Coronavirus Update: March 18
Free Adobe Creative Suite for Students
KU students can get free access to Adobe Creative Cloud for a limited time. KU students can now download and use Adobe Creative Cloud on their personal computer at no cost through May 31, 2020 or as soon as students are able to return to our campuses. Go to remote.ku.edu/adobe for instructions on how to access and download Adobe Creative Cloud. KU faculty and staff already have free access to Adobe Creative Cloud.
URGENT NOTE regarding KU Anywhere VPN: We are quickly moving to expand the current capacity of our VPN service, KU Anywhere, to meet the needs of our faculty and staff working from home. We expect to have a solution in place to alleviate any constraints on our system by the end of this week at the latest. In the meantime, we need your help with the following:
- Only connect to the VPN (KU Anywhere) when it is actively needed and disconnect when you are finished. Not all services require the use of VPN, but for some core university services, such as the full ImageNow client, it is a requirement. Please help us ensure there is access for everyone while we work on the expansion. See our VPN Updates page for more details.
Again, we expect that this will be a temporary situation and that we will be able to expand the VPN service very soon. We plan to provide campus with another update at that point.
In the past weeks, we’ve been planning for a variety of scenarios and pursuing options to fit our university’s needs as more information becomes available. Below are some of our current top priorities, including areas where we need your help.
(also see employee and student sections below):
In the past week, KU IT staff have worked with colleagues from the Center for Teaching Excellence, Center for Online & Distance Learning, KU Information Technology and Faculty Development on resources to support instructors in moving to online classes. This includes:
- Resources for instructors: Together, we have developed guides and how-to resources available at remote.ku.edu
- Webinars: We’re partnering on educational opportunities you can find listed at remote.ku.edu/events
- Support: We are continuing to provide support to instructors. You can find a complete listing of our teams under the Help section at the end of the email. Also, our Media Production Studio in Budig 10 will remain open this week.
- Zoom: We have expanded our existing Zoom Pro licensing (see Zoom Pro Licenses below) to accommodate more use by faculty, staff, GTAs, and GRAs.
Additionally, we are:
- Software Access: Our TSC staff have worked with departments to inventory software that is typically provided on campus to find additional opportunities to provide access to students in lieu of KU campus computer labs. We are pursuing opportunities to expand licenses for other technologies such as Virtual Lab, Respondus Monitor and Adobe Creative Cloud (see Students section below)
- Blackboard: Our staff expanded the infrastructure for Blackboard to ensure capacity to serve all students and instructors. We are continually monitoring Blackboard for performance issues.
If you are an instructor, we need your help with the following:
- How to Record Videos: (First, please read remote.ku.edu/strategies#lecture.) If you would like to use video with your courses, and you need guidance on how to get started, please see our quick start guide and recorded webinar at remote.ku.edu/resources#video-overview.
- Zoom Pro Licenses: (First, please read remote.ku.edu/strategies#lecture.) If you are planning to use Zoom with your course and have not yet signed in, please go to kansas.zoom.us, select “Sign in,” and login with your KU login information. This will ensure that you are assigned a “Pro” license that allows for scheduling of meetings with up to 300 participants with no time limitations, unlike the “free” Zoom accounts. If you are unsure of how to use Zoom, go to remote.ku.edu/resources#zoom.
We are working to ensure more connectivity and productivity away for those who are away from our campuses. These efforts include:
- Guides for working from home: We have developed guides on how to make the transition to remote work at remote.ku.edu/working. And see our IT Security Tips for working remotely.
- Monitoring: We are actively monitoring the network and resource use to ensure stability as we see more connections from outside of KU.
- Repurposing technology: Our staff has been working to resource and repurpose computers and other devices to ensure faculty and staff have the equipment they need to be successful.
We need your help with the following:
- Tech Help: Your department’s technology support staff are your first contact when it comes to your workstation and related technology issues. And just like many departments on campus, we may have staff who are working from home. Due to this:
- We are defaulting to providing support remotely. You can request to see someone in person, which we will accommodate if possible.
- Please contact your department’s technical support: The best way to request computer support will be by emailing using their department email, which you can find at tsc.ku.edu. You can also contact the KU IT Customer Service Center at email@example.com and 785-864-8080.
While the university moves to online classes, we empathize with our students, many of whom have never taken an online class, and who may be experiencing considerable personal and academic stress. Remote.ku.edu now has recommendations for supporting students as learners and as humans (see remote.ku.edu/supporting-students). We are also actively working with groups on campus to support students and remove technology barriers.
- Student guides and tech tutorials: We’ve worked with campus partners to provide information on how to transition to remote study at remote.ku.edu/studying. This includes tutorials and cheat sheets for using Zoom, Blackboard and more.
- Technology access: We are working with department tech staff and vendors to identify alternatives for remote access to technology currently accessible in campus labs. In some cases, software providers are temporarily offering expanded licensing to the university, such as Adobe Creative Cloud (more details to come soon). For other software, we are working on providing additional access for students through virtuallab.ku.edu. In addition, we are working with campus partners to identify options for computer access for students without technology at home.
- Tech support: We continue to help students with technology questions through our IT Customer Service Center (firstname.lastname@example.org and 785-864-8080).
- Internet access: As more students, faculty and staff connect to KU remotely, home internet service will be paramount. Several national providers have already released information regarding expanded internet access and options. We are working through the details of these offers and plan to provide more information on remote.ku.edu.
Since the beginning of March, we have been migrating employee email from our data center to the cloud. We are sensitive to the need for reliable e-mail communication and of minimizing changes to technology at this point in time. That is why we are pausing our migration of email mailboxes to the cloud. You can see an up-to-date list of departments that have been migrated to date at: howto.ku.edu/migration-schedule.
This experience has been a reminder of our interconnectedness and our common goals. We appreciate the communication and patience of our community as we quickly work to find solutions to challenges — some of which we’ve never faced. I would like to express my gratitude to our KU IT staff, who have shown flexibility, adaptability and care, and to so many more at KU who are doing everything they can for our community.
We plan to continue to update students, faculty and staff on these efforts moving forward. Please check remote.ku.edu for updates, and please contact us at 785-864-8080 or email@example.com if you have additional questions.
For help with equipment and other technical questions:
For help with online pedagogy:
- Center for Online and Distance Learning (CODL): firstname.lastname@example.org, 785-864-1000
- Center for Teaching Excellence: email@example.com, 785-864-4199
Ed Tech Help with Blackboard, Zoom and other online teaching and learning technologies:
- KU IT Educational Technologists: firstname.lastname@example.org, 785-864-2600
- Edwards Campus Educational Technologists: email@example.com