Still sorting out remote work technology issues for your department? There's help.

July 16, 2020

With faculty and staff working remotely into the fall when feasible, here are helpful tech tools available that are (mostly) free.

UM-Dearborn's Office of Information Technology Services has created a list of helpful tech tools to help all departments keep work running smoothly when faculty and staff are at home.

Answer U-M Phones Remotely

UM-Dearborn staff, department or office phone numbers can be answered remotely. Department supervisors can put in an ITS request for phone numbers to be converted to a “softphone,” where phones can be answered via Internet from home with a computer and headset. This can be set up so that more than one person can answer the number at different times. The cost is generally $100-$125 of one-time setup cost per line. Alternatively, phone numbers can be set up to be forwarded from a physically distant location. See link for more information and work with your department leader to determine what service is right for you; direct requests to the ITCOM Service Request System (the requester must be an authorized signer on the department shortcode being used).

There is a limited amount of CARES funding to pay for switching costs. Please contact the UM-Dearborn Service Center to request funding for this.

Use UM-Dearborn Desktop Computers at Home

If a faculty or staff member will be working fully from home for some time and would benefit from taking home their UM-Dearborn desktop computer and/or monitor(s), that can be accommodated. Work with your department manager on this request; supervisors need to record details on equipment taken home.

The department should:
• Record the serial numbers of the computer and monitor(s) that are taken home.
• Put in a ticket with the UM-Dearborn Service Center to ask us to disconnect the equipment so that it is ready for pickup.
• The department may need to purchase the following items in order to support working from home: speakers, a webcam, and/or a wireless adaptor to connect the computer to the home wireless router. Please consult the UM-Dearborn Service Center with questions.
• Follow the published procedures for coming to campus when arranging for a staff member to pick up the equipment.

If there is a need to take any other technology equipment home, please check with your supervisor and the UM-Dearborn Service Center to ensure it will work properly off campus.

Line Up for Virtual Meetings

Departments who used to serve “walk in” customers and need to conduct business virtually now have an easy way to create a virtual “line” of people waiting. When a person gets to the front of the line, a private BlueJeans meeting is automatically generated with the staff or faculty member who is “working the line.” This functionality, called “Remote Office Hours,” is free and open for use in the University community. It was created to allow students to queue up for faculty office hours, but has been used for many other types of “lines” across the University. Please consult the help documentation for instructions.

Make Appointment Slots for Signup

With current social distancing guidelines, a number of departments need to provide service by appointment only. Google Calendar provides a quick, easy way to set up “appointment slots” and let people sign up for an available slot, rather than emailing back and forth to settle on a time.  Information on how to use Google Calendar Appointment Slots.

Host Zoom Webinars / Events

ITS can provide expert advice and training to departments on running Zoom webinars, such as our recent campus Town Halls. Contact the UM-Dearborn Service Center for assistance.

Learn about options for surveys and webforms

Departments often need to collect information electronically via surveys or webforms. We have several tools that can be utilized for this; the Web team and ITS put together an excellent presentation on this topic for your use. 

Stay up-to-date on how to protect “U” data

It’s always important to protect University and personal data, and now is an excellent time to refresh your knowledge, since many of us are now accessing and using confidential data at home. Take the U-M Data Protection and Responsible Use course in MyLINC today!

How can ITS help you?

Contact the ITS ServiceDesk Portal

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