Using Classroom Technology

The classrooms at Emerson College come equipped with a variety of audiovisual and technology tools to aid in your instructional process. This guide will outline how to activate and navigate the AV system, as well as some general tips for troubleshooting.

Fall 2020 Update

Due to de-densification, many new spaces are being outfitted for use as classrooms. As such, rooms may have slightly different technology setups. Signage will be posted in each space with a phone number to call for the quickest help.

We've worked to ensure that all rooms (existing classrooms and newly identified learning spaces) have the following available, at minimum: 

  • Projection screen or TV
  • In-room computer
  • Laptop input (if you prefer to use your own device)
  • Speakers for audio playback
  • Microphone to amplify faculty voices
  • Webcamera for options to Zoom in quarantined students

Preparing for the Semester

Once you know where you'll be teaching, review our Classroom AV Guide (updated guide to come shortly!) to see what technology is available in the space. If you have any questions or require additional equipment, please reach out to Media Services as soon as possible by emailing media_services@emerson.edu or calling 617-824-8080.

If you would like a tutorial on using the technology in your classroom, reach out to us to schedule a demo.

Using Classroom Technology

Video Projection

Classrooms with a Touch Panel Controller Temporary Classrooms

Traditional classrooms feature a ceiling-mounted projector and a large projection screen.

To turn on the projector:

  1. Tap the touch panel to wake it up.
  2. On the welcome screen, tap again to reach the main menu.
  3. In the main menu, select a video source on the left. This will automatically turn on the projector, lower the screen and route the video source to be projected.

If the projector does not come on automatically, check the drawer of the equipment rack for a remote to turn on the projector manually. If the screen does not automatically come down, there is a manual switch, located on an adjacent wall, that can raise and lower the screen.

Using the Instructor Computer

Classrooms with a Touch Panel Controller Temporary Classrooms

Many classrooms feature an iMac as the in-room computer, which can run both macOS and Windows 10.

  • Log-in with your Emerson username and password.
  • Choose iMac or In-Room Computer as your source on the touch panel.
  • Always bring your mobile phone or U2F token with you, as you'll need your secondary device to log into Emerson Gmail and other technology services.
  • Be sure to log-out at the end of your class session!

Connecting Your Own Device

If you would prefer to bring your own device for teaching, all teaching spaces will feature cables and adapters to connect laptops, tablets, or phones. All rooms have a selection of current adapters, for both Mac, PC, and mobile device models, to ensure connectivity. If you need a different adapter for your computer, please contact Media Services and we will get one installed.

  1. Look for a cable, often labeled "laptop input", and outfitted with an adapter ring on the end.
  2. Find the adapter that fits for your device and plug it in.
  3. On the touch panel, select Laptop HDMI to begin projecting, or if there is no touch panel in your classroom, confirm the input on the projector corresponds to the video source HDMI 2 using the remote control.

Using a Media Player

Many classrooms are equipped with media players such a Blu-Ray/DVD combination deck, and in some unique spaces, a VHS player.

The blu-ray player can play all discs including regular DVDs and CDs. It is located in the equipment rack and can be controlled via touch panel, the blu-ray’s remote control (often stored in the equipment rack drawer), or via the front panel of the unit itself.

Some classrooms still have VHS decks to meet specific curricular need, but we recommend contacting the library to determine if your media exists on a more modern media type, or reaching out for our help digitizing the clips you need into an electronic format.

Depending on your course materials, some faculty find that a document camera is a useful way to display printed materials on the projection screen. Please contact us as soon as possible if you need a document camera set up in your classroom for the semester.

Temporary classrooms will likely not be equipped with media players such a Blu-Ray/DVD player, a VHS player or a document camera. If you will need this to teach your course, please contact us as soon as possible so we can discuss options.

Microphones

Two microphone options are provided to ensure that Faculty wearing a face covering will be audible to all students, especially in the back of the room.

  • Gooseneck mic: Located at the podium or teaching table. Mic can be turned on/off with the “Push” button. Volume is controlled either on the touch panel, or at the PA system on "Channel 1".
  • Hand-held mic on a mic stand: This can be used as an alternative to the gooseneck. It can be turned on/off with the integrated switch. Volume is controlled either at the touchpanel, or at the PA system on "Channel 2".

Many rooms will also be equipped with a ceiling microphone, that is utilized for picking up student voices for Zoom. See below for information about starting up a Zoom call and utilizing this feature.

Audio System

Traditional classrooms have a built-in audio system with speakers for amplifying sound from video and audio from the in-room computer or your personal device. Volume is adjustment is done using the touch panel audio meter, found on the right-hand side of the screen. There are separate adjustment meters for computer audio and microphone audio.

Temporary classrooms will have a portable audio ("PA" system - essentially a set of speakers on stands) for amplifying sound from video and audio on the in-room computer or your personal device. When you connect the in-room computer or your personal device to the projector, audio is routed through the projector and fed to the PA speakers. Volume can be adjusted on the PA system itself by turning up or down the channel labeled “Computer Audio”.  

  Sound Check!

It is always a good idea to do a quick soundcheck prior to the start of class. Turn the main volume of the audio system down low using the touch panel controls, begin speaking into a mic and/or playing some audio from the computer, then slowly raise the main volume back up to a comfortable level.

Video Conferencing with Zoom

Zoom is the officially supported video conferencing platform of Emerson College. Zoom may be utilized in a class in the event that an on-campus student is required to quarantine. Additionally Zoom can be used to bring in a virtual guest lecturer. See our many guides for best practices for teaching and learning with Zoom.

A webcam on a tripod will be provided that connects directly to the in-room computer via USB. In many spaces, a dedicated ceiling-mounted room microphone will also capture audio of the entire room and feed to the in-room computer.

To get set-up for a Zoom call:

  1. Plug in your laptop or log in to the in-room computer with your Emerson credentials.
  2. Confirm the computer is projecting on the projection screen or TV. (see instructions above).
  3. Open and log in to the Zoom application with your Emerson credentials.
  4. Under Settings > Audio/Video, ensure that:
    • Xcellon or Full HD Webcam should be selected for Camera.
    • USB Audio Device should be selected for Microphone.
    • In touchpanel classrooms, Crestron (HDMI) should be selected for the Speaker. In the temporary classrooms, ViewSonic LS830 should be selected for Speaker.
  5. Start your Zoom call! Remember to adjust the web camera on the tripod to make sure it is capturing the right field of view.

How to Request Tech Support

  Need Classroom Support?

Signage will be posted in each space with a phone number to call for the quickest tech support. If you don't see the sign or are ever unsure, please call the IT Help Desk at 617-824-8080.

In order to limit exposure to our students and employees, we will ask instructors to provide some detail over the phone in order to troubleshoot. Our staff have access to remote tools for much of the hardware installed, and can often fix an issue without needing to be in the room.

If we do need to come in person, responding technicians will be properly equipped with PPE, and we may ask instructors to step away or out of the room to allow them to work at an appropriate social distance.

Staff will be located in Walker, Ansin, and Paramount to limit sending technicians far distances across campus. However, please allow for the possibility of slightly longer response times due to social distancing guidelines about elevator usage and staff densification in offices.

Cleaning Procedures

Facilities will be cleaning classroom and lab spaces each night with the Clorox 360 machine, however, all faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to frequently wipe down workspaces before and after use.

Keyboards, mice, and work surfaces can all be cleaned with wipes and/or spray and paper towels.

Please do not attempt to clean the in-room computer monitor, microphones, or AV equipment with spray or liquids, as that can damage the gear.

We recommend using a lightly damp cloth to wipe down the microphone base or grip if you touch it, and use hand sanitizer or wash your hands after class.

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