Using Notebook Computers in Teaching Classrooms and Lecture Theatres

by Joe Chow
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Currently, there are about 150 teaching classrooms and lecture theatres (LTs) on campus, all of which are equipped with computers and audio-visual equipment. For most users, the desktop computers in these rooms are already sufficient for their teaching purposes. However, users may prefer bringing along their own notebooks or another PC in addition to the one provided due to the following circumstances:

  1. The requirement of hardware, operating system or software which cannot be met by the standard desktop PC.
  2. Special or non-standard configurations or settings are required.
  3. Demonstrations requiring two or more computers.
  4. Users require to use their own data stored in their computers and do not want to share them over the network.

The followings are some of the guidelines users may need to know when using external PCs/notebooks inside the LT/Classrooms:

Network Connection

Standard wireless LAN access is provided throughout the campus including classrooms and LTs. It is mandatory that all wireless LAN cards must be registered with the Computing Services Centre (CSC) before they are allowed to connect to the campus wireless LAN. After registration, all staff and students can logon the wireless LAN using their network connection account (the same one staff used to logon the PC at their offices).

If, however, users want to use a wired network connection instead for performance or other reasons, they may use the network port provided near the lectern. In this case, users should note the followings:

  • The network settings required for their PC/notebooks (e.g. disabling the WLAN network access, setting IP and DNS to be assigned by the DHCP server etc.).
  • Bring along the UTP network cable.
  • For security reasons, this wired network connection require staff authentication (using the network connection account of the staff). Staff should make prearrangements with the CSC if there is a need for students to logon to the LT/Classroom network.

AV Connection and Display Control

Other than the standard projector connections, an external VGA connection is provided for projecting the display of notebooks/PCs brought along by the instructors or guests to the screen. The followings should be noted:

  • Every LT/classroom has an A/V control panel on the lectern, bring along a VGA cable for connecting the VGA output port of the notebook/PC to the control panel.
  • Users need to select correctly the input source between the standard desktop PC display and the display of the external notebook/PC.
  • Users should select the correct display settings of their notebook/PC in order to achieve the best quality projector display as well as to press the correct function key on the notebook/PC to send the display both to the internal screen and to the VGA output port.

References

Users may reference the following materials for details on how to use the wireless LAN and instructions on how to set up their notebooks/PCs in the LT/classroom:

  1. Using Computers in LT and Classrooms
    - http://www.cityu.edu.hk/csc/LT/main.htm