2nd Annual Showcase Recap

At DCS's 2nd Annual Showcase: Unplugging from the Podium, we demonstrated several classroom tools designed to help instructors get out from behind the podium and engage their students. Our Instructional Technology Supervisors discussed ways to control the podium remotely, methods of wireless student and faculty projection, ways of using Nearpod to connect with and poll students, and video conferencing. We covered a lot in our two-hour showcase and invited faculty to pilot these teaching methods in the coming year. Weather you attended the Showcase or not, we have provided information below about each topic and what you need to know to try it out yourself.

Controlling the Podium Remotely

One of the first rules of presenting states that the presenter is the presentation, not the slides. By using hardware or software options to remotely control presentations, instructors can get out from behind the podium to give a more dynamic presentation that commands students' attention. DCS is offering several hand-held hardware options that enable instructor to control computer presentations while walking around the room. We are also piloting a software solution that allows faculty to see and operate the podium from their mobile device.

Hardware Options

The following hand-held devices are designed to help you control presentation material without having to be at the podium. They can be used to operate the podium computer in Digital Classroom Podiums or with most personal laptops, enabling instructors to better interact with their students. These devices will be available for delivery or semester-long loan beginning with the 2015 summer session. For questions and assistance using any of these solutions, please contact Dan Bello, Instructional Technology Supervisor on Cook/Douglass. To request a device, please fill out an Equipment Request Form. For information from the official product pages, click on the device below.

  • Satechi SP400 Smart-Pointer: enables instructor to advance slides and control the cursor. The Smart-Pointer also has a laser pointer.
  • Handheld Trackball Mouse: an easy-to-use way to control the computer cursor.
  • Gyration Air Mouse Elite: controls the computer cursor by pointing at the projection screen, allowing for more fluid and dynamic control. This is a great option for controlling visual material such as 3D models.
  • Genius Wireless Pen Mouse: used to control the cursor by "writing" with the Pen Mouse on any surface. With buttons that also control slide presentations, this is a nice option for instructors that want to annotate over slides.
  • Wacom Bamboo Pad: enables more detailed annotating and writing over computer images by using the Wacom pen on a small, hand-held pad.
Chrome Remote Desktop

 

Chrome Remote Desktop is an application that, when installed on the DCP podium computer or a personal laptop, allows instructors to control the podium remotely. With CRD, instructors can view the podium's screen on their laptop. As a result, users can both run their presentation and operate the podium from their own laptop, phone, or tablet - enabling them to teach from anywhere in the room while controlling the projectors, volume, and sources. This feature is available for use in any Digital Classroom Podium room and requires wireless Internet access. Contact Dan Bello for more information and to configure your classroom's podium for use.

 

Wireless Projection

Wireless projection facilitates presentation and collaboration. By connecting to projectors wirelessly, instructors and students can present materials from anywhere in the room, without having to struggle with wires and adapters. Wireless projection also enables the sharing of multiple laptops at once. This can be used by instructors to monitor and compare group work. DCS is currently piloting two methods of wireless projection.

Clickshare

Barco's ClickShare is an elegant solution for projecting wirelessly from laptops. Users plug a "puck" into their laptop's USB port. When you are ready to present, you simply press the button on the puck to send the image to the projector. Multiple "pucks" allow up to four users to either send their computer image to the projector at once in "quad" box mode or take over the projector in full screen mode. DCS is planning to introduce ClickShare to select new classrooms beginning in the Fall 2015 semester. If you are interested in teaching in one of these classrooms and for more information contact Patrick Auletto, the Instructional Technology Supervisor for Livingston.

Epson Easy Project

Epson projectors capable of wireless projection are currently available in certain DCS classrooms. These projectors enable instructors and students to send laptop images directly to the projector in full screen or quad box mode. Users must download the free Epson projector app on their laptop and then connect to the projector. Use of this feature requires some initial set up from DCS staff. Please contact Wilson Contreras, the Instructional Technology Supervisor for Busch, so that we can help you identify a classroom capable of wireless projection and help you get started.

 

Engaging Your Students with Nearpod

Nearpod is a web-based application that allows instructors to send slide presentations to student devices, poll the class, and more. Nearpod can be used in classrooms with wireless internet. Contact James Kizhnerman, DCS's Instructional Technology Supervisor for College Avenue, with Nearpod questions and to identify rooms with sufficient wireless.

Nearpod can also be used on tablets, enabling the instructor to freely move around the room while conducting class. For instructors that are interesting in trying Nearpod on an iPad, DCS is offering three iPads for use in the upcoming summer or fall semesters. 

 

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing can be used to bring in guest lecturers from around the world, enable instructor to teach remotely, and provide a way for students who cannot be in-class to connect to their classroom. Video conferencing allows presenters to be seen, heard, and to share computer presentations. DCS is piloting several different video conference solutions. To help identify the right solution for your class, contact Dave Wyrtzen, Associate Director for Faculty Training and Outreach.

Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is ideal for classes in which students attend remotely. With Adobe Connect, students can watch a video feed of the instructor while viewing computer-based presentations. Adobe Connect also gives the students the capability to alert the instructor when they have a question and comment in a chat window. The instructor, meanwhile, has the ability to enable and disable student video and audio feeds so that they can facilitate discussion. Adobe Connect can be used on any Digital Classroom Podium or any room with a projector via an instructor's laptop. Web cameras and, in larger rooms, microphones are needed, both available from DCS.

Google Hangouts

Hangouts is a great way for casual conversation between two or more people. Hangouts is simple to use and well-suited for collaborative sessions. Google Hangouts can be used on any Digital Classroom Podium or any room with a projector via an instructor's laptop. Web cameras and, in larger rooms, microphones are needed, both available from DCS.

LifeSize

LifeSize is the highest quality conferencing experience supported by DCS. This method requires the use of dedicated hardware, which is currently installed in Tillett 232 and 118.

Skype

A popular way of video chatting, Skype is an attractive option because many faculty and students are already familiar with how to use it. Like Adobe Connect and Hangouts, Skype can be used on any Digital Classroom Podium or any room with a projector via an instructor's laptop. Web cameras and, in larger rooms, microphones are needed, both available from DCS.
 

Vidyo

Vidyo is an application licensed by DCS for use by classes. The Vidyo interface is not unlike Skype, however Vidyo offers a higher quality and more reliable connection. Vidyo is available by request and can be used on any Digital Classroom Podium or any room with a projector via an instructor's laptop.