As schools and colleges move their instruction and support services online during the virus crisis, internet service providers are increasing access, and new resources are becoming available for educators.
This post is being updated continually in Spring 2020.
For information about internet service changes (from AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Sprint, T Mobile/Metro by T Mobile, and Charter Spectrum), please scroll to the end of the post.
Here are resources for individuals:
- Coping with stress during infectious disease outbreaks.
- Note that both students and colleges face numerous new hurdles — from childcare shortages to wobbly internet connections — even though 51% of students at two-year and four-year institutions already were taking at least some classes online by 2018, according to federal data.
- FAQ: Common questions from students, answered by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (continually updating).
Here are resources for faculty, staff, and administrators moving operations online (most geared specifically for California community colleges, newest at top):
- The Chancellor’s Office landing page for coronavirus information for community college students and staff — and for the colleges.
- CCCCO’s March 20 emergency planning meeting (link to Zoom recording).
- On Maintaining Equity and Inclusion in Virtual Learning Environments, from our colleagues at SDSU. (Additional SDSU virtual instruction resources applicable as we address the current pandemic.)
- 3CSN is offering a large selection of “wayfinding” webinars this week and next (through late March) on using a variety of community college technologies from remote offices.
- Here’s a great video on how to join Zoom meetings!
- For 11 detailed tips from CVC-OEI on ensuring continuity in instruction and student services, click here.
- And here are links to webinars from CVC-OEI with guidance about providing counseling and instruction online.
- To sign up for Cranium Cafe online trainings, click here.
- For general news from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, click here.
- To learn how multiple California community colleges have moved courses online, click here.
- Any community college faculty member, administrator, counselor, or staff member seeking more information can subscribe here to a wide range of email listservs sponsored by the CCCCO.
- For information about maintaining college access for students with disabilities and other special needs, the CCCCO offers a wealth of resources regarding technology accessibility.
- Work-study managers must apply for emergency waivers of federal program requirements (find details here).
- For instructors moving online, here is a free resource from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
- From Inside Higher Education, here are additional tips and stories.
- And here is a list of ideas for modifying college graduation this year.
Here’s how internet providers are expanding access (at least through mid-May):
AT&T is offering unlimited data access; opening its public WiFi hotpots; serving all residential and small business customers for 60 days even if they can’t pay, and waiving late fees. It also offers low-income customers internet access with no data limit; click here for details.
Comcast is opening its free Xfinity WiFi network and providing unlimited data there (find a map of hot spots here). And it is pausing plan limits for 60 days; waiving late fees and disconnections, and providing basic broadband for free to all new customers. Click here for details.
Verizon also is suspending account terminations for residential and small business customers and waiving late fees. And it is tripling data allowances for schools. Click here for details.
Charter Spectrum is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days (no installation fee) to households with K-12 or college students who don’t have a Spectrum subscription (call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll). And it is opening WiFi hotspots. Click here for details.
Sprint won’t terminate service if customers are unable to pay due to coronavirus issues; it is waiving related late fees, and it is offering free international calling from the U.S. to countries defined by the CDC as “Level 3.” It will provide unlimited data plus 20GB of mobile hotspot to existing customers at no extra cost for 60 days. Click here for details.
T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile are providing all customers with unlimited smartphone data, excluding roaming. An additional 20GB of mobile hotspots/tethering for 60 days will start soon. And it is increasing data allowances for schools and students to at least 20GB of data per month per student for 60 days. Click here for details.