Since most courses are being delivered remotely through online learning, you will need access to a computer and internet at home to complete your coursework.

Recommended technology requirements

Review the minimum computer and internet-connectivity standards that will work for most remote/online classes.

Students with disabilities: Register with Access and Equity Services to learn about assistive technology that may be available to you.

Shop USask offers a variety of laptops, calculators, printers, ink, accessories and more. If you're not sure what technology you need or what products to choose, ask the Shop USask Tech Concierge.

Cyber security

Learn how to protect your data and systems against security breaches.

Security recommendations

Internet access

Types of internet connections

Not all home internet connections are the same. Learn what to consider when selecting an internet service provider (ISP), an internet connection speed (upload, download) and how to test your connection.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

You may need to use our VPN to access restricted campus resources from off-campus. Our VPN provides the same level of access from home that you would have if you were using a computer on campus.

Saskatoon campus WiFi

If you are coming to the Saskatoon campus for in-person instruction, you can connect to our on-campus secure wireless network: uofs-secure.

Email and scanning

Email is the university's official means of communication. Please check your university email regularly for class updates and announcements. All USask students have an email quota of 100GB. You can access your email in multiple ways:

  1. Access your email via PAWS.
  2. Access your email via an email client.
  3. Access your email via office.com (login with NSID@usask.ca and password).

Your phone can be used to scan documents using the OneDrive mobile app. This is a great feature while on the go.

PAWS, Blackboard and Canvas

PAWS

PAWS, your personalized access to web services at USask, is a customizable web environment used by students, faculty, staff and alumni. PAWS is where you'll access class registration, tuition and fees, scholarships and bursaries, textbooks and more.

PAWS quick tips

Blackboard and Canvas

You may be taking courses through Canvas and/or Blackboard learning management systems. Classes in Canvas and Blackboard should be available about a month before the start of class, but instructors may limit access while they prepare.

Instructors may record videos using Panopto for some of your classes. You can access Panopto videos from your Blackboard or Canvas course, or you can use your NSID to log into Panopto.

Canvas information

Library resources

Access University Library electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books) from home.

Software and applications

As a USask student, you have access to a variety of software that you can install on your personal computer for free or at a reduced cost. Some of the software is also available for use through our Virtual Computer Lab (VLab).

Unless otherwise noted, we can not help install this software on your personal computer.

Software with free student licenses

Software Description Information
/install
Comments
Autodesk (multiple programs) Many computer-aided-design and modelling packages including AutoCAD, Maya, etc. Info/install Free or paid versions available
ESRI ArcGIS/ArcMAP Software for spatial data analysis Info/install Requires VirtualBox or VMware
Microsoft Office365 Microsoft productivity tools - MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint Info/install
QSR NVivo Data management/analysis tool Info/install Must fill in form to request a license
R/RStudio Statistical computing language Info/install Free or paid versions available
SAS University Edition Statistical analysis package Info/install Requires VirtualBox or VMware
SketchUp 3d Modelling/Design Info/install Requires signup on website
IBM SPSS Statistical analysis package Info/install 14 day free trial available
MathCAD Express Mathematical worksheet Info/install 30 day trial for MathCAD full features

Software with reduced-cost student licenses

This software is available to current students for a reduced cost compared to regular pricing.

Software Description Information
/purchase
Cost*
Adobe Creative Cloud Suite Graphics and video design tools Info/purchase $29.03/month
Endnote Bibliographic management tool Info/purchase $99.00
MiniTab Statistical analysis package Info/purchase $43.55 for 6 months

* Costs may change - costs are current as of March 19, 2020.

The Microsoft Advantage program allows USask students to install and use the latest desktop versions of Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac on up to five devices such as computers or laptops (in addition to five tablets and five mobile devices) for the duration of their time as a student.

Virtual Computer Lab (vlab.usask.ca) enables students to access applications from their personal laptop, computer or portable device (e.g. iPad) from home. VLab saves all work to your Cabinet drive.

ArcGIS Geographical information systems (Mapping)
Mathematica Symbolic and numeric math package
MATLAB Numerical mathematics package
Origin Professional-quality graphic package for analysing and plotting research data in a multitude of formats
NVIVO Qualitative statistical package
R The R Project for Statistical Computing, including RStudio
SPSS Statistical package for the social sciences
Stata Statistics package

Storage

Microsoft OneDrive

USask students have access to 1TB of free personal cloud storage through OneDrive for Students offered as part of your Microsoft 365 account. Microsoft OneDrive keeps your files backed up, protected, synced, and accessible on all your devices. You can share files with one or more people either via email or through a link. You can also determine if you want other people to be able to edit your OneDrive files or just view them.

Cabinet

Cabinet was the personal file storage system used at the university prior to the implementation of OneDrive. Each student can still access their Cabinet account, however we strongly encourage using OneDrive instead, as it gives you access to a larger storage quota and makes sharing files and folders much easier.

Ask for help

We are here to help you transition to remote learning.