Technology requirements for online learning

Many courses will be running virtual classrooms and you will need appropriate technology to engage and succeed. You may be able to complete some learning tasks with your smartphone or iPad. However, we are recommending that students use a laptop or desktop PC to help ensure you complete your course requirements, and are able to fully participate in your classes.

Most standard PCs or laptops purchased within the last three years should be sufficient for your course work. Some courses require the use of specialized software that may only run in a Microsoft Windows environment. If you own or are considering purchasing a Mac or other non-Windows device, please check with your program for compatibility before starting your course.


Minimum requirements when purchasing a new computer

Mac laptop minimum requirements

  • Intel Mac Laptop, Core i3/m3 processor or better
  • OS X 10.10 or higher
  • Minimum 4GB of memory, 8GB recommended
  • Minimum 120GB storage, 256GB and SSD recommended
  • Most laptops have a built in camera and microphone 
  • Optional:  head set for audio and video

Windows laptop minimum requirements

  • Intel Core i5 processor or better
  • Windows 10
  • Minimum 4GB Memory, 8GB recommended
  • 120 GB storage or above, SSD recommended
  • Most laptops have a built in camera and  microphone
  • Optional:  head set for audio and video

Desktop minimum requirements

  • PC Windows 10 or Apple Mac laptop capable of running Mac OS X 10.11 or newer  (no Chromebook)
  • Multicore processor with 64-bit support
  • 8 GB of RAM minimum, 16 GB of RAM recommended or better
  • 256 GB of storage or better (SSD or hard drive – 7200 rpm recommended)
  • 1440 x 900 resolution display or better
  • Webcam 
  • Optional:  head set for audio and video

  • Purchase your laptop form a reputable Canadian retail store or website or through the manufacturer such as Dell, Acer, HP or Apple using the above specifications to narrow your choice.
  • Be an informed consumer, read reviews before you buy.  is a great source of reviews and information on what’s available.
  • Consider what else you will need a computer for beyond school and consider who else in our family may need to use the computer.  

Once you have a computer, you will need to make sure that you have reliable internet connectivity.  Most home internet and WIFI services will be sufficient.  Take some time to become familiar with a new computer before the start of class.

For most courses you will need the Office 365 Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, Teams etc.). To learn more, log into > Services > Information Technology.

For some courses you may need some specialized software. Your instructor will inform you on how to get the software the first day of class.

And, make sure you have at least two browsers installed on your computer.  You will need the browser to visit course websites. Most computers come with Edge or Safari, however we recommended that you use Google  for your coursework.

  • All courses will use VCC's platform to deliver the course.

  • Your instructor may use other tools along with Moodle. Some instructors make use of , a video-conferencing tool that will allow you to connect in real time with your instructor, and other students in your class. You will need audio and video enabled on your computer to use Zoom. See the page for tips.

  • Email is an important way for your instructors and the college to communicate with you. It’s recommended you and check your email once a day for important messages regarding you learning experience.

  • Your course may require a textbook. Most textbooks will be available in a digital form and you can find your textbooks, order, and pay for them through the Bookstore website.

  • Live chat with our librarians using about research, citation and book loan.

  • Online learning success tips for academic and career help is available on the website.

  • LinkedIn Learning now available to all VCC students as a complementary educational resource for registered VCC students. It offers an extensive collection of expert-led videos covering a wide variety of topics including technology tips, communication skills, creative expression, personal hobbies, and more.

  • VCC students have access to computer labs at both the Broadway and Downtown campuses. As campus access is restricted, please check our for available hours.

If you are a student with a disability, connect with the Disability Services  before your classes start. It can take time to put your accommodations in place.