ITS answers top three tech questions for connecting from home


As the U-M community adjusts and responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working from home and connecting online with colleagues, often for the first time.

Information and Technology Services is available to answer questions about how to host lectures, access university resources, collaborate with colleagues, and continue to support the university from home.

Need a summary of technology to help you continue work at home? Take a look at the Remote Resource Guide with sections for teaching and student engagement, learning and study, research computing, work, and community and well-being. The guide also has online training opportunities.

Here are answers to the top three questions the ITS Service Center heard this week.

How do I get started with videoconferencing?

Videoconferencing is a great option to bring everything from lectures, class discussions, team and individual meetings online.

The following services are available to students, faculty and staff, and have unique features to enrich conversations and facilitate collaboration:

  • BlueJeans — Cloud-based conferencing with audio, video and content sharing. BlueJeans is approved for use with Protected Health Information.
  • Zoom — A feature-rich and accessible videoconferencing service that includes options for online meetings, chat rooms, webinars and mobile collaboration.
  • Google Hangouts Meet — A videoconferencing and screen sharing option that’s integrated into Google. Hangouts are synced across devices, so you can start a Hangout on your computer and continue on another device.

How do I use the tools within Canvas for remote lectures?

Lectures can be recorded and posted in Canvas for students to watch on their own time, or they can be hosted within Canvas for students to attend in real time.

To record a lecture, use Kaltura Capture in Canvas and publish it to the course afterwards. Kaltura Capture records audio, video, and a computer screen. Users may also edit the recording and add captions in Canvas before sharing with students.

To host a lecture by videoconference, enable Zoom or BlueJeans within a Canvas site for students to join in real time. Students are able to ask questions and participate in class discussions. Sessions can be recorded to share in Canvas later.

How do I connect to my department’s shared network drive?

Departments may use a shared network drive to store documents and files. For example, it may be named the “X: Drive” or another letter. These network drives can be accessed from off campus from any computer, including personal computers.

Depending on the device, users may need to connect to the U-M Virtual Private Network, and then follow these step-by-step instructions to connect to network drives on Windows 7, Windows 10, and macOS computers.

MiWorkspace computers have the U-M VPN preconfigured. See Working Remotely for details specific for MiWorkspace computers.



  1. Sharon Rizzo
    on March 26, 2020 at 9:13 am

    You are all awesome. Thank you for your great continued work.

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