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3 The College's Services

3.3 Classroom Technology

Interactive Whiteboards & Speakers

There are ten IWBs scattered around the school, and each has a pair of speakers to go with. What makes them interactive? They are touchscreen boards - one may use one's fingers as though it were a mouse pointer. Other than that, they are just a projection of the screen of the attached computer.

Televisions

More recently, the College has opted for large, flat screen televisions rather than IWBs - they have built in speakers, a brighter picture, more connection options, no need for an expensive projector and look much neater (if the cables can be kept down!).

One may use the televisions/IWBs in a number of ways:

  1. Connect a computer and show the screen. Perhaps stream a documentary via the Digital Video Commander system.
  2. Plug in a USB stick or drive, and display the movies, audio or pictures on it
  3. Switch to the right input, and display the daily notices
  4. Connect an iPod, iPad or other device via the headphone jack and play music

Playing CDs or DVDs

Now this is a point of contest... some believe that compact discs are an obsolete technology, (I am one such!), and that everything should be streamed from a server, online or played from a computer or USB device. However, there may be times when it is necessary to play a disc. Here are the options:

  1. Use a computer with a disc-drive
  2. Borrow a computer with a disc-drive
  3. Borrow a portable, external disc-drive that plugs into a computers USB port
  4. Organise to have the disc played via the Digital Video Commander system (to be confirmed)
  5. Use one of those old VCR/CD/DVD players that are floating around

Digital Video Commander

This is a server, situated in the Library office, that streams video signals over the computer network. This means any computer at the College can access and play videos from it's extensive library, and live TV channels too. Another reason that discs are not as necessary these days.

Of course, one could also stream video from online sources, such as YouTube. Be aware though that YouTube is locked to the educational version, meaning only approved videos are available to students. If there is something you can't access on YouTube, just ask ICT Services to allow it. 

Projectors & Screens

There are a few portable digital projectors at the school, available for anyone to borrow and use. (If you thought I meant those old transparent slide projectors... well, they truly are obsolete! And if you actually want to use one, then you really, really need to update your skills and materials!). Mostly, the digital projectors are used for presentations and meetings, but could be used for other purposes, such as projecting a tracing onto a wall for art students to paint.

Student computers

Students are often required to use computers in class for research and productivity - it is part of the curriculum. Bringing your own device is fine, or continue to use a netbook already provided by the College. At all times you are to use the devices appropriately, and this includes charging them up overnight. We try to avoid using chargers at the school, because powerpoints are limited and the cables pose a trip hazard. If you need to, drop it in to ICT Services to get it charged during recess / lunch.

Note that school supplied netbooks must be returned to the College before you leave! They are College property, no matter how many stickers you have applied!

Teacher computers

Staff are also expected to use computers for much the same reasons. At this stage, teaching staff are required provide their own computer, while administration staff normally have one supplied. In either case, ICT Services usually have spare netbooks to loan out if needed.