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Smith College A Culture of Care

Digital Support Update July 8, 2020

Digital Support Update, July 8, 2020

Dear faculty and staff,

Greetings again from the IT Digital Support team. We have five updates this week. The first four are primarily for faculty who are preparing for fall courses; the last one is for offices and administrative departments.

  1. Reminder about the faculty panel series, which begins today at 2 p.m. with faculty guests Michael Barresi and Angie Hauser (register here
  2. Reminder of our July–August workshop & individual consultation program, which launches this week (workshop list and registration here)
  3. Equipment options for faculty: tablets, video loaner kits, FCAP replacements (overview)
  4. Planning for academic departmental consultations
  5. Consultation service available to offices that need help thinking through or improving remote workflows

Details are in the corresponding numbered sections below.

As always, please submit help questions via the Request Help link on the digital support site: (Smith login required). Requests that go to individual staff members may take longer to get an initial response and may introduce delays in getting you connected to a person who can help with your specific question.

1. Faculty panel series, Teaching Community of Practice, launches today, 2–3 p.m. Wednesdays in July, (registration required)

What does it mean to teach a multimodal course in the midst of a global pandemic? This weekly series of faculty panels, co-sponsored by the Sherrerd Center and the Learning, Research and Technology group, addresses topics that span pedagogical and technological approaches to the remote classroom. Join us for a follow-up discussion on Thursdays 9–10 a.m. to further explore these topics and learn from each other informally. All panels will be recorded and made available, via Smith login, for later viewing. Registration is required through the digital support site, with a maximum of 20 attendees per session.

Wednesday, 7/8 from 2–2:50 p.m. (registration link - - scroll to Teaching Community of Practice)

What does multimodal teaching mean? What does student interaction look like?

Faculty panelists: Michael Barresi and Angie Hauser

Wednesday, 7/15 from 2–2:50 p.m. (registration link - scroll to Teaching Community of Practice)

Developing Community and Fostering Interactivity in Your Class

Faculty panelists: Liz Pryor and Shannon Audley

2. July–August workshop and individual consultation program:

This program launched today. Browse Sign up for a workshop at (Smith login required)

This program (see corresponding slide deck) includes specific pedagogical approaches and supported tools. There are group workshop sessions and 1:1 consultations available. Signups are currently available for this week and next week, with additional workshops to be added on a rolling basis.

Workshop sessions are taught remotely, require advance registration, and will be recorded to be shared afterwards with members of the Smith community. Sessions that have fewer than three registrants by 5 p.m. the day before the session may be converted to individual consultations. In August, we will add hands-on sessions to practice multimodal teaching from Smith classrooms.

3. Equipment options for faculty

In the coming days, we will be launching three equipment programs for faculty teaching fall 2020 courses. Sign-up and application links will be posted next week.

  • Access to iPads: faculty teaching fall 2020 courses who meet eligibility requirements may choose between a semester loaner or a purchase program that is funded from a combination of CFCD funds and a one-time funding match.
  • Video equipment: we will have loaner kits of good quality consumer-market gear to help faculty who want to record video, along with documentation to guide choices in the related instructional design and production process.
  • Accelerated FCAP laptop program: Faculty who are due for a replacement of their FCAP-funded device in FY21 or FY22 may request a laptop order now.

Further details are available in this Google Doc. Sign-ups and application forms will be launched next week.

4. Academic department consultations available beginning the week of July 20

We’ve had multiple requests for consultations with academic departments. We will be making consultations available in the coming weeks, in two parts: first, we will offer small group consultations for chairs by division, and then we will add appointment slots for individual departments. All digital support will be organized around a standard set of options that departments can choose from in supporting their instructional programs for the fall term. We will be working with the Provost office on the timing of these consultations (earliest start date is the week of July 20th) as well as the specific questions the departments would like to see addressed.

5. Consultations also available for administrative offices

While we’re on the subject of consultations, keep in mind that we launched a consultation program for administrative offices this past spring. If your office would like help thinking through how to get your work done in a mostly remote/digital mode, we may be able to help. You can request a consultation by selecting Request Help on the digital support site, initiating a help request, then choosing Request a Consultation as the kind of help you would like.

Thanks to those of you who have read this far. We’ll be back in touch next week with more updates.