Course Technology

There are tools you may be asked to use when attending a class online. These may include Blackboard, Bowdoin Email, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom, among others.

Are you ready?

Complete this checklist before online classes begin.

Question Y N
I know how to communicate with the class and my instructor.   Learn
I know what software my instructor will be using for class materials. Learn
I have a place I can go that has good internet service.   Learn
I have a computer, laptop, tablet, or SmartPhone that has a webcam, microphone, and speakers (or headphone jack). Learn
I am familiar with going to Blackboard to access a syllabus, turn on notifications, respond to a discussion board, and access class readings and materials. Learn
I tested my audio and video in Zoom and or Microsoft Teams Learn
I know who to contact if I need technical help. Learn

If you answered “no” to one or more of the statements see what you can do below.


Check your syllabus and email, or ask your instructor to see what form of communication your class will use.
  • Email: Check your Bowdoin email at frequently throughout the day.
  • Blackboard announcements: Your instructor and classmates may post class-related announcements using the Blackboard announcement tool.
  • Is there a general question discussion board in your class?
  • Microsoft Teams: Your instructor may have a Teams site set up for you class. You can use Teams to communicate with each other over chat individually or as a group.
  • Your instructor will communicate what software they will be using for the class.

Internet Access

Online courses mean internet access is needed. At the minimum, you will need to be able to access Bowdoin email, login and use Blackboard, open up documents sent through email, and use Zoom or Teams for chat and/or video and voice calling.

  • Eduroam: National and International Access.
    In a pinch or as a temporary measure, Eduroam (education roaming) provides faculty and students visiting participating eduroam institutions the ability to connect to eduroam wireless with their login. Find an Eduroam location near you.  IT has more information about eduroam in their knowledgebase.


  • Computer, tablet, or Smartphone with access to the internet.
  • Microphone: Most laptops, tablets, and phones have a built-in microphone.
  • Webcam: Most laptops, tablets, and phones have a webcam built-in.
  • Headphones or speakers: Most laptops and phones have speakers, but to keep sound down around you, you can use headphones too.
  • Power Supply: Make sure to plug in, especially if you are doing a remote video conference, as this uses a lot of battery power.
  • Apple Pencil when needing to write on a whiteboard or provide feedback on your iPad.

Access and Equipment Requests

We understand that not every student has a home computer and other technology needed to support online learning. Bowdoin is committed to ensure that all students can participate in their classes and has equipment for students to borrow for the fall semester as needed.

Request Technology

Blackboard Course Management System

Blackboard is Bowdoin's web-based learning management system and will serve as the central meeting place for your classes. It provides many services and tools to faculty and students, including course information, discussion boards, and photo rosters. Visit Blackboard's site for students to learn how to respond to discussion boards, upload a file, take a quiz, and more. On an iPad or tablet, download the Blackboard learn mobile app or use the Safari browser to go to


Classes may use Zoom to meet face-to-face for office hours and class meetings. Your instructor will post Zoom meeting links in Blackboard or send through email. Use Zoom on a computer, tablet, or Smartphone.

Login to Bowdoin's Zoom Account (Recommended)

  1. Visit 
  2. Use your Bowdoin username and password.

Test your equipment with Zoom: Test your microphone, webcam, and speakers (or headphones) before you start classes.

Learn more about using Zoom.

Microsoft Teams

Download Teams

You may be asked to use Microsoft Teams to attend a face-to-face meeting with your instructor, chat with your class mates, or even sit in on a class online. 

Finding your classes in Teams 

When you log in to teams, use your Bowdoin username and password. Once you log in you will see icons in the banner to the left. Click on the Teams icon. You will see a Team for each of your courses.

Test your microphone, webcam, and speakers (or headphones). 

If you will be using the voice or video options to meet in Teams, you can check your microphone and video settings ahead of time.

  1. Click on your profile photo in the top right of the teams window.
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Device Settings
  4. Click on Make a test call

If something does not work, go into device settings to change things.

Teams Support Resources

Help with Technology

Specialized Software

You will receive information and instructions about accessing and using any specialized software used in your classes (Arc GIS, SPSS).