Quick Guide to Technology in TERP and GPC Classrooms


In this article

This knowledge article will orient instructors to the technologies available in many University of Maryland TERP classrooms that can help them integrate multiple devices and instructional tools into their teaching.

For a list of which classrooms have what technology available, read List of Classrooms and their Technical Information.

What technology is available?

Projectors

Almost all UMD general purpose and TERP Classrooms and Support, such as those found in the Edward St. John Center for Learning and Teaching (ESJ), have one or more ceiling-mounted projectors.

Screens

A room with a projector will also have a screen for the projector. The projector screen will lower automatically when you start the AV system and send an image source to the projector from the instructor's computer. 

Cameras

There will usually be a camera at the back of the room to capture the instructor positioned at the front of the classroom. In larger rooms, there may also be a camera at the front of the room to capture the participants facing forward in the room.

Document camera

A document camera enables an instructor to project pages of a book, a paper document or handwritten notes on the screen. The document camera has controls for zooming in or out on the projected subject, but the default autofocus feature is usually adequate for projecting a document that is 8.5” x 11” or smaller.

Document camera projections are much easier for students to see as opposed to notes written on whiteboards. For more information, read Guide to Classroom Document Cameras.

Instructor computer

Each room is outfitted with an instructor computer (also called PC). 

Microphones

In classrooms with voice amplification systems (usually those that seat 75 or more), instructors will have one lavaliere microphone that can be plugged into a transmitter bodypack with a mic clip to attach to your clothing, as well as one handheld microphone on a stand. Rooms may also have a lectern mic that should be muted when other mics are in use.

Smaller classrooms are equipped with ceiling microphones in lieu of these resources. These mics are intended to capture audio for recordings; they do not amplify anyone’s voice in the room.

Lights

Lights in many classrooms can be set to specific levels of intensity. Lights are controlled from the Crestron panel on the instructor lectern or from wall switches, depending on the design of the classroom.

It’s a good idea to dim the lights closest to the projection screens in rooms where that is possible.

Crestron AV panel

The Crestron panel found on the instructor lectern is used to control all of these technologies and to additionally share content with participants who are in remote locations. The number of devices managed by the Crestron panel may vary depending upon the room size and the number of screens and monitors available in the room.

NOTE: These rooms are not outfitted with wireless slide advancers (clickers).

You can use the Crestron panel to select the source (for example, PC, document camera or wall-mounted camera) that has the image you wish to project to the screen. In classrooms with more than one screen, you can project more than one image.  The PC Extend source is appropriate for projecting PowerPoint slides to the screen while viewing presenter notes on the instructor computer when using PowerPoint "presenter" mode.

NOTE: In this case, the audio will be from the last source that you send to a projector. For more information, see AV Touch Panel Quick Guide.

Example scenario: Select a PowerPoint presentation that you have launched on the PC computer and display it to one screen. Then, select a document you have placed on the document camera to display to a second screen. If you send the document camera last, there will be no audio from the PC because the document camera does not have a built-in microphone.

Personal laptop option

Instructors can bring their own laptops to the classroom and choose from VGA or HDMI cables to connect to the AV system and project content from there to a screen in the room. Adapters are supplied to allow different laptops to connect to these cables.

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Managing devices

Devices such as lights, sound and cameras can be controlled via the Device Control option on the Crestron panel. The availability of some devices is dependent upon the room.  Not all devices (e.g. BluRay) are available in all rooms.

Device control

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