You will need either a PC or a Mac computer with Microsoft Word or Microsoft Works. If you have neither of these, you can download a free Microsoft Word equivalent (and compatible with Word) called OpenOffice from You cannot use WordPad.

You will need internet access. High speed internet is, of course, the best way to go; however, dial-up works fine (just a little slower).

You will also need to update two programs that are probably already on your computer. The first is Java. Go to and download and install the latest version (free). You will need this to be able to access the online classroom.

The second is Adobe Acrobat Reader. The lessons and many handouts are in PDF format (so that everyone can read them, no matter what word processing program you have), and you need the latest Reader to open these. You can download and install this from:

Other than that, you will need an e-mail program (any e-mail program is fine).