Technology Checklist for OSU Students

Make sure your technology is ready to go with these recommended steps.  

Many OSU courses involve a combination of in-person and remotely delivered components. You’ll need a reliable device and internet access to participate in the remotely delivered components. Here’s a summary of what technology you’ll need and how to set it up. If you experience or anticipate issues, reach out to the resources below as soon as possible so that we can assist you. 

1. Obtain a Reliable Device and Accessories 

  • Computer: PC or Mac. A laptop is highly recommended so you can be mobile between your living area, study spaces, and the classroom. See these minimum hardware specifications if considering a new laptop purchase. Your department or college may have specific technology recommendations such as these laptop purchasing guidelines for the College of Engineering. Dell offers special pricing for OSU students.
  • Webcam and microphone. You’ll use these often to interact during remotely delivered course components.
  • Headphones for your privacy and the courtesy of others around you.
  • Note: Tablets, Chromebooks, and mobile devices like smartphones are useful for many day-to-day tasks and can access some software through the web. However, not all software will run on them, limiting their use as a primary device.

2. Download OSU Software & Apps to your Devices

  • All current OSU students are eligible for five free copies of Microsoft Office through Office 365.
  • Zoom is OSU’s official video conferencing platform. Components of many classes will be delivered through Zoom. See the Getting Started guide to install Zoom on your computer and login using your OSU credentials. Learn more here.
  • Microsoft Outlook is OSU’s email platform for students. Access your email via the web or see our Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Online setup guides to configure your devices.
  • Canvas is OSU’s learning management system where you’ll access course materials, assignments, and grades as well as communicate with instructors and fellow students in your classes. Learn more here.
  • Beaver Hub brings together all of the tools you need to navigate campus life. Learn more about Beaver Hub here.

3. Identify Internet Access in Living and Study Spaces

  • Wherever you plan to live and study, you’ll need internet access to participate in remotely delivered components of courses, access online materials, and complete assignments. When on campus, students can connect to OSU’s wireless network in all residence halls and most buildings.
  • If you don’t have internet at home, see this list of options. When choosing a speed, consider the number of roommates or household members who may need to stream lectures at the same time.
  • Streaming lectures via Zoom can require about 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps (up/down) to operate well. See these Zoom system requirements for more information.
  • If you plan to change locations during the term, ensure that you have sufficient internet access in each location.

4. Keep Yourself Secure Online

  • Always keep your operating system and any software up to date with the most current version. The current operating system for PC is Windows 10 and for Mac is MacOS Catalina. See instructions and other steps here.
  • To reduce spam in your OSU inbox, don't publish your student email on the web, post it to social media, or sign up for non-school related accounts with it.
  • Always use the secure OSU wifi when on campus and the OSU VPN when doing academic work off campus (when internet bandwidth allows). See instructions here for setting up VPN.
  • If you ever get an email that makes you suspicious, please forward it as an attachment to and they’ll investigate it for you.
  • Be extra wary of emails claiming to offer internships, jobs, or honor society memberships that seem too good to be true. The best ways to find real opportunities are through the Career Development Center, your department of study, and the OSU jobs website.
  • Check out this site for more tips on keeping yourself secure on the internet:

Need Help with these Recommended Steps?

Get help with technical questions and issues from the Service Desk.

Examples of what Service Desk can help with: Device compatibility. Troubleshooting & support (e.g. error messages, logging in, etc.) General questions about technology. Learning how to use OSU systems. For issues with your home Internet connection, the Service Desk may refer you to your internet service provider.

If you are experiencing issues affording technology, contact the Basic Needs Center to explore options. Examples of what BNC can help with: Laptop loans. Textbook access. Food assistance. Help navigating available university and community resources. 

If experiencing issues accessing online materials in Canvas or course-specific platforms, start by contacting your instructor or teaching assistant.


Short URL for sharing this article:

100% helpful - 4 reviews
Print Article


Article ID: 109452
Mon 6/8/20 4:29 PM
Fri 2/9/24 11:45 AM