Tools for Remote Teaching, Learning & Working
Remote learning can help faculty delve deeply into how their students learn and engage with instructional materials. With the right tools, remote learning can assist faculty in prioritizing interactions with students, enabling necessary course adjustments.
In cases of emergency, inclement weather, or a scheduled absence — it can help provide all-important continuity or recover lost class time.
SUNY Online provides information about internet service providers that have released data caps and are offering unlimited plans for customers at no cost.
Remote Instruction Resources
- Teaching with Moodle
The learning management system (LMS) at SUNY Plattsburgh is called Moodle. It can be accessed at https://moodle.plattsburgh.edu and from the MyPlattsburgh Portal.
Many instructors use Moodle to upload their syllabi, facilitate tests and quizzes, and to accept assignments via the dropbox tool. These functions can all be used even when you’re not teaching an online course!
The campus Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team supports the Moodle platform. They offer workshops for using Moodle for teaching and support a Moodle Practice Site where you can gain experience working with the tool in a safe sandbox environment.
Faculty who are teaching remotely should maintain a Moodle presence, as on-campus students turn to Moodle to find instructional materials, online forums, assignments, quizzes and other activities.
- For a quick introduction to Moodle, faculty should review the following:
- For further Moodle documentation, along with a faculty forum, visit:
Faculty may direct questions regarding Moodle or online instruction to Technology Enhanced Learning to: [email protected]
- Using Zoom
Zoom Video Conferencing at SUNY Plattsburgh allows you to create live meeting sessions that your students can join. These can be optionally recorded, and therefore also useful for lecture capturing. Even if you don’t plan on hosting a live session, Zoom can be used to create a lecture using your webcam, sharing your computer screen, or both.
The resources available on support.zoom.us are very useful and can help you get started. the Technology Enhanced Learning unit within Library and Information Technology services is also working on a video series surround teaching with Zoom.
Note: It is imperative that properly captioned recordings of any sessions are ESSENTIAL parts of the process: students who are unable to take part in the real-time activity must be given an opportunity to review what happened.
- Email Lists in Cardinal Cloud
Did you know that your Cardinal Cloud email supports emailing your classes quickly and easily? Class lists are automatically generated each semester and can be emailed using the following formula: [dept abbreviation][course number][section]@plattsburgh.edu
For example, a Computer Science course (CSC) with the course number 123 and a section of B can be emailed with: [email protected]
If you need to email a previous or future term, you can append the term code with an underscore to the course. For instance, if I wanted to email my course for Fall 2019, but the current semester is Spring 2020, I can send a note to: [email protected]
Note that these lists are only available for one previous or one future semester.
- Using Hangouts for Chat or Google Meet for Quick Meetings
Google Hangouts is a chat and meetings product built into Google’s G Suite for Education, the system that powers your Cardinal Cloud email account. You can login to this system by visiting https://hangouts.google.com. Its main feature is as a chat platform, but can also support making phone calls and video conferencing with Google Hangouts Meet located at https://meet.google.com. You can quickly jump into a meeting with others who have a Google account by going to that URL, or schedule a meeting on your Google Calendar and choosing the meet component within the calendar entry.
Google Hangouts Chat works better when using the Google Chrome browser extensions available for installation here.
For more information on how to live stream a Google Hangouts meeting, visit their help article title “Live stream a video meeting.”
Google Meet or Hangouts Meet, located at https://meet.google.com, can be used to make phone calls, video conferencing and also be used to create quick meetings. You can quickly jump into a meeting with others who have a Google account by going to that URL, or schedule a meeting on your Google Calendar and choosing the meet component within the calendar entry.
Note: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has made a their Hangouts Premium service free for Educational institutions through July 1st. Allowing additional recording features. While live captioning can be turned on, recordings are not automatically captioned.
- Accessing Microsoft
Having an active account at SUNY Plattsburgh also allows you access to Office 356, Microsoft’s subscription service that gives your access to the Microsoft Office applications on the cloud, as well as the downloadable desktop applications.
All active faculty and staff, as well as students, have an educational subscription to this Office 365. You retain some cloud-based features as an alumni/retiree/emeriti.
To login to Office 365, simply enter your SUNY Plattsburgh email address on the login screen and you will be forwarded to our central authentication single sign on systems.
- Using Google Drive
Google Drive can be a great way to share files with your class. You can setup a special drive called a Shared Drive that lets you add everybody in your class for collaboration purposes. If your main goal is simply to provide information to your students, you can create a folder for your class anywhere in your main Google Drive area and share it out with all the students and provide them only with view access. This is great if you have videos, PDF documents, Word documents, or other materials you want to provide. Students can also create documents or directories and share them with you, who, as the instructor, can add them to your own drive and easy grade on the run.
Moodle is linked with Google Drive (Cardinal Cloud Drive) and can easily be used as a source for files you wish to attach to your Moodle site. Additionally, this is the default location that Cloud Recordings from Zoom are stored.
- Using PowerPoint for Lecture Capture
PowerPoint has a really useful feature for recording your slideshow. If you have slides you want to use for a lecture, you can record yourself speaking through these slides which will also show the laser pointer or any annotations you use on each slide. In addition to saving your voice as an audio track of the presentation, it saves your slide timing too. Microsoft has a how-to article labeled Record a slide show with narration and slide timings. These records can then even be exported as a video.
Note: The presentation, if saved as a video, should be posted to YouTube so it can be automatically captioned, and that the YouTube video can readily be embedded in Moodle pages, URLs, labels, forum posts, etc.
- Uploading Videos to YouTube
Since every SUNY Plattsburgh email account is technically also a Google account, you can use YouTube to upload videos of your lectures to share with your class. You can do this with videos you’ve created with Zoom that you’ve saved locally on your computer, with PowerPoint presentations you’ve exported as video, or any other format you wish to upload. Faculty/staff have the YouTube services turned on to use with their SUNY Plattsburgh accounts.
- Using Chrome Remote Desktop
Google Chrome Remote Desktop is a tool that allows you to quickly and easily connect to your office computer from a remote location. An installation is required on your desktop computer ahead of time, the SUNY Plattsburgh Computing Helpdesk can help you with this process (email [email protected] or call 518-564-4433). Once completed, you can use the Google Chrome browser on a home computer or campus issued Chromebook to remotely connect to your desktop computer and have access to all of your files and applications.