The Office of Information Technology provides many services and applications to support academic continuity and help UA students, faculty and staff work from anywhere with an internet connection.

Tips for Students

Follow these best practices to be successful while learning online.

UA COVID-19 Info

View official University statements and learn more about COVID-19.

Software Downloads

OIT offers software that can be downloaded and installed on personal computers.

Academic Continuity

View the Center for Instructional Technology’s website for tutorials, webinars and detailed information on teaching remotely.

Cybersecurity Concerns

Malicious actors are taking advantage of the pandemic environment. OIT has seen reports of phishing emails posing as technologies and even false COVID-19 maps. COVID-19 is not the only virus to be concerned with. Install McAfee antivirus software on your machine, and remember the red flags of phishing emails.

VPN

Faculty and staff are eligible to utilize UA’s virtual private network to access UA resources when away from campus. VPN is required for accessing critical applications on campus because it creates a secure pathway back to the UA campus network.

The VPN is only required to access certain applications, it is not needed for access to O365, Webmail, Box, Banner or other common work tools. To access the VPN, simply download the Cisco AnyConnect application from the Tech Tab of myBama. DUO is required to access the VPN. OIT recommends using the passcode option to speed up the authentication process.

Remember to disconnect from the UA VPN when you are done with your session, this will free up your session for another user.

Remote Desktop

Should you need to access certain applications, systems or information on your office computer, you may remotely connect to your computer through the VPN and a remote desktop connection. Make sure your computer is enabled for remote desktop connections before working remotely.

Phone Service

If you need to transfer your office’s phone line to your cell phone, or if you wish to receive your voicemail through email, contact our Telecommunications office and we’ll take care of it for you.

Group Messaging & Collaboration

Jabber is an instant messaging and presence application available to all UA faculty and staff. Jabber allows for workplace chat, and also provides the opportunity to transfer a University phone number to a mobile phone. To request Jabber activation, submit a request to OIT’s Telecommunications Office. UA faculty and staff can also use Jabber to forward a University office phone to a mobile phone.

Microsoft Teams is a great resource to stay connected to your coworkers. Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage and application integration. To access Teams, visit portal.office.com. Teams is available to all UA faculty and staff.

Video Conferencing

In partnership with the UA System, Zoom video conferencing is available to students, faculty and staff. Zoom offers a seamless video, audio and screen-sharing experience across desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Zoom is also HIPAA compliant. Zoom accounts are available to students, faculty and staff; however, only those hosting meetings are required to have a Zoom account. Attendees can participate in meetings without Zoom accounts.

Faculty are granted Zoom Pro accounts, staff and students are granted Zoom Basic accounts. Basic accounts can host meetings that are up to 40 minutes. If you are hosting meetings longer than 40 minutes, request a Pro account.

Blackboard Collaborate is another web conferencing option for instructors and students. Blackboard collaborate allows for two-way audio, multi-point video, interactive whiteboards, breakout rooms and more. To begin using Blackboard Collaborate in your course, visit the CIT website for instructions on enabling Blackboard collaborate. 

Cloud Storage

Rather than saving content to a workplace device, OIT encourages saving content to a cloud storage provider such as One Drive or Box. With cloud storage, your content is available from anywhere with an internet connection and protected by DUO two-factor authentication. Be sure to review OIT’s data storage classification chart to make sure sensitive data is stored appropriately.

Password Storage

Use LastPass password manager to keep track of important passwords. LastPass is a secure password management browser extension and mobile app that keeps passwords in a secure environment. With LastPass – passwords are not stored on or near a device, but within the secure LastPass application. Plus – it takes the guessing out of passwords, the only password you have to remember is your LastPass password.

Software

Most software available to UA students, faculty and staff is licensed for both personal and University machines. Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, MATLAB and more can be used on a personal machine. Review OIT’s software catalog to see available software.

Internet Service

Many internet service providers are offering free or significantly reduced service for students or low-income households. Additionally, many service providers are promising not to terminate internet access due to late payments, waiving late fees and making all of their publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots available at no cost as part of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Most providers have also temporarily removed data caps.

  • AT&T Home Internet
    • $10 per month for qualified customers with two free months
  • Charter Spectrum
    • No cost for the first 60 days with students in the household
    • Existing Wi-Fi hotspots in communities now available for free
  • Comcast Xfinity
    • No cost for first 60 days for qualifying low-income families, $9.95 per month afterward
    • Existing Wi-Fi hotspots in communities now available for free
  • Cox
    • First month free for qualifying low-income families
    • $19.99 per month starter package
    • Existing WiFi hotspots in communities now available for free
  • Mediacom
    • No cost for the first 60 days for qualifying low-income families, $9.95 per month afterward
    • Regular internet available for $19.95 per month for 12 months
    • Existing Wi-Fi hotspots in communities now available for free

Many other service providers, including regional providers, are also offering assistance. Be sure to research what is available in your area.

Mobile Internet

If you are not able to find a home internet service provider due to cost or availability, you might consider using your mobile device as an internet hotspot. Depending on your provider, you may need to change your data plan to allow your phone to act as a hotspot or tether. If you are worried about data, most mobile device carriers have significantly bumped up data caps. You should confirm with your provider before using more data.

Questions?

IT Services

Contact the IT Service Desk at itsd@ua.edu or 305-348-5555 for help with UA IT services such as access to myBama, Crimson email and VPN. OIT can also assist with software downloads and cybersecurity concerns.

Instructional Technology

Instructors – contact the Center for Instructional Technology at cit@ua.edu for help implementing Blackboard, Panopto, Zoom and other instructional technologies.

Online Learning

Students – contact CCS Tech Support for help with Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom or other questions related to technology used in online learning. You can submit service tickets or call 1-866-205-1011.

Working Remotely

Visit the Human Resources website for work/life balance tips to follow while working from home.

COVID-19

For more information about COVID-19 and for official University messages, please visit healthinfo.ua.edu