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COVID-19 Digital Support Update, April 27, 2020

COVID-19 Digital Support Update, April 27, 2020

Dear faculty and staff,

Greetings again from the Digital Support team, for whom I am sharing these brief updates. As always, please send in a request through if there’s any way we can help with your remote work or teaching.

  • Pausing general workshops: We are pausing our general workshops for the time being, since no one is signing up for them. Help continues to be available as needed to anyone who submits a help request through our digital support site. Planning also continues with the School for Social Work on a targeted set of workshops for SSW faculty; information about those workshops will be sent through separate emails from the SSW Dean’s office.
  • Arranging returns of some equipment loaned to students: Over the next two weeks, the ITS team will begin connecting with those students who received loaner equipment and who do not plan to return to campus, to arrange for the return of the equipment. (This is primarily graduating seniors).
  • Sign in before you join a Zoom meeting! Many Zoom meetings now require login before you join. This helps make the meeting more secure. Quick tip: sign in to Zoom before joining your first Zoom session of the day. Visit our related help page for more info.
  • Restricting Zoom session access to members of the Smith community: Thanks to a new option from Zoom, we now have the option to require a Smith login for meeting attendees. This means that people who do not have Smith accounts will not be able to join your Zoom session. See our instructions for more information.
  • Indicating your pronouns in Zoom: This friendly reminder comes to you from the Affirming Identity through Technology working group, which is co-sponsored by the Office of Equity and Inclusion and Information Technology Services. Including pronouns in your Zoom name is a way to support respectful communication between everyone on a call, just like adding pronouns to nametags and email signatures. Since we can't know what pronoun someone uses by looking at them, sharing our own pronouns and encouraging others to do so ensures that we can use respectful language for each other. To add your pronouns when you're in an individual Zoom session, select the participant list function, select your name, and then select “rename.” To add your pronouns to your name and have it show up in all future meetings, go to your profile in the web interface (by logging into and add your pronouns to the end of your last name. For more information on the importance of pronouns, please visit the OEI pronoun page:
  • Some statistics: Since March 17th, there have been 29,664 Zoom meetings hosted by Smith accounts, with a daily average of 968 Zoom sessions. (The daily average from January through March 16th was 43 meetings.) By the end of this week, we will have had 137 class sessions supported by Zoom assistants. And finally, we’ve also hosted 60 workshops and more than 90 faculty consultations to date.

On behalf of the digital support team, representing ITS, CATS, and the Library, I wish you all productive work and sufficient rest in this last week of classes.