Technical Resources

Learning at a Distance

School Administrator and Coach Support

Technical Resources

Required Materials & Technology

Participation in ILO course requires students to have the following:

  • Student email account
    • ILO requires that each student have a unique email address for successful communication.
    • Please ensure that the email you provide for your student is accurate and one that the student will have regular/daily access to.
    • To help ensure proper delivery of ILO-related emails to you and your students, please make sure your school or students' email system does not block messages from the following domains:
  • Reliable bandwidth and Internet access (school technology staff may have to ensure Firewalls permit access to certain websites/services)
  • Current version of modern Web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari 5, Internet Explorer 9 or above)
  • Headphones (speakers are acceptable but not preferred)
  • Webcam and microphone to participate in videoconferencing
  • Zoom videoconferencing software (free download
    • Zoom software is currently supported for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Blackberry operating systems. The software is now compatible with Chromebooks running Chrome version of 35.0 or above.
    • Although a dial-in option is available for voice-only communications, some ILO course communications require participating in full videoconference mode.
    • *Note: If using the phone dial-in option to participate in a Zoom videoconference, long-distance charges may apply.
  • Many courses require access to classroom videos posted on YouTube.

ILO World Language courses require a Web browser running Adobe Flash Player plug-in 10.1+. ILO World Language courses will not run on mobile devices, including iPads, that do not support Adobe Flash.

View detailed ILO world language course technical notes and requirements.

Additional required supplies vary from course to course. See Course Descriptions or the syllabus for specific additional materials for each course. YouTube video access may need to be arranged for various courses. Each local school district is responsible for obtaining the textbook or other required materials for the students they enroll in an ILO course. Schools will determine whether to purchase physical or digital editions of textbooks for their students.

Using the Canvas Course Management System

Canvas is a Web-based set of tools ILO uses to deliver online learning. If you can use a word processing program, e-mail or Web browser, you should have no problems mastering the capabilities of Canvas. Some of the Canvas tools you might encounter in your course include:

  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Calendar
  • Quizzes & Tests
  • Gradebook

Each of the Canvas tools enable you to communicate and interact in many of the same ways you would in a traditional course. As with any type of class, the tools and techniques used will be different from course to course based on the instructor and the content. Once you start your course, you will have many opportunities to explore each feature in-depth.

Canvas provides a comprehensive collection of online guides, videos and troubleshooting tips for all users:

Canvas Mobile App

You can access Canvas on your mobile device through any mobile browser. Canvas recommends using the free Canvas mobile application for an improved user experience for most courses. The Canvas by Instructure app is the mobile version of Canvas that helps you stay current with your courses anywhere you go. Download the free Canvas by Instructure app on Android and iOS devices through their respective online stores (iOS 8.0+, Android 4.0.3+).

To access your ILO course on the app:

  1. Install the Canvas by Instructure app from the respective app store on your device.
  2. Launch the app. In the "Find your school or district" prompt, enter "".
  3. Use the same username and password that you use on the website to access your course.

More information about the apps can be found in the following guides:

Creating a Parent/Guardian Account in Canvas

ILO's Canvas system allows a parent/guardian to create a free Observer account for their student. This will allow parents to view course content, student submissions and grades. To create this account, the parent must know the student's Canvas username and password. Create a parent account at by clicking "Parent of a Canvas User? Click Here For an Account". View the following Canvas support articles for more information.

Canvas Parent App

A parent observer app is available for iOS and Android. Parents and guardians can sign into this app using their observer account to view grades, course events and due dates, as well as set custom alerts for student activity and progress. Please note this app is still in Beta release with additional changes and updates anticipated.

Download and learn more about the Canvas Parent App.

Using the Genius Student Information System (For Students)

ILO uses a system called Genius to manage student information. Students can log in to Genius at to:

  • Change your password (for both Genius and Canvas)
  • Identify your Student Coach
  • Find information about your course enrollments

Is this your first time accessing Genius? Follow these simple instructions to get started.

Using Zoom for Videoconferencing

Zoom is a simple and effective tool for live video, audio, and screen interactions among students and teachers. Download the most recent version of Zoom (free). Access their online help system. *Note: If using the phone dial-in option to participate in a Zoom videoconference, long-distance charges may apply.

Contacting Support

Below are the steps you need to follow to get your technical questions answered.

  • Check with Your Instructor. Your instructor should be your first point of contact for questions, and should be able to help you solve your problem or will know who can help.
  • Check Your Browser. Make sure your computer and Web browser meet the minimum technical requirements, and that you have the proper browser plug-ins installed.
  • Check the ILO Orientation Lesson in your course. Basic logging in and navigation questions may be answered in this orientation activity provided to you at the beginning of your course. Be sure to check the tips for Canvas, Genius and other tools on this page.
  • Context-Sensitive Help Online. The built-in Help feature of Canvas is always available when you are in a course. This help system will present information based on the tool or feature currently active in the system.
  • Search Canvas Guides. Canvas provides an extensive online library of searchable help documents.

Learning at a Distance

ILO Welcome Guide for Students

View a quick overview of ILO for students enrolled in a course.

Iowa Department of Education | Online Learning Providers and Resources: Guidance for School Districts, Schools, Parents, Guardians, and Students

View criteria for school districts, schools, parents, guidance and students to use when choosing providers for online learning.

Distance Learning Success Traits

Students who have these personality characteristics are most likely to succeed as distance learners.

  • Communicative: Students who are able to participate in class through both written and spoken word will succeed in online learning.
  • Motivated: Students who do not give up easily when faced with challenging materials and are able to prioritize their workload will more likely be successful distance learners
  • Assertive: These students aren't afraid to ask questions! They don't hesitate to ask for help with either content or technology. Consequently they are less likely to become frustrated and drop the course.
  • Methodical: Students need to log on to their courses every day so that they don't fall behind. They need to make a habit of checking for assignments, reading email and contributing to discussions.

Successful Online Learner Checklist

  • I have ready access to a computer.
  • My computer has ready access to the Internet.
  • I enjoy reading.
  • I like exploring new things.
  • I ask questions when I need clarification.
  • I enjoy working on the computer.
  • I understand that an online class will require as much as, if not more attention than, a face-to-face class.
  • I can work independently.
  • I have a supportive parent/guardian and school staff behind me!

School Administrator and Coach Support

School Administrator Tip Sheet

Enrolling a new student into ILO is a three-step process. You will need to create the student's account; create the student's student coach account; and then enroll the student into a course section. View the tip sheet.

Coach Orientation

The Coach Orientation document introduces you to the role of the Coach in an ILO class, along with common tools and activities used to monitor your student.

The ILO Coach Guidelines (Summer 2017) are designed to assist during the first month of the term.