Technology-related Information for Fall 2020

Following is information related to technology that will likely prove helpful as the fall semester gets underway. If you have questions that are not answered within, or there is not a contact email provided for the item in question, please contact Chris Plouff (plouffc@gvsu.edu).



Student Technology Requirements

If faculty have specific technology requirements for their courses, this must be clearly stated in the syllabus. For students enrolled in online/hybrid courses, please ensure they have reviewed the Technology Requirements for Online/Hybrid Courses web page. Students who do not have the necessary technology should make their professor aware as soon as possible. In some cases, the university may have equipment/technology to assist the student. In addition, a ‘special circumstance and financial hardship request’ is available; students are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Following are a variety of resources that may be useful to students and low-income families who need a computer or internet access. These resources are listed on the 21 Ways to Get a Free Laptop from the Government (for School, Work…) website.

  • Computers with Causes
    Students and military veterans can get a free laptop if they have a financial need, and meet certain eligibility requirements.
  • United Way Worldwide
    This non-profit organization provides assistance on a range of topics through its 2-1-1 program, and connects people to local resources. The 2-1-1 service is free to use and is confidential. Students could use the service to get help finding a free or low-cost laptop.
  • PCs for People
    Some people ask online whether there’s a way to get free internet and a laptop from the government – while there is no such program available from the government, this non-profit organization may be able to provide cheap internet and a free laptop. PCs for People is a non-profit organization that gives complimentary laptops and low-cost internet services to qualifying recipients.
    It provides refurbished PCs. What’s great about the PCs for people is that it is a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher. The computers it donates come with licensed copies of Windows 10. In order to be eligible to receive a PC, students will need to meet certain requirements.
  • Computer Technology Assistance Corps
    Students can get a laptop for as little as $120 through this organization.
  • Freecycle
    People can donate items and receive donated items locally, and students might find someone who’s offering a free laptop. Students can request items on Freecycle as well (e.g. a laptop).
  • Notebooks for Students
    This site was created by students, and helps students find laptops at deep discounted prices.

Blackboard and Teaching with Technology Support

Faculty should be aware that all faculty and students have been enrolled into an Online/Hybrid Orientation course in Blackboard. The Orientation is designed to help students be successful in online learning; faculty teaching online or hybrid courses often request that students complete the Orientation and submit the associated Certificate of Completion as verification. Any faculty utilizing Blackboard in their courses are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the Orientation and refer students to this resource. 

Blackboard, Collaborate, and Ally support is provided 24x7 for students and faculty. Support is also  provided for a variety of Teaching with Technology resources such as Panopto and Respondus LockDown Browser/Monitor. In addition, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team provides Digital Studio resources along with Fall webinars on a variety of teaching with technology topics.


Virtual Computer Labs

Most software available in on-campus computer labs will be available virtually for use by faculty and students through WinLab and MacLab. Questions can be directed to WinLab: Winlab-pilot@gvsu.edu or MacLab: Maclab-pilot@gvsu.edu.


Adobe Creative Cloud Suite

Adobe Creative Cloud Suite will be provided only for students in courses where the software is required.

  • GVSU is still working through the contract with Adobe to add named licenses for all of the students in the identified courses
  • Once the contract is signed and the license is granted, we can test and document how a student will access Adobe Creative Cloud Suite
  • The documentation will address different scenarios to help students and faculty troubleshoot setting up the software. Those scenarios are:

What happens when we grant a new License:

          - A new Adobe user that has never had a license – This should be fine. 
          - Someone that has a paid Adobe License using their mail.gvsu.edu account. 
          - Someone that has a new Adobe License using their mail.gvsu.edu account​​​​​

  • The documentation will be emailed to all students who are registered in a course that was designated to use Adobe CCS. A copy of the documentation will be sent for distribution to faculty also.
  • The Adobe software that was in the physical labs will no longer be available for generic use. You must have been issued a named license, which is determined by registration in the appropriate course.
  • The students will be registered to access the Adobe CCS for the length of the semester and then will be de-enrolled at the end of the semester to get ready to load the next group of students for the next semester.
  • We anticipate this being completed and communicated to faculty and students by the first Friday of classes.

Tips for Teaching HyFlex and Staggered Hybrid Courses with Remote Learners

Faculty using HyFlex pedagogy in their classes, whereby some students meet face-to-face during regularly scheduled meeting times and the rest of the students join the course online synchronously, can use the Tips for Teaching HyFlex and Staggered Hybrid Courses with Remote Learners web page for help in facilitating the setup of technology for your courses.


Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor are available for conducting student assessments remotely. Review Repondus LockDown Browser and Monitor web page for more information. Note that students must have minimum technology requirements (e.g. Chromebooks are not supported), so please review with your students in advance of requiring this for your course. Additionally, Disability Support Resources can help with proctoring of exams, providing support for on-campus students.


Voice Amplification Support

If a faculty member needs voice amplification support in the classroom due to wearing a face covering, please make a request by emailing itoffice@gvsu.edu. Faculty will be assigned a device that they are responsible for and would need to bring to the classroom each day - devices will not be left in the classroom and cannot be shared.

Please note that due to demand and timing, the equipment may not be available to start the semester if it has not yet been requested. If equipment was already requested through the call put out by your unit head/college during the past two weeks, please DO NOT request equipment through the email address above. Your equipment has been ordered and will be provided to you when it arrives.

Voice amplification equipment includes the following (or equivalent technology based on availability):

https://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-Speakers-W-KING-Portable-Waterproof/dp/B081RPZJM3/

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Lavalier-Microphone-Handheld-Instructor/dp/B07WNVWWRZ

Any additional equipment will need to be ordered through your unit/department office.


Social Media and Third Party Tools in Teaching

For information about third party tools, recommendations to support student learning and ensure consistency and clarity across courses, and guidance for use of technology/tools NOT supported by GVSU’s IT, visit eLearning’s Social Media and Third Party Tools in Teaching site.


Computer Lab - Remote Machine Monitoring

LanSchool is a commercially produced and easy-to-use software solution for teaching and training using networked computers. It helps instructors manage multiple student GVSU lab computers in classrooms from the instructor console. Using this tool, instructors can remotely control, monitor, share, restrict, etc. student work stations in a lab environment. This tool will be installed in all IT-managed computer labs at GVSU for fall semester.

GVSU has purchased enough licenses to cover the seats designated as in-use based on social distancing in the computer labs (both Windows and Macs). Once installed, IT will provide faculty instructions for both Windows and Mac labs.

We anticipate installation being completed by the first day of classes, but with a goal of everything being in place and communicated by the first Friday of classes at the latest.


Recording of Classes

If the recording of live online class meetings will be shared with students in other sections of the course, consent is necessary. Faculty and staff can obtain consent to record live online class meetings by using the FERPA Recording Consent form (located on the Registrar's website under Student Forms). Please retain a copy of this form for your records as long as you maintain the recording. If you have questions, contact Pam Wells, Registrar.

Information related to technology aspects of recording of live online classes:

  • Zoom
    • Cloud storage is available with no limit per month. Auto deleted in 30 days and can be changed when setting up the Zoom meeting.
    • Recordings under Zoom should be saved to the cloud (refer to proper recording policy) and directed by faculty to the Zoom cloud storage location for viewing.
    • Please remove recording as soon as possible to ensure adequate cloud storage is available for GVSU community.
  • Blackboard Collaborate
    • No limit on cloud storage
    • No additional costs, automatically included in every course
    • No software install is required
  • Panopto Lecture / Screen Recordings
    • If a live class session is not required, Panopto is recommended as the recording tool.