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Academic Technology Launchpad: Free Programs and Plugins

Quick Guide to computer and academic technology resources for students.

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Web Browsers

Do not use Edge or Safari with Blackboard or college email.

Use a recommended browser - Firefox or Chrome

  • Have at least 2 browsers on your computer. 
  • If you have a technical issue, try another browser.
  • Clearing the browser history and cache fixes some issues too. 

Free Tools and Plug-ins

Your instructor may let you know if any of these 3rd party tools might be useful for your course.

Note - Be careful when installing or updating applications. Sometimes an unwanted toolbar or extra program may install also by default unless you deselect the options.

Viewers and Plug-ins

Cloud Storage

Multimedia assignments - audio and video

Browser Checks

Additional Content Provider Browser Checks

Your instructor will let you know if you will be using any other specific course content resources. There may be specific technical requirements for those systems. For example:

Mediasite & Silverlight Plug in

Mediasite videos are used by some instructors in their courses. To view these videos, you may need to add a free Silverlight plug-in from Microsoft and adjust some browser settings:

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Internet Explorer- you may get a firewall warning, even when on-campus, prompting you to allow access.

 Chrome- not currently recommended; likely will not work at all.

 Firefox- Version 52 and newer likely will not work at all. Version 51 (on-campus older version) you will need to enable/activate the plugin - Silverlight.

silverlight activate

silverlight plugin

 Safari- enable/activate/install or update the plugin / Silverlight.