Technology Recommendations

For the best possible experience in Remote Instruction it is recommended but not required that you have:

  • A PC or Macintosh computer that is less than 2-5 years old
  • Canvas-compatible Browser –
  • For an optimal experience smartphones and tablets are not recommended.
  • Webcam and microphone for video conferencing- cannot be required but optimizes your experiences
  • A strong internet connection with a reasonable speed, or a hotspot
  • Headphones are often useful for privacy
  • Access to VPN if needed for your class

Technology Commonly used by Smeal Faculty


Canvas is Penn State’s online system for teaching and learning. Penn State’s Canvas Student Orientation provides an overview of all of the features in Canvas courses.

PSU Library

The Penn State University Libraries provides a wealth of resources for all students, faculty, and staff. Online journal articles, books, and live librarian help are just a click away.


LionPATH is the PSU’s student information system, where you can accept financial aid, enroll in classes, pay your bill, and more. Access to LionPATH is provided through the LionPATH Support site.

O365 Email

Microsoft Office 365 Outlook provides access to email and calendar through a desktop application installed on your computer. You may also choose to access your email/calendar via Outlook on the Web.

Smeal Course Support

If you have any technical difficulties using the tools within your course, please contact Smeal’s Course-Support team. We should be your first point of contact when you encounter technical issues.

Harvard Business Online

Your course may utilize Harvard Business online materials. You will need to register on the Harvard site as a student. As part of the registration process, you will be asked to create a username and password of your choice which will allow you to access and purchase Harvard Business materials for your courses. More information is provided in online course orientations.


Zoom is a cloud-based meeting platform that provides video, audio, and screen sharing options. You may also be asked to utilize Zoom for team presentations.

Google Suite

Penn State’s G Suite account includes a variety of apps that you may find yourself using as part of your online learning experience. Learning paths for individual tools can be found on this website.


Kaltura is Penn State’s cloud-based media management platform for storing, publishing and sharing video. You can access Kaltura through your Canvas course or the Penn State MediaSpace Portal.


The Helpdesk is your secondary point of contact when you encounter technical issues using Penn State-supported tools within this course. They can be reached via the following.
For 24-7 support contact:

Smeal Specific Technical Needs for Student’s Computer

  • Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 or higher; Mac OS X 10.5 or higher recommended
  • Processor: 2 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 1 GB of RAM
  • Hard Drive Space: 60GB free disk space
  • Browser: Canvas supports the last two versions of every major browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in. To determine if your browser is supported, please review the list of Canvas Supported Browsers. Note: Cookies, Java, and JavaScript must be enabled. Pop-up blockers should be configured to permit new windows from Penn State websites. Due to nonstandard handling of CSS, JavaScript and caching, older versions of Internet Explorer (such as IE 8 or earlier) do not work with our courses.
  • Plug-ins: Adobe Reader [Download from Adobe] Flash Player (v18.0 or later) [Download from Adobe]
  • Additional Software: Microsoft Office (2010 or later) or use of the PSU Office 365 License provided to all students.
  • Internet Connection: Broadband (cable or DSL) connection required
  • Printer: Access to graphics-capable printer
  • Sound: Sound Card, Microphone, and Speakers
  • Monitor: Monitor (Capable of at least 1024 x 768 resolution)

Not sure if your computer is set up correctly? You can use the links below to test your settings: