Meeting Your Technology-Related Needs


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This page includes information for those who need to explore technology-related alternative options that will enable teaching and learning online or working remotely. The following categories were created based on technology-related concerns and feedback we received through the campus-wide surveys deployed to faculty, students, and staff.

I need access to a laptop

If you decide to buy a new laptop, you may explore the Terrapin Tech options via the online shop. You can make an appointment to pick up your purchases from Terrapin Tech on campus, or there is a shipping charge if you choose to send the laptop to an off-campus address.

If you are a student and need assistance selecting the right configurations while buying a new laptop, you may want to consult the collection of recommended computer specifications for the schools that we have prepared to help you to make an informed decision that meets your academic needs. If you are an instructor or staff member interested in buying a new personal laptop, please contact us at 301.314.7000 or terpstore@umd.edu for personalized professional assistance. 

In May 2021, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB) to address the digital divide that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will help eligible households with a one-time discount of $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.

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I need access to software or hardware

For software licenses, please visit TERPware to access many software packages available at no additional cost for University of Maryland, College Park students, faculty, and staff. Popular products like Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more are available for institutional, work-at-home, and personal use. If you need assistance accessing or installing software please contact us at itsupport@umd.edu. The DIT Service Catalog can also be a helpful resource if you are looking for computing solutions provided to the UMD community.

For discipline-specific software (different than the options offered by the Division of IT on TERPware) or hardware (ex., 3D printing and laser cutters), please contact your department or your college/school IT support office.

Here are some resources for certain discipline-specific online teaching contexts such as studio, performance, and production-based courses, laboratories, and simulations.

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I need access to a reliable network

Try using a smartphone to connect with other devices. Many smartphones enable the creation of a mobile hotspot through tethering, accessing the phone's existing cellular data connection. Please contact your cell phone carrier to explore your options if you do not have a personal hotspot available on your current plan (some internet providers are temporarily offering expanded mobile hotspot service to customers, see below for more information). You may also be aware of UMD’s cellular discount program or check local retailers that offer cellular discount programs.

DIT is working to extend university Wi-Fi coverage for UMD parking lots that will allow students and faculty to learn and teach from their cars (see current outdoor Wi-Fi coverage on the UMD campus). If you have traveled back home, there are institutions around the U.S. and the rest of the world where eduroam is available.

In May 2021, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB) to address the digital divide that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will help eligible households with a discount of up to $50 per month on their internet bill.

You may contact local internet providers who are currently participating in the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge by creating special offers to customers who need immediate and temporary access to the internet. Here are some examples:

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I need access to a webcam, microphone or both

Most recent laptop models have a built-in camera and microphone that work well with web conferencing systems. You may also find some affordable solutions (such as the ones listed below) to purchase:

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I need access to a headset

Most recent laptop models have a built-in microphone that works well with web conferencing systems. If you wish to get a headset, here are two options that we use in our IT Service Desk:

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I need access to a document camera

Here are three possible ways to use tech and items that you might already have to create your own document camera:

  1. Use a laptop camera (an Ohio State instructor offers a how-to video demonstration).
  2. Use a smartphone and homemade stand. Here are some examples you could simulate:
  3. Phone scanner (video how-to from Popular Science)

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I need assistance teaching, learning or both online

As previously indicated, we have created keepteaching.umd.edu as the main source of information for both instructors and students. This website provides guidance, strategies, and resources for making a swift change to your course delivery or course participation by leveraging the appropriate technologies. It also includes resources for faculty and students who are inexperienced with online courses. If you need help beyond the guidance and resources found at keepteaching.umd.edu, here are some options for support:

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I need to access the Libraries’ course reserves and interlibrary loan services

To support online learning and remote research, the Libraries’ course reserves and interlibrary loan services can be used online. Please note there may be delays in turnaround times due to limited staff, so we encourage everyone to request electronic resources whenever possible.

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I need an online ID verification and proctoring solution

To address concerns related to academic integrity when teaching and learning remotely, we are in the process of procuring Honorlock, which will be integrated within the ELMS-Canvas platform. The technology provides on-demand proctoring services requiring no scheduling, headaches, or bulky software downloads. A web-camera is needed for online proctoring. We prioritize academic integrity and are continually exploring innovative ways to hinder cheating. We will communicate with all instructors as soon as this resource is available for use.
NOTE: Honorlock is available by request only. To learn more, including associated fees, contact itsupport@umd.edu.

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I need help with online meetings, office hours, calls, and chat

To support online teaching, learning, and remote work, the Division of IT offers and supports the following tools:

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I need help with accommodations or adaptive technology

For information about how accommodations are implemented in online courses, we have created a resource for instructors and students. Students may request accommodations or adaptive technology through the Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS).

University employees with disabilities experiencing challenges with completing their job duties while teleworking (that is, inability to use technology, not having the needed adaptive technology, software, or hardware, and so on) may seek assistance from these UMD offices:

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I need help preparing to work remotely

Most UMD resources are easily accessible with an internet connection, while others require some set up. We have created keepworking.umd.edu to provide information you will need to access computing resources before you begin working remotely. It is our recommendation that you test your access to these applications from off campus before planning to work remotely.

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I have questions about HIPAA and the use of information technology systems at UMD

We have created a guide about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions, please contact the UMD’s Office of General Counsel.

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I still have an unmet need for technology

Please contact us at itsupport@umd.edu.

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I have questions and concerns NOT related to technology

For questions and concerns not related to technology or assistance to teach, learn, or work online (such as GPAs, tuition, course fees, etc), please contact the appropriate UMD office that is equipped to provide you with accurate information.

This is undoubtedly a stressful time for many of us as we address shifts to our daily routines and structures. UMD is here to support you. For mental health-related questions or concerns, visit the UMD virus info website or contact the UMD Health Center.

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