COVID-19 Technology Resources
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, William Paterson University Information Technology has created this article to assist our students, faculty and staff with information on continuing their education and working from off-campus.
How to Get Technical Support
Contacting the Information Technology (IT) Helpdesk
You may contact Information Technology by submitting a Helpdesk ticket or by calling our IT Helpdesk at 973-720-4357.
What are the Support Hours
Regular Work Week Schedule
- Monday–Thursday: 8:30AM-10:00PM
- Friday: 8:30AM-6:00PM
- Saturday: 9:00AM-5:00PM
- Sunday: On-call phone support (Priority issues left by voicemail will receive a call back within 4 hours)
The Helpdesk ticket system is monitored for new tickets during weekends and evening hours.
Resources for Employees
Information on the variety of tools available for continuing remote work are available in the Resources for Working Remotely article.
Resources (for all employees) that are covered in the article include:
- Office 365 and the variety of features that allow for online document storage, editing, and collaboration
- Online communications tools including Microsoft Teams and Webex
- How to access campus resources including WPconnect, Banner, and the K: and U: drives
- What VPN is and when it is needed
- How to access your voicemail remotely
- Other tips and tools for working remotely
Resources for Faculty & Online Instruction
For support with the use of Blackboard and Blackboard Collaborate for online instruction, visit the 'Bb 101 - Teaching Remotely' support page.
Information on support offerings for remote teaching - including video from the recent CTT Blackboard workshops - is available at Support for Online, Hybrid and Hyflex Teaching.
The Center for Teaching Excellence has prepared a collection of tips and best practices for teaching online from our own William Paterson faculty members and beyond. Learn more at the CTE web site.
While Blackboard Collaborate is the best solution for synchronous class meetings, we realize that not all instruction or academic interaction takes place in a class setting. We also offer the following solutions for online interactions, such as faculty office hours or small group meetings:
For additional general remote instruction resources, please visit the General Remote Instruction Information page.
Resources for Students
- For assistance with Blackboard, visit the Blackboard for Students support page.
Online Software and Mobile Apps to Assist With Coursework
- Microsoft Office 365 is available for all students.
- Office 365 provides access to online versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneDrive cloud storage, as well as access to download a full install of Office 365 Pro Plus.
- Microsoft Office mobile apps are also available, including Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams. Search the Apple or Android App stores for 'Microsoft Office' to download.
- The Microsoft Outlook mobile app provides access to your WP email and calendar.
- The Blackboard Mobile App allows access to your Blackboard courses, and the Blackboard Collaborate Mobile App allows you to join/view classes held online through Blackboard Collaborate
Access to FREE e-books
- Visit https://openstax.org/ to gain access to free eBooks that faculty may use in your classes.
Software Available for Student Use on Personal Computers
The following software is available for limited use on personal computers and devices.
- Adobe Creative Cloud Adobe is no longer giving University students access to Adobe Creative Cloud.
- For students, public computer labs will be open as part of the university's reopening plan.
- Adobe Creative Cloud Home Use is available to students at a discounted rate through https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.html.
- Active employees can visit Adobe Creative Cloud for additional information on how to access the Adobe Creative Cloud products on personal devices.
- For students and faculty, home-use ArcGIS is available with the university's ArcGIS contract.
- For access to home-use ArcGIS, a Helpdesk ticket should be submitted through www.wpunj.edu/helpdesk (under the Software - Request category) by an approving faculty member.
- Requests will be reviewed and updates on how to install the software will be provided by Helpdesk ticket update.
- Additional information is available in the ArcGIS_Online Wiki article.
- SPSS Statistics Updated 12/15/2020 - Starting in January of 2021, the university will have a new contract with IBM that will allow SPSS Home Use for all all current students and employees.
- IBM SPSS installations require the software to be downloaded through WPconnect and then activated with an authorization code.
- Students or employees seeking access to install SPSS for use on personal computers should use the following process:
- To access the SPSS software install files and install/activate:
- Login to WPconnect
- Visit the Students tab (or Employees tab for employees) and search for or click on the My Home Use Software List - Student (found in the Technology Resources and Services section.)
- Find the 'IBM SPSS 27' (or the highest release listed) section and download the installer for your platform. (Windows 64-bit or macOS.)
- Run the primary install file to install completion.
- Use the authorization code listed in WPConnect Home Use that you were provided to activate the software.
- To access the SPSS software install files and install/activate:
- For additional information on the SPSS install, visit the SPSS wiki article.
- Students who are unable to install the SPSS software due to incompatible computers (old equipment or Chromebooks) should contact the Helpdesk to discuss potential alternative options that are available.
- Wolfram Mathematica|Online
- Visit Wolfram Mathematica article for information on how to use Mathematica Online.
- SAS Teaching/Research (Available through June 29th 2020)
- Visit SAS for information on how to use SAS Teaching/Research.
Cheng Library Online
Visit the Cheng Library website to learn about online support.
Other Online Learning Resources from the Academic Success Center
For a list of other online learning resources, visit the Academic Success Center's | Online Learning Resources article.
This includes information on resources including:
- Remote Live Tutoring
- Learning Skills Help
- Supplemental Online Learning
- Study Apps & Tools
- Library and Research Help
Science Enrichment Center Online Support
- Videoconferencing help for science students in real time.
- Bring your files, microphones, and cameras!
- See the Science Enrichment Center website for schedules
- Go to SEC Blackboard > Collaborate
Writing Center Online Support
See the Writing Center website for information.
Resources for Acquiring Internet Access
For any student or employee in need of internet access, the following resources are available through local Internet Service Providers.
NEW - Through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC,) the government has established the Emergency Broadband Benefit. While the program is still being rolled out, the intent is to provide discounts on internet service (up to $50 per month) to eligible individuals and families. For additional information on this program, visit https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
Internet Service Providers Offering Home Internet Access
- Altice USA is offering Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household. Call 866-200-9522 to enroll. More information at https://www.alticeusa.com/news/articles/feature/corporate/altice-usa-brings-free-broadband-k-12-and-college-students-during-coronavirus-pandemic.
- AT&T is offering internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program. Call 855-220-5211 for English; 855-220-5225 for Spanish. More information at https://m.att.com/shopmobile/internet/access/
- Comcast is offering free WiFi for 2 months to low income families, plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time. Call 855-846-8376 for English; 855-765-6995 for Spanish. More information at https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19.
- Optimum Online - To enroll in Optimum's free service, call 866-200-9522, ask for the sales department, and let them know you wish to qualify for the free service.
- Spectrum is offering Free internet Access for 60 days for students with homes without internet access. The Spectrum numbers are 1.844.488.8398 and 844-488-8395. More information at https://www.spectrum.com.
- Verizon is offering discount programs to qualified low income households. More info at https://www.verizon.com/support/consumer/account/manage-account/lifeline-discount.
Wireless/Cellular Service Providers Offering Mobile Internet Access
- AT&T is offering open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families. More information at https://www.att.com/shop/internet/access/#!/.
- Metro PCS is offering unlimited data and free 20GB hotspot access (10GB per month for 2 months) to existing customers. For more information, visit https://www.metrobyt-mobile.com/ongoing-updates-covid-19#customers.
- Sprint is providing unlimited data to existing customers and will allow all phones to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge. More information at https://www.sprint.com/en/landings/covid-19.html?INTCID=HPB:ALL:ALL:COVID19:LP.
- T-Mobile is providing plus unlimited data to existing customers and will allow all phones to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge. More information at https://www.t-mobile.com/brand/ongoing-updates-covid-19?icid=MGPO_TMO_P_CUSTSUPT_K49SR0SE1EB2Z9F6E20091_HP#customers.
Additionally, the recently announced FCC agreement states that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and provide publicly available hot-spots during the pandemic crisis.
Resources for Students Without Computers
For students, excluding Freshman who are entering Fall 2020 or after, who do not have computers at home, Information Technology has a limited inventory of loaner computers. These computers are intended for individuals who do not have their own devices and are in need of a hardware solution to complete coursework.
The computer loan program has limited availability and priority will be given to students with both an academic and financial need (based on Financial Aid criteria review.)
To submit a request for a computer, please fill out the Computer Loan Program Request form. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. February 2021 Update:''The university's reopening plan includes having computer labs open and available. As the university has an extremely limited inventory of loaner computers available, requests must detail why the requestor is unable to use computer labs.
Please note: Laptop computers will work with WiFi, but Desktop computers will require a home internet router with an Ethernet port. Please respond appropriately as you fill out the request form.
For students who have both the means and interest in purchasing a low-cost computer, several computer vendors have low cost options available:
- Dell Outlet - https://www.dell.com/en-us/dfh/shop/dell-refurbished/cp/outlet
- Lenovo Outlet - https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/outletus