Dear UVM Faculty and Staff,

In preparation for fall semester, Enterprise Technology Services (EST) has partnered with many units across the University to implement a range of improvements, including a new structure for classroom support. This memo outlines some primary resources and provides guidance on usage.

In keeping with social distancing requirements, ETS has equipped a maximum number of teaching spaces with enhanced technologies to allow faculty to simultaneously teach their in-person and remote students. These new technologies may include a webcam with embedded microphone, speakers, document camera, and a digital writing surface (Wacom One). Please take a moment to review the list of new technologies that have been implemented in classrooms at https://www.uvm.edu/it/kb/new-classroom-tech/. We continue to update the list of specific technologies in each space. The current list of equipment, along with step-by-step information on how to use it, and how to integrate it with Teams and other teaching applications, can be found at uvm.edu/it/classrooms.

To maintain a sense of consistency and to preserve the integrated nature of the technologies in place, we recommend that you refrain from connecting personal devices to the equipment in the classroom whenever possible. If you would like to share content from a personal device, we recommend connecting the device to the Wi-Fi network, then joining your classroom Teams meeting. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has developed the simple quick start guide to facilitate the use of these new technologies. Although a copy of the quick start guide will be available in the classrooms, we recommend that you print this document and retain a copy as a personal reference material.

Beginning Monday, a group of UVM IT professionals and student employees will be available to support faculty who have requested a classroom producer for their classes. The assignment of classroom producers is currently underway and will continue throughout the first weeks of the semester. Updates will be sent to faculty who have requested a producer as schedules are finalized. We will make every effort possible to schedule classroom producers to meet their assigned faculty in the classroom 15 minutes before the beginning of class sessions. Many student classroom producers may also be students in classes in which they are enrolled.

If you encounter technical issues that your classroom producer is unable to resolve, please contact the ETS helpline at helpline@uvm.edu or at (802) 656-2604. The ETS triage and response process will give priority to urgent technical issues affecting teaching and learning. 

In addition to the enhancements in the classroom spaces, ETS has also virtualized UVM computer labs through the implementation of a user-friendly software distribution portal (AppsAnywhere). This solution makes a range of software only previously available in computer labs accessible to faculty, staff and students wherever and whenever, and on any device. We encourage you to read more about AppsAnywhere at https://www.uvm.edu/it/kb/article/appsanywhere/, and to take advantage of the benefits it brings. 

Blackboard and Microsoft Teams are, respectively, UVM’s approved and supported Learning Management System (LMS) and collaboration tool. Over the summer, ETS has integrated these two platforms to make sure each course section in Blackboard has a Teams space for the faculty and the enrolled students to collaborate. This integration adds a high efficiency while providing cybersecurity layer to the virtual classroom space.

Please visit the ETS knowledge base https://www.uvm.edu/it/kb to access important information about the many the technologies available to you at UVM. In addition, you can contact the ETS helpline at helpline@uvm.edu or at phone (802) 656-2604.

We wish you a successful semester!

PUBLISHED

08-28-2020
T. Simeon Ananou, Chief Information Officer