Tools & Tutorials

 

 

This page provides MIT faculty and lecturers with a curated selection of IT resources, available to the MIT community and supported by IS&T, that can be leveraged to ensure continuity of learning in the event of an emergency disruption to campus-based classroom activity. Here you will find information on preparing for and facilitating remote learning at MIT.

This page reflects IS&T’s current recommendations and support paths. In this fluid situation, they may change. Please continue to check back for updates.

 

Basic Requirements for Working Remotely

Preparing Your Devices

Make sure that your computer has the below components and software installed and configured. If you do not have a computer with which to teach remotely, you may request loaner equipment here.

Preparing Documents

MITvoip Console

The MITvoip Console is where you can access many phone features online, including voice mail, call lists, and call forwarding. It also offers new advanced features like sequential or simultaneous ringing, conference calls for up to six parties, and remote office.

To set up call forwarding on your MIT phone number, go to voip.mit.edu.

Making Your Data Accessible

If you physically access a computer on campus to conduct work/research, and that device is not being transported to the remote work location, consider one of the following:

Learning and Course Management

IS&T provides two integrated platforms for learning and course management at MIT: Stellar and Learning Modules (LMOD). Both enable faculty to organize and manage the many aspects of teaching a class.

Data Storage and Collaboration

The following remote collaboration tools allow you to share files and work on documents with your students. You may wish to combine them with the web conferencing and your course site (i.e. Stellar Materials, LMOD Materials).

  • OneDrive is part of Microsoft's Office 365, and it is their cloud-based storage option that integrates directly with other Microsoft applications including Outlook and other Office applications. IS&T has licensed Office365 including OneDrive for the entire MIT community.
  • G Suite for Education is a service provided by Google that allows members of an educational institution or business to collaborate with each other, separate from their personal Google accounts. G Suite for Education offers a subset of Google apps and services to registered users. Accounts are available to current students, faculty, staff and affiliates, but these each currently need to be set up manually by IS&T.
  • Dropbox for Business is licensed by IS&T for the entire MIT community, providing large storage capacity and convenient access to data via Windows, MacOS, Linux and mobile native clients as well as via any web browser. With the Dropbox client, you can access your cloud data as though it was a folder on your local disk. Dropbox also lets you share portions of your cloud storage, with a number of different protection/authentication schemes. You can also provide both read and write access to other Dropbox users.
  • Nota Bene is a web-based collaborative annotation tool that facilitates communication among students and their instructors, centered around better understanding of course reading material.
  • Slack is a messaging and collaboration tool for teams, groups and individuals. With Slack Enterprise Grid (announced on March 17, 2020), MIT faculty, students, and staff are eligible to create Slack workspaces and all members of the extended MIT community are eligible to participate in MIT’s Slack workspaces. 

Web Conferencing

Using WebEx Events

Webex is available to all members of MIT. IS&T has confirmed that the service has sufficient bandwidth to handle widespread use in such a situation.

  • Schedule remote video sessions for each class and invite all participants using WebEx Events (supports up to 3,000 participants in each meeting). Pay extra close attention to any settings that may cause unnecessary disruption to your meeting (i.e. ensure that the ‘Entry & exit tone’ setting is set to ‘No tone’ and ‘Mute upon entry for all participants’ is selected).
  • Ensure that all components of the virtual class (from screen sharing and audio connections, to WebEx-based chat and meeting recording) are tested and found to be functioning properly at least 24 hours ahead of scheduled virtual classes to allow time for any necessary troubleshooting support or WebEx settings reconfiguration.
  • Record your class WebEx meetings and upload to a space where it will be centrally available to the class.
Helpful Links

Using Zoom

Zoom is now available to all members of MIT. MIT's license provides faculty and staff the ability to conduct online meetings of up to 500 participants, and other members of the MIT community the ability to conduct online meetings of up to 300 participants.

Testing Before You Teach

  1. Go to zoom.us/test to make sure your mic and webcam are functional. 
  2. Go to www.speedtest.net to determine your bandwidth. The minimum for Zoom is 600kbps (up/down); recommended is 1.5 Mbps (up/down). Learn more about managing your bandwidth.
  3. Do a Zoom dry run with a TA or colleague. If your internet does not meet Zoom requirements, consider:
  • Plan B) Record at home locally, then upload to YouTube. (You can record directly to YouTube using your webcam.)
  • Plan C) Use Zoom video only, using your phone and teleconference in.
  • Plan D) Compress slides, then upload to Stellar or your preferred online storage platform, or send by email to students. Teleconference with your students via phone.  

See the Zoom Best Practices section for tips using Zoom to teach, troubleshooting, and making Zoom more accessible.

Support & Tutorials