Week in Review

Posted on March 24th, 2020 by

A lot of great work was accomplished last week. We went from a near standstill, fraught with anticipation, to having a fairly robust transition website that covers the basics of teaching, learning, and working remotely. Webinars, laptop loans, infrastructure upgrades, and oodles of meetings all happened with nearly half of the GTS team working from home. In all, 1,336 Google Hangouts Meet sessions were started by Gustavus users, which included some 4,126 participants–amazing. In the necessary chaos of the week, a number of communications were sent to faculty, staff, and students. In an effort to provide even more clarification, we’ve decided to summarize last week’s technology developments below. Before we do that, however, we need to thank the administration for their support, and our faculty colleagues for gamely tackling this challenging situation with a remarkable attitude that can only be described as “the Gustie spirit.” Way to go, everyone. Our students will remember and appreciate everything you’ve done during this incredibly difficult time.

Academic and Business Continuity Website

Your first stop for all things related to your technology transition. Archived webinars, a list of upcoming classes, and GTS contact information can all be found here. We’ll continue to update this site to cover other helpful topics.

Speaking of Webinars

Marni Dunning and Brianne Twaddle have been offering some excellent online training sessions on various topics. Many of them are archived on the aforementioned Continuity website. Many others are yet to come. If you have a topic you’d like us to cover, please feel free to suggest it.

Monitors at Home

If you find yourself working from home for an extended period of time, it’s likely you’ll be happier and more productive with a home office that approximates your work space. To that end, we are allowing people to check-out their monitors for home use. You’ll need to fill out a request form that includes your monitors’ GAC tag numbers (black and silver sticker somewhere on the back). The form can be found in the FAQ section at the bottom of the Continuity website.

Telecommunications and You

To accommodate your telephone and voicemail while working remotely, the Telecommunications Department suggests the use of one or more of the following campus telephone and voice messaging features–call forward, extended absence greeting, calling voicemail from off-campus, and the voice messaging “Reach Me” and “Notify Me” features. For more complete information, please contact the Telecommunications Department by emailing Laura McCabe or calling 507-933-6261.

Technology and Laptop Loans

Does your new situation prevent you from teaching, learning, or working? Would a slightly used laptop, or other device meet your needs? If your newly distant work efforts require a helpful and invigorating boost of technology, make sure your supervisor fills out the form they should’ve received early last week. If you struggle to teach or learn wherever you now find yourself, please contact Tami Aune directly to see if we can help. Those with a demonstrable need will be given top priority, and it’s also important to mention that numerous Internet providers and cell companies are giving out free bandwidth to students. Take advantage of that if you can!

Security Amidst Uncertainty

During times of great societal upheaval there’s one thing you can count on more than empty toilet paper shelves at your local grocery store, and that’s scammers. Yes, there has been a dramatic increase in online scams targeting schools. We encourage you to scrutinize every request that seems even somewhat unusual. If you have doubts, feel free to contact Technology Services.

Dude, Where’s My File?

As an additional nod to our security folks, we must encourage you to always know what sort of data your files contain, and where they are stored. Our worst case scenario is if you decide to keep Gustavus files with PII (personally identifiable information) on a home machine that’s already compromised and/or accessible by others in your home office space. Making sure your files are stored securely (your Gustavus Google Drive or on your work laptop) will help our security team sleep better at night.

Connect with Us

Live Chat: https://gustavus.edu/gts
Phone: 507-933-6111 – leave voicemail if no answer
Email: helpline@gustavus.edu
Remote screen sharing: https://sos.gac.edu

 

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