Resources to Support Off-Campus Technology Access and Remote Learning/Work
As we pivot to remote instruction and operations this week here are some considerations and resources to support your off-campus technology access and remote learning/work. The information below will be posted to The View and updated regularly.
Internet Connectivity – Do you have reliable access to the internet and sufficient bandwidth to work and/or learn remotely?
- Many Internet Service Providers and Telecom Companies have signed the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge”.
- AT&T is removing data caps for its home internet customers.
- Burlington Telecom [PDF] released a COVID-19 update.
- Charter is offering 60 days of free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access to homes with K-12 and/or college students if they don’t already have Spectrum services of up to 100 Mbps. Charter Wi-Fi hotspots will also be free for public use.
- Comcast is providing free access to Xfinity WiFi hotspots and offering 60 days of free Internet Essentials service for new customers.
- FirstLight will not terminate services due to inability to pay and is waiving late fees for 60 days.
- T-Mobile is providing unlimited data for 60 days on T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile plans, adding 20 GB of hotspot service, and increasing data allowances for schools and students in its EmpowerED programs (K-12 only).
- US Cellular is waiving late fees for subscribers and providing free access to Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Verizon is waiving late fees for subscribers.
Hardware – Do you have hardware sufficient to support your remote work and/or learning?
- College-issued laptops and peripherals
- Take your College-issued laptop and charger home nightly in case you need to start working remotely on short notice.
- You are welcome to take your peripherals (docking stations, monitors, keyboards, mice, surge protectors, etc) home if you anticipate working remotely for an extended period. Please be safe when transporting equipment home and when returning to the office.
- If you are seeking a monitor or other peripherals for home use (aside from what you have been issued at your workstation) please contact ChampSupport with your request.
- Campus phone lines
- PLEASE NOTE: Your VOIP desk handset (telephone) will not work off campus!
- You may wish to change your voicemail message to indicate that you are working remotely.
- IS can forward your campus number to a cell or home phone.
- IMPORTANT: If you forward your campus phone your voicemail will NOT be on the campus system, but directed to wherever you have your line forwarded.
- Please submit your request for call forwarding here.
- Webcams, microphones, headsets
- Most College-issued laptops have built-in webcams and microphones, however these may not provide an optimal experience when working remotely for an extended period.
- Please be aware that the Rental House is closed until further notice.
Applications, Licensed Software, and Services – Our technology environment is a combination of cloud- and campus-based solutions. If you are not accustomed to working remotely please be aware of the following:
- Many commonly-used applications and services are cloud-based and fully accessible from off-campus including:
- Blackbaud RENXT
- Google (GSuite)
- Some campus-based services and licensed software applications are accessible via Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI): VDI for Faculty & Staff
- Resources available on Faculty & Staff VDI
- Access to ‘drives’ like X: and I:
- Resources available on Faculty & Staff VDI
- Some applications and services may pose a challenge for remote workers. If you require any of the following please contact ChampSupport for assistance.
- Scanning & I: Drive
- “Special Printers” (Award Letters, Accept Letters) & I: Drive
- Substance Painter
- Some software is free or discounted for home-use for faculty and staff.
Staying Secure – When working remotely it is even more important than usual to be mindful of security and safe computing practices.
- Your work computer should be your primary tool for remote work.
- Keep your systems up-to-date: Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows
- Install and update anti-virus software such as Windows Defender.
- Remember that Champlain’s Information Security Policies apply even when working remotely or on a personal device.
- Be aware that phishing, social engineering, and other suspicious activity has increased and will likely worsen as bad actors seek to exploit current events.
Keeping Connected – We’re a close community and that shouldn’t change even if our circumstances keep us physically distant. Here are some tips to transition to remote work:
- Contact Lists. If you don’t have one already, create a Google Sheet with contact info for your team so that you can keep in touch outside of normal channels.
- Practice. Try accessing the systems and data you will need to work remotely to ensure a smooth transition in the event you’re working off campus for an extended period.
- Communicate. Connect with your colleagues and manager regularly so we know how you’re doing.
- Set your voicemail message or forward your work phone to your cell or home phone.
- Use Google Hangouts or Zoom to facilitate remote meetings and collaboration.
- All Champlain Students, Faculty, and Staff have access to Google Hangouts. If you do not already have a paid Zoom account give Hangouts a try!
- Use your Gmail Vacation Responder to let others know if you are away and not working.
- You can set your Work Location via your Google Calendar settings so that others know you are working remotely.
- Set or update your working hours and availability in Google Calendar if your schedule is going to be different than usual.
This is just the beginning – We are quickly pivoting to remote operations and every detail is not buttoned up just yet. You no doubt have questions, and maybe suggestions, so let’s keep the conversation going. Send them all to ChampSupport and we’ll find answers, solutions, and strategies which we’ll share and update regularly.
Thank you all for your collegiality, partnership, patience, and kindness as we transition to new ways of working together.
Jeffrey J. Brown
Vice President for Technology and CIO