Technology for Fall Teaching

Posted July 14th, 2020 at 10:38 am.

Emailed to the Academic Community listserv 7/14/20:

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for sharing your questions, concerns, and requests with LITS about technology that will support your teaching this fall. The College is committed to meeting expressed needs for teaching equipment and to making the proactive investments we need across the board for the classrooms and other spaces that will be used for teaching.

Shared Resources: Software and Classrooms

After significant research, LITS is developing a multi-pronged approach to providing remote access to lab software for fall. This will likely include a mechanism for students to remotely log in to existing lab machines, and a cloud-based solution for accessing many of the software packages needed for classes. There may be a few cases where purchasing additional downloadable licenses for students’ personal machines is the best or only option. We will share more information about this model as it develops. Many departments have consulted already with LITS about specialized software needs and how best to provide access. If you haven’t yet confirmed the approach for specialized software your students will need to access for courses, please contact help@brynmawr.edu to initiate consultation toward figuring out the best approach for delivery.

Likewise, we will share additional information about classroom technology and opportunities for orientation and hands-on practice as teaching schedules, room determinations, and appropriate technology installations are finalized.

Acquiring New Tech for Fall

We’ve published a buying guide that answers many of the questions we’ve received about webcams, headphones, and other personal equipment. LITS is happy to provide additional advice and consultation as needed. Given the volume of requests for webcams, headphones, and other personal equipment and the degree of personal preference involved in selection, the College will continue to expect individuals to make these purchases themselves and fund them through departmental budgets.

LITS will continue to procure tablets (iPads, etc.) centrally for departments who have requested them and provided departmental budget numbers.

LITS maintains a pool of loaner laptops that meet many needs across campus. However, if you anticipate you or colleagues in your department having a long-term teaching need for a laptop, it may be best to purchase one through LITS with departmental funds rather than borrow one. LITS can consult and will supply additional College-owned laptops wherever departmental budget numbers have been provided.

Many supply chains are operating more slowly than they have been in the past. Soliciting requests early has helped LITS get a head start on orders and projects that require significant lead time. We encourage individuals to order any peripherals (headsets, etc.) you anticipate needing ASAP so that you have the best chance of receiving them in time to test and use for the fall start. If you discover additional needs for computers or tablets, please put in help@brynmawr.edu requests ASAP so that we can order swiftly.

Student Access

The Dean’s Office and LITS are partnering to provide recommendations and guidance to students about what technology they will need to be successful in our hybrid context. This includes advising students on working with their local internet service providers (ISPs) or cellular providers to secure Internet access and improve bandwidth; sharing buying guides for laptops and other equipment; and providing information on educational and troubleshooting resources for commonly used educational technologies like Moodle, Zoom and Panopto; as well as encouraging students to talk with their faculty members about how best to access course software.

As always, please reach out to help@brynmawr.edu with any questions. We’re working collaboratively through this channel to assess needs, track requests, and provide consultation in ongoing ways.

All best,

Gina

Filed under: Announcements by Melissa Cresswell

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