NAU is one of 82 percent of universities employing hybrid teaching and learning options that include both campus-based and online education and among the 54 percent of institutions that are using technology-based health screening tools, according to a June EDUCAUSE quick poll. We have been hard at work determining the best ways to implement technology into how we evolve to meet the ever-changing circumstances of this time.
With the increased reliance on technology during these times, including virtual classes and events to support our students, contact tracing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and apps to monitor health and virtually wait in line, NAU’s Information Technology Services has been hard at work preparing the campus this summer. Learn more about our technological updates:
All of the classrooms at the Flagstaff campus have been outfitted with computers, screens and webcams to allow professors and students in the classroom to interact with students who are participating virtually. We’re also creating NAUFlex kits for professors who need to teach virtually.
The NAUgo app continues to be updated to provide additional services and information. Students can soon access LOUIEgo, which will require a LOUIE login, and find account details including holds, their schedules and other information specific to them. It will also have NAU Occupancy Counts, which allows students to track how full the on-campus eateries are, and LaundryView, designed to keep the lines in laundry facilities manageable.
We have mobile no-touch kiosks that will be installed at high-traffic points throughout campus, including University Admissions and the Lumberjack Mathematics Center. These allow students to talk to a real person, ask questions, check in to appointments and more while maintaining physical distancing.
Students can use this app to virtually stand in line, helping to save time while reducing lines and crowds. The app will hold the user’s place in line at restaurants, the bookstore and other high-traffic places throughout campus, then notify the user when it’s almost their turn.
This assessment tool will enable employees and students to report any current COVID-19-related symptoms they are experiencing, as well as exposure and testing history. Accessing NAU HealthCheck requires a LOUIE login. The initial survey takes about 20 seconds to complete, and subsequent surveys take roughly 10 seconds to complete. Based on self-reported symptoms, users will be guided to prudent information and actions. NAU will not store or track users’ personal information.
The COVIDWatch app is an exposure tracing tool; students, faculty and staff who download the app are notified if they have been exposed to the coronavirus and are directed on next steps to manage their health. No personal or GPS information is shared through this app. Bluetooth signals send out random numbers that are later used to send anonymous exposure alerts. The University of Arizona is currently beta-testing this app
Louie’s temperature kiosks
These state-of-the-art temperature sensing stations, which will be in residence halls, the University Union and du Bois Center, the recreation center and other locations throughout the Flagstaff campus, can measure a user’s temperature in three seconds. These kiosks also may be used to screen access to meetings and facilities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will have 36 on campus by the end of August.
NAU has invested in 200 laptops additional laptops to support long-term loans to students and faculty. These computers are funded through the Student Technology Fee.
Flagstaff campus wireless network/5G service
Verizon is wrapping up installation of micro-cell towers on the Flagstaff campus to improve cellular communications and offer a state-of-the-art 5G wireless network. NAU also is working with other providers to offer 5G services on our Flagstaff campus. ITS is also upgrading the WiFi capabilities to improve network services throughout campus and will continue this work into the fall term. We know they are important resources to help our community engage safely at a time when physical distancing is key.
Starship delivery robots
The fleet is back, and there’s even more of them now. Additional robots now serve the Flagstaff campus to deliver your favorite foods. Place your order on the Starship app.
Other efforts include ramping up recruiting efforts through the use of Salesforce, promoting environmental sustainability with the installation of new charging stations for electric vehicles and coordinating with the NAU Police Department for increased safety options on campus, including the new alert app, NAU Safe, and making the police department a digital public safety answering point.