These are free or demonstration resources that you can download directly from software web sites to your own computer. Many on-line courses will make use of one or more of these resources for activities such as viewing streaming video or PowerPoint presentations.
Microsoft Internet Explorer is Microsoft's World Wide Web browser.
Firefox is Mozilla's World Wide Web browser.
Must-Have Plug-ins and Utilities
Adobe Acrobat Reader is free software from Abode for viewing and printing Portable Document Format (PDF) files.
Desire2Learn requires Java to run important features, including quizzes and chat sessions.
Sun Java™ Virtual Machine (JVM) Windows version - allows programs called "applets" to run inside your Web browser. Apple's Mac OS X ships with the Java 2 platform already installed.
Adobe Flash & Shockwave
Adobe Shockwave - a video, sound, and animation viewer. It allows for viewing of all Shockwave content, including Flash. Shockwave also allows for the most engaging, interactive content on the Web.
Adobe Flash - an animation viewer that supports sound. This will allow you to view animated sequences that are included in your course.
Other Media Plug-ins
Windows Media Player
Microsoft's Windows Media Player is the Windows default media player for viewing multiple video formats as well as playing MP3s. If you are a windows user, you likely already have one version of this software.
Real Player is free software from Real for streaming media (video and audio).
Windows 98 and above version (download the free Basic Real Player)
QuickTime is Apple's complete technology for handling video, sound, animation, graphics, text, music, and even 360-degree virtual reality scenes. QuickTime handles 200 kinds of digital media with your PC and Macintosh.
VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming files.