In anticipation of an increased need to support remote work and remote teaching, we want to answer some of your most asked questions.
How should I prepare to teach online in the event that in-person classes are not possible or advisable?
Can I use my home/personal computer to work remotely?
Yes, with some caveats:
- You may need specific software that isn’t available for installation on your home computer.
- UMKC Remote Labs has software availble for use to all faculty and staff.
- Microsoft Office Pro Plus (Outlook, Word, Excel, OneNote, etc.) is available for installation on up to 5 personal devices at no cost for eligible facutly and staff.
- You are responsible for keeping sensitive work-related information safe and private. If your computer at home is shared by others in your house, you may not want to use it for work purposes. There are specific security requirements for using personally owned devices for University business.
- If you work with patient information, credit cards, or other highly sensitive information, please make sure you follow all security standards including encryption where required.
How can my students access Adobe products if they are distance learning or unable to travel to campus?
What resources are available to students who do not have internet access where they are?
UMKC has obtained a limited number of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots from several wireless carriers. While we will provide mobile hotspots to as many students as we are able, our highest priority is to support those students with no access to the internet. If you have no way to access the internet and are in need of an internet connection to continue your learning, please fill out the request form via Qualtrics.
How can I access the computer in my office on campus remotely?
Using Remote Desktop, you can remotely access your primary computer on campus. Instructions and additional information are available on the UMKC Remote Desktop site.
Do I need to be concerned about the Internet service package I have at home?
That depends on the package as well as the number of people who are simultaneously using your home Internet connection. If you are trying to work from home, and several other people in your home are streaming movies or games, your connection (and theirs) will likely be degraded. If you are using Zoom and the connection is poor, you may want to block the use of video and only use the audio portion which consumes less bandwidth. Those are just a couple of examples of things you should be aware of when working from home.
Are there security issues that I should know about if I choose to work remotely?
As always, best practices regarding cybersecurity should be followed.
Now, more than ever, you should be vigilant about recognizing phishing scams. Phishing scams occur when cybercriminals send emails claiming to be from legitimate organizations with important information. Any time something receives a lot of news coverage (such as a virus outbreak), criminals will use that as an opportunity to prey on your uncertainties. While designed to appear authentic, these emails direct you to links that are actually controlled by the attacker and are intended to harvest your personal information.
To learn more about how to protect yourself from falling victim to one of these attacks, see the best practices at the bottom of this webpage.
Increased remote work can increase challenges to information security, please be aware of UMKC's information security policies.
Will I be able to access MyHR, Peoplesoft and other tools from home?
Some on-campus IT resources require the use of Virtual Private Networking (VPN), a tool that provides encryption between your computer and campus resources. All UMKC laptops come with the VPN client installed. If you are using your personally owned computer, please contact the Technology Support Center for assistance troubleshooting VPN issues.
What collaboration tools are available when in-person meetings aren’t an option?
Zoom videoconferencing software is available to all University faculty, staff and students at no cost (this was just announced on 3/5/20). Zoom mobile videoconferencing enables you to facilitate online audio/video conferencing for meetings, classes, and other group work. With plugins for the major web browsers, Zoom is supported on all major computer operating systems and both iOS and Android.
Installation instructions, resources, and best practices may be found here.
Microsoft Office 365 (O365) is now available for eligible faculty and staff. O365 includes online versions of the Microsoft Office products you already know and new collaborative tools like Teams, Microsoft's chat and collaboration solution. More information on Office 365 and Teams at UMKC.
What’s the best way to save files and share files with my workgroup?
Box Cloud Storage allows you to access your files remotely. Its use, along with the installation and configuration of Box Drive, will ensure that your files are protected, as well as available for off-network use. More information on the Box service may be found here, or contact your IT support team for more information on file storage and access practices specific to your workgroup.
What is the best way to receive my work phone calls if I’m away from my office?
Several options are available to support work-related phone calls for remote workers.
- Unified Communication Portal- self service allows you to manage voicemail communications and check your voicemail online.
- Zoom account for audio (less bandwidth used than video)
- Jabber can be installed on a computer or mobile device and configured to make and receive calls on your UMKC phone number.
If you don’t currently have a Cisco phone system that allows you to utilize voice over internet contact the Technology Support Center for further assistance.
How can I monitor UMKC and UM System outages and advisories from home?
- The University of Missouri System uses an automated, rapid notification system to notify students, faculty and staff about campus emergencies and closings, as well as class cancellations. More information on RAVE can be found on UMKC's Rave site
- UMKC IT system outages and updates can be found on the UMKC IS Status page
- UM IT System outages and updates can be found on the UM system status page
Is it urgent to start planning for remote work?
Making plans now may reduce lost productivity and stress. Your IT support team is ready to support remote work! Please proactively contact us if there is a possibility of you or your team working remotely.