A graphic with "Welcome" written in 21 different languages

Changes by ITS for Fall Term, 2021

Welcome, friends.  We wanted to acknowledge the various ways our lives have been changed by COVID-19, and to share the ways ITS has changed in order to best meet the changing needs of our campus community.  

We want to acknowledge the following things in this post:

  1. It’s a long post with a lot of information.  Sorry, it’s unavoidable and important, which is why we’re posting it here.
  2. Some of these changes may initially feel challenging, but behind it all, we are trying to balance safety for all of us, staffing challenges, and changes to a multitude of things on campus and in IT realms behind the scenes.
  3. We are all adapting to an unpredictable and unprecedented situation and will continue to communicate updates, as well as listening to how we might be of service to you.

For organizational purposes, we have broken down the changes by our subgroups.

Support Services:

New support hours:

As the scope and complexity of technology services continue to grow, ITS has made a few changes to our support operations to better serve our community.

The ITS Help Desk, located in Beardsley 110 [campus map] will operate by appointment and will endeavor to resolve requests virtually as a first option.

Appointment scheduling tool (login required): 

WASE Appointment Calendar (Enter HELP in the search field)

Remote Support Hours:

In-Person Walk-in Hours (masks required) :

Beardsley 110 (Helpdesk): 

  • Monday-Thursday 9am-2:30pm
  • Friday 9am-12:30pm

Extended Support Hours: McCabe Library (Helpdesk)

Walk-in and Remote Support Available:  

  • Sunday-Thursday 4pm-10pm
  • Friday 4pm-8pm
  • Saturday 2pm-6pm

Getting to know (or reintroduce yourself to) our Service Portal:

We ask that all support requests start at support.swarthmore.edu. We have given the support portal a pet name of “Supportal” because portmanteaus are fun.

Utilizing the Support Portal will allow you to enter tickets for support, schedule appointments, submit request services, get important announcements, and find quick solutions to common support questions. 24/7/365.

Faculty/Staff Return to Office Guide:

We have created a new Return to Office Guide with specific information and tips for those returning to campus.

Classroom and Conferencing Technologies:

Classroom and Conferencing Technologies (CCT), located in Beardsley 115 [campus map] will operate by appointment (Monday-Friday 8am-4pm). To schedule an appointment for equipment checkout or support, please email avbox@swarthmore.edu or visit support.swarthmore.edu

Technology Outreach:

Our knowledgebase (KB) has gotten a significant overhaul.  We are also excited to announce that through careful planning, the underlying structure allows us to make fast changes as technologies change, meaning the information can be more consistently correct in a timely fashion.  Our KB is now an even better resource to check at any time of day or night, and may, in many cases, be able to outright answer questions that you might have relied on a support call or visit from in the past.  24/7/365.

LinkedIn Learning grows more powerful by the day, and can assist in answering questions from software to inclusivity to mindfulness.  24/7/365.  We can help you with questions around putting together video playlists, connecting it to your (personal) LinkedIn account (if applicable), and more.

Language and Media Centers:

The Language and Media Centers have resumed normal operations in Kohlberg 326 and Beardsley 114 [campus map].  We will continue to provide sanitizing supplies and ask that users sanitize equipment before and after use.  Our team will be opening a new prototyping space in Beardsley 101 and will be supporting the PhotoLab in Old Tarble, which now has public hours.

New services for fall 2021 also include a PodCast studio in Martin Hall.  Martin Hall will also be our new home for the (relocated) Remote Teaching Studio, a great resource for recording lectures and flipped classroom materials.

Long term planning includes a new Media Center in a renovated Martin Hall where we’ll be co-located with the Film and Media Studies Department

MakerSpace:

The MakerSpace will start off the fall 2021 semester in Singer 126, 30, and 31 [campus map]. We will be supporting the sculpture class to be held in Singer 126 with the new tenure track professor Jody Joyner. We anticipate a return to our renovated space in Whittier by late September/early October 2021 where we will be able to offer exciting new services.  We will continue to provide sanitizing supplies and ask that users sanitize equipment before and after use, and are looking forward to more in-person workshops than last year.

Web Team:

A major refresh of the Swarthmore Dash will roll out in August 2021.  The Swarthmore Communications Office will be providing more information on this project in the upcoming weeks.

Enterprise Systems:

The Enterprise Systems team has been hard at work replacing servers and storage.  These important changes allow ITS to provide our community with more server capacity, more flexibility, and increased reliability. [Blogger nods slowly in appreciation and in awareness that he needs to learn more to understand this better].

Security:

Google Drive changed the way that links shared with external (to Swarthmore) entities are handled.  You may have received emails about this in late July 2021 and can refer to Google’s update on this if it is pertinent to you.    

We are looking forward to offering the LastPass password management service to our community in the near future.  Please contact Support if you would be interested in being involved in the testing and early rollout process.

We also want to remind the community of ongoing cybersecurity threats, including two common scams that begin with “Are you available?” or offer (fake) student part-time employment, as well as unemployment compensation fraud.