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Squeeze possibilities with ClassInTheBox: creating a single environment

October 27, 2021

Although concurrent (or also called simultaneous) hybrid classes have been around for a long time, not so long here in Spain, the truth is that most of us felt the need for them less than two years ago and have received very little training on the subject.

Managing a hybrid concurrent/simultaneous environment can be frustrating without some practice and clear ideas. The technological aspect, which is one of the main limitations, is solved with ClassInTheBox. As soon as you get some practice (turning on the wireless microphone, “mute” from the same headset and switching cameras (with the extension for Google Meet, or with the physical button for other environments), the main difficulty is to want to conduct two parallel classes, one on-site and one remote, simultaneously, something that is practically impossible.

ClassInTheBox allows you to create a single environment, integrating remote and face-to-face students. The moment you get used to it, your classes will be much more dynamic, richer, and you will be exploiting technology to the maximum in favor of the methodology, which is what it is all about.

Here are some tips:

– Connect your CITB device to the computer, the CITB cam and turn on the wireless mic. Then start the videoconference.

– Project the image from your computer so that the students in the classroom can see the students at home.

– Focus the CITB cam on the class, except when you want to explain something using the whiteboard, in which case you will focus the citb camera on the whiteboard. We recommend using a usb extension cable and a standing tripod, or a small tripod on a desk in the front row.

– Speak in a natural way to face-to-face students, without ignoring remote students, perhaps the best way is to move between the tables of the class so that you appear on the map, remember that with the wireless microphone, distance is no longer a limitation.

– When you want to address students remotely, you can use your computer’s webcam to be seen in the foreground (just a click on the extension’s floating button in Google Meet, or by pressing the physical ClassInTheBox button in other environments). Remember to switch back to the other camera when you’re done.

– If you want to project something from your own device to all students (either face-to-face or remotely), we recommend that you project the entire screen (not a tab). If you project only one tab, it is possible that at some point you are not projecting what you want because you have moved to another tab.

– However, if you have to project something with audio, like a video for example, share the tab with the audio option so that the remote students can hear the sound with quality. In this case it is important that you do NOT have the “classroom mode” activated in the extension to avoid duplicating the audio of the video and the sound of the audio picked up by the computer’s microphone.

– Scroll through the tabs according to what you want to show, by sharing full screen your remote students will see exactly the same as your students in the classroom.

– Always have the sound of the speakers active, so that when a remote student wants to speak, he/she can do so. However, we recommend that you set up a show of hands system and have everyone come in with the microphone muted.

– When you need the remote students to hear their classmates, for example because they are presenting, or when you are correcting an exercise out loud, switch on the classroom mode (third button on the floating panel that stays yellow when it is on). At this point your headset microphone will stop picking up your voice, and the sound of the classroom will be picked up by the computer you are using.

These are some key tips that you will automate very soon once you start using ClassInTheBox as your hybrid classroom solution.