Student Instructional Technology Resources

The Office of Computing and Instructional Technology (OCIT) manages the School’s computer, printer and AV equipment and provides user support for online resources. We are here to assist you with access to CSSW’s computers, printers and A/V equipment, as well as to address questions you may have about CU-sponsored online resources such as CourseWorks (Canvas), Mediathread, and Turnitin. For more details, go to Brief Computing and Instructional Technology Information Sheet (PDF: 1 pg).

As an introduction to our services, we have compiled a list of questions that students frequently ask us:

What services do you offer and where are you located?

We are here to assist you with access to CSSW’s computers, printers and A/V equipment, as well as to address questions you may have about Columbia University-sponsored online resources such as CourseWorks (Canvas), Mediathread, and Turnitin.

Please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself to us (suite 419). We recommend that you read our one-page information sheet. You can also e-mail us your questions at or call us at 212-851-2345 (option 1 for computing; option 2 for AV).

I have a laptop. How do I connect to Columbia’s wireless network?

The University’s central computing services, Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT), manages the wireless network on campus, which includes the Social Work building. To configure your laptop for WiFi access, go to this CUIT page.

I need to use a computer. Where are the computers in the Social Work Building?

There are several locations within the Social Work building where students may access computers. There are three computers available in the Student Lounge (room 214) and 10 available computers in the Social Work Library which is also on the second floor.

For quick tasks like checking your e-mail or looking at your grades online, there are express terminals in the Concourse hallway, the 4th floor hallway, and on the 5th floor. If you cannot find an available computer, you can always try the CSSW Electronic Classroom on the fourth floor, room 401. If there is no class going on and the room is open, please feel free to work on one of the 25 computers available in this room. This room also contains a high-speed printer accessible for your convenience.

Are there any computers I can use on the main campus?

Yes, you may use the computer labs on the main campus as well. For more information, go to CUIT Computer Lab and Cluster Locations; for lab hours, go to CUIT’s Lab Schedule. NOTE: The new Digital Science Center in the Science & Engineering Library is relatively close to our building (it’s on the southeast corner of Broadway and 120th Street). It has 50 workstations with over fifty software applications, configured for both individual and collaborative work. For the Center’s hours, go to this Science & Engineering Library page.

I need to print something. Where can I do that, and do I have to pay?

Columbia University uses a printing system called PawPrint, which allows you to send your print jobs to a central server and access them from any printer that is connected to the PawPrint system. As a Social Work student, you have a print quota of 2,500 Black and White sheets of paper either printed single-sided or double-sided. Students can release their print jobs to any of the PawPrint printers on campus. In the Social Work building, there are printers on the second-floor both in the lounge and in the Library.

You can print from the three computers in the second-floor lounge or the computers in the Social Work Library. Additionally, you have the flexibility to print from your own computer. For more information on printing from your own device, please see below.

The printers have been outfitted with CU ID card readers, enabling touchless release of print jobs. If you plan to use PawPrint and haven’t used it before, we recommend logging into the URL below at least one hour before trying to release your print jobs to avoid any delays:

How can I check my print quota? Can I purchase additional pages?

To check your print quota for CSSW go to this CUIT page (UNI & password required).

Can I print from my laptop to any of the School’s printers?

You can print to any printer in the PawPrint system, including in the second-floor lounge and the Social Work Library by installing the PawPrint drivers located here. For additional information about PawPrint, click here.

If you plan to print and have never printed using PawPrint, please log into the URL below at least one hour before trying to release your print jobs to avoid any delays:

I have a computer question. Who can help me?

Our office handles issues that arise with CSSW computers, printers and AV equipment. We can also help with questions on various software programs. All other computer or IT related queries—e.g., change UNI password, printing dollars, anti-virus software, software training, campus computing facilities, and other basic computer support services—are handled by the CUIT Help Desk, which you can contact by phone (854-1919), email (, or in person. NOTE: If you are considering purchasing a personal computer, we suggest that you go to CUIT’s Computer Pre-Purchase Considerations page and/or Computer Discounts page.

As a student, how can I maximize my learning experience in an online course?

For tips and strategies for maximizing students’ online learning and engagement visit:

Are there resources to help me prepare for my course that is meeting via Zoom?

There are several resources to help students prepare for their online Zoom courses:

Upgrading Zoom to the Latest Version

Zoom Client Download

Zoom Quick Guide for Students

Zoom Test

Technical Help FAQ

Where can I go if I have a technical question about my Online Class hosted in Adobe Connect?

Visit the CourseWorks-Canvas site and select “Adobe Connect”. If you continue to have technical issues or questions regarding Adobe Connect courses, email

I understand that CourseWorks (Canvas) is where I should go to find my syllabus. How is it set up?

When you log into CourseWorks, you will see all of your social work courses for the current term, as well as any past terms. If you have specific questions regarding CourseWorks, please contact our office via or 212-851-2345 (option 1).

Where can I find Canvas information and tutorials?

Canvas Overview Watch Video or visit Tutorial Page

Student Guide Student QuickStart Guide

Update Your Notification Preferences Visit Tutorial Page

Canvas on your web-enabled phone Watch Video or Visit Tutorial Page

Student Collaborations Watch Video or Visit Tutorial Page

Conferences Visit Tutorial Page

Assignments Watch Video or Visit Canvas Help Page

Taking Quizzes Visit Canvas Help Page

Submitting Assignments Watch Video Visit Tutorial Page

How can I maximize my Internet connection?

To maximize your Internet connection:

  • Connect to the router via ethernet cable. This may require a 25ft cable to reach your study place. Ethernet is not as convenient as wireless, but provides a more stable connection that is less susceptible to interference.
  • If ethernet is not viable, move as close to WiFi router as possible.
  • Minimize the number of other devices on Wifi by turning them off or turning off Wifi on those devices.
  • Close tabs and programs that may be using the network connection on the computer.
  • Restart the computer one hour before class.
  • Call ISP to update modem/router software if it hasn’t been updated in a year.

See also:

Everything You Need to Know About Slow Internet Speeds

WiFi Troubleshooting for Zoom

Finding Low Cost Internet and Computers in your Area