Technology and Software Recommendations for Most Western Classes
Here is a list of recommendations of the minimum hardware specifications for a student’s personal computer/laptop, the software that is needed for most classes, and other technology related items.
Computer/Laptop Hardware Specifications:
PLEASE NOTE: Western does not support the use of Chromebooks due to issues with installing software that is needed for classes.
Chromebooks do not work with the following programs:
- Office 365
- Respondus LockDown Browser
ALSO NOTE: Please check with your instructor if you plan on using Apple products (iPads, iMacs, MacBooks, etc.). Some software used in courses is not supported on the Macintosh or iOS operating systems and will only work with the Windows 10 operating system.
Students are not able to do all assignments on their smartphone. We encourage students to have a computer or laptop with these minimum hardware and software specifications:
- 128 GB hard drive (minimum), 256 GB or more (recommended) for school related software/files (SSD – Solid State Drive is recommended)
- 4 GB memory (minimum), 8 GB - 16 GB memory (recommended)
- AMD Ryzen or Intel Core i-Series processor (such as i3, i5, i7)
- Windows 10 operating system (not Windows 10S or Windows 10 Home in S Mode)
- Speakers (built-in or external). You can use ear buds/headphones in place of external speakers.
- Web camera w/microphone (usually built into most laptops or you can purchase it separately).
- Office 365 Please refer to our Install Office 365 on a Personal Device Knowledge Base document for instructions on how to download and install Office 365 for FREE while you are a Western student.
- Recommended web browsers: Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
- Respondus LockDown Browser (software used for online testing for many classes)
- Respondus LockDown Browser does not work on a Chromebook. It cannot be installed on a Chromebook.
- Please refer to our Lockdown Browser for Windows Download and Install Knowledge Base document for installing LockDown Browser on a Windows-based computer.
- Please refer to our Lockdown Browser for MacOS Download and Install Knowledge Base document for installing LockDown Browser on a Mac OS based computer.
Here is a link to specific computer, software and technology requirements for certain programs at Western Technical College: https://www.westerntc.edu/sites/default/files/programs/documents/Technology_Requirements.pdf
- Internet access is required to access your MyWestern account and Blackboard from off campus.
- Please contact your instructors for any additional hardware/software requirements for your specific program.
- Western’s Knowledge Base has a wide variety of documents available to assist students with passwords, software and other computer related questions.