college bookstore.
  • Know where to find out if your class has a mandatory meeting: Some classes have mandatory course meetings while others are entirely online. If on-campus meetings are required, these dates/times will be listed in the college schedule with the course. In Insite portal, you may have to click on the course link to see this information.

If new to online learning, consider the following:

  • New online students - College of the Siskiyous' Surviving in an Online Course
  • Contact your instructor early if you are confused about the course design or content