Using Technology to Support Learning Online
Using Technology to Support Learning Online
UNCSA Information Technology has a Knowledge Base of tips, how-tos and instructions of using technology and applications. Please check the Knowledge Base. If you don't see what you are looking for, you can submit a update to the Knowledge Base.
- Getting started with Zoom (IT Knowledge Base)
- Securing Zoom (IT Knowledge Base)
- Zoom Training Resources: demos, webinars, tutorials, training sessions (Zoom website)
Strategies for Learning Remotely
Access to the Internet
Many providers are doing what they can to help students make the shift online by providing free high-speed access. The Federal Communications Commission Agreement states providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots for increased accessibility to the internet. Please visit the following websites for the latest details on how to sign-up and leverage these services.
- Cox Communications Response: Cox Communications offers a range of services and packages for the next 60 days (free access to over 650,000 Wi-Fi hot spots; residential customers in the company’s Starter, StraightUp Internet and Connect2Compete packages will be automatically upgraded to speeds of 50 Mbps).
- Comcast COVID-19 Response: Comcast offers free Wi-Fi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time.
- Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months: Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
- AT&T COVID-19 Response: AT&T offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low-income families.
- Verizon COVID-19 Response: There are no special offers, Verizon is following the FCC agreement.
- Sprint COVID-19 Response: Sprint is following the FCC agreement and will provide unlimited data to existing customers. Starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Sprint will allow all handsets to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile COVID-19 Response: T-Mobile is following the FCC agreement and providing unlimited data to existing customers. It will soon allow all handsets to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.
Strategies for Better Internet Access
You can also use the tips below to use your mobile phone as a hotspot to provide access to your laptop. There are also tips to maximize your bandwidth.
- Turn your cell phone into a hotspot to provide access to your computer if you don’t have High-Speed Internet (see resources above).
- If you do not have a great signal and video/access is breaking up, disconnect or turn off other devices using the internet such as TV’s and Smart Home devices streaming content, disconnect your phone from WiFi if you are using your computer for access. Also, take turns using the internet with others in your household.
- If you have older wireless technology, you may have better speeds using a cable to connect to your cable router instead of using Wi-Fi in your residence.
- To make sure neighbors are not streaming from your service, change your password on your router.
Strategies for Staying Connected
Although we are encouraged to physically stay safe from one another to contain virus infections, we can still connect using technology for studying and socializing.
Use the following tools to connect with other classmates, friends, family through apps like Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Google Meet:
Strategies to Support Writing
- Use an Assignment Calculator to break your writing assignment into manageable tasks.
- Use mind-mapping software to brainstorm and organize your thoughts and ideas.
- Use Voice Recognition to get your thoughts out on paper.
- Use Grammarly to check for grammar mistakes.
- Use Text to Speech software to have your paper read back to you.
Strategies for Students with Vision Loss
- Use text to speech support when available. Consider installing Read & Write.
- All devices have tools to help make your device easier to see.
- If you are thinking about moving to a screen reader, check out the free screen reading softwareNVDA, which is being used by more people than JAWS.
- Introduction to using a screen reader in Microsoft Word
Strategies for Visual Learners
Note: Automatic transcription does not replace the need to have multimedia captioned for those with hearing loss
- Live transcription can benefit students who may learn better by having visual focus when listening for long periods of time, such as listening to a podcast.
- Live transcription can benefit those students who find it difficult to type or write for long periods of time, such as students with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Repetitive Stress Injuries, or Autism.
- Live transcription can support ESL learners as they see and hear the processed language.
- Webcaptioner is a browser-based tool that presents captioning of auditory content in a separate window. You can export the transcript as a document. (Free)
- Otter is a cloud-based tool that works on a mobile device or browser. It is an audio recording tool that has automatic transcription, also, it has a highlighting feature so you can highlight important statements. You can embed pictures in the transcription, edit the transcript as well as share and export the transcript. The free version allows 600 minutes of recording, there is an educational discount of 50% off the normal pricing or about $4.50 per month.
Strategies for Students with Hearing Loss
Please let your Instructor know if you need assistance turning on captions for video content.
- Free Relay NC Services can be used to support talking over the phone or interacting in live meetings with instructors or staff.
- Consider using Google Meet for communicating with other students and instructors as Automatic Live Captioning is available in Google Hangouts/Meet.
- How to turn on subtitles and closed captions for iPad/iPhone
- How to turn on captioning in Android Devices
- Set up Visual Alerts in Windows 10
- Set up Visual Alerts in Mac OS
- The National Deaf Center.org has a great tip sheet: Take Control of Your Online Learning: Tips for Deaf College Students
Strategies to Reduce Computer Fatigue
As we move towards an online environment, please consider how you are using your computer. A laptop was never intended to be a “full” time computer. If you have a docking station or desktop computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse available that will reduce stress on your body as you spend more time on the computer, please review these ergonomic setups and try to make your environment as ergo-friendly as possible.
Strategies for Staying Focused
- Strict Workflow is a Chrome add-on that will help you stay more productive at work by temporarily blocking social and other time-wasting websites. It blocks the sites for 25 minutes allowing you to work distraction-free and then will remove the block for 5 minutes. You can repeat until all your work is done.
- StayFocused is a Chrome add-on that may increase your productivity by limiting the amount of time you spend on time-wasting websites.
Credit: Student Disabilities Office, NCSU