Making Technology Assistance and Resources Easy to Find at the iSchool
Published: August 26, 2015 by Allison Randall Gatt
You’ve been accepted to the iSchool (yay!) and you’ve enrolled in your courses. Now you’re sailing smoothly through your coursework on Canvas and…wait. You’re not? That’s okay, help is easy to find and there are a lot of simple solutions to the technical difficulties you may be experiencing.
Alfredo Alcantar, the iSchool tech staff’s coordinator for the learning management system (aka the LMS—the iSchool uses Canvas) has a lot of answers to your questions, so don’t worry. He and Dale David, instructional media developer and Canvas administrator, are the ones who make the technology and the learning systems work for you.
“iSchool students have a dedicated tech support team,” says Alcantar. “If they ever encounter any technical issues with Canvas, Collaborate (which you’ll use for synchronous classes and some recorded links) or Blackboard Instant Messaging (aka BBIm), we encourage them to submit a tech support ticket.” The tech team has got your back and they’ll get back to you quickly with a solution. Using the Help link on your Canvas page (in the upper right-hand corner in yellow) you’ll find another link labeled iSchool Technical Support for Faculty and Students.
There are all kinds of guides and tutorials (including a super approachable one about using Canvas) on the iSchool website to help you if you’re struggling with some of the tech aspects to online learning. “When it comes to all things Canvas related,” says Alcantar, “the guides there are simple to navigate and super informative. Canvas also has a great community network where students can post questions, comments, or ideas and their response time is very quick.” Just click on that Help link of your Canvas page. When you do, go to Canvas Guides for guides on how to get use Canvas, downloadable PDFs on how to get started, and a Community link in blue on the right-hand side of the page.
Using the Help lists and links for just about any software application or learning interface can go a long way toward getting you further in learning and navigating all the stuff your computer can do.
What if you can’t even get into the Canvas site? “Without notice, SJSUOne passwords expire every 180 days, causing the student to be locked out of accessing Canvas,” Alcantar reminds us. Canvas mentions this somewhere in the small print at the beginning, but it’s tough to remember these details when you’re in the midst of learning the course content as well as the Canvas site. It can be quite a shock when after six months you suddenly can’t get in. But don’t worry, the solution is as easy as resetting your password (and keeping track of it somewhere) through the reset link on the iSchool Canvas login page. Use either the Forgot Password? or Forgot SJSUOneID? button to reset your password and get into the site. Or check out the Need More Help? button for further assistance, with instructions for new students and employees, new open university students and current students. There’s also an FAQ page there as well.
All this is a good reminder to save your work and back it up as you go, something I cannot stress enough to you all as well as to myself. Course content remains open one month after the start of the following semester (I double-checked this and voila! there’s my class from the spring) but don’t wait until the last minute. It will make more sense to save your assignments, as well as instructor’s assignment directions and course readings when it comes time to put together you e-portfolio and make sense of all the requirements and proofs of core competencies.
Keep in mind a few other details before you fear the worst. Enthusiasm is always appreciated at the iSchool, but even if you’re a super go-getter you’ll still have to wait to see your courses in Canvas until the official first day of the semester. Don’t panic if you can’t get in before then. If you’re still eager for a sneak peak, check out the instructor’s course syllabus listed for either the upcoming semester or the previous one.
Check the guides, tutorials and Help links, and don’t hesitate to contact someone if you don’t come up with the answer. Technology resources and support are here so that you can be successful and savvy as an information professional, learning as you go.
For more helpful information about being at the iSchool, check out:
Resources and Information from the iSchool’s Student Services Coordinator
image courtesy of Master isolated images.