I recently had a chance to read through the Top 10 questions received by the College of Forestry’s student computing help desk during the last academic year. The range of topics in the list indicates that students’ familiarity with OSU computing resources is spotty. Moreover, students’ ability to adapt the technologies they use (from laptop to tablet to smart phone) for academic use is not as much of a “given” as we sometimes think.

Finding the answers was an interesting task, actually, as it showed me how spotty my own knowledge of our resources is. The effort it took (round and round on web sites, calls to CN and the Walk-up Help Desk, etc.) got me thinking about how high the stakes are for students trying to get their issues resolved. After all, I was just preparing a blog post: there was no deadline, grade, or prerequisite to worry about. A recently completed study of students’ use of OSU computer labs revealed that faculty are the best/most frequently acknowledged resource students have about computer labs, on everything from their locations, to the applications and software available, to the “culture” and environments characteristic of those labs. What that says to me is that as a faculty member, knowing where to send students to address their technology needs is one step I can take to support them in their overall learning and experience at OSU.

Now that I’ve tracked down answers to all of those questions, it seemed like a good and timely idea to pass this information along to you. Below you’ll find the 10 questions/issues most frequently posed by students at the COF student computing help desk followed by the sites that answer and/or resolve them. Should you know of additional helpful resources or other common questions, feel free to pass those along, too.

1. How do I connect to OSU wireless networks on my laptop/smart phone?

On one’s laptop: http://oregonstate.edu/is/osu-accounts-technologies-guide/guide-new-students/wireless-access-campus

On one’s smart phone/mobile device: http://oregonstate.edu/is/osu-accounts-technologies-guide/guide-new-students/mobile-device-settings

2. How do I install Microsoft Office on my personal laptop?

For help installing software, OSU Computer Walk-up Help Desk: http://oregonstate.edu/is/tss/och/osu-computer-walk-helpdesk

For access to all OSU site-licensed software (with exceptions for Adobe Suite): https://osurds.oregonstate.edu/RDWeb/Pages/en-US/login.aspx

3.  What software can I get a student discount on?

Computer Helpdesk Software site: http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/software

4. What labs are open right now and where are they?

Student Computing Facilities: http://oregonstate.edu/is/mediaservices/scf/

5. How do I get to network drives/the Umbrella Server from home?

Fall 2013 and later, use OSU Remote Desktop Applications: https://osurds.oregonstate.edu/RDWeb/Pages/en-US/login.aspx

Connecting to Former Umbrella Server: http://oregonstate.edu/is/learning-technologies/virtual-computing-lab-umbrella

Please note: apparently my source on the first link (Fall 2013 and later)  jumped the gun a bit. The new OSU Remote Desktop is still under development. Documentation is still being developed, and the server is still being tweaked to iron out remaining bugs. Official, campus wide roll-out of OSURDS will be announced when development has concluded.

6. I just printed a document: Where can I pick it up? What is the cost? How am I billed for this?

ONID Printing General Information: http://oregonstate.edu/is/scf/onid-printing

ONID Printing Rates: http://oregonstate.edu/is/learning-technologies/printing-onid-printing/onid-printing-rates

7. Where can I scan something? Where are the scanners/copiers?

SMS/Scanning: http://oregonstate.edu/is/mediaservices/sms/undergraduates/scanning

8. Can I check out a laptop/camera/microphone/headphone/charger?

Student Media Services: http://oregonstate.edu/is/mediaservices/sms/undergraduates

9. Can I print from my personal laptop?

Wireless Printing: http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/network/wireless/wireless-printing

10. How do I get Forestry (or any) email on my smart phone?

Configuring Email: http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/e-mail/onid-e-mail/configuring-email-clients

Additional information, including college and department specific accounts: http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/e-mail