Keeping You Informed

As the Elon University community forges ahead with planning for the 2020-21 academic year, Information Technology (IT) continues its work to make necessary updates and adjustments to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Here, we’ll offer the latest news and updates about technology at Elon to help you now and in the future as faculty and staff continue their important work and students prepare to return to campus – all during this challenging time.

Remember to check back often for updates and the latest news about technology tools and services as we navigate this transition together.

 

Latest Updates

8/14/2020

Classroom Technologies

Additional technologies were installed in more than 200 classrooms across campus in an effort to help facilitate blended teaching and learning. The standard setup for each classroom includes a web camera with integrated microphone, which allows class sessions to be streamed live or recorded for later viewing. Visit the IT Self-Service Portal for how-to documentation and tips for using Zoom and Webex in the classroom environment, and contact the Technology Service Desk for assistance at (336) 278-5200. In addition, long-term checkouts of compatible equipment like audio amplification devices, USB microphones, document cameras and iPads are available through Media Services.

Zoom Web Conferencing

Zoom was added to the growing list of tools and services available to all Elon faculty, staff and students. The web conferencing platform is well-known for its simplicity and sought-after virtual breakout rooms options. With Zoom, you can securely host and record meetings to the cloud, chat with others one-or-one or in a group and upload virtual backgrounds. This week, we linked Zoom and Moodle to give instructors the option to add recurring virtual sessions to their courses for easy student access. Learn more about key Zoom features and use our Zoom quick start guide to schedule your next meeting.

Moodle Theme Update

Moodle at Elon has a new look and feel. The latest, more visual update to the learning management system features accessibility and navigation enhancements with larger text throughout, custom image headers for course pages, simplified editing functionality and revamped course management settings. Explore new Moodle features and learn how to add Elon images to your course headers. 

Adobe Creative Cloud for Faculty, Staff & Students

The use of Adobe Creative Cloud is no longer limited to select computer labs on campus. Now, all faculty, staff and students can conveniently access Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and other programs directly from their own devices. Learn more about available Adobe software and resources to help students get started installing Adobe.

Remote Access to Computer Lab Software

If your go-to lab is at capacity, use AppsAnywhere to run available software on your device instead. The cloud-based service allows you to securely access, from any location, a variety of academic software packages found in campus computer labs. The service is available on-demand, on or off campus. Learn how the AppsAnywhere service works and explore available programs.

Respondus Pilot Extended

Although paper scantrons for academic testing will not be available this fall, Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) extended its pilot of Respondus LockDown Browser, a tool that integrates with Moodle to disable multiple computer features while students are taking exams. When activated, the application can disable access to external websites and resources on a student’s computer during testing, both on and off campus. Learn more about Respondus. To brainstorm ways the tool may be used in your course, request a consultation with TLT staff.

Enhanced Outdoor Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi service has been enhanced on campus to expand connectivity and coverage in outdoor areas where tents are located. These areas include Fine Arts, Lakeside, Sankey, Phi Beta Kappa Plaza, Gray Pavilion, Whitley Auditorium and the Danieley patio area (near dining services).

Clean & Sanitize Technology Safely

REMEMBER: Don’t spray disinfectants, water or other cleaners directly on technology equipment! If necessary, squeeze excess liquid from a disinfectant wipe, then clean the device.

Above all else, regularly washing and sanitizing your hands after using shared technology is recommended to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Review more cleaning information and tips.


8/4/2020

Classroom Technologies

The standard setup for most classrooms includes a web camera with integrated microphone which allows class sessions to be streamed live or recorded for later viewing. Instructors will have complete control of video and audio streaming and capture in each space and can choose the video conferencing platform they prefer (Zoom, Webex or Teams).

Classroom Technology Orientations

Information Technology (IT) hosted a number of opportunities for instructors to learn how to use classroom technologies, engage students in streaming class sessions and teach in physically distanced classrooms.

Long-Term Equipment Checkouts

Requests for long-term equipment checkout are now open through Media Services. Available equipment includes audio amplification devices, USB microphones, document cameras and iPads (available in late August) – all of which are compatible with classroom technology installations. Visit the Media Services website site to learn more about the available equipment and to submit a request.

Project and Protect Your Voice

This fall, instructors will teach while wearing face coverings, which is prompting many to wonder whether or not students will be able to hear them. Polly Cornelius, a Senior Lecturer in Music, explains how instructors can project, protect and care for their voices while teaching in physically distanced classrooms. Learn more about her tips.

New Technology Offerings for Faculty, Staff and Students

  • AppsAnywhere is a new portal for accessing and running most campus academic software packages securely and on-demand from your own device. Access AppsAnywhere and learn more.
  • Zoom is now available through an institutional license. Access Zoom and learn more.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud will be available through an institutional license. More information coming soon.
  • Outdoor Wi-Fi will be enhanced for areas with tents to expand connectivity and wireless coverage.

Classroom Assignments and Information

Classroom assignments can be found in OnTrack. To see the new physically distanced layouts for your classrooms, visit the Planning, Design and Construction Management website. Information about technology and other features in each space can be found on 25Live. Most learning spaces are currently locked to keep them sanitized and due to ongoing installations; the PDCM website and 25Live offer the best options to “see” your space ahead of planning week.


7/31/2020

  • AppsAnywhere: AppsAnywhere is a new portal for accessing and running most campus academic software packages securely and on-demand from your own device. Students, faculty, and staff can access the portal at appsanywhere.elon.eduLearn more here.
  • Zoom & Adobe Creative Cloud: A reminder that Elon has procured a site license for Zoom and Adobe Creative Cloud. Students, faculty, and staff can login to Zoom at www.elon.edu/zoom. Adobe Creative Cloud access will be coming in August prior to the start of Fall semester classes. Please do not purchase either of these products on your own for Elon.
  • Paper scantrons and Respondus: Paper scantrons for academic testing will not be available during COVID-19. We have extended our pilot of the Respondus Lockdown Browser to support testing. Learn more here.
  • Digital Learning Days: Learn about blended learning environments and maximizing face-to-face instruction in our second offering of DLD: Aug. 5-7.
  • Long-term equipment checkouts: Look for an email early next week with details on available equipment and the request process for long-term technology checkouts.

7/24/2020

  • Moodle: The Moodle theme will be updated on July 29, but there will be no downtime associated with this update. Users will notice a few new features, including improved course legibility and customization, a one click button to toggle editing on and off, a course management panel that consolidates all course settings onto one page, and an optional table of contents menu for navigating course topics. A full list of improvements and features will be provided next week.
  • Classroom technology: Technology is actively being installed in classrooms across campus. If you come to campus to explore your classroom, please note that the room may not have been updated yet. More information is coming soon on faculty development opportunities related to classroom technology.
  • Please do not spray technology equipment. Currently, multiple copiers are no longer working due to being sprayed and cannot be repaired immediately. Wash or sanitize hands after use. Use a sanitizing wipe, if you feel the need to clean a device.

7/17/2020

  • Zoom: As announced previously, an institutional license for Zoom was purchased for all students, faculty, and staff. Zoom is now available. We expedited your access due to demand, so please note that there will be limited support of this product initially. Bear with us as we develop our internal support processes, documentation, and more. Please do not purchase Zoom licenses on your own for Elon. 
  • Please do not spray technology equipment. Currently, we have seven copiers that are no longer working due to being sprayed. This is a disruption to work, as our machines cannot be repaired immediately and there is cost associated with repair. We encourage users to wash or sanitize their hands after use. If you feel the need to clean a device, please use a sanitizing wipe.  
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: An institutional license has been purchased for Adobe Creative Cloud. All students, faculty, and staff will have access to the software prior to the start of the semester.  More information is forthcoming. Please do not purchase Adobe Creative Cloud on your own for Elon. 
  • Digital Learning Days: Learn about blended learning environments and maximizing face-to-face instruction. The first three days were successful this week, and the second offering for DLF will be on Aug. 5-7. We are also planning for drop-in times for users to receive hands-on training for classroom technologies around Aug. 5-7. More information to come. 
  • New Moodle template: A new Quick Start Template has been created based on research-supported practices for quality course design. This optional template provides a consistent structure for course content that benefits both instructors and students. Visit the Technology Knowledge Base site for additional information, including the request process. 

7/10/2020

Information Technology is actively working on enhancements to support the teaching and learning environment: 

  • Classroom technology support: With technology enhancements in classrooms, IT is currently planning additional staff and hours dedicated to respond to classroom needs.
  • Computer lab software: Piloted successfully last academic year, AppsAnywhere allows faculty, staff, and students to remotely access most academic/lab software securely from any device (personal or Elon-owned) anywhere in the world. More information, including software availability, is forthcoming.  
  • New Moodle template: A new Quick Start Template has been created based on research-supported practices for quality course design. This optional template provides a consistent structure for course content that benefits both instructors and students. Visit the Technology Knowledge Base for additional information, including the request process.
  • Cleaning technology equipmentPlease do not spray technology equipment. Wash or sanitize hands after use. If you feel the need to clean a device, please use a sanitizing wipe.  
  • Digital Learning Days: Learn about blended learning environments and maximizing face-to-face instruction. Register: July 14-16 and August 5-7. We are also planning for drop-in times for users to receive hands-on training for classroom technologies around August 5-7. More information to come.

7/2/2020

  • Control of Webcams: R&R received a question about who can access webcams, recordings, streams from classrooms. IT has clarified that webcams and other technologies are being installed in classrooms throughout campus to offer additional flexibility for blended instruction and other course models planned for the upcoming academic year. Faculty will have complete control of video and audio in each space, which includes the broadcast or recording of live class sessions and the security and distribution of those videos through their WebEx, Zoom or Teams accounts.

6/26/2020

Information Technology is actively working on enhancements to support the teaching and learning environment:

  • Zoom: As of today, Information Technology (IT) has signed a new campus license with Zoom. Look for more information from IT in the coming weeks about how all students, faculty, and staff can utilize Zoom. (Webex and Teams will continue to be offered and supported.)
  • Learning Spaces: Equipment has arrived, and IT is beginning to install web cameras in classrooms across campus. 25Live will be updated in early July to reflect technology upgrades and changes in spaces.
  • Equipment is being purchased to meet common requests we are receiving for short-term and long-term needs (e.g. webcams, audio amplification for larger spaces).
  • Registration for the “Digital Learning Days: Technology for Flexible Teaching” will open on Monday, 06/29. These faculty development opportunities will be held July 14-16 and August 5-7. Visit the Technology Training page on Monday for further information.

Visit the COVID-19 Technology Updates page for the latest information related to upgrades, roll-outs, and support.


06/19/2020

Information Technology is actively working on enhancements to support the teaching and learning environment:

  • All learning spaces (undergraduate and graduate) will have standard technology to allow for streaming or recording course activities. Many additional classrooms will have flexible technology providing tools to increase visualization of course content (additional cameras, audio support, and document capture).
  • Final details are being negotiated with Zoom, as a supplement to WebEx, and to better support breakout rooms for increased engagement.
  • Elon will continue to support Microsoft Teams for video, chat, and document sharing for meetings, consultations, and small group gatherings. In addition, we are actively exploring a connection between Teams and Moodle to better support the teaching and learning environment.
  • Discipline-specific technology is being explored with the School and College Deans.

 

Need help now?

Technology Service Desk staff are available to answer your questions. Visit the IT Self-Service Portal to submit a request or call 336-278-5200 for assistance.