Getting Started with Smart Classrooms

This article will provide an introduction to using the main technology components of our smart classrooms for instruction.

first do you want to make sure your TV is turned on. If your room has multiple screens, make sure they are all turned on. Often the power and menu-selection buttons on televisions are incorporated into a single button beneath the tv.

Each room should also have a remote for the televisions.

Each television should be set to mirror the computer secondary screen. If your screens are not showing the computer, you may need to switch their inputs. The easiest way to do this is to press the input select button on your remote when close to the television. The input for displaying content is often labeled on the tv screen as "computer."

Audio goes through the televisions. If you want your students to hear what you are playing, make sure at least the main television is on.

Notice also that your computer has two screens. one is your primary screen, and the other is your secondary screen. The primary screen is the one displaying the windows search bar in the lower left corner. Only your secondary screen, is shared with the other screens.

If you notice your screen settings have changed, type “settings “ in the windows search bar. under “settings” you’ll find a “display” tab. This tab will show you all of the settings related to extending and sharing your screens. In general, leave those settings as you found them. However, in rare cases you may need to make an adjustment. Remember that you are sharing this classroom with others.

Every classroom should have room, mics and room cameras installed. This hardware will allow you to easily start and hold virtual classes using zoom.

You should have a zoom icon on your desktop. If not, search for “zoom” on your windows search bar. Before you hold a class in zoom, make sure the camera and microphones are working properly. To do this, open zoom and open a meeting. Go to the small arrow icons next to the camera and microphone buttons at the bottom of the zoom screen and check to make sure the microphone and camera are working. In the microphone menu, look for an option that says “test, speaker and microphone”. Run these tests while you’re in this test meeting. Under the video menu look for the “video settings” option on the video settings menu look for a camera preview and check below the preview to make sure the camera is set to the camera that you want. If it is not, change the setting. You can also change your zoom camera from the camera menu in the main menu of the video settings under where it says “select a camera”. The keyboard shortcut to switch cameras is Ctrl+N. With your camera and your microphone set up, you should be ready to have your class. Note that some classrooms may have multiple cameras. Make sure you choose the camera that will provide your students with the best classroom experience in zoom. one other note – because your computer has multiple screens when you are sharing your screen in zoom make sure that you are sharing the screen or window that is associated with the material that you want your students to see.

Most classrooms are also equipped with a desktop document viewer. This document viewer can be shared as a camera in zoom, or it can be viewed simply as a document viewer in your class.

Depending on the type of document viewer, there may be pre-installed software specifically for that viewer.

If not, you can also open zoom, select the document camera, and use zoom to display your content on the camera. When, using zoom to display your document camera, you may need to go into the video settings and look under “video” and make sure that the “mirror my video” setting is unchecked.

Another software feature of your smart classroom is a program called “epic pen”. This software allows you to annotate directly on your screen. If you open up the epic pen software you see various tools for writing on your screen, taking screenshots, making shapes, and even taking notes. In rooms equipped with a touchscreen you can use epic pen with your hands!

Another cool way to take a picture of something you’ve done on your screen is using a windows program called “snip and sketch”. you can find this program by typing its name in the Windows search bar.

And with PowerPoint, you’ll need to be aware of which screen you share with your other screens, and which you don’t. When you start a presentation, you want to make sure that the presentation is being displayed on the other screen or screens, and not your presenter’s view of the presentation.

If you want to switch which screen shows your presentation, and which one shows your notes, go to the “slideshow“ tab in PowerPoint. On that tab, look for the “monitor“ option and pick the monitor that you want to display your presentation from the menu. And in most cases, if you choose “automatic” your presentation should view on the screen that you’re sharing with your other screens. in many cases, this will already be set up for you and you shouldn’t need to change it.

For accessing commonly used applications and keyboard shortcuts, we have provided some classrooms with Stream Decks. The Stream Deck is a small device that gives you visual buttons that are set to specific programs and key combinations. Try it out! So far, we have created a set of classroom buttons for PowerPoint, Zoom, and the Chrome web browser. Using the Stream Deck app on your phone, it is even possible to to control your computer with your mobile device. (separate fee required).