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Smith College A Culture of Care

COVID-19 Digital Support Update, April 10, 2020

COVID-19 Digital Support Update, April 10, 2020

Dear faculty and staff,

Greetings again from the IT Digital Support team. I have a somewhat shorter set of updates for you as we conclude the second week of remote classes, focused on workshops, Voicethread, support for SSW summer courses, and - yet again - Zoom. As always, please send in a help request through https://sophia.smith.edu/covid19-digital-support/ if there’s any way we can help with your remote work or teaching.

  • Workshops: Next week we will continue to offer workshops for staff. We are pausing formal workshops for faculty for one week, since attendance has dropped to almost nothing in the last few days. We will continue to provide individual support this coming week in response to digital support help tickets, and we will return with faculty workshops the week of April 20th, with a particular focus on grading.
  • Beta rollout of Voicethread: Voicethread is a cloud-based tool that is already used by several faculty at Smith. It allows you to post images, audio recordings and video recordings, and then have one or more individuals respond to the initial post with text, audio recordings, or video. This has multiple possibilities across the disciplines. This is a beta rollout, which means that we are making it available now for people who want to explore on their own while we are developing more robust support. If you are one of these intrepid explorers, please visit https://smith.voicethread.com, sign in with your Smith login, and check things out. We expect to have more information and support mechanisms available later in April.
  • Support for SSW summer courses: This week, our digital support team launched a working group with SSW leadership to plan for SSW summer courses. SSW faculty and students will receive more information from the SSW Dean’s office as we make progress on our program of training and support.
  • Zoom: This is just a friendly reminder that the Zoom company is updating their application regularly to respond to feature and security requests from their customer base, which includes our large and vocal higher education community. Please update your Zoom application when prompted to do so. As Zoom features evolve, we will post updated documentation and training materials to the COVID-19 Digital support site.

On behalf of the digital support team, representing ITS, CATS, and the Library, I wish you a peaceful weekend.

Warmly,

Samantha