Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Just Received a New Classroom Solution Cart ...

 ... What do you do now? 

I went to a workshop yesterday afternoon that my boss, Marlo Gaddis conducted on a classroom solution cart for the Activ Classroom. She talked about turning the computer on (and where it was located in the cart); the speakers, microphones, remotes, calibrating the board, and introduced the document camera.

On the remote control for the projector, there are a couple of buttons that everyone should be aware of:
  • Blank button - (could sometimes be No Show on some remotes) if you don't want students to see what is on the board when they first come into the room, just Blank or No Show on your projector remote. You can still see your computer monitor, but it is not showing on the board.

  • Freeze button - You can freeze the the interactive white board and do something on your computer without showing it to the students. Also, if you are reading a book to students, you can put the book under the document camera, freeze it, then pick up the book to read to the students.
There are two microphones in the cart that teachers can use to hang around their neck. One is marked A and the other is marked B. It is suggested that teachers use the one marked A because the hand held microphone (to give to students) is also marked B. The power button on the small microphone is on the side and when turned on, the light is blue. Teachers can adjust the strap so the microphone fits between the shoulder blades. If you start getting feedback, open the cart and adjust the volume on the amplifier (there is an A volume and a B volume). Keep necklaces away from the microphone so that they don't make noise. A good tip is to get into the habit of turning off the microphone when a teacher leaves the room or is having a one on one with a student. At the end of the day, teachers should plug all microphones into the charger. If the button is red, microphones are charging; if it is green, they are all charged.

The ActivBoard comes with two pens a dark gray and a light gray. Usually the dark gray is used as the teacher pen. Make sure to keep these pens in the drawer of the cart, or attached to the

To calibrate the ActivBoard:
  • Take pen and hold over flame (at the upper left hand side of the board) until the flame turns blue, or
  • Take the pen and click on the Activ Icon in the system tray (bottom right hand corner of your board or computer screen), click on Calibrate, follow the on screen directions and click the pen in the center of all the crosses. Don't press the barrel button or the calibration will quit and you will have to start over again.
    On the new ActivBoard, the speakers are on either side of the board. The controls for the speaker volume is on the left hand side.

    Document Camera:
    • Red button on the camera turns the document camera on. On your computer screen is an image of a ladybug. Double click that icon to open the software for the camera. Click again on the ladybug to open the software menu (you will see a group of images).
    • To display a live image, click on the upper left corner (looks like a piece of paper with a magnifying glass on it).
    • The remote for the document camera is red and it also has a Freeze button that works the same as the remote for the projector.
    • When placing a book under the document camera, one side might be hanging off the cart. You can turn the book upside down and then press the rotate button on the document camera to rotate it right side up.
    • To close Ladibug software down, right click on the Ladibug in your menu bar and left click Close.
    • The camera can be used as a web cam; just turn the camera to face the students and rotate the image (great for using Skype).
    • To Annotate over an image, open the Ladibug software, click on the Annotation icon (an image with a hand holding a pencil) and write on the board over top of the image.
    At the end of the day, make sure to turn everything off. Take the microphone off, turn it off, and plug into the charger. Turn off the document camera and put the remote in the holder on the document camera. Shut your computer down and turn off the monitor. Turn the projector off (press the green button on the projector remote twice to turn the projector off).

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