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Classroom Technology

Introduction

White 101 and DBEN 102 were both previously distance education rooms, and as a result, they have some additional hardware that gives them added functionality when compared with the other lecture halls. This page is intended to provide you with a brief overview of how to use the technology in these rooms to get started teaching.

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 one of these rooms, please check out the Quick Start Video below).

Podium

You will likely get started at the podium at the front of the room. The classroom 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.) 

The PCs in White 101 and DBEN 102 each have the same two monitor setup for instructors to work with (see photo below):

Computer workstation with two monitors

Two monitor desktop in White 101

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 either hall, you will need to use the room's AV control panel. This is a touchscreen panel located on the wall behind the podium. If the screen is off when you arrive, it can be woken up by touching it.

The initial screen should have a white background with the University's logo and name on it. To get started, just touch anywhere on the screen. This will bring you to a screen like the image below.

From here, take the following steps:

  1. If you are planning on using videoconferencing with the room's cameras, select "Video Calls." This should turn on the in-class displays and projector. 

  1. On the next screen (see image below), select a presentation source from the list at the top right. For most PowerPoint, PDF, or internet presentations this would be the first choice, "PC".

AV panel image

Once you have done this, the system should be powered on and you should be able to present to the in-person students from the classroom PC.

Additional display notes
  • In addition to the student facing displays, White 101 and DBEN 102 each also have two instructor-facing overhead displays. One will display the content of each monitor on the podium's computer, allowing the instructor to keep track of their presentation while not behind the podium.
  • When "Dual Display" is selected on the AV panel, the smaller monitor(s) beside the large projector screen up front will show the content from the instructor's secondary monitor.

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. You will 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.
Lectern mic image Wireless mics image
Lectern(left) and wireless handheld and lav mics.
Tip for using microphones
  • For lav mics, make sure the 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 mic swivels on the clip to enable best placement).
  • Both wireless mics are rechargeable and should be returned to the charging dock at the podium at the end of class.

Volume

All volume to the hall is controlled through the AV panel.

  • To adjust the audio of any media from the PC, use the control on the bottom right of the screen labelled "Program Volume."

AV Panel with volume control highlighted

To adjust the volume of the microphones in the room:

  1. First click the "Utilities" button to get to the microphone volume controls:
AV panel image with highlighted utilities button
 
  1. From the Utilities screen, click "Microphone Volume" at the top right (see image below).
  2. You will then see individual controls for the lectern, lavalier, and hand-held microphones on left that can be used to adjust the volume for each.
  3. When done adjusting the microphone volume, you can return to the "Video Calls" menu, by hitting the "Back" button at the right.
AV panel Utilities screen image with controls numbered

Separate controls for each microphone are available through "Utilities."

Room Mics

In addition to the instructor mics, each of these rooms has overhead mics placed throughout the room designed to capture sound from the audience. Unlike the instructor mics, these will only transmit to Zoom or Collaborate and should make your in-person students audible to your students attending online. If you prefer not to use these microphones, there is a button on the AV panel (highlighted in the photo below) that will mute those mics during class.

AV panel image with ceiling mic button highlighted

Cameras

Both White 101 and DBEN 102 have multiple overhead cameras that feed to Zoom or Collaborate. Each room has one camera placed roughly in the middle of the room which is designed to capture the speaker at the podium. Both rooms also have back-facing cameras (one in White 101 and two in DBEN 102)  located behind the podium and designed to capture the audience.

Lecture Hall with cameras labeled

Cameras in White 101 in Boston

These cameras are controlled directly through the AV panel. While on the initial screen for "Video Calls", you will see a set of controls on left half of the screen (see image below). (Note: If you don't see these controls, click the button labelled "Camera Control" at the bottom left of the screen).

AV panel with camera controls highlighted

Camera controls on AV panel

The camera controls work as follows:

  1. The buttons on the top row (with camera icons next to them) control what camera is feeding to Zoom or Collaborate. When "Instructor" is selected students on Zoom or Collaborate will see the feed from the instructor camera facing the front of the class. The other buttons ("Audience" in White 101, "Aud Lt." and "Aud Rt." in DBEN102) show the online students the feeds from the audience cameras facing the back of the room.
  2. The buttons labelled "1", "2", and "3" are preset angles for each camera, while "Instructor Auto Track" turns on the auto-tracking feature for the instructor camera only.
  3. Below those controls are directional arrows that allow you to pan and tilt each selected camera manually, and "+" and "-" controls that allow you to zoom in and out.

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

Each of these halls has a ceiling-mounted document camera located close to the instructor's workstation. These can be shown both on the in-class displays and to online students, through Zoom or Collaborate.

To get started using the document camera, you will need to go to the AV panel:

  1. Select the document camera as the source for the in-class projector/displays by finding the "Sources" menu at the top right and then pressing the button labelled "Doc Cam" (see image below).
  2. Control the zoom level of the document camera by using the "Zoom In" and "Zoom Out" controls at the left of the screen.

AV panel with Doc Cam selected and Zoom highlighted

Once you have selected the "Doc Cam" button, the feed from the document camera should appear on the displays the in-person students can see.

These cameras should positioned above tables with dry erase surfaces. To adjust the height of these tables, use the up and down buttons that can be found on the front side on the right (see image below)

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

Sharing the document camera with 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, 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 cameras 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 these halls:

  1. Turn off the in-class projector/displays. On the touchscreens, you will want to hit the "System Off" button at the bottom of the screen. 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. 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 either DBEN 102 or White 101.

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