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How often do you use your laptop in class?
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mw182006



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:17 am    Post subject: How often do you use your laptop in class? Reply with quote

I'm in the market for a laptop before I go and haven't had/neded one in awhile. I was thinking I wanted one with blu-ray in case I had a use for it in class and for longer trips and things, but the trade off is usually bulk and crappy battery. The alternative is the ultrabook, which light and low on connections but high on battery. Do you guys use your own stuff in class a lot, or are most places equipped with decent tech (tier 1-2 cities)? I could probably survive without an optical drive if it came down to it...thoughts?

Last edited by mw182006 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mw182006



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice...cut off the subject - in class
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5682
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:58 am    Post subject: Using laptops/media in class Reply with quote

Subject line fields have limits, and they work if you write more concisely. See above.

I use the school multi-media (computer, projector, screen, speakers, all nec. software) for my classes, no laptops. In fact I consider bringing a laptop to use in class a liability. I used my laptop in class in a previous job and during one particular class I took a short bathroom break, only to come back and find students snooping on my computer. Yes, I know all about user passwords and how to lock the computer, but it was a three minute break. That was the last time I used my computer in that setting.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found the equipment in the various classrooms so variable - sometimes working, sometimes not - that I don't use anything electronic other than my own ghetto blaster to play songs.
There is nothing so off-putting as to arrive in class with something to throw up on the screen and find the projector isn't working, or the projector is away for repairs or you've been assigned a new classroom because of exams or suchlike
The processor on the computers in my classrooms is installed in a locked cabinet with only one usb accessible for my memory stick (when I used them).
I think the projector is wired into the back of the processor out of reach.
I'm not techie enough to know whether a laptop will play through the usb in front of the existing processor and on to the projector.
I've found technology in China like a daisy chain. Don't bank on adding your 'daisy' because higher up the chain it is likely that something is broken and you have had no warning.
In summary try out your tech plan in each classroom out of class time BEFORE you get to the point of relying on it.
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5682
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Non Sequitur wrote:
There is nothing so off-putting as to arrive in class with something to throw up on the screen and find the projector isn't working, or the projector is away for repairs or you've been assigned a new classroom because of exams or suchlike

I agree with you on this, and it has happened to me that stuff doesn't work or breaks. Such is the case when multiple people use the same equipment and don't report problems to be fixed so as to help the next person. At the beginning of the term I assign the monitors of each class the task of showing up 10-15 minutes early, getting the key for the multi-media equipment, turning it on and making sure everything works, before I get there. If something's broken, they know where to go to get it fixed.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

7969 wrote:
Non Sequitur wrote:
There is nothing so off-putting as to arrive in class with something to throw up on the screen and find the projector isn't working, or the projector is away for repairs or you've been assigned a new classroom because of exams or suchlike

I agree with you on this, and it has happened to me that stuff doesn't work or breaks. Such is the case when multiple people use the same equipment and don't report problems to be fixed so as to help the next person. At the beginning of the term I assign the monitors of each class the task of showing up 10-15 minutes early, getting the key for the multi-media equipment, turning it on and making sure everything works, before I get there. If something's broken, they know where to go to get it fixed.


Hell you're well organised Very Happy
That said the classroom supervisors in all buildings I teach in, will only issue the technology cabinet key to me when I sign in for the class.
I should add that the ceiling projector is is in a steel mesh cage so there's clearly a history there.
Like so much in China, I just cut through the knot and deliver as best I can for my students.
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 968

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take my laptop to classes if I need to play a CD recording from the text book the students use. My classroom has no technology installed. I'm lucky if I get coloured chalk.

I've spoken about this before on these boards, but the Chinese teachers have audio/visual equipment in their rooms. Projectors, speakers, computers etc. But for us foreign teachers... here's your blackboard and chalk that disintegrates into a cloud of dust as soon as it touches the board.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CD!! - well everything's up-to-date in KC.
I recall in my first job (2004) the sound accompanying the book was a cassette tape.
After abortive attempts to stop and start at the right place I abandoned the wretched thing.
They don't stop on a dime like CDs.
Got a rocket from the Chinese jerk FAO as I made his book purchase look cheap.
I left soon after.
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5682
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shroob wrote:
I've spoken about this before on these boards, but the Chinese teachers have audio/visual equipment in their rooms. Projectors, speakers, computers etc. But for us foreign teachers... here's your blackboard and chalk that disintegrates into a cloud of dust as soon as it touches the board.

I had an OHP my first year. It got the job done but was a hassle making and replacing slides all the time. Before my second year started I asked if I could have my classes in a multi-media room. All my classes since that day have been in multi-media rooms. A lot of people probably never ask, assuming rejection, therefore never get this equipment.
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 968

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

7969 wrote:
Shroob wrote:
I've spoken about this before on these boards, but the Chinese teachers have audio/visual equipment in their rooms. Projectors, speakers, computers etc. But for us foreign teachers... here's your blackboard and chalk that disintegrates into a cloud of dust as soon as it touches the board.

I had an OHP my first year. It got the job done but was a hassle making and replacing slides all the time. Before my second year started I asked if I could have my classes in a multi-media room. All my classes since that day have been in multi-media rooms. A lot of people probably never ask, assuming rejection, therefore never get this equipment.


Oh, believe me I've begged for multimedia rooms. I've even tried to get class monitors to sneak me the keys to the rooms. What's really infuriating is walking past a multimedia room that's empty on the way to my classes.
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it'snotmyfault



Joined: 14 May 2012
Posts: 527

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shroob wrote:
7969 wrote:
Shroob wrote:
I've spoken about this before on these boards, but the Chinese teachers have audio/visual equipment in their rooms. Projectors, speakers, computers etc. But for us foreign teachers... here's your blackboard and chalk that disintegrates into a cloud of dust as soon as it touches the board.

I had an OHP my first year. It got the job done but was a hassle making and replacing slides all the time. Before my second year started I asked if I could have my classes in a multi-media room. All my classes since that day have been in multi-media rooms. A lot of people probably never ask, assuming rejection, therefore never get this equipment.


Oh, believe me I've begged for multimedia rooms. I've even tried to get class monitors to sneak me the keys to the rooms. What's really infuriating is walking past a multimedia room that's empty on the way to my classes.


Maybe they've had previous teachers sticking movies on in every class!

You could be paying for the sins of Brad from Arkansas or Kenneth from Nigeria
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do use my laptop in class, perhaps 3 times a week?

I teach small classes and so CAN use a laptop. If you are taking a university job with 30 students in a class you can probably rule out the laptop for the simple reason that its too small for so many students to easily see, and if you intend using sound, a laptops volume isnt normally good enough to fill a large classroom.

Ive never really had access to school multi-media. And as already mentioned it can be problematic with things not working etc. My laptop tends to supplement my lesson, so if I had no power (for example), I could still teach my lesson.

I tend to use it mainly for photo slideshows, which I use to set up classes or elicit vocabulary etc. I probably never use DVDs though, and whilst I like to have a DVD drive, I probably wouldnt pay a premium for a blueray drive.

I also use it for playing audio, but not all the time. Its easier to download a music file to my phone and play that through a small speaker.

A laptop is quite a decent tool for travelling and teaching I think. Having access to materials is great and I have all my teaching plans and material filed away on my hard-drive. With the price of entry level laptops now you can buy something for around 250 which will do the job.
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Kysorb



Joined: 30 Jul 2010
Posts: 251
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the classrooms I teach in are connected to a LAN with a central hard drive with all the teachers files. The computers are hooked up to either a 42" TV or Projector depending on the classroom size...

Any elementary public school i have pretty much has the same options but i just use my USB for my files
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mw182006



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like it just depends where I end up...thanks for the feedback. I'll probably go the ultrabook route and rely on other formats/connections if it comes down to it.
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Banner41



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 500
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There really is not a huge need for optical CD/CD-ROM for a travelling laptop anymore. You can pretty much USB/Cloud everything (at a small fee if you are legal about it). My Fiancee just got a little net book from a pawn shop when we were in the US over the break for like 80 bucks. Most Chinese classrooms still use old A/V cable connections and USB. She didn't want to carry a heavy laptop to class and if anything happened to it it was still just 80 bucks. Chrome books seem good just for internet using and movie watching but I wouldn't invest in anything good just for school use because: 1. They tend to pick up viruses from swapping in and out a bunch of usb sticks and 2. If anything happened to it, the school isn't going to reimburse you if anything happens to it. It does make class life a bit easier if you just don't use it to just pop in movies Rolling Eyes .
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