Faculty FAQ

What is a Pods ID and why is it important?

The Pods ID is a major identifier used for many campus technological and network resources. It is:

Warning: Your Pods password should be STRONG!

Because your Pods ID is used for so many important campus functions, the password you choose must be one that is difficult to guess or crack. You should also periodically change your password. A good password should:
  • Not contain the user's account name or parts of the user's full name that exceed two consecutive characters
  • Be at least six characters in length
  • Contain characters from three of the following four categories:
    • English uppercase characters (A through Z)
    • English lowercase characters (a through z)
    • Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
    • Non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %)

What is the BGM Domain? 

Some academic departments have their own shared network resources. Faculty in these departments have another login ID and password that authenticates their access to these resources. It is distinct from the more universal Pods domain.

What electronic mail environment is used?  

Our e-mail sevice is called BMail and it is powered by Google. Faculty and staff who need an e-mail account can get one by contacting the ITS Help Desk.

Your BMail username is the same as your Pods username, but your BMail password is maintained by Google. You can reset your BMail password at any time at http://password.binghamton.edu/. Your binghamton.edu e-mail address is the official means of communication with campus community members. If you prefer another service (gmail, yahoo, aol, roadrunner), you should set up forwarding. For more information about e-mail, go to http://its.binghamton.edu/email.

Information Technology Services recommends that you use the web interface to access BMail, http://bmail.binghamton.edu. Why do we make this recommendation? Because: you can access your e-mail at any time, from any place using a PC or a Mac or a mobile device; you have over 7GB of storage and growing; it’s safe and secure; and you may have some features and functionality that you don't have with your current e-mail tool. If you prefer, however, you can access your mailbox using Outlook, Thunderbird, or Apple Mail installed on your personal or office computers.

What is Virtual Desktop?

Virtual Desktop provides a means for the Binghamton University community to access popular software including many statistical and engineering software packages from anywhere in the world. With appropriate internet connection, it provides on-campus/off-campus access to statistical packages such as SPSS, STATA, SAS, as well as Atlas.Ti, NVivo, Pro Engineer, Matlab, and Mathematica. Virtual Desktop at Binghamton University is accessed via the link bingview.binghamton.edu. For more information on Virtual Desktop, consult the Virtual Desktop FAQ. For step by step instructions to Virtual Desktop, consult the Introduction to Virtual Desktop at Binghamton University.

What accounts and resources does each faculty member have?

Every faculty member has:
  • Pods ID and password
  • Binghamton University electronic mail address and mailbox
  • Bingsuns login account (includes network storage and personal web space, same userid and password as Pods ID)
  • Blackboard access

What other resources are available upon request?

  • Login on our statistical and computational research server (cruncher)
  • Special departmental or course web space
  • Space on our streaming media server (for audio and video resources)
  • Special network storage space for large or sensitive data
  • Certain software packages: MS Office 2007 Professional for Windows, MS Office Professional 2008 for Macs, Mathematica, Maple, Minitab, McAfee anti-virus, ClamX AV.

How do courses and enrollments get set up in Blackboard? 

All faculty, staff and students are automatically defined as Blackboard users. The Pods ID and password are used to log in. The binghamton.edu email address is associated with each user. This address cannot be changed by the user to some other address. 

Courses in the Registrar’s system that have an Instructor of Record other than “Staff” are automatically defined to Blackboard. This definition usually takes place several months prior to the start of a semester. When an instructor logs in to Blackboard, the courses associated with him/her are found in the My Courses tab. All courses shown here are available to enrolled students by default.

If your courses don’t appear under My Courses when you log in to Blackboard, please check with your department office to make sure that you are listed as the Instructor of record and that you have a Pods ID and a valid BU email address associated with you in the Banner system.

A few days prior to the start of the semester (no more than one week) students will be enrolled in each defined Blackboard course and section. Students are not automatically unenrolled in Blackboard. Faculty should disable students who withdraw after the end of the drop/add period.

How do faculty reserve a Pod classroom? 

Computer classrooms in Academic A, Science 2, Science 3, Library North Ground (LNG) and at the UDC can be reserved for individual class meeting or for full semester. For information on facilities see http://its.binghamton.edu/facilities/pods. To make a reservation, contact Denise Hawkins (dhawkins@binghamton.edu). 

How do faculty request installation of software in Pods? 

To find out what software is installed in Pods and where it is installed go to http://its.binghamton.edu/files/software/public/query.pl

To request installation of other software go to http://its.binghamton.edu/software/public-request-form .

What data security practices should every faculty member adopt? 

In this day and age we are all more conscious of the need for information security. There are several policy statements that every faculty member should read and understand:

A quick rule of thumb should be to refrain from maintaining sensitive data on office/lab desktop computers, personal laptops or portable storage media. It is all too easy to mistakenly share, lose, or have such information stolen. 

How do faculty get computers repaired or software installed?  

The first step for both of these situations is to call the Help Desk at 777-6420 (x76420). Information Technology Services can repair or have repaired most University-owned desktop computers and printers. If parts or outside repair services are required, the department is responsible for these costs. Information Technology Services cannot repair personal equipment. Equipment that is to be repaired should be brought to the Help Desk.

ITS staff may be able to install and configure software you acquire for your office/lab systems. Some software is site licensed (http://its.binghamton.edu/files/software/licensed/request.pl) . You must have legitimate licenses for all software ITS installs on your computer. Call the Help Desk to request this service.

What special classroom resources are available? 

ITunesU is available for the uploading of podcasts: lectures, videos or audio. Go to http://itunesu.binghamton.edu for information and to view our iTunesU site.
Please contact the main iTunesU administrator, Steven Palmer at spalmer@binghamton.edu for more information.

Educational Communications provides several levels of technology in general purpose classrooms. Their web site provides details (http://ecc.binghamton.edu/classroom.php)

The Collaboratory in Academic A G05 is a flexible environment room with 25 laptop computers and wireless networking available for use in the room. It also features H.323 based videoconferencing over the internet that can be used for synchronous events with other campuses. Contact Denise Hawkins for details and scheduling requests.