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Classroom Technology

Introduction

While not all lecture halls at MCPHS have identical setups, they have largely the same capabilities in terms of sound systems, video cameras, and instructor workstations. This page provides a brief rundown of the components you will need to to be familiar with to get started teaching in a lecture hall at MCPHS. (Please note: White 101, in Boston, and DBEN 102, in Worcester, have setups that are different enough that they are described separately. Please go to the WHITE 101/DBEN 102 overview for an outline of the technology in those rooms.)

Photo of Lecture Hall

(For a short video walk-through of the basic steps to take to teach a class streamed to Zoom with a PowerPoint presentation in a lecture hall, please check out the Quick Start Video below).

Podium

You will likely get started at the podium at the front of the room. The instructor's PC should be on and logged into to a classroom account when you arrive. (If the PC's monitors appear off, just move the mouse to wake them back up.) 

Each classroom PC has the same two monitor setup for instructors to work with (see photo below):

Photo of classroom monitors

Typical monitor setup for classroom PCs

When working at the podium computer, keep in mind the following:

  • These monitors are set up to function as an extended desktop (meaning items can be clicked and dragged from one screen to the next.)
  • The larger, widescreen monitor (usually - but not always - on the left) duplicates what is seen by the students on the classroom displays and/or projection screens. For that reason, this is the monitor to use for in-class presentations.
  • The second smaller screen should only be visible to the instructor and can be used to keep track of Zoom sessions or display notes or anything else that doesn't need to be seen by the class.
  • The larger monitors all have touchscreen capabilities, which can be useful when using the whiteboard functions in either Zoom or Collaborate. Styluses can be used with these monitors, but please note that not all styluses are compatible.

Turning on displays and sound system

To turn on the display screens and sound system in any of the lecture halls, you will need to use the room's AV control panel. Depending on the room, this can be a either a touchscreen panel or a black or white panel with actual physical buttons.They are generally located at the podium or on the wall nearby.

If you are working with a panel with actual buttons (see images below), you will want to do the following:

  1. Find the ON/OFF buttons under the word "Display" at the top left, and select "ON." This will turn on the classroom projector/displays and the sound system.
  2. Select a source for the content for the displays. For most PowerPoint, PDF, or internet presentations this would be the classroom PC. You can select the classroom PC as the source for the displays by clicking the "PC" button from the choices at the right of the panel.
  3. If needed, adjust the volume of PC audio heard by in-class students using the volume knob at the bottom left of the panel.
  4. You can also adjust the in-class volume of the instructor microphones using the up and down arrows.

AV Panel with numbered buttonsAV Panel image with numbering

If the AV panel is a touchscreen, what you will be looking at is a bit different but the functionality will be similar. First, you will be prompted to touch the screen to get started. This will bring you to a screen like one of the two seen below. (Note: if the screen is off when you arrive, it can be woken up by touching it).

AV panel screen with items numbered     AV panel local presentation screen with items numbered

If your screen looks like the first image above, you will want to do the following:

  1. Select the presentation source for the in-class displays. To select the classroom PC, select the button labelled "PC." This should turn both the room displays and sound system on.
  2. If needed, adjust the volume for any media playing on the PC heard in-class using the volume control labelled "Program."
  3. If needed, adjust the in-class volume for the instructor microphones using the volume control button labelled "Speech".

If your screen looks like the second image above (with the red background), you will want to do the following

  1. Select the presentation source for the in-class displays. To select the classroom PC, select the button labelled "Room PC." At this point both the room displays and sound system should be on.
  2. You can adjust both the microphone and PC media volume simultaneously from the volume control on the right.
  3. If you need to adjust the either the microphone or PC volume independently click on the button labelled "Audio Control."
  4. This will bring up the control you see below with volume sliders for both the microphone and program audio.

Audio control with separate microphone and program sliders

 

Microphones/Audio

Each lecture hall has multiple instructor microphones that both amplify the speaker's voice in the hall itself and feed it to Zoom and Collaborate. Depending on the room you may have a choice of the following:

  • Lectern mic. These mics are usually on by default. If you are planning on staying within a short distance of the instructor's workstation, this should allow you to be heard by both your local and distance students.
  • Wireless mics: Likely the better choice if you plan to move around as you teach. There will generally be two choices: a handheld and a lavalier (these will connect automatically to the sound system when turned on):
    • Lavalier: The lav mic has a clip - that can be attached to your shirt or lanyard - and is attached to a transmitter that can be clipped to your belt or placed in a pocket. This may be the best choice if you want both hands free while you talk.
    • Handheld: The handheld mic can be easily passed around and would be a good choice for presentations with multiple speakers or instances where you would like students to be able to speak to the class.

All the mics can be used simultaneously.

Lectern mic image Wireless mics image
Lectern(left) and wireless handheld and lav mics.
Tips for using microphones
  • For lav mics, make sure mic is placed around the middle of your chest, about four or five inches from your chin, with the mic pointing directly at your face. (The mics swivel on the clips to enable best placement).
  • If using a wireless mic, be careful not to speak directly in front of the lectern mic, as this may cause interference or feedback.
  • While IS makes efforts to ensure all the wireless mics have fresh batteries, bringing a couple AA batteries as a backup is recommended.

Cameras

All lecture halls have overhead cameras that transmit to Zoom or Collaborate (see photo below), usually located on the ceiling near the center of the room.

Ceiling mounted camera image

Cameras are generally mounted on the ceiling near the middle of each hall

Each camera is controlled by a black and grey remote control with the name "Aver" at the bottom (see photo below). For setting up your video calls, the two functions you will want to be most familiar with are the following:

  1. Pan and tilt: The camera angle can be adjusted using the remote's four directional arrows.
  2. Zoom: Beneath the pan and tilt buttons are two controls for adjusting the level of zoom on the camera.
Aver remote photo with highlighted buttons

Remote control for cameras in lecture halls

Sharing presentations to online and in-person audiences

If you are planning on sharing an on-screen presentation (like a PowerPoint or pdf document) to both an in-person audience and an audience watching online, you will want to be careful that both audiences will see the same thing. To start, you want to make sure you have opened your presentation to the larger, widescreen monitor at the instructor's workstation, as this will ensure it is seen by the local students. From there, the directions vary by which web conferencing tool you are using. Specific directions for Zoom and Collaborate follow below.

Zoom

In Zoom, once your presentation is open, click the green "Share Screen" button at the bottom of your Zoom window. This will open up a window, similar to the one in the image below, which will give a number of options for sharing to Zoom. From here, take the following steps:

  1. Select the whole screen with your presentation on it, (rather than just sharing the application with your presentation, like PowerPoint). In most of the classrooms this will be "Screen 1", but to be sure, look for the large white numbers that appear at the top left of each of your monitors, as these will identify "Screen 1" and "Screen 2" within Zoom.
  2. If you are going to be sharing video content with your class, select both the "Share sound" and "Optimize for video clip" options at the bottom of the selection screen.
  3. Once you are finished with these selections, hit the blue "Share" button. There should be a thin green border around of your widescreen monitor if you have shared the correct content.

Zoom screen share dialog with highlighted areas

Collaborate

Collaborate's screensharing works in a similar fashion. Once your presentation is open, access the Collaborate panel by clicking the purple tab at the bottom right of your screen (see photo below).

Collaborate meeting with panel control highlighted

This will bring up the Collaborate Panel on the right hand side of the screen. From here, take the following steps:

  1. From the bottom of the Collaborate panel select the third tab, labelled "Share Content".
  2. From the options for sharing content that appear, select "Share Application/Screen."

Collaborate Share Content Panel with option highlighted

This will bring up the dialog you see below. From here:

  1. Make sure the "Entire Screen" option is selected at the top.
  2. Select the image from your widescreen monitor from the two choices of screens (this is usually, but not always, "Screen 1").
  3. If you plan to share any video or audio content, select the "Share system audio" checkbox at the bottom.
  4. When done with these selections, hit the blue "Share" button, and you should see the correct content displaying in your Collaborate session.

Collaborate Share Selection Screen

Using the Overhead Document Camera

Overhead document camera

Many of the lecture halls have ceiling-mounted document cameras located close to the instructor's workstation. These can be used both on the in-class displays and online. To select these cameras as the source for the in-class projector/displays, return to the AV panel and select the button labelled "Doc Cam." The feed from the document camera should now appear on the displays the in-person students can see.

Adjusting the image from the document camera can be done with the Wolfvision remote (see image below). Use the zoom control (1) to zoom the image in and out, and use the autofocus button (2) to turn the auto-focus on and off to quickly get the image in focus.

Document camera remote with zoom and autofocus controls highlighted

The ceiling-mounted document cameras are all positioned above tables with dry erase surfaces. The height of these tables can be adjusted by using the up and down buttons that can be found on the front side of the table on the right (see image below)

.Corner of dry erase table surface with up and down buttons visible

Sharing the document camera to Zoom and Collaborate

To share the document camera with students on either Zoom or Collaborate, follow the instructions for each below.

Zoom

To share the cameras with your students on Zoom, you will want to select the green "Share" button at the bottom of your Zoom meeting window. This will bring up a window like the one below. From here, take the following steps:

  1. Click the "Advanced" tab at the top right.
  2. Select "Content from 2nd camera."
  3. Click the blue "Share" button at the bottom right.

Zoom share selection screen photo

Your online students should now be able to see the document camera, as well.

Collaborate

To share the document camera with your students on Collaborate, you will first want to open up the Collaborate panel by clicking the purple tab at the bottom right of your browser.

Once the Collaborate panel pops out, you will want to do the following:

  1. Select the third, "Share Content",  tab at the bottom of the panel (circled below).
  2. Then, from the choices available, select "Share Camera."

Collaborate panel with sharing options selected

  1. You should see two choices for cameras to share (see image below). The second choice should share the document camera.

Collaborate Camera sharing options

  1. You will get a video preview of the feed from the camera. Once you've confirmed it's the right camera, just click "Share Camera."

Collaborate Share Camera Video Preview screen with Share button highlighted

Using the Zoom Whiteboard

A number of faculty find it challenging to use the physical whiteboard in the classroom or lecture hall while also trying to accommodate students watching online. One workaround is to use the Whiteboard feature in Zoom. When shared to the large classroom displays, this feature allows faculty to sketch formulas, notes and drawings that both the online students and in-person students can see. Additionally, since it works with the touchscreen functionality of the widescreen classroom monitors, faculty can draw fairly naturally using the Whiteboard, especially when using a stylus.

This feature can be accessed by clicking the green "Share" button at the bottom of your Zoom meeting window. From the selection screen that pops up (see image below), do the following:

  1. Select Whiteboard from the available options
  2. Click the blue "Share" button.

Zoom sharing selection screen

This will bring you to a screen like the one you see below.

Zoom whiteboard image

As with sharing any presentation, make sure to display the whiteboard on the larger monitor that feeds to the in-class displays, so that your in-person students can see it. The Whiteboard defaults to the "draw" setting and either the mouse or touchscreen can be used to draw on the whiteboard.

Wrapping up

Remember to do the following upon finishing class in a lecture hall:

  1. Turn off the in-class projector/displays. On the AV panels with the physical buttons, this means just hitting the "Off" button under the "Display" heading at the top left. On the touchscreens, you will want to hit either the "System Shutdown" button at the bottom of the screen or the button labelled "Exit" at the top right. You will be asked if you are sure you want to shut down the system. Click "Yes."
  2. Turn off any wireless mics you may have used and return them to the charging dock (if applicable). Some of the lav mics don't have an on-off switch. These can be turned off by pressing and holding the "Mute" button until the display on the mic goes dark.
  3. Make sure you have logged out of Zoom. If, from the Zoom home screen, you can still see an icon with your initials or profile photo in the top right corner (see image below), (A) click on that icon and (B) select "Sign out" from the drop-down menu that appears.

    Zoom home screen image

  4. Close all open browsers and applications. This is especially important if you logged into any online accounts like email or Blackboard, as the next people using the classrooms may be able to access your accounts if any browser windows are left open.

  5. Leave the instructor's workstation on and logged in to the classroom account. Additionally, if you made any changes to the desktop's configuration, please set them back to how they were when you arrived.

Quick Start Video

A video overview covering the basic steps needed to run a class over Zoom with a PowerPoint Presentation in one of our lecture halls.

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