Tech Help for Seminars

Want To Use Some Media for Your Seminar Presentations?

Here Are Some Technical Tips!

Jump to: Equipment  Internet Info  Help Resources

If you would like to jazz up your seminar presentation with some media (DVD or VHS videos, PowerPoint or Keynote, photos, YouTube, etc.), here are some helpful hints.

Well ahead of your presentation date, talk with your seminar coordinator about your needs. Plan to bring your stuff to the class a week or so early to make sure it will work! Most gliches can be worked out if you plan ahead!!!

Equipment in the Classrooms

Most of the CSUS classrooms we use have the equipment to play DVDs and VHS tapes and hook up your own laptop computer or tablet. These classrooms are classified as Basic Technology, Intermediate Smart Technology or Advanced Smart Technology. For the more basic ones, you use a wall panel to do these things and activate the ceiling-mounted video projector that will show your stuff to the seminar on a large wall screen. The Intermediate and Advanced classrooms have a "smart podium" with various equipment.

This CSUS site will tell you what is in each classroom. Look for Learning Space Inventory on the upper left side of the page; locate your building and classroom number. You can also see a picture of the classroom (but this could be out-of-date).

In the middle of the same page, you will find Instruction Cards that you can download with directions for operating the equipment.

You can take a look at the presentation given seminar leaders. It contains useful information regarding classroom technology.

What Computer Equipment Do I Need for the Smart Classroom?

In many classrooms, you need to bring a compatible laptop computer (PC or Apple) and appropriate cables to connect your laptop to the wall panel for the video projector:

Alternatively for sound, you could bring your own small speakers that connect to your laptop or tablet. Also, your coordinator or other seminar members might have their own cables or Apple adapters that you can use. And if you don't have a laptop, other people in your class might be able to lend theirs. Ask!

Advanced Smart Classrooms

An increasing number of the classrooms we use have advanced technology. The Library rooms used for Travel and Adventure and Mini-Seminars and classrooms classified as "Advanced Smart Classrooms," have their own built-in computers (some seminar leaders will have access codes for these). These rooms also have Document Cameras, sort of a space-age Overhead Projector. These allow you to show any printed material (maps, pictures, book pages) and even your smartphone without making transparencies.

What About Videos?

One caveat for videos: Some of the classroom video players are very simple and few classrooms have functional remotes for them. Therefore, quite often you cannot, on DVDs, do anything but play; you cannot access features or chapters. With VHS tapes, it is the same; you cannot fast-forward or go backwards. Try these out ahead of time!

How To Access the Internet on Campus

You must have a laptop, tablet or smartphone that does WiFi and a valid email address. You can get connected to the Internet for up to four hours. You must be on campus to get connected.

Open your normal Internet browser and this page should appear (on some devices, you might first have to go into your device settings for WiFi and find SacLink, the unsecure one without a lock symbol):

screenshot of CSUS SacLink Signon

Scroll down to "Guest Users" on the lower right. Click on the Access SacLink Network (Guest) link. You can then type in your personal email address and press Log In. Tip: After you do this, the browser can get stuck on the CSUS website. In the address bar at the top, type in an easy website (like This will give you up to four hours of Internet access. If you need more, log in again.

The quality of the access is sometimes a problem because of the volume of traffic. Therefore, whenever possible, you are encouraged to download the information you need for your presentation before coming to the University. For example, one way to play a YouTube video without having live Internet access during your presentation is to use the RealPlayer program (free) and download the YouTube video onto your computer. There are also Apps available for smartphones and tablets that do the same thing. Warning: YouTube videos are in many formats and RealPlayer or other downloaders or Apps might not work with all of them. Try it out well before you need it!

How About Low-Tech?

If you prefer low-tech, some classrooms might have slide projectors and overhead projectors available, but check them out well beforehand to make sure they work. If you don't see what you need, ask at the CSUS Help Desk (below), well ahead of time.

However, remember that in a classroom with a Document Camera, you can show maps, photos, pages from books and printed papers without needing an overhead projector.

HELP for Seminar Presentation Day

The CSUS Help Desk is in Room 2005 of the AIRC Building, behind (south of) the Library. The phone is 278-7337 or use the RED phone (dial 8-7337) in the classroom for help if classroom equipment is not functioning properly.

For help prior to your presentation, go to that Help Desk for checkout of VGA cables, mini-audio tables and Apple adaptors. With requests three to four days in advance, you might be able to get DVD remotes for classrooms.