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. *Online courses are designed to be completed on a computer or laptop. Excel's courseware is not 100% compatible with mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones.
Excel High School Technology Requirements
The great thing about attending online school at Excel is you won’t need any specialized hardware or software to access online courses.
Students will need the following:
- A valid email address. Each student will be required to have a valid, unique email address. For students using a free email service such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook Live (MSN) you will need to mark Excel High School emails are safe to ensure you receive all school communication.
- Internet access. Students must have access to the internet to participate in online courses at Excel. EHS does not offer correspondence courses by mail.
- A working desktop computer or laptop. Whether you’re a Mac user or prefer a PC, it’s essential to have a reliable computer. Smart devices are useful for some schoolwork, but many assignments and all final exams must be taken using a computer.
As a non-public school, Excel does not provide laptops or tablets to students, so having your own computer or access to a computer from a family member or friend is key.
Operating System. Whether you’re using a laptop or desktop, your online courses will work best with an updated computer system. Excel recommends a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later.
- Internet Browser. Excel High School uses the Canvas LMS, and we recommend students use Google Chrome for online courses. Google Chrome is a free browser and works great with all EHS applications.
- Hardware: In addition to a working computer and internet access, students will need to have a webcam and microphone for final exams. All laptop computers have built-in a webcam can microphone. If you have a desktop and need a webcam and microphone, both items can be purchased at Walmart or Amazon for less than $ 10-20.
- Software: There is no requirement to purchase specialized software for online courses at Excel. We do recommend students have Microsoft Office or Google Docs and Google Sheets, which are free open source programs useful for some assignments.
You don’t have to be a computer genius to be successful in an online school.
Excel High School uses user-friendly systems and programs. As long as you read instructions carefully, you will have no trouble accessing and navigating your online courses at Excel High School. Should you have any questions regarding how to access your online courses, please refer to the orientation videos, or call the school office for support at 800-620-3844.
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.
Most of Excel's courseware functions best on a computer/laptop. We do not recommend mobile devices when viewing digital textbooks.