Learn more about the tech and tools you need to learn online.
Blackboard Learn, Collaborate, and Microsoft Office 365 will help you access your course materials, stay connected with your faculty and classmates and set you up for success while learning remotely.
Basic Tech Requirements
You will need:
- Device (computer, laptop, tablet) which meets NIU's minimum requirements
- Stable high-speed internet access (DSL, cable, home or public Wi-Fi, eduroam)
- Current versions of a web browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
- Up-to-date Java and Flash plugins
Online Learning Toolset
Blackboard Collaborate is a video, audio and chat collaboration tool used in many online courses. You can access the link to Blackboard Collaborate within your courses in Blackboard.
Microsoft Teams is a video, voice and chat-based collaboration platform complete with document sharing, online meetings, and many more extremely useful features for academic communications. Your faculty may also choose to use for web conferencing, but it's also a tool you can use to stay in touch with friends and classmates.
Your NIU email also gives you access to Microsoft Office 365, which NIU students are eligible to use for free. Your Office 365 login is the same that you use to login to your email address. Along with the Teams tool mentioned above, this will give you access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneDrive (a document storage and sharing tool).
VoiceThread is an online platform that allows you to put digital media such as images, videos, and documents at the center of an asynchronous conversation. VoiceThread allows people to contribute to discussions using a keyboard, microphone, web cam, telephone, or uploaded audio file.
SPSS Statistics is a software package available to all NIU students for interactive, or batched, statistical analysis. Log-in authentication required for download.
- SPSS PC 32-bit Installer (EXE)
- SPSS PC 64-bit Installer (EXE)
- SPSS PC Instructions and License (PDF)
Mobile Learning Apps
Disability Resource Services
If you are in need of accommodations such as adaptive materials or accessible media, the Disability Resource Center works to enable equal access to learning and university life for students registered with the DRC.
DRC is operating remotely and can assist students and faculty with alternate instruction needs by contacting the main office and leaving a message.
If you have concerns with how your disability will intersect with the transition to virtual learning or if you encounter any unanticipated barriers, please do not hesitate to reach out.