Electronic Teaching Consoles
Ball State has built advanced teaching consoles in 15 large classrooms across campus. This page provides a brief overview of these consoles. All questions and problems regarding the consoles should be addressed to Video Information System (VIS) Technical Support at 765-285-3999.
Touch Screen to Start
When you first approach the console, you must touch the screen to activate the entire system. If this screen is black when you approach, you must touch it once to wake it up, then another time to activate the system.
While the projector and the rest of the system warms up, turn on the PC and the Macintosh computers if you need them; they are located in the cabinet.
Even if you only want to use the microphone in the room, you still must activate this system.
Touch Screen Overview
Along the left side of the touch screen are listed 7 sources of data (PC, Laptop, Mac, VCR/DVD, Document Camera, VIS, and External Input). Touch a source button to display that content on both the touch screen and the projector. In this image, the PC source is selected—it is highlighted in yellow.
Along the right side of the touch screen is the volume control. Touch the up or down arrows to raise or lower the volume. "PGM" controls all the program volumes—PC, Mac, VCR, DVD, VIS, and External Input. A mute button below the PGM volume control will mute audio from these sources. The "MIC/Phone" control works on the microphone volume and the Audio Conference volume.
In the upper left corner is the "Shutdown" button that will turn the entire system off; please shut down the system after your class, unless you know a colleague is immediately following you. You must turn off the computers manually.
Laptop / External Input
Pressing the Laptop source button allows you to plug in a laptop computer. A VGA cable, sound cable, and network cable, and power outlets are available in the "cable cubby." If you are using a Macintosh laptop, you must provide your own adapter to connect the VGA cable to the laptop.
The External Input source button allows you to plug in some other video source (e.g., videodisk player, video camera, etc.), as long as it uses standard RCA jacks (red/yellow/white).
Selecting this source button will allow you to display video tapes and DVDs. The VCR/DVD player is located in the cabinet. Near the top of the screen you will see two buttons that allow you to select the VCR or the DVD. In this image, the DVD player is selected—it is highlighted in yellow.
Both players have standard control buttons on the touch screen—Play, Pause, Stop, Rewind, Rewind Search, Forward Search, and Fast Forward. The DVD player also has a Menu button and arrow buttons that allow you to move around the DVD's menus to select a particular scene or to set options.
This screen also contains a Caption On/Off button in the lower right corner. Captioning is on when the button is yellow. Captioning will not show on the touch screen, but will show through the projector.
The VCR screen has an Eject button, but the DVD screen does not. Because the DVD tray would smash into a closed cabinet door, you must open the door and use the Eject button on the DVD player itself.
Selecting this source button will turn on the document camera and its light. The buttons on this touch screen allow you to turn the camera's light on and off, manually or automatically focus, and zoom in and out. The light blue buttons and dial on the camera head itself will also do these same functions.
The Document Size buttons on the right of the touch screen are pre-set zooms; the 8.5x11 button, for example, will zoom the document camera back out to show a full sheet of paper.
You may rotate the camera head to show something else in the classroom—an object or student. Flip the lens at the bottom of the camera head out of the way when showing distant objects, then flip it back to its normal position to show documents again. The light rotates out of the way, too.
If the camera is in your way, you can collapse it by pulling on the blue tab on its arm (see the orange arrow).
Selecting this source button will bring up the Video Information System (VIS). These controls are identical to those in the VIS box mounted on the wall, except the touch screen lacks the Power button. If the VIS box is off, you must turn on the power at the box itself.
Press the Menu button to return to the main VIS menu, then touch the numeric keypad to select a program. You can also watch scheduled VIS media as you normally would.
Captioning is available on programs running through the VIS source. The Caption On/Off button is in the lower right of the touch screen.
Note: Arts and Journalism Building (AJ), room 175 and AJ 225 run VIS through the Macintosh computer, not the touch screen.
Pressing the help button in the upper right corner of the touch screen will bring up a phone utility that will allow you to call VIS for assistance. The system automatically dials the VIS phone number (5,3999); you just have to press the Initiate Call button.
The microphone is at the bottom of the touch screen monitor, so just talk to the screen when the VIS staff member answers. This call is not broadcast to the classroom, so students won't be able to hear your call.
Call VIS for all problems and questions regarding electronic classrooms and this console. If another office needs to be contacted (e.g., UCS), VIS will make that contact for you.
Pressing the Audio Conference button at the top of the touch screen brings up the full phone utility—useful for calling your department office or a "guest speaker" across the country. You may dial any phone number, just like you would from any campus phone. Just dial the number and press the "Initiate Call" button. The comma or Pause button on the keypad is used when you need to let the system wait for a dial tone or other prompt (e.g. dialing 9 to get an outside line or inputting your long distance code after a number).
Audio Conference volume is controlled by the MIC/Phone volume buttons on the right side of the touch screen. The Classroom Mute button can be pressed to cut off the speakers in the classroom, so only you can hear the call. The Phone Send Mute button cuts off your microphone.
The Audio Conference utility picks up two microphones—the one built into the touch screen monitor and the clip-on microphone.
This microphone is tied into the console system, so even if you are not using the projector or any other console technology, you must turn on the console to use this microphone. If you only want to use this microphone, you can press the Proj Mute button in the lower left corner of the touch screen to blank the projector.
The microphone should be stored in the console's drawer or cabinet. Turn the small switch at the top to ON, and clip the microphone on your tie, lapel, or shirt about mid-chest. You may then clip the unit to your belt.
Microphone volume is controlled by the MIC/Phone volume buttons on the right side of the touch screen. Mute your microphone by simply turning the microphone switch to OFF.
Three lights next to the ON/OFF switch indicate battery strength: green (strong), yellow (low), and red (very low). The microphone uses a 9-volt battery, so you might carry a spare in your briefcase, just in case. Please be sure to turn the switch to OFF when you are finished so the battery doesn't run down.
Each room with this system should have a laminated electronic console overview sheet next to the console.