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Computer Specifications

Courses offered by Excel Education Systems will be delivered in the Canvas LMS, Excel’s Online learning management system. Students are encouraged to use the Canvas Help pages to explore functionality, troubleshoot, and find updates to basic computer specifications. The majority of the information here is related to Canvas and its hosting infrastructure, which is designed for maximum compatibility and minimal requirements.

Screen Size

  • A minimum of 1024 x 768. This is the average size of a notebook. If you want to view Canvas on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 or newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  • Linux (Chrome OS)

Computer Speed and Processor

  • Computer should be 5 years old or newer when possible.
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Storage Space

Students are encouraged to save their work on a local hard drive, a USB flash drive or other storage medium to store course documents. Cloud services such as Apple iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Docs are options. Saving work in at least one independent back up location is strongly recommended.

Internet Speed

Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments. However, a broadband connection is strongly recommended to view course videos.

  • Minimum of 512kbps

Screen Readers

  • JAWS 14 or 15 for Internet Explorer 11 & 12 and Firefox 27
  • Latest version of VoiceOver for Safari
  • There is no screen reader support for Chrome.
  • Sound card and speakers
  • All final exams require a headset with a microphone and/or a webcam

Browsers, Plug-Ins, and Settings

We highly recommend maintaining updates to the newest version of the chosen browser for course navigation as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in. Please see the Canvas Help Center for a list of supported browsers for Canvas.

It is recommended that students use the latest version of one of the following browsers:

* It is strongly recommended that for IE students use version 10 or beyond. Use of IE9 is strongly discouraged as it is not a supported browser and students may encounter issues.

Some courses may redirect students to new windows. In order to allow this, students may need to adjust their browser settings to allow pop-ups for the site.


You must have a functional email account, and you must check it regularly for updates and announcements.

Virus Protection

Virus protection software is recommended. This will help protect your computer against viruses and malware. Excel Schools does not provide, or provide support for, virus protection software such as Norton or McAfee. However, students who use a PC might consider locating and installing the free version of Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG and Malwarebytes.

Additional Software

Depending on the course, students may also need one of the following software packages:

  • Word-processing software such as Apple Pages, Google Docs, Microsoft Office, or OpenOffice
  • Spreadsheet software such as Apple Numbers, Microsoft Excel, or the free software provided by Google Docs or OpenOffice
  • Presentation software such as Apple Keynote, Microsoft PowerPoint, or the free software provided by Google Docs or OpenOffice
  • Multimedia player such as iTunes, VLC Media Player, or Windows Media Player

Computer Skills

In order to succeed in an online course, students should feel confident doing at minimum the following:

  • Using a keyboard and mouse (or a notebook touchpad)
  • Using a browser to navigate webpages, recognize links, bookmark pages, use the “Back” and “Reload” (or “Refresh”) buttons, and so forth
  • Using a search engine (such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo!) to retrieve information
  • Sending and receiving e-mail communications
  • Using word processing software to create and submit projects
  • Saving files to a hard drive, portable storage device, or cloud service and retrieving them for editing or submission
  • Uploading and downloading documents and files
  • Installing and updating software
  • Creating audio files

In addition, students should recognize that technology will sometimes fail. It is strongly recommended that students not yet proficient in troubleshooting technical problems such as an Internet outage, hard drive crash, or virus have someone they can consult should the need arise.

Mobile Device Accessibility

The configurations above are designed for desktop and notebook computers. However, many Canvas functions are accessible from a number of devices, including tablets and mobile phones. Full functionality is best met through the configuration parameters above (for example, Flash files will not open on some Androids and iOS devices). Additionally, students are not permitted to take exams on their mobile phone.

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Excel High School is a State recognized regionally accredited High School. Excel High School is accredited by AdvancED the parent organization for the North Central Association CASI, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools CASI and Northwest Accrediting Commission - agencies recognized by the State Department of Education.