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Arts & Humanities Technology Services

Smart Technology

There are several smart classrooms and other multi-media conference rooms under the domain of Arts & Humanities. Smart classrooms are equipped with projectors, wall panel control/outlets for connecting laptops/other devices, and automatic screens. The Music Department contains smart boards within some of their smart rooms. For a list of smart rooms available to your department, contact your Technology Coordinator. 

How to Use Your Smart Classroom: Windows OS

There are four (4) components you should be familiar with:

  • Your laptop and the VGA adapter port located at the back. See below for image:

The panel of controls located on the wall to the left of the blackboard. The main controls are: ON, OFF, SCREEN UP, STOP, SCREEN DOWN, PC, LAPTOP, VIDEO, DISPLAY MUTE, DISPLAY UNMUTE and VOLUME.

  • Your Extron VGA adapter cable with sound. These are provided by your department or on loan from Media Technology Services, located in Carman Hall, Room B-74, ext. 7478.
  • The overhead projector mounted near the ceiling.

To start projecting:

  • Press the ON button on the wall control panel. This brings the electronic screen down and turns on the projector.
  • Connect the Extron VGA adapter cable to the back of your laptop. Make sure you align the pins and gently tighten the screws to prevent the cable from disconnecting.
  • Connect the other end of the Extron VGA adapter cable to the Computer 1 VGA adapter port located on the wall control panel.
  • On your laptop, press the keys labeled fn + F8 simultaneously. This forces the display from your laptop screen to the projector.
  • When you are finished, press the OFF button on the wall control panel. This brings the screen up and turns the projector off. Turn off your laptop and disconnect the VGA adapter cable from both ports (your laptop and the wall control panel).
  • The STOP button on the wall panel allows you to pause,     
  • DISPLAY MUTE & DISPLAY UNMUTE allows you stop and restart sound. You may adjust the volume of the pair of mounted speakers via the VOLUME control.

Apple Laptops and iPads

If you have an Apple laptop, contact Media Technology Services listed above for your adapter cables. A list of their available cables is available in your department. You will need a mini display port to VGA or DVI adapter for your connection.

After you connect your Apple adapter to the VGA adapter, you proceed to connect the VGA adapter to the wall control panel as described above.  After you turn on your laptop, you project your screen as follows: Open Systems Preferences, Open Displays, Select Detect Display, and then Check Mirror.

The Apple iPad requires a different adapter. This is called an Apple iPad Dock Connector for VGA adapter part # MC552ZM/B. It is available at Media Services in Carman Hall, Room B74. See the illustration below:

A Brief Introduction to iClickers

If you could read your students’ minds

What a tale their thoughts could tell...

During a usual lecture, your students are probably passive little creatures and you are the center of their learning universe. As you speak, they watch, as you move, their bright eyes follow you around the room. You probably think that because their steady focus is on you this means your students are actively listening. But the questions still lingers: have you really succeeded in imparting your knowledge or are they surreptitiously texting under their desks? Chances are the only feedback you receive of your students’ comprehension is in their exam results. Well give them something else to communicate to you with: iClickers! These little gadgets allow all students physically present to participate during a class session. Even the quiet/shy students who normally prefer to hold their opinions, too ashamed to share because they might look stupid, could feel connected to the group.

The iClicker is another technology teaching tool that could make learning in the classroom more productive because it forces your students to think. But unlike projectors and smart rooms, clickers promote interactive learning rather than passive learning. Like all tech things, there is a hardware and software component. There is the Receiver device, which is attached to a teacher’s computer via a USB port, and there are a set (about 30) Respondent devices like the one you see in the photograph above. The whole system is generally referred to as Classroom Response System (CRS) or a Personal Response System (PRS). It uses radio frequency, and at that particular wave length, there should be no interference with other devices like cell phones and wireless Internet service.

The primary function of iClickers is for student polling. This could have different applications for different disciplines. Because we are “Humanities,” and our students are supposed to do a lot of reading, iClicking is a great way to measure your students’ reading comprehension. You could create a group of questions in a PowerPoint presentation/slide and fire it off to your class, or you could ask questions orally. Either way, they click away and you get immediate feedback as to their responses. For example, suppose you are an English instructor and you present your class with the question: Who was Robinson Crusoe’s best man Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday? They send you their responses and the results are in 25% Friday, 25% Sunday and 50% Monday. Your follow-up question could be who is the author of Robinson Crusoe, Defoe or Beyonce? And the results are 25% Defoe and 75% Beyonce. Now you have an idea of what percentage of your class did their homework and those who need to do more work or get reading glasses. This is just one example of the many useful applications of an iClicker system. Another would be to use it during your first class to get an idea of the overall background of your students.

The software for iClickers supports both operating system platforms commonly used, Windows & Mac. It knows how to collaborate with MS Office programs like Word and PowerPoint, as well as Adobe, Blackboard, and Flash.

Last modified: Oct 31, 2013

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