Software, training, and support to help you effectively engage students, regardless of course format.
- Classrooms and Labs - Information about the availability and status of classrooms and laboratories for continuity of learning.
- Connectivity and Loaners - Resources for instructors who do not have access to reliable broadband or appropriate technology to support course instruction.
- Software - Guidance on determining which set of tools will help meet your student learning outcomes.
- Training and Help - Technology training and support for instructors, both in and out of the classroom.
24-7 Technology Support
Chat with IT Service Desk
Live chat is available 24-7 for authenticated students, faculty, and staff.
Phone: 814-865-HELP (4357)
Webinars designed to provide critical information to faculty and staff about technology.
Next Live Webinar
Policies, Guidelines, and Recommendations
- Canvas Setup — Keep It Simple - Guidelines to help instructors set up Canvas.
- Class Recording Guidelines - These University guidelines should be followed when recording class lectures, presentations, and demonstrations.
- Flexible Instruction Teaching Guide - This self-paced guide provides important resources for a move to the remote teaching environment.
- Use of Webcams - Factors to consider regarding the use of webcams in courses offered through remote learning technologies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Review the following frequently asked questions about technology. For additional information, read all frequently asked questions.
Instructors and staff should continue to follow the meeting safety guidelines outlined by the University to avoid Zoom-bombings.
I have the Xfinity/Comcast 1.2 Terabyte Internet Data Usage Plan; how will the new data cap impact me?
Xfinity’s 1.2 Terabyte (1,229 GB) Internet Data Usage Plan is now included with Xfinity Internet for most customers.
With 1.2 terabytes of data in a month, you can video conference for 3,500 hours, watch 1,200 hours of distance learning videos, stream 500 hours of high-definition video content a month, or play more than 34,000 hours of online games. A typical class that meets 150 minutes per week would use approximately 5 GB of data per month if using video and audio. Use of Zoom audio only uses approximately 0.5 GB per month.
For more information, including specifics on overage rates and timelines for rolling out this data plan in your area, read the FAQs on the Xfinity website.
Contact the local IT unit at your college, campus, or department to learn about these technologies.
Instructors can locate information about which software students can access from international locations in the International Restrictions of Penn State Software and Technology Services (PDF).
Currently, the software the University makes available to students is accessible either directly or through the use of a Penn State VPN. However, international governments can change access to the software at any time.
What do I need to do to ensure I am using the right technology to project audio and a visual display (i.e., PPT slides) to students both in the classroom and learning at a distance?
Instructors must use the classroom podium computer to present their lessons, ensuring participation for remote students and in-person students. If you choose to use your laptop or another device, the in-room audio will not work. Ensure that your files are accessible online or via USB drive.
It is recommended that instructors arrive 15 minutes before class to set up the necessary technology. For step-by-step instructions for setting up the podium computer, see the recommendations for Teaching with Zoom in a General Purpose Classroom (GPC) at University Park (PDF).
You can also see the Zoom at Penn State resources for more information.
What is the best method for making embedded videos in Canvas available to students who cannot access them, due to restrictions in the country they are located in?
Kaltura is the best tool for sharing pre-recorded videos with students in countries with restrictions that impact Canvas access. You can refer to the Penn State Kaltura website and Penn State ITLD Kaltura training for more information. No country officially blocks Kaltura, but access is dependent on country, location within certain countries, and the enforcement of local restrictions.
Your assigned classroom will determine the group that will help test technology — three different IT groups service classrooms at Penn State:
- Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT): General Purpose Classrooms (GPCs) at University Park
Instructors at University Park can email TLT personnel at TechClass@psu.edu to set up a quick orientation or practice session in a GPC classroom. In the email, instructors should include their name, contact information, availability, building name, and GPC room number. If instructors are scheduled to teach, they should have card-swipe access into any building with GPCs. TLT personnel have access to individual classrooms.
For General Purpose Classroom (GPC) layouts and spacing to manage COVID-19 concerns, visit the LionSpaceFIS (Facility Information System) website. After launching the LionSpaceFIS program, click on the “Campus Viewer” button and search for the desired building and floor. Select a room on the map and click the photo or “View Gallery for all photos.”
- IT units at University Park colleges: College classrooms
For college classrooms, contact the IT college unit at the appropriate University Park college for assistance.
- IT units at Commonwealth campuses: Campus classrooms
For campuses other than University Park, it is recommended that you contact the local campus IT unit for assistance.
Tech Tutors can also help if instructors are in the physical classroom between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and would like a participant to log in to test Zoom. Instructors can visit the Tech Tutors website and click the yellow “Connect Online” button for help.
Penn State IT open computer labs will be available for use and will have some computers disabled to comply with physical distancing guidelines. These computers will also be available remotely via WebLabs for general use. WebLabs provides students and instructors remote access to Penn State Cooperative Lab Management (CLM) lab computers to connect to the technology resources they need to complete course work. Open computer labs are not able to be scheduled or reserved.
I am an instructor or staff member and do not have access to reliable broadband; a laptop; iPad; or items such as headphones, monitors, and keyboards. What should I do?
Instructors and staff should work with their local IT units to formalize computer/technology requests. University IT is continually working on the availability and distribution of equipment.
What should I do if I encounter students who are struggling with access to reliable broadband or a laptop?
Students who lack reliable broadband have several solutions they can utilize.
If they have sufficient cell coverage in their area, they can use their phone as a hotspot. Penn State IT has provided instructions on how to set up hotspots on Samsung, Pixel, and iPhones. In order to use a personal hotspot on their device, students may also secure additional data from their wireless carrier.
The following providers have information readily available on how to upgrade data: AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Find more providers and information on the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected page.
If they do not have access to a computer and/or reliable broadband from their location and have exhausted all other resources, they can log in to the IT service portal and fill out the Penn State Mobile Technology Request Form to formalize their computer/access request.
Information about their request will be relayed via the phone number they provide in the request form.
Due to the prohibitive costs, international customs regulations, export controls, security concerns, and the potential that these factors may impact both the delivery and the return of equipment, we are unable to ship internationally.
The Zoom at Penn State website offers students, faculty, and staff detailed information about Zoom, including training resources, frequently asked questions, and support.