Student Technology Tools and Resources for Online Learning

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Learning online anytime, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, means you’ll be using technology a lot. Get ahead of the curve by checking out and utilizing the recommended and available technology software and services for students.

Software, Applications, and Digital Tools for Students

Computer and Wi-Fi Recommendations

Minimum Software, Operating System, and Application Recommendations

Low or No-Cost Internet and Computer Options

This is not a complete list. Check with any local Internet service providers in your area. Many are offering free or reduced-rate service during this time. Please check with your carrier for specific offers and benefits provided to you under your data plan. Many are offering waiving of late fees and allowing delayed payments.

  • Charter Communications is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days in homes with K-12 and/or college students that don’t have an existing Spectrum service level up to 100 Mbps. 
  • Comcast is offering 'Internet Essentials' package free for low-income customers for 60 days. There is also an option to buy refurbished low-cost computers. 
  • Verizon is increasing data limits to 15GB through May 31st for phone data and hotspots at no additional charge. Students may use their phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Sprint is providing unlimited data through 5/18/2020 and 20GB of free mobile hotspot data to hotspot-capable devices.
  • T-Mobile is offering unlimited data for a period of time. 10GB per month with smartphone mobile hotspot and increased data for students.  
  • Comcast will offer open free public Wi-Fi hot spots throughout the country, as part of its response to the coronavirus outbreak. It will also eliminate data caps for its customers.  
  • Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. Map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots
  • MIDCO Lifeline: Lifeline is a federal program intended to put a home phone and internet service within the reach of qualifying families – giving low-income households affordable home phone or Internet access. 
  • Minnesota Office of Broadband Development: Digital Inclusion: If you are a low-income subscriber residing in either a Comcast, CenturyLink, Charter, or Midcontinent area, you may be eligible for reduced pricing of monthly broadband service.
  • Minnesota Computers for Schools: Lifelong Learners Program: Do you need a computer but have no way of getting one? This may be a program to help. There is an application process and the student would need a portion filled out by a Learning Partner/Counselor/Social Worker/Job Coach, etc. 
  • DEED: Digital inclusion for broadband service. Highlights available programs for low or no-cost options.
  • PCs for People: This option gives the ability to provide low-cost Internet and computers to individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements. The Internet access is provided with mobile hot-spots, which would allow students to take it wherever it is needed.

Cell Phone Hotspots

Check with your cell provider for options they have to add a mobile hotspot to your plan, many of which are temporarily at no charge.

Laptop Checkout

  • A limited number of laptops are available from IT Solutions for checkout. If you already have a laptop checked out from ITS, you have the option to renew. Learn more and request a laptop

Technology Training, Help, and Support

Tech questions? We have you covered! Here we share useful help and support resources for quick answers to your tech questions. 

  • Support Articles
    Search tons of step-by-step support articles on hundreds of topics on the
    IT Solutions website.
  • LinkedIn Learning
    Watch free video courses by experts on thousands of tech and other topics on LinkedIn Learning  (previously
    Minnesota State Mankato has a curated playlist of recommended Office 365 videos, pick and choose videos and courses to learn more about Microsoft applications like Excel, Outlook, Teams, OneNote, OneDrive, and more.
  • IT Solutions Webinars
    Explore previously recorded and upcoming webinars focused on key University tech tools and services.
  • IT Solutions Center
    Get tech assistance from our IT Solutions Center experts on the web, online chat, email, or by phone at 507-389-6654. 
  • Hotline for Student Technology Access
    This hotline is available over the phone and through online chat and is specifically for students who have questions about accessing the right technology and tools for working and studying at home, such as internet and computer access.

Downloadable Student Tech Resource Quick Guide