Classroom Technology Troubleshooting Tips

This article is designed to provide you with quick & easy troubleshooting tips for classroom technology across each of the University of Southern Maine campuses. Each section will go over how to operate the technology, and what you can do if something doesn't appear to be operating in the way it should.

If troubleshooting fails, or you are struggling, you may contact the Media Services Department to ask for assistance. The phone number should be posted in each classroom.


Mouse & Keyboard

Most classrooms come equipped with a wireless keyboard and mouse that allows you to interact with the in-room PC.

  • Make sure that either device is switched on. Both devices have an on/off slider located on them.
    • On the keyboard, this switch is located in the upper right-hand side of the board.
    • On the mouse, this switch is located on the underside of the device.
  • If the device is still not working, it may be a case of bad batteries. Give the Media Services department a call and they can bring you new ones.



Most classrooms should have a guide on how to use the in-room PC. However, if the in-room PC is not displaying properly:

  • Make the PC is turned on. Its power button should be illuminated.
  • Try moving the mouse around. Sometimes the system will show no signal when the PC has gone into Sleep Mode.
  • Make sure that the PC is selected on the controller.



Classroom projectors are typically operated using a classroom's controller. If the projector is not displaying properly:

  • Make sure the On button is selected on the controller.
    • If this is a touch-screen controller, the device should power on with the system. If the system is on, but the projector is not, check the Display or Projector settings. Either option should be displayed on the main menu.
    • If this is a black box or wall-mounted controller, the On button should be illuminated in the top-left part of the controller.
    • Some rooms have a projector mute button, make sure this isn't selected (if red, press the mute button again to turn off).
  • Make sure the proper input is selected. Try the other inputs as well.
    • Try changing inputs, then switch back to the "proper" input.
    • Make sure device is powered on.
    • Make sure device is awake by clicking the mouse, moving the mouse, and or pressing the space bar on the keyboard.
  • Double check device connections.
    • If using an adapter, try unplugging and re-plugging the connection.
    • If using HDMI or VGA directly, try unplugging and re-plugging the connection.
  • If above steps have been followed and your device is still not displaying, give Media Services a call.


Audio / Speakers

You can use the controller in each classroom to control the volume of the room's speakers. On black box or wall-mounted controllers, there should be a dial in the bottom left corner. On touch panel controllers, there is usually an indicator and button controls on the right sidebar.

  • Can't hear sound.
    • If connected HDMI
      • Is the HDMI properly plugged in?
      • Make sure proper audio output is selected within your audio settings of your device.
    • If connected VGA
      • Is the headphone jack properly plugged in your computer?
      • Make sure proper audio output is selected within your audio settings of your device.
    • Check volume control of the device. Is it turned up all the way/muted?
    • Check the volume on the touch panel. The volume levels should be displayed on the right of the touch panel, including buttons that allow you to mute the speakers or adjust the levels to your preference.
  • Crackling sound.
    • Make sure the connection is properly seated.



Some rooms come equipped with microphones. Wireless Microphones may include LAV (also known as lapel microphones) or handheld microphones. Common wired microphones include podium or ceiling microphones.

  • Not picking up sound.
    • Is the device turned on?
      • If the device doesn't turn on, it could be a case of bad batteries. Give Media Services a call.
    • Make sure the proper audio input is selected on your device.
  • Muffled / Crackling sound when using the LAV microphone.
    • Make sure the microphone is pinned properly and is not brushing up against loose clothing.
    • Does the audio crackle when the wire is moved around? It may have been damaged. Give Media Services a call.


Document Camera

Some classrooms come equipped with a document camera. This will need to be plugged in using one of the room's VGA or HDMI inputs.

  • Not displaying image.
    • Make sure document camera is powered on.
      • If document camera is not powering on, give Media Services a call.
    • Make sure the camera option in Zoom has been started.
    • Make sure proper camera is selected Doccamera.
  • Document camera's image is blurry/ difficult to see.
    • Click the "Auto/Ok" button in the middle to focus the document camera.
    • Click the "Light" button to make sure the document camera has plenty of light.
    • Make sure the document camera isn't completely zoomed in or zoomed out by clicking the "+" and/ or "-" magnifying glass button.


Zoom & Camera Issues

If you are in a Zoom-Enabled Classroom, we have more troubleshooting tips listed in our Zoom Room article.

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Article ID: 138778
Tue 8/2/22 3:12 PM
Mon 8/8/22 9:40 AM
Applies To