Pool Video Switch (PVS)

The Pool Video Switch (often abbreviated to PVS) works analogously to hardware solutions that many lecturers from training environments should know. It is a tool that provides the functionality of a hardware video switcher by electronic means. The system consists of a control console and the clients running on the instructor and student machines. The basis for both is a bwLehrpool client; Information on possible hardware can be found here.

As a lecturer, you have the opportunity to:

  • Specifically define a computer as a tutor and subsequently
    • Transfer the Tutor screen to all other screens
    • Transfer the Tutor screen to a single other screen
    • Transfer a single student screen to the Tutor screen
    • Transfer a single student screen to the Tutor screen and black out all other screens
  • Black out all screens, except the Tutor screen

Students must explicitly connect to the PVS Manager (or set the appropriate tick to automatically connect to vmChooser) and will then be notified of the connection status at all times via a control bar at the top of the screen, e.g. if their screen is source or destination of a broadcast. Participation can be stopped at any time and resumed later. Further information on the PVS client can be found later in this page (PVS Client).
The lecturer sees a scaled down image and the username of each connected client on the control panel. Unconnected clients are displayed as a static icon (see the next section The PVS Management Console).

In order to use the PVS optimally, it is advisable to set up two bwLehrpool clients at the lecturer's workstation. The first client acts as a workstation and presentation source for the projector. The second client is ideally connected to a touch screen and serves only as a PVS control console. For further information or application scenarios you are welcome to contact us at any time.

PVS Introduction

In just 4 minutes we'll show you how the PVS works. Below you can read about the individual functionality again at your own pace.

The PVS Management Console

PVS Management Console (left)

To start the control panel, log in to a bwLehrpool client, go to the “Natives Linux” tab and select “PVS Steuerkonsole”. Selected client computers can also be explicitly set up as PVS managers so that they start the control console directly without having to log in first. If necessary, ask your data center to take over the setup for you and refer to the wiki page Satellite Server Room Planner.

Start Screen

After being switched on, the computer provided with a touch screen automatically boots the PVS. Depending on the room, the corresponding distribution of workplaces in rows of tables or islands is displayed.
PVS Manager start screen: Example room -113, RZ FR. Student computer not logged in.

Control menu

The control menu is located on the left side of the screen. A brief description of the function appears when hovering the pointer over an icon. A help menu can be displayed by tapping the help icon. Help Control Menu

Selection of Tutor

A computer can be designated as a “Tutor”, i.e. as the video coordinator. Although this is normally the computer at the lecturer's place, it does not have to be. In order to define the Tutor computer, you must tap on the frame of one of the connected computers (a blue outline will be drawn around the selected frame) and then press the button “Ausgewählten Rechner als Tutor festle­gen”
The computer specified as Tutor always has a green frame.

Controlling the Connected Computers

Please pay attention to the respective status symbols in the upper right corner of the computer frame:

  • No icon: participation in the system without currently being the source or target of a projection
  • Lock icon: locked screen,
  • Camera icon: source of a projection,
  • Eye symbol: target of a projection.

Blocking All Connected Students

The button “Sperrung aller verbundenen Stu­die­ren­den” will black out all screens of the connected students. This blocking does not affect the Tutor's computer. With an identical Tutor and lecturer computer, a distraction-free projection can be achieved or unrelated activities can be prevented. Blacking out all connected students

Projecting Tutor to All Connected Students

The button “Projektion von Tutor an alle verbun­denen Studenten” can be useful, especially when it comes to display images that project poorly. Attention: Take note of the camera and eye symbols. Projecting Tutor to all connected students

Projection of the tutor to selected students

For example, the “Projektion Tutor an ausgewählten Studie­ren­den” button can be used for one-to-one tutoring or to go in depth on a topic with individual students. Note: As always, teacher and Tutor computers do not have to be identical! Projection of the tutor to selected students

Projection of a Selected Student to Tutor

Of course, the “Projektion Studierender an Tutor” button is useful for working one-on-one with a student, but can also serve to send the screen output of a student to the projector, if Tutor's computer and lecturer's computer are identical. Note: Pay attention to the interchanging of the camera and eye symbols compared to the example above Projection of the tutor to selected students Projection of a selected student to Tutor

Projection of Selected Students to Tutor, Others Locked

The main use of this option is to display the screen of a student as a demonstration or example problem solution to the lecturer's computer and thus to the projector while removing distractions.

Reset previous projector source and locks (Reset)

The “Reset” button provides a quick and easy way to override projection sources and locks - especially handy in case of an erroneous projection selection.

Note: The Tutor status of a computer will not be canceled.

Selection of Room Configuration

Normally, the automatic configuration of the PVS system presets both room selection and table layout. However, if this has not been done correctly or if you wish to arrange another room for other reasons, a window can be opened for later selection.

Exit Option for Students

For reasons of data protection, the students' consent to participate in the PVS system is required (see chapter 2 on the PVS client). Students or course participants also have the opportunity to opt out of the PVS system. The lecturer recognizes this by changing the affected computer icon to its original, disconnected state (see Figure 1, PVS Manager Home screen).

The PVS Client

Starting the PVS Client

An indispensable prerequisite for the start of the PVS on the part of the client is the consent of the student for data protection reasons. Students must therefore give their consent by selecting the box located at the bottom right of the selection screen of the bwLehrpool system. The PVS client is then started automatically.

Alternatively, the session can be joined anytime later via the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Working with the PVS Client

The PVS client should minimally impact the normal use of the pool systems. It was therefore set up so that it is as unobtrusive as possible during normal operation.

Status Area of the PVS Client

The status area of the PVS client appears when the mouse hits the middle of the upper edge of the screen. The drop-down menu can be reached by tapping the menu button.

Pop-up Menu of the PVS Client

The basic control of the PVS client is done via the pop-up menu. The following options are available:

  • “Set session ID”: If the PVS client does not connect automatically or if you want to connect to another PVS manager, the appropriate session ID can be entered here. This number will be communicated by the teacher.
  • “Was ist das hier?“: Short description of the PVS client.
  • Beenden: Ends the PVS client and exits the PVS session. Attention: The exit from the session is visible to the PVS manager (Tutor)!

PVS Client Status Indicators

Basic Status When Participating

After logging in to the PVS system, you will receive a simple “online” status message without any further symbols. This is the basic state of the system: your screen will not be recorded and forwarded to other workstations, and you will not receive any other participants' displays

Local Source Status

When another person's screen content is sent to your workstation, you will see the status indicator “Online” along with a blinking eye icon. Although you will probably notice even without a status message that your screen is displaying another person's screen, you can activate the status message to make sure.

Local Streaming Status

When your screen is submitted to one or more other computers, you will see the red highlighted status indicator “Streaming” along with a camera icon.