Episode 24: Projector Remotes
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Today we’re talking about using the remote control for your classroom projector.
Many teachers find themselves in the position where they are using the classroom computer and projector to show some information or instructions to the class, but then need to do something on their computer that they don’t want the students to see like respond to an email or update their computer gradebook. In order to do this I’ve seen many teachers go through the process of turning off the projector or unplugging the projector from the computer.
An there are two easier ways to achieve this using the buttons on your projector’s remote.
The first option we will look at is the MUTE button. Most projector remotes will have a button that says something like MUTE or BLANK. When I’m showing something to my students and I press the blank button it simply blacks out the screen so anything I’m doing on the computer is hidden, but I don’t have to disconnect the projector or turn it off. It simply blacks it out and when I’m ready to show the screen again I press the BLANK button again and it comes back on.
This is very useful to quickly hide the screen especially if you are putting in a password while projecting from your iPad because the ipad shows the password letters briefly while you are typing. Just MUTE the projector while you type in the password, UNMUTE and continue with your lesson.
The other button that we’re going to look at is the one labeled FREEZE or sometimes PAUSE. What this button does is to FREEZE the current image on the screen. So in this case my class has just finished watching a tutorial video on what to do in their project. If I want to leave the last section of the video up on the screen instead of letting the video finish I can FREEZE the image in place instead of just blacking out the screen.
This is very useful for posting a daily agenda or class instructions, then FREEZING the image on the screen so that the kids can see the instructions while you take roll, check email, or whatever other kind of tasks need to be done that the kids don’t need to see.
This can also be a great way to transition cleanly from one activity to the next. Freeze the last slide of one presentation while you cue up the next video, presentation, or instructions and the students or audience members don’t see the “behind the scenes” workings of putting together the lessons.
Here are some photographs of various projector REMOTES and you can see that all these REMOTES have some kind of FREEZE or PAUSE button and some variant of BLANK or MUTE to help you have more control of exactly what’s shown on your screen.