Tech Support for ATDP Students
Need help? Contact our Tech Support Coordinator:
Connecting to Zoom
|Do I need a Zoom account?|
|How do I check my Zoom version?|
|Can I use Zoom on a Chromebook?|
|People have difficulty hearing what I say|
|How do I test my video?|
|How do I test my audio?|
Go to https://zoom.us/download and download the Zoom Client for Meetings. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Once installed, the Zoom app icon should appear like this:
Yes! Starting in 2021, all Zoom meetings hosted by UC Berkeley require participants to sign into a Zoom account. Any Zoom account is fine! You can create a free Zoom account by registering at https://zoom.us/signup. For students under age 16, a parent should create their own Zoom account for their student to use under their supervision. If you already have a Zoom account through your school, that will also work.
Refer to this Zoom support article: Viewing the Zoom version number. Certain functions on Zoom are not available in older versions. Therefore, please be sure to keep your Zoom software up-to-date, as some class activities may require you to use Zoom in a certain way.
Most Chromebooks are designed to be used only to browse webpages, and they struggle to run Zoom well. If you have a more powerful laptop or desktop computer, Zoom will probably run more smoothly on that device. If you must use a Chromebook, close as many other browser windows, tabs, and apps as possible to reduce demand on the computer. Sometimes turning off your video camera can also help; in that case, just turn it on when you need to interact.
You may also find that Zoom runs better on a smartphone or tablet. If your Internet connection is strong enough, you may be able to join the Zoom meeting both on your Chromebook and your mobile device at the same time; use your mobile device for video and audio, and your Chromebook to use the chat feature, view screen sharing, and work on course assignments.
If you find you are often asked to repeat yourself, your voice may be getting cut off. Try connecting a set of headphones to your device so that the sounds you hear in the meeting do not interfere with the sound of your voice.
Refer to this Zoom support article: Testing your video. For best results, sit facing a light source (such as a window or desk lamp).
Refer to this Zoom support article: Testing computer or device audio.
See a full list of tutorials from Zoom to learn more about the platform.
Joining your class site (LMS)
LMS stands for "Learning Management System," which is a fancy way of referring to a website or platform that is used to help run an academic course. Most ATDP courses use Canvas or Google Classroom, which are two popular LMS platforms. (A few classes may use something else!)
Once available, information about your class site will be listed in the Course Placement tab of your account on the ATDP website. Log in, go to atdp.berkeley.edu/account, select your student, then click on "Course Placement" in the menu. Instructions are listed near the bottom of your course details.
First, double check that you are typing it correctly. Assuming it is, this error often occurs because you are using a Google account through your school district or some other institution that will not allow you to join a Google Classroom that is outside of its organization. You will need to create a free/personal Google account. Create a new account here. For students under age 13, a parent should create their own Gmail account for their student to use under their supervision.
Since there are many ways to join a class on Canvas, it can be confusing! First, make sure you're logging into canvas.instructure.com, not a Canvas site run by a school or other program. We strongly recommend taking this two-step approach:
- Log in to Canvas with an existing account, or create a new account, and then,
- Use the link in your ATDP account to enroll in the course
See this visual guide for more details.
You might be logging into the wrong account. First, make sure you're logging into canvas.instructure.com, not a Canvas site run by a school or other program. Note that this website provides several different options for creating and logging into an account. For example, if you used existing Google or Facebook credentials to create a Canvas account, logging in using an email and password may act as a separate account. Be sure you log into Canvas using the same method each time.
This typically occurs because you used another internet service (Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to create your Canvas account. You're encouraged to change this information by going to your account settings (Account icon in the sidebar > Settings > "Edit Settings" button on the far right). The "full name" field should be the name that we have for you from your ATDP application. Feel free to change any of the settings there; it will not impact your access to the class.
You may have created multiple Canvas accounts and joined the class site on all of them. If you have access to those other accounts, you can remove your enrollment by leaving the class. But if this is not an option, we recommend verifying which account you plan to use for the summer and then ask your class's TA or instructor to help "Deactivate" any accounts that are duplicates. You can also email a deactivation request to the ATDP Office account (firstname.lastname@example.org); make sure you include your name, your class, and which login should be disabled.
Unfortunately, the Canvas/Instructure installation sets new users to the Mountain timezone, while our classes are all located in the Pacific timezone. You can change your Canvas account's timezone by going to the account settings (Account icon in the sidebar > Settings > "Edit Settings" button on the far right). This should adjust all the relevant dates to your local timezone.
Internet speed & stability
|Internet stability topics|
|How do I know if my Internet connection is fast enough?|
|My Internet connection cuts out sometimes|
|What do I do if I can't get back to class on Zoom?|
Run a speed test at speed.measurementlab.net or speedtest.net. You should have a consistent test result of 6 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speed at minimum; try running the test multiple times at different times of day and, if necessary, in different locations to see if your area network or Wi-Fi signal are causing intermittent issues. When it comes to video conferencing, remember that upload speed is just as important as download speed.
Try the following troubleshooting steps:
- The #1 culprit of dropped connections is using a weak or slow Wi-Fi signal instead of a wired connection, especially if your Internet connection is slow overall. To see if this issue is affecting you, try using a wired Ethernet connection for a while and observe whether this helps. Note that some laptops do not have an Ethernet port built in and may need an adapter to connect via an Ethernet cable.
- In Zoom, try disabling your webcam. This may help especially if you have lower upload speeds (since your video stream is being uploaded).
- Remember that bandwidth is a shared resource. See if any other computers or devices are making heavy use of their Internet connection. For example, your household may need to avoid streaming Netflix videos while you are in class.
- Restart your device. Sometimes running a device for a long time without restarting can lead to poor performance.
Make it a point to ask your teacher about their strategies for staying connected in the event of technical problems, especially if you have experienced problems in the past. Many instructors will have guidance listed in their Orientation Letter. For example, your Zoom classroom has a phone number that you can call to join the meeting via voice, which may be better than nothing in some circumstances. Some classes, however, require students to engage face-to-face during class activities (such as Public Speaking or our Japanese language courses). Please note: even provided good faith efforts on the part of the student and of ATDP to resolve technical issues, missing too much live class time may affect the student's grade, affect eligibility for a recommendation of credit, or result in dismissal from the program without refund.
- The FCC's Emergency Broadband Benefit Program helps low-income families by subsidizing some or all of their monthly Internet service bill, as well as providing discounts on the purchase of a computer or device.
- Comcast's COVID program, Internet Essentials, is still available to those who are approved by June 30, 2021.
- AT&T Access offers $5-10/month plans for families on free or reduced lunch.
- Tech Exchange is a Bay Area non-profit that refurbishes and recycles computers and connected devices, and sells them at low cost: see their store.
- Tech Exchange also offers digital literacy courses that may benefit students new to online classes or parents and family members that want to better support their student's digital learning: register here. Offered every Tuesday at 2:30 PM.