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Using Technology in the Classrooms


The Classroom Setup

Preview monitor next to room control panel, with confidence monitor to the right,

Walking into a classroom you'll see two displays on top of the classroom lectern: the Preview Monitor for the classroom computer and the Room Control Panel (the smaller of the two displays). You'll also notice the Confidence Monitor, with attached camera, on the floor set at an angle for you to see as you lecture.

Each monitor serves a particular purpose:

  • The Preview Monitor is attached to the classroom computer. Logging into this computer will start the Classroom System, and you can then present from the classroom computer if you like.
  • The Room Control Panel (RCP) is a touch panel used to control the Classroom System. You'll use this panel to choose where your content is being displayed, the position of the screens, and more.
  • The Confidence Monitor is designed to let you see important information as you teach. You can set this monitor up to display whatever you're projecting in front of the class (this is the default), keep track of remote participants, and many more options. Tiered classrooms are all equipped with Confidence Monitors.

Video Walkthrough

Starting the System

To start the classroom system:

  1. Tap the Preview Monitor on the lectern or press a button on the keyboard.
  2. Log into the classroom computer using your PennKey credentials.

Once you're logged in the Preview Monitor will display a familiar Windows desktop powered by the classroom computer. The Room Control Panel displays the Classroom Interface; this is where you'll control the classroom environment.

Using Guest Mode

If you don't have a PennKey login tap the Guest Access button on the Room Control Panel to access the Classroom Interface.

You'll need to connect your own device to present from, since you won't be able to log into the classroom computer without a PennKey login.

Using the Classroom Interface

Once activated, either by logging into the classroom computer or using Guest Access, the Room Control Panel (RCP) will display a default classroom layout with Sources (things you want to display from) on the left of the RCP and displays (things you want to display on) on the right.

Classroom interface display.

Note: If you just want to start teaching and skip all these details, press the Setup Hybrid Classroom button on the RCP. The next section details what that button does.

To select a Source and Display on the RCP:

  1. Select the source to display by tapping on the appropriate Source button on the left side of the RCP:
    • PC Main -  Displays whatever is showing on the classroom computer's main display (the Preview Monitor).
    • PC Extended - Each classroom computer is set up to use an Extended Display. Selecting this source will display the contents of the extended display.
    • Laptop - Press this button to present from your laptop; there are cables in the lectern to hook up your laptop so that you can present from it.
    • Wireless - Tap this button to allow people in the classroom to share their displays wirelessly using Solstice. Instructions to connect will be shown on the Display you pick in the next step.
    • Wall Plate Rear - Each classroom includes a rear wall plate that allows you to hook up a device for presenting. If you're using that plate, press this button.
    • None - Audio and video will be cleared from the projector and speakers and nothing will be displayed.
  2. Once you have a Source selected tell the system where to display that source by tapping one of the "Displays" section buttons:
    • Sides - The left and right screens will lower and display the selected source, while the center screen remains up to allow for use of the center whiteboard.
    • Center - The center screen is lowered and displays the selected source.
    • All - All screens are lowered and display the selected source.
    • Whiteboards - All the screens are raised and no video is displayed. This is a quick way to write on the whiteboards.
  3. As soon as you tap your desired "Displays" button the selected screens will lower and the projectors will turn on.
Tap the Mute Video button to temporarily stop sharing your display. Tap it again to resume sharing.

Set Up Hybrid Classroom Quick Start

If you're looking to get started quickly tap the Setup Hybrid Classroom button on the Room Control Panel (RCP) after you've logged into the classroom system/activated Guest Mode. This will do a few things:

  • Select the PC Main as your source.
  • Lower the two side screens and turn on those projectors and display the PC Main contents.
  • The middle projector will remain off, and the screen will not lower.
  • The Confidence Monitor will turn on. 
  • The camera on the Confidence Monitor will activate if you start a Zoom session.
  • The extended desktop of the classroom computer is displayed on the Confidence Monitor.

You will be able to change all of these settings, if you like; this quick start is designed to make things a little easier for you.

Note: You do not need to be teaching a hybrid class to use the Setup Hybrid Classroom button.

Advanced Options

The Advanced Options allow you to send a mixture of sources to a variety of displays, to support more complex presenting needs in the classroom. Why would you want to do this? For example, you could display the PC Main (aka the classroom computer) on the left screen in the front of the class and use the right screen to display Wireless. This would allow students in the room to display their content onto the right screen while you use the left.

To access Advanced Options and route displays:

  1. Tap on the Advanced toggle on the Room Control Panel (RCP).
  2. The Advanced Options are now displayed on the RCP. You'll notice that all available Displays are on top and all available Sources are in the gray bar below. Swipe on the bar to scroll through the Sources.Source options on the classroom interface screen.
  3. Tap the Source you want to display. In our above example we'd tap on Wireless.
  4. Tap the Display you want the source to display on; continuing the example we'd tap on Stage Left.
  5. Repeat until all your desired sources are displayed.

The Sources are sent to the displays as you tap.

Recording

We strongly recommend that all class recordings be requested and scheduled ahead of time. This allows Wharton Computing to ensure that the recording has the proper permissions and ends up in the right place.

You can check the status of, and start, a recording right from the Room Control Panel (RCP). We recommend, however, that you do not start recordings in the classroom yourself. Contact Wharton Computing if you're interested in recording your class. 

To access the Recording section of the Classroom System:

  1. Tap on the ellipsis button (...) at the bottom of the RDP.
  2. Tap on the Record button that is now displayed.
  3. The length of the recording and when the next is scheduled to begin are shown. You can also initiate a recording here, but please schedule recordings ahead of time. If you aren't able to do that ahead of time alert a classroom technician that you'd like to record.Recording length screen on classroom interface.

Adjusting the camera

Each classroom has cameras that move to a default position when a recording starts. You can change the position of the cameras, if you like, using the Room Control Panel (RCP).

  1. Once you have access to the Room Control Panel tap the camera icon on the upper right hand corner of the RCP.Arrow pointed to camera icon on top right of the classroom interface display.
  2. Camera controls and a preview window (not populated in the screenshot below, but it will show a preview of what the selected camera sees) appear.Camera controls on classroom interface display.
    Each camera in the room can be adjusted individually.
    • At the top of the camera controls is a list of the available cameras in the room (Rear, Left, and Right in the screenshot above). Tap on the name to switch the preview and control to each camera individually.
    • Tap on the directional wheel to change the camera position.
    • You can adjust the zoom manually by tapping the + or - buttons or tap on the Wide, Present, and Tight buttons to cycle through those available zoom presets.

Audio Controls

Volume and microphone mute for the entire classroom can be controlled right from the Room Control Panel (RCP). On the right side of the screen you'll find the volume slider (1) and the mute button for the microphones (2).

Audio controlls on right-hand side of RCP.

  • Volume - Slide the volume slider up to increase the level of audio in the classroom, and down to lower.
  • Microphone mute - Tap to mute the microphones in the room so that the remote audience can't hear you, though the mics will still be audible in the room.

Detailed Audio Controls

The volume slider on the main screen of the Classroom interface controls all of the volume levels in the room at once. To adjust individual microphone levels:

  1. Tap the audio controls button in the upper right corner:Audio control button on top right of RCP.
  2. Slide the slider up or down to adjust the volume individually: Advanced audio controls screen.
    • Main controls the overall audio in the classroom.
    • Program controls the classroom PC audio.
    • Lectern Mic controls the lectern mic audio.
    • Wireless Mic controls the wireless mic audio.

Privacy Mode

When engaged Privacy Mode turns off all the cameras and microphones in the classroom.

Please note that with Privacy Mode turned on:

  • Recordings continue, but no audio is recorded and the cameras are turned to the wall.
  • Any scheduled recordings will not start as long as Privacy Mode is on in the classroom.

To turn on, and off, Privacy Mode:

  1. Tap the room number in the top left corner of the Room Control Panel (RCP).Room number drop down option on RCP.
  2. Tap the Turn Privacy On button.
  3. A full-screen notice that Privacy Mode has been turned on is displayed. Tap the green Continue button to return to the Classroom Interface (you can also check "Don't show this screen again" if you'll be using Privacy Mode often).
  4. Privacy Mode is now on for this room. A notice appears on the RCP's toolbar and the microphones are muted and control is locked from the interface.Arrow pointed to

To turn off Privacy mode either:

  • Tap the Privacy On notification in the RCP toolbar.

Or

  • Tap the Room number in the upper left corner of the screen and then tap the Privacy Off button.


Questions?

The Public Technology team is available for assistance with all technology features upon request.  For a full list of their services, please visit their website and this page.  If you are having an issue with classroom technology, please call (215) 898-2575.