Student workspace setup
- Basic computer and network technical specs
- Configuring for Online, In-Class and Hybrid learning
- Headsets and peripherals
- Screen/Window setup for using iSee along with other applications
- Assessing student support needs
- Supervisor training
- Supervision environment
Building digital literacy
- Assessing student digital literacy
- Building iSee competancy
- Licence approach
- Social activity integrated approach
- Lesson activity integrated approach
- Digital literacy and cyber safety
- Combining iSee with wider digital literacy
Student workplace setup
Basic computer and network technical specs
Students currently require a desktop or laptop running either Microsoft Windows (not Windows S) or MacOS (a browser version is in development for other devices).
You can find the minimum and recommended device specifications here, but in general any laptop or desktop should suffice provided it has a processor with 4 or more cores.
Lower powered Celleron or Pentuim devices will run iSee, but performance will suffer and so they should be avoided if possible - especially when the intention is to use web browsers or other applications in conjuction with iSee. For advice on using iSee with low powered devices see this FAQ.
Students will also require an adequate network connection that does not block iSee traffic. iSee will run well on typical home broadband and 4G data networks and is also configured to run on satelite connections.
For some schools on poor network connections that want to run several students at once on the same connection it may be necessary to check the avilable bandwidth - iSee requires about 0.5MB/s of upload and 1.5MB/S of download per device connected to the network. If there is less bandwidth than this avilable iSee may still function but loading times for content will be longer and video playback may not be smooth or possible. For advice on using iSee with low bandwidth avilability see the FAQ.
Configuring for Online, In-Class and Hybrid learning
iSee can be used successfully in a range of physical student and teacher arrnagements. There are some things you can do to optimise the iSee experience for your students in each of these configurations.
Using iSee for online learning brings a number of advantages including better student engagement, student relationships and wellbeing, as well as the easier implementation of a wide range of active learning pedagogies for improved learning and achievement.
Online learning works best with one device per student and multiple screens if possible. This is so that it's easy to combine working in 3rd party applications such as office 365 or google classroom with the easy and flexible communication with each other in iSee.
Using iSee for a fun and engaging digital activity in face to face class and can be a great way to boost student engagement or break down the conceptual confines of the classroom without needing to leave it.
In-Class learning with iSee means that lots of students will be using iSee on the same network and in close proximity to each other.
You will need to ensure that both the school network and the local wifi connection can handle the number of symultaneous users in your class - this might mean pairing up students on a device. In general there needs to be enough network bandwidth for 1.5MB/s donwload and 0.MB/s upload per device connected to the network.
For students in the same classroom there is also the issue of audio feeback. In this case it is usually better for eneryone to mute their microphones and just talk to each other in the physical space rather than through iSee.
Hybrid learning is an increasingly popular way to use iSee. Hybrid learning can be used to add remote students to an existing face to face class or to have a remote teacher deliver to one or more a face to face classes. iSee is interesting in the context as it enables a much higher level of peer to peer engagement and active learning pedagogies than using conventional video conferencing.
Using iSee for Hybrid learning requires similar considerations to In-Class use of iSee. Where there are multiple participants in any one location they will need to ensure they have adequate bandwidth available and mute each other locally to prevent feedback. In this instance muting is handled differently as simply muting everyone's microphone prevents conversations with remote participants. Instead the 'mute for me' function should be used, where participants keep their microphone active but selectively mute the audio feeds from others that are in the same room as them. That way they talk to remote participants via iSee and to local participants in the physical space.
In the Hybrid context it is possible to run in a 'free collaboration' arrangement where any student in the physical or remote location can flexibly work with each other, or in a more structured 'station' arrangement where students in a physical space may gather round device stations to interact with each other and remote participants.
Headsets and peripherals
As iSee is an active environment with a lot of peer to peer interaction, the recommended approach for online and hybrid use is for participants to keep their microphones on continuously and instead use a headset to help manage background noise and feedback. The use of a headset is recommended with iSee for two main reasons:
- The headset microphone is usually much better at isolating the speakers voice from background noise than the array microphone built into laptops and webcams.
- The sound from the iSee environment is in stereo, so the stereo headphones help to orient the user in the iSee space and helps prevent feedback.
When choosing a headset use either a wired headset (USB or 3.5mm audio) or 2.4GHz wireless that uses a USB dongle. Note that bluetooth headsets are not recommended and typically don't have enough audio chanels to support stereo sound.
It's possible to use iSee with keyboard controls and a track pad, but users typically benefit from the easier use provided by a computer mouse with scroll wheel when available.
Pen or Touch Screen
iSee boards include an annotation layer function that can be used as a whiteboard or to write notes or draw images and diagrams over any other type of content. While it is possible to do this with a mouse or track pad, writing and drawing is much easier and more accurate with a pen and digitiser, on screen pen or simply finger on a touch screen. If using a pen and digitiser make sure that it is properly mapped to the iSee screen or window for best and most intuitive performance.
Note that you can write on boards in iSee when they are in both 3D and 2D viewing modes. Putting the board in 2D viewing mode and maximising it to full screen gives the most real estate for accurate drawings.
iSee brings real presence into the shared virtual space via the use of cameras. While it isn't typical for students to need additional cameras, they can make use of them if avilable to help share live real world content. This could be the use of an additional webcam/document camera to show an experiment or document, or a low cost USB microscope for use in STEM or other classes.
To use these cameras they simply need to be plugged in via the USB port on the students computer and selected in iSee when needed from the camera pulldown menu. The camera image will then replace the students video on their video tile and can be projected onto a board for presentations to the class if desired.
Screen/Window setup for using See along with other applications
Window setup options for use with a single screen
If iSee is being used in conjunction with other applications on a single screen devices like a laptop, there are some advantages to arranging the windows so that the iSee window is arranged in an ultra wide window at the top of the screen. This will ensure that there is good eye alignment with the laptop camera and give a wider field of view in the iSee environment. Other applications can be used in the space below as in the example screen image.
Setup with multiple screens
For the best content collaboration experience in 3rd party apps while using iSee there are benefits to using more than one screen.
There are two key considerations when arranging the screens. The first is eye alignment with the webcam, the second is screen sharing.
For best eye alignment with the camera it's best to run iSee on the monitor that is in line with your webcam - for laptops with an external screen attached this will mean running iSee on your laptop screen.
For screen sharing, iSee shares the image on the primary monitor. This means that if possible you will want to run iSee on the secondary monitor so that you can share content from the primay screen. If you are working on a laptop with and external monitor attached this may mean setting your external monitor as the primary monitor while using iSee.
In the example below, iSee has been launched on the laptop screen for best eye alignment with the camera, while the connected monitor has been set as the primary monitor and oriented vertically so that three different applications can be kept open for collaboration and sharing simultainiously.
Hybrid teaching with multiple screens