Friday, November 13, 2009

Should There Be a Standard Classroom Computer Set-Up?

I always wonder about there being a standard computer set-up for classrooms.
My thinking says that I should be able to easily get my computer to do what I want. In my case, organize audio and record audio. Yeah, the latest Office might be a good idea so I don't have to spend a lot of time converting documents to the latest format. But for the most part, I want to be able to do a quick recording with some options to edit later.
Macintosh/Garageband is perfect for me. The rest of the building is PC. That really isn't a problem as far as computing goes. It is fairly easy to switch from one to the other.
How about the output? I like running the audio out into a desktop sized speaker system. That part is easy.
The visual side for demonstrations, that might be a little different. I have 4 rooms that I work in. The band room has a HUGE monitor on a stand in it. The choir room has a lcd projector in it. The ensemble room used for lessons has the standard 17" monitor in it and the room with piano keyboard lab has nothing in it.
If I taught reading, math or social studies, I would have a interactive whiteboard in all those rooms. I can work around with the Wiimote version of an IWB easily. So I don't feel terribly left out. But with the flu going around I have noticed a number of subs in the building. I know that subs in our district are getting the skills to run an IWB from the major supplier to our district. (I am not sure if we are training them or they are just getting it on the job. I hope that it is training.) Would they be up to covering for me?
If a sub is needed in my rooms I want things to go on normally. But the Wiimote does come with some challenges. Step one is activate the Bluetooth on the laptop, step two is get the Wiimote recognized, step three is figure out where to put things physically so they work together... I am pretty sure we would have a problem with this. Do we really want people getting that deep into the hardware when they have my students to worry about at the same time? Would the IT people want them to have administrative rights to work on these settings?
If you are in a position to install IWB technology in the classroom, please be don't forget to teach the subs how to use the technology. I think that this is also the place for consistency. The ability to get the audio and video outputs working may be more important than the Mac/PC question.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.
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