Want to know how the touch panels in the classrooms work? Afraid you might break something? (Spoiler: You can't.) You're a pro at projection, an ace at audio, and you really want to see what this system can do?
You've come to the right place.
Before you begin
To use the systems in the classrooms, you'll need one or more of the following:
- A PennKey username and password
- Your own device: a laptop, phone, or tablet.
What can you do with the touch panel?
- Projection - Control the projectors and screens, and display your content to them
- Profiles - Save classroom setups so you can recall them the next time you use the room
- Web conferencing - Bluejeans, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, take your pick.
- Recording - Record your lecture or event
- Audio conferencing - Have presenters call in to the in-room phone system
- Environmental controls - Adjust lighting and shades
Want to just get started teaching? Start with this section.
Have your own device and no PennKey? Plug in to one of the cables on the left side of the lectern, the press "Display Laptop" in the lower right corner. Without logging in, these are all of the controls you have access to. In addition to lights, shades, and microphone volume, you will also have control of your device's volume from the Program Volume slider.
It's important to note that this mode, called Guest Mode, will automatically shut down in 3 hours.
Need more help? Contact Classroom Technology from the phone on the wall; 8-2575.
- Touch the touch panel to end the screen saver.
- On the page that appears, you can turn the lights on and off, raise and lower the shades, and control the microphones.
- Login to the computer using your PennKey username and password. (Don't have a Pennkey? Check out the blue box above.) The computer will take about 10 seconds to log in, then you will see the full controls appear.
- To project from the computer in the lectern, press Computer > Sides (Recommended). This will display the computer in the lectern on both side screens, leaving the center open as a whiteboard.
- Have a PennKey and your own device? Press Laptop > Sides (Recommended).
- Once you have your setup configured the way you would like, consider setting up a profile, especially if you will frequently have the classroom set the same way. Having a login profile will set the room up exactly the same way every time you log in to it. Contact Classroom Technology, or see Profiles below for assistance.
That's it, you're all set. When your session is over, press Logout > Confirm. The PC will log out, recording will stop, the projectors will turn off, and the screens will roll up.
Want to get a little fancier? Read on.
You've got a slide deck on the screen and you can play a YouTube video. Now it's time to dig a little deeper. Don't let Advanced worry you. You've got this.
From now on, this guide will assume you've already logged in to the AV system. If you need assistance with this step, see "The Basics", above. Already logged in? Good, let's forge on.
Multiple Source Projection
Here, you'll learn the steps to display more than one source.
- On the bottom of the screen, press Session.
- On the left side of the screen, select the source you want to display. If you have more than one source to display, pick one to start with.
- On the right side of the screen, select one or more destinations. You can send one source to as many destinations as you'd like. The projectors will turn on, screens will drop, and lights will change to suit the screen configuration.
Prof. Smith wants to display the Resident PC's main desktop, extended desktop, and her laptop. Sounds complicated, but it's really only 6 buttons. Just think "What do I want to show, and where do I want to show it?"
- Press Source Computer Main Screen, then Destination Projector Left.
- Computer Ext. Desktop > Projector Center
- Laptop > Projector Right
If you want to show pre-written papers, write notes, annotate, or draw in real time, a document camera (or doc cam, for short) is what you need.
- Wheel the doc cam cart over to the lectern. It will usually be stored in one of the front alcoves of the classroom. If you can't locate one, call Classroom Support at 8-2575 from the in-room phone.
- Plug the power for the doc cam into one of the power outlets on the lectern. There are a pair to the left and slightly behind the touch panel.
- Plug the HDMI cable from the lectern into the jack on the back of the doc cam labelled "HDMI Output". This is the what the HDMI cable looks like:
- Press the power button on the doc cam.
- On the touch panel, press Session > Source Laptop > Any Destination. You should see a white image displayed. Wave your hand across the surface of the doc cam, and you will see it on the projection screens.
- When finished with the doc cam, we ask that you please unplug it and roll it back into storage so the room is ready for the next class.
Laptops and other BYOD
The classrooms aren't simply capable of displaying the resident PC in the lectern, you can also BYOD. Bring Your Own Device is audio-visual shorthand for any electronic device a user brings and wants to display. Laptops, tablets, and phones all count as BYOD. Here's how to display them.
You have two options to accomplish this, either plug into a cable, or use Solstice (Wharton's wireless screen sharing software of choice).
On most lecterns, there are two cable connections to choose from, HDMI and VGA.
HDMI is the more modern and common connection; it's available on most current devices. In some cases, your device may have a smaller connector that can be adapted to HDMI. Classroom Support doesn't supply these adapters; if you need assistance figuring out what type of adapter to get, reach out to your IT rep.
One of the main advantages of HDMI is that it is a digital format. Both audio and video are carried over the same cable.
VGA is an older analog format. Because analog connections are becoming less popular, Wharton Computing is eliminating VGA is newer classrooms. Because VGA does not carry audio, you will need to plug in the audio cable attached to the VGA as well.
The other option for displaying your own device is by using Solstice, a wireless sharing program. Details for using Solstice can be found in this article: Solstice Wireless Screen Sharing.
There are a wealth of web conferencing options available lately, you may have used some already. At Wharton, we currently support BlueJeans, Zoom, and Skype (the list is growing, stay tuned). There's also a wealth of documentation, and if you don't know where to start, start here. If you're looking to use a web conferencing application from a classroom, following is a guide to get started.
We recommended that you create the BlueJeans meeting prior to the event start so it can be sent out to all remote participants. On the day of the event, please remember to bring the correct Meeting ID information. Keep in mind that unless specifically emailed with the information beforehand, classroom support technicians are not able to access or look up meeting ID information.
How do I start a web conference from the classroom?
- On the resident PC, open any presentation materials you will be displaying during the meeting.
- Once your presentation materials are ready, select the BlueJeans application. You will be prompted to sign in, or you can press Continue as Guest to bypass the login.
- Audio and video settings should be set correctly by default, but can be tested prior to joining the meeting.
- Select the microphone option at the bottom of the application and make sure you can see green signal bars when there is audio in the room.
- Select the speaker option at the bottom of the application and select Test. If you are able to hear the BlueJeans ringer tone, your audio is connected appropriately.
- Video will default to the in room rear camera. Selecting a new camera or making positional adjustments can be found on the Session tab on the touch panel. Make sure PC Main is highlighted on the left hand side under Sources. Change the camera selected by selecting options under PC Camera and adjust its position using the Camera Controls.
- Enter the Meeting ID and Passcode (if applicable) and click Join.
- Once you are in the meeting you may share your screen by selecting the TV icon at the top of the application. You will be prompted to share your entire screen or the specific application for your content (ex. PowerPoint). Choose whichever is appropriate.
- Note that a green bar will appear around the content being shown to remote participants.
Once the BlueJeans meeting is started, set up projection for the in-room participants if applicable.
Troubleshooting and Tips
- We strongly recommended using the BlueJeans application instead of the browser. The application is considered generally more stable as browser updates can cause unintended changes in BlueJeans, and more features are available in the application.
If the meeting is taking place over lunch, consider muting the ceiling mics (found on the Session tab on the touch panel). BlueJeans is set to pick up the lavalier mic, lectern mic, and ceiling mics located throughout the classroom. Too much ambient noise (e.g.: rustling papers/bags) from the ceiling mics can overpower the other mics and may be distracting for remote participants.
If the remote participants’ audio is too low, raise the PC’s volume in the task bar as well as the Program Volume on the touch panel. If possible, make sure the remote speaker has a microphone in a quiet area, free from ambient noise.
If in-room participants will also be joining the meeting from their personal devices (in order to monitor chat, etc.) make sure that their devices’ microphone and speakers are muted so as not to create a feedback loop in the room.
Profiles are a snapshot of the AV system's current state. If you like the way the system is set up and think you will use it repeatedly, you can create profiles that will allow you to recall them quickly.
- Confirm that you have all of the in room settings configured as you would like them to be set up. This includes the sources selected, projection, and lighting.
- Click the Profiles tab at the bottom of the touch panel.
- Select a number where your profile will be stored. If you would like the set up to occur every time you login, select the Login Profile button. If you use a couple different setups, you can use each of the numbered buttons to save each of your classroom configurations individually.
Press the Activate button in the lower right hand corner of the touch panel and then enter a name for your profile. The touch panel will prompt you to make sure you want to save this profile, select Confirm.
Once you log out, the system will save and allow you to access your profile in other classrooms with the same technical configurations (i.e.: a profile saved in a three-projector room will only be accessible in other three-projector rooms.).
To access your saved profile in the future, click the Profiles tab in the bottom. Select the Profile you wish to load up and select Activate in the bottom right hand corner.
- In larger classrooms or if there is a scheduled recording, it is recommended that you wear the wireless lavalier mic.
- To adjust the levels on the lavalier mic or the lectern mic, use the sliders located at the bottom lefthand side of the touch panel.
- When playing audio from the computer or your laptop, ensure that the audio source’s volume is up (i.e. YouTube video volume) as well as the volume on your device or the resident computer. Use the Program Volume slider to adjust the volume in the classroom.
Note: Low battery on the wireless mic? Charged batteries can be found at the bottom of the lectern in the charging station.
- Select the Environment tab at the bottom right hand of the touch panel.
- For larger classroom spaces, you will find controls for the window shades and lights. For both smaller and larger classroom spaces, you will find position controls for the projection screens.
- Select the Recording tab at the bottom of the touch panel.
- The system will walk you through confirming the in-room camera (defaults to the rear center camera) as well as the desired duration of your recording (defaults to 90 min.).
- When the duration and camera have been confirmed, select Start to start your recording. A red ‘Recording’ box will appear at the top of the touch panel to confirm your recording start.
In order to retrieve your touch panel initiated recording, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Audio conferencing, or ATC, is a way to bring others into the classroom via telephone. There is no video component to this method of conferencing, so it serves as an effective backup if you have troubles with web conferencing audio.
- To begin an audio-only conference via the in-room system select the ATC tab at the bottom of the touch panel.
- To dial a remote party, type 9-1 in the keypad following by the 10 digit phone number of the party you are trying to reach. When you have the number entered, hit Dial.
- When the call connects you will be able to control the volume by using the two faders on the right of the window. The incoming volume fader will adjust the remote party’s sound in the room and the outgoing audio fader will adjust the level of the microphones in the room for the remote party.
- When the call is finished select the End Call button.