​Software Needs​

To be successful in an online class, students needs to have access to some basic software programs. These programs are all free and will likely be required at some point during your course.  

Mic​rosoft Office

All students at College of the Desert have free access to Microsoft Office products via their MyCOD email account. 

You can access your free Office suite via your email, use the cloud version, or download the product to your own, personal computer. All at no cost. 

Google Docs

Google Docs is a free source for accessing word processing, presentations, and spreadsheet programs.

Google doc welcome screen

Adob​e Reader

Many documents your instructor will post may be in a format called Portable Document Format, or PDF for short. This is a type of file that opens on PCs and Macs and does not require you to have a specific word processing program. 

You can download Acrobat Reader for free. ​

Adobe Download Page

Screencas​t-o-Matic and Jing

Both Screencast-o-Matic and Jing allow you to capture your computer screen (and yourself). Sometimes instructors will require you to do an intro video or other project using one of these free tools. 

You can download Screencast-o-Matic or Jing for free!

Screencast o Matic screen 

Jing Screenhunter screen 


Faculty will often require you to watch a variety of videos using YouTube. In order to upload your own videos to YouTube, you can easily create a YouTube channel with a Google account. ​

College B​uys​

Students at California's community colleges have access to greatly reduced technology through CollgeBuys​.​ Check out discounts on Adobe products, laptops, and other "gadgets" and software you will need to be a successful college student.

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