In light of the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency, and per the Chancellor’s directive, our entire campus is currently prioritizing support for our students, faculty and staff as the transition to Distance Education is underway.
In order to assist you with the transition, the Information Technology and Educational Technology Departments have been coordinating a comprehensive information, resource and training effort. The goal is to ensure that all of our constituents have access to the necessary technology and support that may be needed.
A single resource website has been set up as the Go-To for all of your transition readiness needs. This website will be updated frequently and we recommend you to bookmark it for easy access.
Go to information on:
Blackboard, CUNY and Hostos’s Learning Management System, allows you to have an online site containing your course content, activities and assessments so that your class can carry on whether it’s in-class, hybrid, fully online, or off-campus because of snow day, make-up for missed class, flu season, or the coronavirus.
If you’ve never used Blackboard before please review the Hostos Blackboard Support tutorials below, including “How to Get to Blackboard.” Once in Blackboard you will see links to your courses on the left side in the My Courses module. You should also see the link to the Roadmap to Teaching Innovation Blackboard training course (description and links below) which contains all the information you need to get your courses up and running in Blackboard. It will be lower down in the My Courses module under Courses in which I’m enrolled: Student.
For more tutorials, visit Blackboard’s YouTube Channel: Blackboard YouTube Channel
The first step is to ensure that your Blackboard course is available to students in order to establish a viable line of communication. With the Edit mode set to On you should:
- Use the Announcement tool to post announcements to students and check the Email Announcement box so that the announcement is sent to students’ emails.
- Upload your syllabus.
- Post your Contact information.
- Upload files (slides, Word documents, PDF,that are part of your course content.
- Create items and folders to add additional content.
- Post Assignments, Discussion Forums and threads, blogs, journals and wikis to increase student particiption and engagement.
Blackboard Mobile Apps
Blackboard offers two mobile applications and which application one uses depends on whether you are accessing a course as a student or as an instructor. If you are both a student and a faculty member, you will need both apps to fully interact with all of your courses. The apps are free for you to use and are available in the Apple and Android app stores.
Blackboard app – this is the app for students. Watch the video introduction here: Blackboard App
Blackboard Instructor – this is the app for instructors. Watch the video introduction here: Blackboard Instructor App
The CUNY Blackboard support website has a site that provides support for the Mobile apps, including how to set-up your courses to be mobile-friendly: CUNY Blackboard Mobile App site
Live Online Teaching – Collaborate Ultra, Zoom and Panopto
As Hostos instructors, you have two tools available to you that allow you to conduct real-time streaming lessons online through Blackboard – Collaborate Ultra and Panopto.
With Collaborate Ultra you can conduct live streaming videoconferencing lesson with your class, and includes breakout rooms, application and document sharing and live chat. This tool allows you to conduct a lesson live.
Watch a video overview on how to use Collaborate Ultra: Collaborate Ultra video
The CUNY Blackboard site has a links to Collaborate tutorials for both faculty and students: CUNY’s Blackboard Collaborate for Students and Faculty
Panopto allows you to record a lecture-capture lesson and also upload videos. To learn more about Panopto, as well as the Panopto Initiative, click on the following link:
Panopto at Hostos
All Blackboard courses have these tools available to them. You can access them through the Collaboration Link in the course Navigation Menu:
This section has access to both Collaborate Ultra and Panopto as well as instructions on how to get started. Roadmap to Teaching Innovation covers both Collaborate Ultra and Panopto in detail.
Zoom You also have the option of using Zoom cloud-based videoconferencing with your class. Zoom has many of the same features as Collaborate Ultra, including breakout rooms, whiteboard, screen and application sharing and live chat. Although it is not integrated into Blackboard the same way Collaborate Ultra is, recurring sessions corresponding to class meeting times can be easily scheduled in Zoom and the link to it posted in Blackboard.
These are the features which are currently included in our subscription:
- Unlimited meeting duration
- Up to 300 participants per meeting>
- Free VOIP and International Toll Number
- Screen Sharing
- 24/7 Technical Support
How do I login to start using Zoom as a Host?
To start a meeting as a host (e.g. if you are Faculty member launching class session, or a staff member hosting a meeting), follow the instructions below:
- Open a web browser (Microsoft Edge, Chrome and Firefox work best) and navigate to https://zoom.us
- Click on “Sign In” towards the top right of the window
- When presented with this screen, select “Sign in with SSO”
- You will then be presented with this screen in which you would type “hostos-cuny-edu” as a prefix to “.zoom.us”; alternatively you could click on the “I don’t know my company domain” and it will present you with a screen to enter your HOSTOS E-MAIL ADDRESS. Click “Continue”
- You will then be presented with the Hostos login webpage where you will again enter your Hostos e-mail address, and in the password field, enter the password for your Hostos e-mail system, and click “Sign In”
- You’re done! Now you should see your Zoom account profile and you can begin to host meetings using the menu on the left or the top right of the page:
How do I join a Zoom meeting?
Joining a Zoom meeting is easy from any device. Just click on the link you received in the meeting invitation or on the course page and it will connect you to the meeting. You can sign in with your Hostos e-mail, or just connect as a guest. It is important to note that , ALL ZOOM MEETINGS WILL HAVE THE WAITING LOBBY FEATURE ENABLED BY DEFAULT. This is a company/platform setting and not determined by Hostos.
What if I already have a Zoom account which I created using my Hostos e-mail address? What if I want to use Zoom to teach classes?
Please contact the IT Service Desk (718 518-6646) immediately so that theycan coordinate with Zoom to try and move your settings, recordings, etc. over to your Single Sign On Hostos account and also to enable Zoom in Blackboard for you.
Where can I go to find some quick start tutorials or to sign up for live training?
Here are some web pages from Zoom that have great tutorials. You can also sign up for one of the live webinars, including one focused on Zoom for Education.
Who do I contact if I need help with Zoom?
Your first point of contact will still be the Hostos IT Service desk, especially if it relates to logging on or getting started. However, CUNY has assurances from Zoom that our Students, Faculty and Staff can also reach out to Zoom support using their online trouble ticket system directly.
Roadmap to Teaching Innovation
Roadmap to Teaching Innovation is a self-paced online course in Blackboard that covers the important basic and advanced features of Blackboard. Current full-time and adjunct faculty are enrolled in the course and are free to navigate throughout the course and look up specific Blackboard topics.
To go directly to the Roadmap course, click on the following link: Roadmap to Teaching Innovation.
If you are a current faculty member and cannot access the course or do not see it in your My Courses module, click on the following link to enroll: Roadmap to Teaching Innovation Self-Enrollment.
To learn more about Roadmap to Teaching Innovation, click on the following link: Roadmap to Teaching Innovation page.
Hostos is a national leader in introducing and facilitating innovative ways of using recording/video streaming applications and smart mobile devices in teaching and learning. Please talk to us about how we can help you in your plans to go online both for your classroom and distance.
Roadmap to Teaching Innovation Contact:
If you have any questions about the Roadmap course please contact:
Hostos Blackboard Support
Other online resources, rich media, hardware and software
The EdTech Media Center offers powerful software and hardware technology to capture and record lessons, classroom activities and quickly and easily be make them available as streaming media and podcasts.