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FAQ

What is the estimated cost of a one-classroom deployment?

Cost can vary widely, but the following lists provide an estimate based on approximate current equipment prices (amounts are shown is US dollars):

  • Computer: $300.00

  • Mouse: $15.00

  • Wireless mouse: $30

Optional equipment (depending on your classroom seating configuration):

  • Projector: $600.00

  • Hubs: $10.00

  • Cables: $40.00

  • Power strips: $20.00

Thus, for a classroom of 30 students that are using eight computers (with approximately four students sharing a computer), the total estimate could be approximately $4,300.00, compared to about $13,000.00 for a one-computer-per-student scenario.

How many students are supported in one classroom?

With non-projector applications, there should be a maximum of four students per computer. By allowing more than four students, the students who are furthest from the monitor may not be able to take full advantage of the learning benefits that MultiPoint Mouse can offer because they may have difficulty seeing the monitor.

With projector-based applications, scenarios that include up to 30 students have been tested; however, the number of supported mouse devices depends on your combination of graphics hardware and operating system. If you have over 40 students in a classroom, each pair of students should share one mouse.

Additionally, depending on the size of the projector screen, you might want to limit the number of simultaneous students, as too many icons on the screen can disrupt the learning process.

As a teacher, do I have to change my classroom seating arrangement?

This depends on how the classroom is set up: in a lab configuration or a projector configuration. In a lab configuration, the MultiPoint Mouse application runs on multiple computers, each being shared by two to four students. Each computer can have two to four USB mouse devices attached to it.

In a projector configuration, one computer (the host computer) is generally connected to a projector, which displays a large, public screen. All student mouse devices are connected to the host computer by a series of USB hubs. The teacher controls the host computer.

The following photographs show a classroom in Thailand that is set up to use a MultiPoint Mouse environment in a projector configuration. In the first photograph, cables are shown between a host computer and USB hubs.

Cables

The next photograph shows a USB hub attached to a table:

Hub

The following illustration shows one possible classroom layout that incorporates a projector as the display device, three USB hubs, and both wired and wireless mice. This layout supports 12 students, but could be expanded to accommodate more students:

A classroom layout for Mouse Mischief

 

1

Teacher’s desk that includes the computer, a keyboard, a mouse, and if it is possible, a monitor

2

Projector that projects the computer screen onto a screen or a clean wall. The projector can be connected directly to the computer by a cable, or controlled wirelessly

3

Projected image of the multiple-mouse presentation

4

USB hubs

5

Wired student mice

6

Wireless student mice

In a lab classroom configuration, can the teacher control all the computers?

This is possible if the application created by using the MultiPoint Mouse SDK is programmed to provide such network functionality. However, in a typical scenario, each application will run separately from computer to computer and will be controlled by the students.

Can multiple mouse devices be used with existing educational and Windows applications, such as Microsoft Paint?

No. Applications created by using the MultiPoint Mouse SDK are built on a special software platform that enables multiple mouse devices, each with its own pointer, to run on one computer. Programs such as Paint (and other existing educational applications) do not use this platform, and so do not support multiple mouse devices.

For some existing educational applications, developers can re-write the application to support multiple mouse devices. However, this can be an expensive venture.

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