There was a time when I could walk into a classroom, plug my laptop into a cable to the video projector, and run my Keynote/Powerpoint presentation with a minimum of fuss. No more.
Since I have classes in two days, I went into my classroom to test out all the technology. The old ways no longer work. Instead, I have to log in to the classroom projector and tell it which input to use. Then I have to log in to zoom twice, once to get on my university account, then again to link up to zoom. Then I have to use an iPad at the front of the room to inform it to let zoom know I’m doing a lecture. I fire up my presentation software, tell zoom which window I’m using, and then I’m off! No, not quite. When I start, I have to click on a button on the iPad to let it know to start recording, at which time it asks for my email address.
Then, finally, I can turn to the students, hoping that the signals are all properly configured and we’ll be able to do some genetics.
Once the hour is up, I click on a “stop recording” button, at which time zoom plays with all the data and sends it to me by email, where I can download the images from my presentation (which I already have, in higher quality), the output from an awkwardly placed camera on the ceiling, and a horrible muddy audio recording that sounds like something broadcast from beneath the sea.
I’m going to contact the IT department this week and see if they can’t show me something simple and elegant that doesn’t require me to show up 15 minutes before class starts to jump through stupid digital hoops in order to do my job. I have little hope that that will happen.
I could just show up to class with my own video projector and a GoPro and be up and running in two minutes, with everything functioning more reliably. I am strongly tempted to do just that.
I’m also prepared to just throw out all the tech and teach naked with a whiteboard and a black dry erase marker. It might be easier.