COVID-19 Resources

Last Updated: 09/09/2020

IT for Academic Continuity

This site is the starting point for information and guidance about technology available to support teaching, learning, and work during the continued COVID-19 pandemic. Use this page as a guide as you plan for the upcoming semester alongside the campus Road Map to Fall 2020 and the CU Boulder COVID-19 Website.

Resources for Teaching, Learning, and Working Remotely

Teaching 

Learning

Working

Get Remote Help & Support

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get more information about about the Campus response to COVID-19

There are several resources for information about University response to COVID-19 and the roadmap for Fall 2020 including:

Is it okay to use a different tool than what OIT recommends for teaching or collaborating? 

To provide a cohesive unified experience to our campus community, it is highly recommended that you utilize the campus’ supported tools. CU Boulder needs a familiar and streamlined approach during this stressful time and a proliferation of a variety of tools, without sufficient support, will further disrupt the task at hand.

What should I consider when evaluating IT-related purchases?
  • Spend prudently. Departments should not anticipate being reimbursed by campus for expenses they incur related to the COVID-19 response.
  • Evaluate if a purchase is critical to conducting business. If the purchase is intended to optimize a remote working situation but is not critical to conducting business, it must be considered carefully. Departments should err on the side of creating work environments that are sufficient, not necessarily optimal.
  • IT hardware should be shipped to a campus location. The Procurement Service Center (PSC) is unable to ship items to an off-campus address; items purchased outside the PSC channels must still be tracked by departments to ensure assets are properly accounted for.
  • Using personal credit cards is not recommended for any purchases.
Do I have to be connected to the campus network using a VPN to teach, learn, or work remotely?

Most of CU Boulder’s resources and tools do not require a VPN connection. A few that do include:

  • CU Boulder's file servers like UCB Files
  • CIFS, NFS file sharing
  • CU System administrative tools from off-campus like HCM and CU-SIS
  • Cisco VOIP Phone Self Care Portal
  • Specific library databases
  • Some servers specific to one or more department, school or college or research institute

To connect to these services, use CU Boulder’s VPN. Note: Some countries outside the United States filter internet traffic. As a result, access to some CU resources (including VPN) may be restricted. Such restrictions are outside of CU's control and can change frequently. OIT is unable to know which resources may not be accessed from countries outside the United States.

With so many students accessing coursework online, is there enough capacity, (e.g., bandwidth, load balancing, storage) to handle the demand?

Many of the services being recommended and used for remote instruction, including Zoom, Canvas and Office 365, are hosted off campus by a vendor and are designed for large scale use. Where needed, we are increasing licenses for OIT’s supported tools to ensure CU Boulder doesn’t face usage limits. We are not expecting unusual demand for on-campus resources, such as the network or on-campus storage, with the exception of the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. The architecture of the VPN has been modified so it has the capacity to handle the expected increased usage. The VPN is only needed to access certain on-campus services and most remote students, faculty and employees do not need to use it.

How can I get a hotspot?

Student Hotspot

A limited number of hotspots can be checked out to students in need who have no other means of accessing the internet to complete their schoolwork. Please use the Request for Laptop or Hotspot form.

University Owned Hotspot for Faculty/Staff

University employees who do not have internet access at their remote work location should work with their department to determine the best course of action, which could result in purchasing a hotspot. Many university-provided cell phones can be used as hotspots, but most plans will limit speeds after certain data limits are reached. Limits vary based on the carrier and plan.

Plans vary as to the data allowed per month, monthly rates and the initial cost of the device. Please contact the representatives listed below for more information. Departments should provide a speedtype to the representative and it will be used against a standing CU Boulder purchase order.

Personally Owned Hotspot

As an employee of the state of Colorado, CU employees receive discounts on telecommunication devices such as phones and hotspots. Information on discounts can be found on the Employee Resource Center Benefits Hub.

Can CU provide laptops to students?

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement is working with units across campus to identify students who do not have computers and wifi hotspots to complete their academic responsibilities. ODECE is working with OIT, Property Services and the Libraries to supply a limited number of refurbished computers and wifi hotspots to students who demonstrate financial need. Please submit a laptop/hotspot request on behalf of a student if the they lack resources for such hardware.

Students can also apply for emergency funds for the Fall semester starting on Saturday, August 1, for technology expenses.

Can Students get help covering technology costs this semester?

Student Affairs is offering limited Student Emergency Funds to support CU Boulder students facing temporary financial hardship due to COVID-19. Learn more and apply for Emergency Funds.