Tech skills and requirements

Taking advantage of the different services and supports available to you can make a huge difference in the success of your academic career. Review the information and resources provided here so that we can best support you – from registration and enrolment to graduation, and beyond.  

On this page:

Technology Requirements

Hardware and software requirements can vary greatly between programs so it's important to review program technology requirements and recommendations prior to purchasing technology. ​

Required technology

Students will require the following technology:

  • Reliable internet​, read more below
  • Computer with Windows 10 (unless otherwise indicated by your program)​
  • External webcam/microphone/speakers (if laptop/desktop does not have these built-in) ​


Internet

You will need a reliable internet connection in order to access your courses, participate in lectures and complete assessments. Ideally, you will want to have a high-speed internet connection with a high or unlimited data limit.  ​

The specific package to purchase depends on the number of people in your household and what they use the internet for.  As an example, if you have multiple people regularly using the internet at the same time for video calls or video streaming, you will need a different package than a person living alone only using it for school. Internet plan pricing fluctuates depending on the package and provider. ​

If you are in an area that does not have wired internet access or does not allow for reliable internet, there are a few other options.  ​

  1. Turbo Stick: If you have good cell phone reception this is a good option. The turbo stick acts like a phone’s WiFi hotspot and provides a stable, but slow connection for any device it is plugged into. They require a dedicated data plan similar to a cell phone and require an ongoing monthly cost after the initial purchase cost.  ​
  1. Turbo or Rocket Hub: Up to 15 users can connect to the Hub via Ethernet ports or WiFi, to access the Internet at fairly fast speeds. These devices require an ongoing monthly cost after the initial purchase cost.

Please note: ​this outlines the minimum technology requirements that students can use when planning to attend their program.  Certain programs have specific technology requirements and recommendations. These details can be found on your program webpage and have been indicated in specific communication from your program area.  Find program information and faculty contact details using the program search to learn more.  ​​

Recommended technology

Additional items that are recommended, however not essential to your success at College.

  • Ear buds / headset ​
  • Ethernet cable (for use with ethernet port, if available) ​
  • Wireless mouse/keyboard set ​
  • Ergonomic mouse pad ​
  • USB hub​
  • Large storage USB thumb drive ​
  • Headset ​
  • Second monitor/screen ​
  • Printer with cartridge refills ​
  • Computer chair ​

 

Please note: ​this is a general list of recommendations that students can use when planning to attend their program.  Certain programs have specific technology requirements and recommendations. These details can be found on your program webpage and have been indicated in specific communication from your program area.  Find program information and faculty contact details using the program search to learn more.  ​

Hardware options

To help you determine which computer you need to complete your studies, we have compiled a list of good, better, best and premium specifications. Unless otherwise indicated by your program, most programs require the use of PC’s as Mac computers are not compatible with most required software and applications in our program of study.

If you choose to use a Mac it is recommended you install Windows 10 on the device and ensure that it meets program hardware specifications. 

Disclaimer: New Apple ARM Architecture 'Apple M1' chip Macbook and Mac mini do not support the installation of Windows 10 using Boot Camp.  We suggest students do their own research prior to purchasing a Macbook with an M1 chip and do so at your own risk

Older Apple devices with an Intel based Chip (majority of Macbook computers purchased prior to 2021) it is recommended you install Windows 10 on the device and ensure that it meets program hardware specifications. For information on how to install Windows 10 on a Mac computer, visit the Apple Support Website. Mohawk offers free access to Windows 10. To download Windows 10, and other MohawkApps, visit the Mohawk Web Store.

Alternatively, the college has a limited number of laptops and Chromebooks for loan to students who do not have access to online learning from home. If you need to borrow a laptop or Chromebook you can email helpdesk@mohawkcollege.ca, phone 905-575-2199 or go online through the Information Technology Portal. ​

We recommend that all computers purchased include the following items: ​

  • A built-in ethernet port ​
  • A solid-state hard drive (SSD) ​
  • 2-year warranty ​
  • 2 hours of battery life ​
  • Built-in webcam

 

Computer specifications
Components Good Specifications Better Specifications Best Specifications Premium Specifications
Processor I3 or equivalent processor I5 or equivalent processor I7 or equivalent processor I7 or equivalent processor
RAM 4 GB or more of RAM 4 GB or more of RAM 8 GB or more of RAM 16 GB or more of RAM
Hard Drive 250 GB or larger Hard Drive 250 GB or larger Hard Drive 500 GB or larger Hard Drive 1 TB or larger Hard Drive
USB Port 1 full-size USB port 1 full-size USB port 1 full-size USB port 1 full-size USB port
Graphics Card     High-end graphics dedicated video card High-end graphics dedicated video card
Wireless Wireless 802.11ac Wireless 802.11ac Wireless 802.11ac Wireless 802.11ac
Operating System Windows 10 Windows 10 Windows 10 Windows 10

Programs with specific technology requirements

Some programs have specific or additional technology requirements such as an iPad, or additional software or hardware. ​Please ensure you check your program webpage for information on any additional requirements. This information should also be communicated to you with your offer of admission and through your program area.​

Programs with additional requirements include, but are not limited to: ​


Graduate Studies

Software and Skill Requirements

As a college student, you will be required to use and develop a multitude of computer skills and fluency with many different software applications.

Below is a list of the common software applications and tools most Mohawk students will need.

Mohawk Student Email

  • Students can access their Mohawk email either online through their Office 365 account or using the recommended Outlook app
  • When communicating with college staff, students are expected to use their Mohawk email
  • Email addresses use your firstname.lastname or a variation of that format


For more information about setting up and using a Mohawk email account, visit the Mohawk Email Guide.

MyMohawk

MyMohawk is your portal for student and employee administrative services. You can use MyMohawk to update your personal information, make tuition payments, choose your timetable, and see your final grades.

Learn more about MyMohawk

Digital Citizenship/Netiquette 

Take a moment to learn or remind yourself of what appropriate behaviour for interacting with others online looks like in Mohawk College’s Netiquette guidelines

Do you know what it takes to conduct yourself in a safe and respectful way in your online world? Can your review turn into a defamation suit? Learn more about privacy, security, fake news and other resources to help you conduct yourself in a safe and respectful way in an online environment through the Learning Portals Digital Citizenship module

Digital Skills Toolkit

The Digital Skills Toolkit includes tech guides, training and support related to student systems and academic technology at Mohawk College. Student support is provided by Learning Technology Coaches through the Academic Technology department. 

The toolkit is a public course in MyCanvas, the learning management system at Mohawk. The course does not require logging in. Current students can “Join the Course” if they prefer to have it added to their list of current courses.

Office 365

Office 365 is a subscription-based service offered for free to current Mohawk staff, faculty, and students. It combines the familiar Microsoft Office desktop applications along with Office online - cloud-based versions of your favourite Office tools. 

Learn more about Office 365

MohawkAPPS

MohawkAPPS is an easy to use web-based tool which provides access to many of the software applications you need in college without the need to download them. MohawkAPPS with the help of Cloudpaging lets users access the service from their own computers or from campus computers. 

Learn more about MohawkAPPS

MyCanvas

MyCanvas is Mohawk College’s Learning Management System, which supports learning and collaborating in online, virtual and remote environments. Access to MyCanvas is provided to all registered students who have selected their timetables. You will find all of your course materials, including assignments and timelines on this platform. Please note that some classes will only become visible on the first day that the class appears on your timetable.

Mobile App

MyCanvas is mobile friendly. To take advantage of this, download the MyCanvas Mobile App 

Get help with MyCanvas

Zoom and MS Teams Web Conferencing 

Zoom Web Conferencing

Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to virtually meet with others - either by video or audio or both. Your instructors may use Zoom to meet with you online so you may need to set up a “Basic” Zoom account using your Mohawk College email.



Learn more about Zoom and consider setting up your Zoom account in advance to be ready for your first day.

MS Teams

Microsoft Teams is a digital platform that brings conversations, content, and apps together in one place. Students and faculty can create teams for collaborative learning (available for free with Office 365). 

Learn more about MS Teams

 

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, once connected, make your device look like it is on a College controlled network. A VPN is useful for accessing applications or software that can only be accessed on site due to licensing requirements. 

Learn more about VPN

File Management 

Staying Organized in a Digital Environment 

  • Clean up your computer desktop, and create shortcuts to files, websites or folders that you access frequently 
  • Create a logical folder/file system in OneDrive or Google Drive to organize your readings, assignments and course work. Using OneDrive or Google Drive will ensure your saved work is accessible on any device.  
  • Consider naming your files according to a naming guideline. For example, saving a file by the name “Communications_EssayOutline_09-29-2020” would indicate the course name, the contents of the file, and the date it is to be submitted.  
  • Organize your internet tabs & windows. Consider making MyCanvas your home page, or making it a Favourite in your browser. 
  • Organize your inbox. Make folders where you can store emails that you have already read or responded to. Create a folder system that works for you! 
  • Is working in a digital format a challenge?
    Visit our Tech Bar website to access one-to-one support.

 

OneDrive is Microsoft's storage service for hosting files in the "cloud." It is available for free to all Mohawk College students and provides 1TB of storage space. OneDrive offers students a simple way to store, sync and share various types of files, with other people and devices on the internet. 

Learn more about OneDrive

Understanding how to work with files and folders is an important part of using your computer and keeping your schoolwork organized. Learn more about the basics of working with files, including how to open files, move your files into folders, and delete files. 

Social Networking Web Searching

Social media is defined as online communities where people communicate and share information and content. Popular examples of social media sites include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
 

Review some considerations you should make when using social media.

Assistive Technology Resources

Assistive Technology (AT) is a term used to describe a device, software, or equipment that can make a function easier or possible to perform, allowing someone to be independent. Visit the Idao: Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario to learn more. These tools can be low/no tech, such as a pencil grip, to mid tech, such as a LiveScribe Pen, or high tech, such as voice recognition or screen reader program. Some of these programs are built-in to your cell phones, computers, and iPads/tablets; some are available for free or paid; and some may be devices you currently use, such as noise-cancelling headphones. At Mohawk College, a few of the assistive technology programs are available through MohawkApps.

These are some types of Assistive Technology that support students with reading, writing, studying and learning:

Text-to-Speech 

Text-to-Speech are programs that read digital text out loud. It can be helpful for someone who struggles with reading, finds it challenging to focus or concentrate, or is learning English.

Some examples: Read and Write*, Immersive Reader in MyCanvas or in Office 365 Word and OneNote, webReader available in MyCanvas, Speak Screen/Speak Selection in iPad, Speechify (an app)

*available in MohawkApps

Word Prediction

Word Prediction is when the computer offers a list of suggestions for the word a person is trying to spell.

Some examples: WordQ*, built-in to cell phones and iPad, alternate keyboard options, Word Completion (in Mac computers (F5))

*available in MohawkApps

Voice Recognition (aka Speech-to-Text, Speech Recognition)

Voice Recognition is a software that converts someone’s spoken words into text on the screen. This program is helpful for someone who has challenges with spelling, written expression, or has difficulty typing.

Some examples: Google Voice Typing, MacDictate (for Mac users), Dictate in Office 365, Dictation in iPads

Screen Readers and Screen Magnifier Program 

Screen Readers are programs that allow individuals who are blind or with low vision to read text on a computer screen out loud or with a braille display. Learn more at the AFB: American Foundation for the Blind.

Some examples: Jaws*, ZoomText*, VoiceOver (for Mac users)

*available in MohawkApps

Graphic Organizers/Mind-mapping 

Mind-mapping is a tool that can be used to help organize a person’s thoughts and ideas, analyze and see relationships between concepts, brainstorm for essays, a method for note-taking, and a way to understand new knowledge. It is a visual display (e.g. a web diagram, a cycle, a flowchart, Venn diagram, outline view, and others).

Some examples: SmartArt in Microsoft Word, Popplet, infographic programs such as Piktochart*, Mindomo, paper worksheets such as KWL Chart or Frayer Model

*available in MohawkApps

Organization/To Do List 

Our days are busy with school, work, family, exercise, and other activities. Some days we may wonder how we will do everything! There are many different apps and programs available for organization, time management, or creating lists for the day/week. Some programs include reminders, notifications, and colour coding.

Some examples: an agenda or whiteboard calendar, Google Calendar, Google Keep, Outlook Calendar, Calendar in MyCanvas, ToDoist, OneNote, Evernote, Remember the Milk

Note-taking 

Note-taking involves listening, summarizing, and organization. Some note-taking programs allow an individual to write notes and audio record at the same time. Some are digital notebooks where a person can write and store their notes and other information in one place, while others offer annotation features.

Some examples: LiveScribe Pen, OneNote, Notability (an app), AudioNotes (an app), Evernote 

** Rocketbook is a notebook made with reusable paper. After writing notes, use their app to take a picture, and send the notes to a virtual drive, minimizing the use of paper.

iPad Accessibility Features 

iPads offer a number of accessibility features, such as dictation, text-to-speech, screen reader, among others. These are some features a person can access on their iPad:

Word Prediction and Dictation: Settings --> General --> Keyboard --> Predictive (for Word Prediction) or Enable Dictation (voice recognition) 
Text-to-Speech: Settings --> Accessibility --> Spoken Content --> Speak Selection or Speak Screen 

  • If you want the words highlighted as you read, turn on Highlight Content 
  • In Speaking Rate, move the circle between the turtle and rabbit icons to change the speech rate 

Vision: Settings --> Accessibility --> Vision section: VoiceOver, Zoom, Magnifier, Display & Text Size (Bold Text and Larger Text) 
Hearing: Settings --> Accessibility --> Hearing section: Hearing Devices, Audio & Visual, Subtitles & Captioning 
Physical or Motor: Settings --> Accessibility --> Physical and Motor section: Assistive Touch, Home button, external keyboards 
Safari: Reader View – removes clutter from webpages 

For more information on accessibility features in iPads, please visit: Apple Accessibility support

Mac Accessibility Features

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) 

OCR is a technology that allows a person to convert scanned documents or images with text into readable text.

Some examples: Office Lens (an app), Adobe Scan (an app), Screenshot Reader in Read and Write, Speechify (an app), VoiceDream Scanner (an app)

Cyber Security Best Practices

Mohawk College Cyber Security Logo

When you come to college, you’re taking on many responsibilities, making your own decisions, and becoming part of the campus community. There is an important role that you can play in our college's cyber security efforts that combines these elements of responsibility, decision-making, and community.

When you’re in college, your computer and mobile devices are primary tools in your educational and social life. Students use the Internet for homework, research, social networking, online shopping and other activities. The Internet is an amazing tool, but must be used safely and securely.

When you log on to the Mohawk network from home or onsite, what you do online could impact not only your computer, but other students and the network as well. By combining up-to-date security tools with good judgment, you and your college community are much less likely to encounter a security violation, loss of data, or system problems.

For best practices to protect yourself and your family please visit mohawkcollege.ca/cybersafe.

Online Proctoring

What is proctoring?

A proctored test/exam is an assessment that is supervised by an approved, neutral person (a proctor), who ensures the identity of the test taker and integrity of the test-taking environment.

Online proctoring

Test or exams in online, virtual, or remote learning may require the use of an online proctoring service such as Respondus or Examity to be completed.

The advantage of online proctoring is that students who are outside of Ontario, have time or mobility challenges, or simply prefer the convenience of staying home may complete exams online through online proctoring services. Online proctored exams can be taken 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise directed by your instructor.

Online Proctoring Guide: https://mycanvas.mohawkcollege.ca/courses/62461/pages/online-proctoring-guide  

In a virtual/remote learning environment, online proctoring may be a requirement in certain courses and programs and could use one of two proctoring services, Respondus or Examity.

Learn more about Respondus

Learn more about Examity
 

Get help now

The Future Ready Toolkit is full of helpful information to support your college journey. However, we know there are times when you need more immediate support. The following resources will help you get the support you need.

Tech Help

Library Help

Use the Library's one-on-one chat service for more information about:

  • Research
  • Library resources
  • Understanding APA
  • Searching databases
  • Finding ebooks
  • The Books To Go service

Academic Program Support

Mental Health and Wellness

For support:

Contact: counselling [at] mohawkcollege.ca 
Visit counselling webpage


All other questions

Email Ask to get connected to a Mohawk College employee to have your questions answered.