Need tech for teaching and learning?

Student and teacher in classroom practicing physical distancing.

In summer 2020, the college purchased more than $135,000 worth of technology devices (partially supported by the CARES Act) to help meet the college’s fundamental instructional needs and to provide high-quality audio and video for remote, online or in-person teaching. The items purchased include headsets, webcams, document cameras, pen-enabled displays and tablets, and USB hubs.

With our limited supply of devices, we must coordinate the distribution of the tech devices to only those who are teaching in the current semester.

Checking Out Equipment

For instructors, equipment checkout is available now at the front desk of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL) on a first-come, first-served basis between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you cannot pick up your requested equipment, please send someone in your stead (another faculty or staff member from your department, etc.).

Returning Equipment

As soon as possible at the end of the semester, please return equipment to the front desk of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday so that we can check out the equipment to other instructors.

[Last updated Aug. 26, 2021]

Equipment and support for instructional faculty

Instructors will be able to keep headsets permanently, while document cameras and Wacom devices may be checked out on a semesterly basis.

NOTE: The Wacom One will require drivers and additional HDMI adapters for your specific laptop; testing prior to instructional use is critical. Instructors are responsible for purchasing all necessary adapters.

Faculty members who need a laptop can explore the Faculty Computer Purchase Program (FCPP), which provides a subsidy to faculty to purchase laptops. 

Unfortunately, the time and logistic requirements of special one-on-one arrangements make reservations impractical at this time. We suggest you arrange for someone to pick up your equipment on your behalf if you cannot make it to campus during these pick-up times.

If you find that you need a specific piece of technology that isn’t part of our college purchase, you are welcome to contact your department or program regarding funding (please observe your department’s purchasing policies). With current supply-chain issues, we recommend purchasing this additional technology as early as possible. We hope the college purchase will meet the fundamental needs of our instructors.

We have worked in partnership with OIT on these equipment purchases. OIT has set up a recommended computer peripherals page that we suggest consulting before purchasing your own equipment.

We encourage you to test-drive your equipment on campus and at home to get comfortable. The Wacom One will likely require drivers and additional HDMI adapters for your specific laptop; testing prior to instructional use is critical. Instructors are responsible for purchasing all necessary adapters.

If you need training on specific software or remote teaching best practices, please consult the CEAS Going the Distance series webpage. The "Tech Fridays" recordings toward the bottom of the page may be especially useful, and we added additional Tech Friday trainings in direct response to instructors’ requests from our survey.

OIT has set up a Technology Copilot program. A technology copilot can be a TA, a student volunteer, or an OIT student employee that is assigned to you for the semester upon request. Their role is to help setting up the technology in remote-capable classrooms (including control the camera to follow you as you teach if you desire) and to help facilitate communication with the remote students: reading out loud questions that they ask in the Zoom chat, etc. Learn more and request copilot support on the Technology Copilots resource page.

If you would like your TA or student volunteers to take the copilot training, please send them this link to enroll in a self-paced Technology Copilot training Canvas course: Estimated time to review the material is 2-3 hours. This is open for TAs of courses with any teaching modality (remote, hybrid or in-person) if they could benefit from part of it. You can pick and choose the modules that are relevant to you.

If you would like to have an OIT-hired copilot assigned to your classroom (at no cost to you, for remote-capable classrooms only) please complete this form.

To know what technology your assigned classroom has, please refer to this list.

Classrooms that will host hybrid courses this fall may be one of two types:

Based on the survey results from summer 2020 and subsequent discussions with OIT and the CEAS Resource Alignment team, we decided to purchase the equipment listed previously. In alignment with OIT, we decided not to purchase any devices with their own operating systems (e.g., standalone tablets, like iPads) and focused our resources on peripheral devices. The management of the privacy and security of tablets with their own operating systems at the campus or college scale is something that OIT is not currently set up to do. Additionally, it is difficult to identify a single device that works for all users.

The following considerations influenced our decisions on how much of each technology to purchase.

  • In the scenario that we end up teaching entirely remotely, we wanted our instructional faculty to have what they need. I.e., we were preparing for remote learning and hoping for hybrid and in-person learning.
  • If we assume that our survey respondents reflect a representative sample of the instructors of record for fall, then 55% of our instructors do NOT need an annotation device (document camera, Wacom One, or Wacom Intuos). Therefore, we needed to make sure we had enough annotation devices for 45% of our 350 instructors.
  • On the survey, instructors indicated whether a webcam, headset, and other technology were a high priority, low priority, or not needed. For each type of equipment, we focused on meeting the needs of the “high priority” requests.
  • We multiplied the data we had from our ~2/3 response rate by 1.5 to extrapolate coverage to the entire 350 instructors. We added a small margin for spares of each device type to account for unmet needs or errors in our methodology.

Considering the above factors, strained national supply chains, and the exhausted inventories of our preferred equipment, we purchased the quantities and devices listed above.

Equipment and support for TAs

We purchased a limited quantity of headset mics, webcams, document cameras, and Wacom Intuos tablets for TAs. We were not able to order enough equipment to meet the needs of all our TAs. We ordered as much as we could within our budget constraints. Our top priority is to provide instructors with the technology they need.

All headsets, webcams, document cameras, and Wacom Intuos tablets are being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to TAs according to the guidelines in the section above with the check-out instructions.

A few more details:

  • We ask instructors to think creatively about the equipment needs of their TAs. For example, can you set up one document camera in a shared location?  
  • For courses that have a large number of TAs, we suggest you ask your department for supplemental funds to support the equipment needs of your TAs. Again, we just don’t have enough equipment for all TAs, and we need to spread the equipment we have as broadly as possible.
  • Like instructors, TAs can pick up a webcam, headset, and one of the following: document camera, Wacom One (if there are any left over from the instructor pool), or Wacom Intuos. We have many more Wacom Intuos units than document cameras or Wacom One displays.
  • Your TAs can pick up the equipment, you can pick up their equipment, or you can arrange for someone to pick up the equipment on behalf of you and your TAs.

We worked with OIT to secure a small pool of new laptops that can be checked out to TAs, CAs or any student who is supporting instruction. TAs can check out these laptops from the front desk of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL). Depending on the situation, the TA may also want to explore the resources available to students (see section below).

Equipment and support for students

  • Laptops and Chromebooks: Chromebooks are available for checkout at the front desk of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL). Unfortunately, resources for laptop checkouts are extremely limited after a campus laptop-checkout program was paused. Until the campus program is restarted or replaced, we suggest students check if any laptops are available from the front desk of the ITLL, which will also help us understand the needs of the students in CEAS even if no laptops are currently available. 
  • Wifi hotspots: In the past, ODECE, CU Libraries, and OIT offered a limited number of hotspots (to provide internet access via a cellular connection) for checkout to students in need. This program is currently on pause, but you may revisit the Request for Laptop or Hotspot form later in case the program resumes.
  • Headsets: Students who desperately need a headset with a microphone can pick one up from the front desk of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL).  Otherwise, we ask students to arrange access to their own audio equipment (headphones and microphone).

Funding is available to CU Boulder students facing financial hardships. These funds can be used to purchase a laptop, books, software, pay for rent, food, medical expenses and more. Grants are limited to a maximum of $2,000, and eligibility requirements apply. Learn more and apply for these funds.

A variety of software is available for students to download to personal computers through the Office of Information Technology and the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program (ITLP).

Remote computing capabilities have also been developed and are now accessible to all CEAS students through the CEAS cloud computing system.

Have another question not answered here? Email or

Nick Stites John Franklin

Nick Stites
ITL Program

John Franklin
Director of Information Technology