Distance learning resources for UB students

Students looking at computer screen.

Published June 2, 2020

These are stressful times. UBIT is here to help.

Shifting to distance learning in the middle of a semester is a challenge for most of us. If you are struggling, here are some resources, technology and otherwise, that may help.

I need a new laptop or web cam access

If your current computer is not sufficient for distance learning (for example, you don’t have a web cam), here are some resources that may help:

  • Living near campus? Socially-distanced iMacs in Silverman Library offer web cams, Respondus LDP Lab and other software, including Adobe Creative Cloud, which you can also access from home.
  • Financial Aid adjustments toward a new laptop: Contact an advisor at 716-645-8232 or UBFA@buffalo.edu to see if you are eligible for a budget adjustment towards a laptop purchase.

Before you buy a laptop, review UB’s system requirements and recommendations for new computers. For distance learning, a web cam is highly encouraged. See a full list of UB’s recommendations for new laptops.

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I need Internet access

If you have poor or no Internet connection and cannot use UB online apps like MyUB and HUB, UB Learns, UBbox and Zoom, there are options available to you:

Free in-home Internet offers for students

  • Spectrum: As of March 2020, Spectrum is offering free Internet and Wi-Fi service for 60 days, and waiving installation fees, for households with students (kindergarten to college) that don't already subscribe to the cable company's broadband service.
    • Once the 60-day period expires, the service will continue unless the customer cancels.
    • Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll.
  • Comcast: Qualified low-income families who live in a Comcast service area can apply to receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to for $9.95/month.  
    • This program’s Internet speed has increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.
  • Check with your local provider: Other Internet service providers may currently have similar offers.

Free public Wi-Fi hotspots and eduroam access

  • On-campus
  • Away from campus
    • Xfinity: Students can visit www.xfinity.com/wifi to find a Wi-Fi hotspot in New York City and other locations. Once at a hotspot, select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a web browser.
    • Wiman Mobile and other providers also offer hotspots at no cost. 
    • eduroam at other schools: Many research schools also offer eduroam Wi-Fi access, which is the same encrypted Wi-Fi network available on UB's campus and available to anyone who has connected to eduroam at UB in the past.

I don’t have the software needed for my coursework

Students can download UB-supported software, including Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more), from the UBIT website.  

If you are unable to download software on your personal device, you can also connect to a virtual desktop with installed software from a web browser, using My Virtual Public Site.

I need help with technology for my classes

If you are experiencing a hardship due to these unexpected changes, contact Student Conduct and Advocacy for support resources.

If you encounter any problems using UB online services, please contact the UBIT Help Center at 716-645-3542 or buffalo.edu/ubit/helpFind our support hours.