a school requires it's students be users of one or two popular
operating systems and / or web browsers. There is usually
nothing particularly special about the content being delivered, but
rather than fight the school system and/or risk a bad grade; you can
likely fool the school.
Spoofing is pretending to be running an operating
system (usually Windows or Mac OS X) and/or a particular web browser
(usually Internet Explorer or Safari) that you're really not. The
easiest way to to accomplish this is to change the User Agent String
in your web browser - what the web browser itself reports it is
and what it's running on.
An easy method of changing the User Agent String (on the fly if you
need to) is called User Agent Switcher. See the Firefox User Agent Switcher Add-on and the Chrome
User-Agent Switcher Extension.
Different strings to spoof different operating systems and web
browsers are stored in a Permanent Spoof list and may be added to. The
advantage is that you only have to add a User Agent String once for
each site that you need it for. From that point on, the web browser
will automatically show the correct User Agent String to the correct
websites. See the school's online system requirements for what
User Agent Switcher allows you to save a particular "spoof" for a particular website or group of websites. For instance; you might need to fool your child's school into thinking you're running Safari on Mac OS X when they turn in a homework assignment, but streaming "Building a Difference" on Parables works just fine on Firefox thank you very much. Quite possibly you enjoy the features of the "full version" of a Webmail program your college uses and need to pretend to be running Windows. And the online statistics class you take through the University might require you to be running Internet Explorer, but when you're all done for the night - Netflix "just works" on Google Chrome.
See the very useful User Agent String Browser List and User Agent Strings by Application and also this Comprehensive List of User Agents. This Linux.org article gives much insight into how and why User Agent Strings are used and this article on How-To Geek shows you how to spoof without installing User Agent Switcher. Note: Because so much of online education is video based; please also see our VIDEO section.