Technology Needs

This section provides you with information about the technology necessary to take this class and how you can find support for the systems that are used for the course, as well as information about the accessibility of the course.

Technology Needs for This Class


You will need access to two books for this class (yes, books are a kind of technology!). You can read these books in whatever format works best for you: print, ebook, audiobook, etc. Copies of the books are available for purchase from the campus bookstore, but any edition you have access to will be fine (just be aware of different page numbers).

  • George Orwell, 1984 (ISBN:​ 9780451524935)​ 
  • ​Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring (ISBN:​ 9780446674331) 


You will need access to a computer and to the internet. You will need to be able to type some assignments with a word processing program and to upload those assignments to our course on Brightspace. You will also need to complete online quizzes and to download and/or print documents I post to Brightspace, as well as to keep track of your grades. You will also need to be able to view short videos posted to YouTube. If the class needs to meet through Zoom, you will need, at a minimum, to use a computer with a working speaker. Having a set of headphones with a built-in microphone is better, but not required. Likewise, having a web cam is ideal, but not required. Please see me if you anticipate any difficulties with these technology needs.

Third-Party Accounts

In order to complete assignments for this class, you will need to create accounts with the following third-party systems. For each, please use your Xavier email address when creating the account:

  • WordPress
  • Hypothesis
  • EdPuzzle

You will receive instructions for how to set up each of these accounts after the class begins. If you have any concerns about creating these acccounts, please speak with me.


I am committed to the principles of universal design for learning (UDL). This means that our face-to-face and virtual spaces, our practices, and our interactions will be as inclusive as possible. All course content is designed to work with screen readers. All required content videos are captioned. Supplementary videos include text summaries.

Please let me know if you have any problems accessing any of the course content.

Brightspace System/Device Preferences

Browser Preferences

Brightspace will be used for communication, collaboration, resources, etc. To eliminate technical difficulties with using Brightspace, you should make sure you use a web browser that is compatible with this version of Brightspace. Refer to this list of acceptable browsers. You can test your browser by using the System Check link below.

Brightspace Preferences

Account Settings and Notifications allow you to select your personal preferences. You should customize your account settings and notification preferences. Refer to the Brightspace Account Settings – Learner video and Brightspace Notifications – Learner video for information on this.

Mobile Devices

This version of Brightspace was designed with a responsive design. Therefore you do not need a special app to use Brightspace on your mobile device. However, you may want to download the Brightspace Pulse app to your mobile device to help you keep track of important updates. The Pulse app brings news, deadlines, and grades together in one place. With the Pulse app, you can check your upcoming readings, assignments, and tests quickly to make better decisions about how to handle your workload.

System Check

Use the automated system check to check if your web browser is properly configured to use Brightspace.

Help and Tech Support

If you are having technical difficulty and cannot find the answer to your problem, you may be able to find the solution in one of these resources:

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