To be competitive and successful in an online class, I suggest the following “must haves”:

  1. Reliable Internet Connection: A stable and high-speed internet connection is essential for participating in online classes effectively.
  2. Laptop/Desktop Computer: A computer is necessary to access the online class platforms, collaborate with peers, and complete assignments. It provides a more comprehensive learning experience compared to mobile devices.
  3. Web Browser: A modern web browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari is required to access the online class websites and view course materials.
  4. Video Conferencing Software: A tool like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet enables live video and audio communication with instructors and classmates. It facilitates interactive discussions, lectures, and virtual meetings.
  5.  An understanding of various course platforms (LMS) like Moodle, Canvas, or Blackboard as they serve as the the central hub for online classes. It hosts course content, assignments, quizzes, and communication tools for easy access and organization.
  6. Productivity Software: Applications like Microsoft Office, Google Docs, or LibreOffice are essential for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations required for coursework.
  7. Cloud Storage: Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive allow for easy storage, syncing, and sharing of files across multiple devices. It ensures data backup and accessibility from anywhere.
  8. Communication Tools: Email or messaging platforms (e.g., Gmail, Outlook, Slack) facilitate interaction with instructors and peers, allowing for queries, discussions, and sharing of important updates.
  9. Webcam and Microphone: A built-in or external webcam and microphone enable participation in video lectures, virtual presentations, and online discussions with clear video and audio quality.
  10. Note-Taking Tools: Applications like Evernote, OneNote, or Google Keep provide a digital solution for taking and organizing notes during online classes.

Based on priority, the Internet connection and a computer are the most crucial tools, as they form the foundation for accessing and participating in online classes. Following that, video conferencing software and an LMS are vital for attending live sessions, accessing course materials, and submitting assignments. Productivity software, cloud storage, communication tools, and multimedia devices contribute to a more efficient and collaborative learning experience.

Always seek out free software programs such as Google Docs or Libre Office, and don’t believe you need to spend a lot of money to be successful!