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Typical Classroom Configurations

This article covers how Streamer™ is typically used in classrooms, including how you use existing Wireless FM systems.  And remember, Streamer™ is designed to be used with the Chrome browser. You can view the captioning using any browser, but for the microphone to work you'll need to be using Chrome. If you will be captioning speech using an iPad or an iPhone, then you'll want to download the free Interact-Streamer app from the Apple play store. Why do we have a separate app for iOS devices? The answer is because by default Apple records any data generated whenever someone uses a microphone on iPads or iPhones. That goes against our privacy policy, so we wrote an app to get around that. With Streamer, all your voice data is encrypted, so your conversations are private and secure.

If you haven't already done so, here are two steps to complete before reading the rest of this article:

Three Options
There are three ways Streamer™ is commonly used in schools: (1) Student-based, (2) Classroom-based, and (3) Shared. You can also use a combination of these approaches, for example, one approach to support students that are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and another for students that like using Streamer's translation features.
  1. Student-Based: This is our recommended approach for most situations. Here are three tutorial videos providing a detailed description on how this is done: one for admins, one for teachers, and one for students. With this option, each Streamer™ Room in your school's website is assigned to a specific student and the student uses their Room throughout the day. This gives the student their own private Room. If, for example, there are 18 students in your school that need captioning services, then with this configuration you'd need a total of 18 total subscriptions, one for each student. For on-campus situations, the student typically has a device (e.g., laptop, tablet, Chromebook, etc.) at their desk that is wirelessly connected to a microphone being worn by the teacher. The student turns on or off the captioning, all the teacher does is wear the microphone. The student views the captioning, adds notes when desired, saves it, clears it, and then moves on to the next class. We'll discuss wireless microphones in a minute. If you are using this recommended approach, then here is a sample email to send to teachers and staff, and here is a sample email you can send to students
  2. Classroom-Based: A second approach is to equip each classroom in the entire campus with Streamer™. This is ideal for remote learning situations, as every student benefits from having captioning. In this setup the teacher's microphone (which can be one for a classroom amplification system) is connected to the Streamer™ room and the students view the captioning either on a front projection or using their own tablet. Note that if they are viewing the captioning on their own device, any note that they insert is theirs alone; the notes are not seen by any other students. Here is a detailed discussion on using this approach in remote learning situations. This approach is also used in ELL situations, where a single classroom may have multiple students that would prefer to see and hear the classroom instructions each in their preferred language. In this configuration, each Streamer™ Room is assigned to a specific classroom and all the students in that room share a single subscription. So, for example, if you are teaching an ELL class with 30 students that speak 20 different languages, each student will share one single Streamer room, and log into that room using a Streamer account set to their preferred language. Whatever is being said will be presented, both typed and spoken, to each student in their selected language.
  3. Shared: In this configuration students that need a captioning or translation system share a few subscriptions. For example, a school may have 70 students that need a captioning system and these students will share a total of 10 subscriptions. Each student has a User Account that displays all 10 rooms in their Streamer™ Lobby when they log in. When they need to use a Streamer™ room they select one that is currently available, use it to caption their conversation or lecture, save the transcript, and then leave the room. While they are using the room it is locked it so no one else can jump in and see their conversation. And when they leave the Streamer room, it is unlocked and the transcript automatically cleared so it is ready for the next student to use.
Creating Accounts - Let Us Do All the Setup
User accounts are completely free. You are encouraged to make as many as you want and share your subscription(s) with others. As per the above, you can create accounts on your own, however, if you are creating a lot of accounts, let us create them for you. We do that completely for free. It’s very common for us to create Streamer™ accounts for all your staff and many times for all your students as well. To do that, send us a list (usually an Excel spreadsheet) of the staff email addresses. We’ll use the identifier portion of the email to create the accounts. If you’d like us to create a custom password for each account, you can include that in Column B of the sheet, or we can create a random one for them. We can also set up all your rooms for you, labeling each one and configuring the /allow permissions. Just contact us and we will let you know the information we need from you to do that. Again, this is all done completely for free.    

Microphones
For a classroom situation, where there is always background noise, you need to use a microphone that is placed close to the mouth of the person that is speaking. Ideally, this is less than 6 inches. Teachers typically use a wireless microphone, and students commonly use a microphone built into a computer.

Teachers: 
  • If a student already has a wireless microphone for teachers to wear, you are encouraged to use it with Streamer. Just wirelessly connect the microphone to the student's computer and you're all set.  Here is a video showing how that's done. We also created a video that shows you how to disable any microphone that's built into the student's computer. That way they will not accidentally use the wrong microphone. If you will be using an existing FM system, we strongly recommend that you purchase the cable that is shown in the video - it makes a significant difference in audio quality. In particular, do not purchase a rigid adapter that converts a 2.5mm plug to a 3.5mm plug. They easily snap off and can result in a plug getting stuck in your audio port. And if you do not already have a wireless microphone, you can purchase one through us or buy one on your own. Note that a noise-canceling headset works best in noisy situations (e.g., a 5th grade classroom or a shop class), whereas a lapel microphone works fine in less-noisy classrooms. If you would like to purchase one of our systems, just send us a note and we'll be happy to provide you with the details on our current recommendations.
  • User Tips for Lapel Mics:  If you are wearing a lapel mic place it close to your mouth. Place your thumb on your chin and make sure you can touch the lapel mic with your little finger. And, if you are right-handed, place it on your "left" collar (and vice-versa). This way if you are writing on the board and talking to the class, the microphone will be closer to your mouth. 
Students:
  • If you want to also caption what other students are saying, perhaps for a classroom discussion, then you can either use a pass around handheld mic, or if each student has their own device (e.g., iPad, Chromebook), you can use the built-in mic. This is because the student is sitting in a desk where they are speaking directly into that microphone. Each student can have their own personal account, or they can all use a shared account or a combination of these types of accounts. Creating accounts is easy. Here is a video showing how it's done.
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