In the last ten years, the computer market has changed a great deal. This has had a gigantic impact on the development of online education software. Not only have fundamental computer software and hardware systems evolved, but the ways in which information can be electronically disseminated has also transformed itself. Today, electronic learning is no longer limited to postings or other one-dimensional models. Instead, online classrooms have been developed in order to address the needs of modern day student learners and the technological market.
Unfortunately, electronic learning formats are evolving so rapidly some students can’t keep pace in the long term. While older machines may function for daily use, many students will find that those same machines are inadequately equipped to deal with the multimedia demands required for online classes. For example, while older computers are likely to still have the capabilities needed to play video and sound, most virtual classrooms also expect that students will have computers with the ability to support major applications. This may be a problem, as older computers were not built to sustain the speed needed for streaming applications.
Hardware and Software Abilities
The nature then, of basic computer hardware, has altered a great deal. Computer systems must be equipped with appropriate memory and varied technological capability in order to support online education software. For instance, at minimum, hardware requirements for online classes require a 1.2 GHz or greater processor. This processor acts as the brain of the computer by tracking the commands of the computer system. Computers must also run on Windows 98, XP, or 2000 operating software. Any older operating system will cause great technical challenges. In addition, Macintosh users may experience problems. Usually, Apple computers and PCs encounter formatting difficulties, even if the operating systems are contemporaries in a development sense.
Older models of the Macintosh computer are likely to encounter even greater difficulties with the execution of audio and video files. Furthermore, instructors will also expect students to have computers that possess 256mb RAM or greater. Random access memory provides a portion of the computer’s memory. Online classes also require at least a 20GB hard drive, sound card and speakers. It is also useful to have 1024 x 768 or greater monitor and video card, a CD ROM, and access to an inkjet or laser printer.