Get Tech Ready

Review the information below for recommendations to ensure your device(s) can deliver an optimal learning experience. Please also be sure to check with your school or unit for any specific program or course-related recommendations or requirements.

  • Download the Canvas app. Apps are available for both iOS and Android devices. Guide to the app
  • Review and modify your notification settings in Canvas so that you receive all notifications right away. View the guide
  • Review the Canvas guide on turning in assignments, so you are prepared for instructors asking you to turn in assignments in Canvas.
  • Set your time zone in Canvas. The system will translate due dates and meeting times into your time zone.

Internet Connectivity 
  • Check your residence’s bandwidth and Wi-Fi coverage; a stable internet connection of 10Mb/s for download and 3Mb/s (or greater), per person, for upload, is recommended for using Zoom and other web conferencing tools. 
  • Please keep in mind that multiple simultaneous device connections sharing a network will require increased bandwidth to maintain the same level of stability for all connected devices. Using a wired ethernet connection or a WiFi extender may strengthen the quality and reach of your network connectivity. 
  • If watching videos or taking part in a web conference is difficult, you may need to notify your instructor. 
Hardware Recommendations 
  • You will have the most success with laptops, desktops, tablets, and mobile devices that are less than five years old and meet the University's hardware recommendations; special pricing is available through DellApple, and CDWG.
  • For undergraduates, the curriculum of your school will determine the specifications of your device. Students in McCormick School of Engineering, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communication, and programs in the School of Communication may need to have a computer with specific or enhanced features that enable video editing, running specific software, and the ability to engage in other course activities and assignments. You should contact your school directly to confirm their hardware recommendations and guidelines for your program.
  • You may wish to consider improving your experience of using a laptop computer by adding peripheral devices, such as an external monitor or mouse or a laptop stand.
  • You may want to consider adding these peripheral items to enhance your devices:
    • External monitor (Be sure to obtain the appropriate cables and/or adaptors to connect to your computer.)
    • Speakers, headphones, or earphones
    • Microphone—wired or wireless 
    • Webcam (if not already included on your device) 
    • Ethernet cable 
    • WiFi extender
    • A laptop stand

University preferred vendor CDWG offers students discounts on accessory purchases. Visit to view headset, headphone/earphone, microphone, and webcam options. Users can refine their search and shop by price to identify affordable options.

Software Recommendations