Remote Teaching Resources

 

This webpage is intended to provide guidance and information towards improving the quality of online teaching, through the use of remote teaching tools and videoconferencing best practices. The goal of this webpage is to help provide a smooth transition from onsite teaching to online teaching in a way that is productive, efficient, and collaborative. The Law School IT department welcomes your feedback, thoughts, and ideas on this topic and looks forward to partnering with you on this endeavor. Here’s a list of links that offer information and ideas needed for remote instruction.

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY

 

The most important service needed towards working remotely is to have a good, reliable, and secure, internet connection.  Although your home connection might have been good for email, surfing the web, and some online shopping, it might underperform if you need to do a video conference call. Teaching from home might become challenging if you rely on a subpar WiFi connection and/or have only one connection to the Internet. The Law school has made arrangements to provide a secondary Internet connection from your home to the Internet, via a portable hotspot. Please read more to learn about the hotspot options and your Internet requirements.

 

Zoom recommends at least 2 Mbps upload speed, and 6 Mbps download speed depending on what content you are sharing
.

  • Zoom Bandwidth Requirements:
    • 2.0 Mbps up and down for single screen
    • 2.0 Mbps up 4.0 Mbps down for dual-screen
    • 2.0 Mbps up 6.0 Mbps down for triple screen
    • For screen sharing only: 150-300kbps

 

 
  • Consider moving closer to your Wi-Fi router. Getting closer to your router can improve signal strength. Wi-Fi extenders can also be used to boost the signal in other rooms.
  • Connect directly to your home router via an ethernet cable, for the fastest and most reliable internet connection available to your home.
  • Restart your router or computer to give both of them a fresh start
  • Close other programs and limit large downloads while you work. Other programs on your computer may compete for processor or network resources. 
  • Try disconnecting non-essential devices on your network if possible.
  • Please contact your Internet Service Provider for faster internet options.

 

 

 
 

Use your Law School Personal Hotspot as a secondary connection. A hotspot is a small portable device that lets you use a cellular connection to access the Internet. The Law School has two cellular carrier options, AT&T and Verizon. 

  • The Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack MHS900L provides a secure data connection for up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices simultaneously. Keep track of your data usage, battery life, network signal strength and number of connected devices right from the bright, easy-to-read LED display and is simple to use.
  • The AT&T Inseego MiFi 8000 mobile hotspot with 2, 3, and 4 carrier CA, LAA technologies and 4x4 MIMO. Download videos in seconds, offers smooth live-broadcasting, and a reliable connection in traffic-dense areas.

Please contact the IT Helpdesk to learn more about your options.

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, allow faculty and staff outside the Law School network to access network services. Using a VPN, a remote computer can access network resources, such as printers and shared drives, securely and in real-time. Essentially, when using the VPN you have access to the same services you would have sitting in your office

Please visit VPN and Citrix - to learn more about accessing files and administrative applications on the Columbia network.

 

 

 

 

EQUIPMENT NEEDS

Please keep in mind that in order to get the maximum experience from ZOOM, your computer needs to meet the following specifications.

Law-IT has some of these items in stock and/or can make arrangements to order them on your behalf.  

Law-IT is also available to answer questions and to provide support on these items and other support issues. 

Please contact the IT Helpdesk to learn more about your options.

Law-IT has some of these items in stock and/or can make arrangements to order them on your behalf.  

Law-IT is also available to answer questions and to provide support on these items and other support issues. 

Please contact the IT Helpdesk to learn more about your options.

REMOTE TOOLS AND SOFTWARE

Columbia University offers a variety of tools and features in support of teaching, learning and collaboration.

CourseWorks and Zoom will be the two main tools used for online learning.

Here’s a list of some other University supported platforms and related resources.

  • Adobe Pro (via Creative Cloud) - for PDF document handling, updates, etc.
  • Duo Multifactor Authentication - Manage two-factor authentication (proofs of identity) to access University-wide services.
  • Echo360 - Lecture capture and video management tool. Allows for automatic recording in the classroom, pulls in video from the Zoom cloud, and allows for ad-hoc video creation using Universal Capture software (Mac and PC). Includes built-in video editing tools.
  • Google Apps for Lionmail - Google services and applications to support communication across the Columbia community.
  • LinkedIn Learning - Video courses on business, creative, and technology skills. Requires UNI login.
  • Microsoft Products - Download the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Windows OS.
  • Poll Everywhere - Mobile solution that creates polls and collects responses via text, Twitter, or web.
  • VPN and Citrix - Get remote access to files and administrative applications on the Columbia network.
  • Qualtrics - A web-based tool for creating and conducting online surveys.

TEACHING SPACE

Teaching from home may be new to some of you, so we want to make sure you have everything you need to effectively. 

This involves more than having the right equipment, it involves creating your workspace. There is a need to create a space that balances both comfort and productivity by walking through the following necessities:

  • Quiet space – Ambient noise can ruin the audio experience of your class. Please try to choose a room or area that is out of the way and that isn’t frequented by others at your home.
  • Natural lighting –  Having natural light exposure is just as beneficial for your health at home as it is when you’re in the office. 
  • A door – You don’t necessarily need a closed-off space at all times, but if you’re taking regular phone/video calls it’s important to have an isolated area available. This can be your regular in-home office space or a separate room you visit specifically for meetings.
  • A comfortable chair and adjustable desk – It’s up to you to figure out what seating and desk arrangement works best for you.
 

Quiet space – Ambient noise can ruin the audio experience of your class. Please try to choose a room or area that is out of the way and that isn’t frequented by others at your home.

 

VIRTUAL BACKGROUND

 

The Zoom Virtual Background feature allows you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom Meeting. This feature works best with a green screen and uniform lighting, to allow Zoom to detect the difference between you and your background. You can upload your own images or videos as a virtual background. You can also use Virtual Background in a Zoom Room.

The Law School has Custom Zoom Backgrounds, tips on how to film from home, and other useful resources at https://www.law.columbia.edu/about/departments/communications.

Please visit Zoom’s system requirements for Virtual Backgrounds.

 

Law-IT is here to help and to provide support on these items and other support issues.  Please contact the IT Helpdesk @ helpdesk@law.columbia.edu