The LITS Media Services team continues to work in conjunction with the Classroom ERT (Emergency Response Team) to identify and equip teaching spaces and create video-conferencing spaces to enable remote teaching and learning. These spaces can be used for either synchronous teaching or asynchronous recording of course content. Capabilities include:
Lecture and demonstration spaces
Several classrooms are equipped with Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras and enhanced microphones to enable lecture-style coursework or hands-on demonstrations.
Asynchronous content development
Looking for a space to record asynchronous content to supplement synchronous content? Many classrooms and special-use spaces on campus are equipped with the video-conferencing technology needed to record course content.
Group video-conferencing spaces
These spaces are ideal for co-taught courses, panel discussions, guest speakers and later can be used to support group discussions or seminars. The technology includes an OWL 360 degree camera with built-in omni microphone array that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to pivot focus on the speaker or a multi-person discussion enabling a more engaging bi-modal experience.
The College’s storage capacity in Zoom cloud storage is limited and not intended for long term storage. Any Zoom videos recorded in September 2020 copies automatically to Kaltura, where more storage space is available. Mount Holyoke users can access, download, watch, share and manage them in their Kaltura media space. For more information, see Kaltura's Help Guide.
LITS and the Dean of Faculty’s office are pleased to be able to offer loaner pools of equipment to help support FIT teaching needs of faculty. This equipment is meant to augment existing technology solutions to meet remote teaching needs.
Portable video-conference kits
Portable video-conferencing kits are available for loan to enable remote learning to support remote synchronous or asynchronous teaching. These portable kits include a webcam, a small flexible tripod, USB hub, and tabletop microphone.
Video-conferencing equipment available for long-term loan through Media Services, for use in teaching, include:
- USB extenders
- USB microphones
- Tripod mount smartphone clamps
- Small flexible tripods
Digital whiteboarding equipment
One of the most common questions we have received from faculty as they transition to virtual course delivery is, “How do I replicate the chalkboard/whiteboard experience?” Whether your need is for writing math formulas, foreign language characters, or you just need to be able to write notes for your class, this equipment can help to replicate that whiteboard experience using digital technology.
To meet digital whiteboarding needs, the following equipment is available to borrow:
- USB document cameras - these overhead cameras can be pointed to a desktop to capture the output of pen on paper, can be used for small demonstration purposes, or for display of artifacts.
- Wacom tablets - these digital writing tablets can be used to meet writing, annotation or artistic needs.
A limited number of laptops are available for loan for the length of Mod 1 with the option to renew for Mod 2.
If you need a piece of specific equipment that is not covered in this listing, please check with the Technology Help Desk before purchasing.
Equipment loans can be requested online. Stock is limited and requests will be fulfilled by approval of the Dean of Faculty’s office. Equipment may be borrowed for the length of Mod 1 with the option to renew for Mod 2.
LITS has developed solutions that provide access to specialized academic software that is normally available via campus computer labs.
When possible, we have worked with software vendors to convert campus licenses to site licenses that allow installation of software on personal computers for student use. SPSS, Mathematica, MATLAB, STATA SE and Adobe are available to current students, faculty and staff through our site license agreement. Our license allows Adobe to be downloaded on personal computers. Faculty, staff and students who need access to other academic software for home use are asked to submit the Academic software for home use request form..
Remote access to computer labs
In cases where site licenses are not available, a remote access solution has been developed using Sassafras Keyserver, a tool that helps remote users connect to MHC computer lab machines. Faculty familiar with specialized software are encouraged to test out this resource before recommending for student use. Labs must be set up before they are available for use; faculty may request remote access to a teaching computer lab.
Open source software considerations
Faculty who are considering using open source software should ensure that access is widely available to remote students learning from across the globe. Do not assume software readily available in the United States is accessible to all students. Solutions should be aligned with the College’s recently revised EIT Accessibility policy.
Headsets are considered personal equipment and will not be part of the loaner pool. If you are in need of a video-conferencing capable headset, please refer to Video Conferencing and AV Needs within MHC COVID Purchasing information. LITS has provided headset recommendations to enable direct purchasing by campus departments. Headsets are in high demand, impacting the availability of stock. Specific items listed may not be available for purchase, but recommendations include approved brands and preferred vendors.
- It is not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars for a decent headset; average cost should be about $30-80, depending on your needs.
- Choose a headset that meets the demands of your teaching/work environment.
- Wired headsets will ensure the most reliable sound quality.
External monitors with built-in webcams
LITS has a limited number of external monitors with built-in web cameras available to loan. Faculty may request a loan online.
External monitors (without webcams)
Faculty are encouraged to use the assigned monitor from your MHC office as an external monitor for a home office if that is a viable option. Before choosing this option, please contact the Technology Help Desk with the following information:
- Faculty name
- Building/room number from where the monitor is being removed
- Asset tag of the monitor (some may not have one)
- Information about the home setup, including laptop or computer type and available video connectors (this will help the support team to advise about compatibility and adapters that may be needed)
Asset lifecycle replacement
Faculty who are eligible for computer replacements will be contacted by LITS staff. We are prioritizing teaching faculty and academic departments.