It's a fact of life, things happen unexpectedly that require us to work outside of our usual environment, including the current worldwide situation with COVID-19. Whether working on campus or off, we have a number of tools available that make the transition easy.
Email, Calendar, Drive, Chat, Etc
The most important technology that we use is G Suite. It includes key apps like Gmail, Calendar, and Drive. When used appropriately during normal working conditions, these apps are very simple to use during unexpected situations. You can access your email from anywhere on most any device. The same goes for Calendar, Drive, Meet, and other apps available in G Suite. We don't often receive questions about how to use these services from off campus or during a power outage, for example, but if you need assistance, just let us know.
Internet Access at Home
We've heard of some companies offering special arrangements for internet access due to the COVID-19 situation. They may be focused at college students or just home access. Here are some links to services that we've heard of:
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has also made this resource available:
In addition to checking with your home internet provider, you can also contact your cell provider to see about using your smartphone as a hotspot. If you do have this capability, here are a couple of articles that may help:
- How to set up a Personal Hotspot on your iPhone or iPad
- Share a mobile connection by tethering or hotspot on Android
If you know of other similar services that we should list here, please email the info to email@example.com
Taking A Computer/Monitor Home
Many SNC staff and faculty members already bring their laptops off campus for use while working from home, traveling, etc. This situation is quite normal.
If an employee is in need of borrowing a laptop, normally you should check with the Mulva Library, as they have a supply of laptops for checkout. But during the COVID-19 situation, when the library building is closed, please contact the ITS Service Desk instead. We don't have many laptops to offer, but we'll try to help.
If an employee wants to consider bringing their desktop computer or monitor home, this is not an ideal situation. But if circumstances require it, we'll assist. There are two requirements:
- You must first have permission from your supervisor.
- You must first contact the ITS Service Desk so that we can assist.
We will help you disconnect cables, etc. We'll record this in our inventory and we'll also offer any advice or tips that may be helpful when connecting your computer at home. When you return the computer to campus, we'll help again to make sure everything is connected properly.
If you should need technical help while off campus, feel free to contact the ITS Service Desk. Please also know that our ability to provide support for your computer while off campus is limited.
Meetings that would normally occur in person can still be held, using Hangouts Meet. See the following article for information and tips on how to setup a Meet, how your participant will join, etc.:
If you've never used Hangout Meet, we encourage you to just schedule a test meeting with your group and give it a try. If you'd like assistance, perhaps with a simple test meeting, contact the ITS Service Desk.
ITS Division Hours
Due to announcements in March 2020 related to COVID-19, a number of staff in the ITS Division will be working from home. Please bear with us as we work through this new arrangement. We expect to keep the ITS Service Desk open on campus, but with limited hours. See our Service Desk Hours article for current availability.
Other Technical Solutions
Here are some related articles that can help you prepare for and work through an outage or unexpected situation:
- How To Access J Drive Remotely
- How To Access Banner (including from off campus)
- How To Forward Your Phone
- How To Use Hangouts Meet
- How To Use Hangouts Chat
- How To Manage File Submissions
- How To Work Through An Outage
- Google Drive or J Drive?
- System Status Notifications
Additionally, if you have questions about a specific situation, whether for you personally or for your department, please contact the ITS Service Desk. We're happy to work with you one-on-one or perhaps visit your department meeting to help you make the best use of technology in your own daily operations.