Will teach code. Need your help with setting up monitors for the classroom

I need some advice on using dual monitor setup presentations on a Windows 10 machine.

I am going to teach a short course on basic Web programming in a while. In class I will be facing the students with my laptop in front of me. Behind me there will be a massive monitor that will display to the students. Below is what I have in mind.

My View
Firefox for code examples, stack overflow et.c
Lesson plan
Atom editor
Chrome for displaying output

Student view
Atom editor
Chrome for displaying output

In the Window 10 screen setting I have only found two modes; extended display or duplicate display.

An extended display stretches across dual monitors. This is only useful if both screens are just for my eyes. But in my case anything on the big monitor would be hidden from my view. I’d have to turn around to see my code.

The other options is duplicate screen which will display everything without exceptions to the students. I don’t want them to see the lesson plan and class notes.

What I look like is pretty much the same functionality as when you share your screen with someone else. You choose to share one or two apps but you keep Outlook and Skype hidden for example. A selective duplicate desktop.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Why not connect a 3rd monitor to your laptop using a USB video adapter.

Then duplicate your laptop monitor and the projector/TV. Show your code and work on this monitor.
On the 3rd monitor (via the USB video adapter), use it for your notes, lesson plan, etc.

Hello @owel and thanks for your very interesting suggestion.

I understand that with this setup I would extend the same desktop across three monitors. I don’t believe the charity has this kind of adapter however. On my laptop I have a HDMI port (which the big monitor uses) and a VGA port that perhaps could connect to another monitor without using an adapter. I’ll have to do some testing on site.

The problem with this setup is more about the classrom dynamics and space. I expect the extra screen to get in the way between me and my students. The classroom is in fact a conference room and I need to be start and finish the lesson pretty quickly. The extra screen would have to be carried each time and so on. Ideally I would like to stay with just the laptop and the big monitor.

If you have an iPad or Android tablet, why not put your teacher notes on the tablet?

The monitor/TV/projector screen is a dumb device. It will only display the contents of the full screen. You can’t tell it to only display a particular program or window.

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I don’t even want my students to notice I’m following a lesson plan, let alone see it. Ideally the technology should just fade into the background. If my attention is all over the place; from typing on a laptop, to picking up a tablet and then going back to the students.I risk losing the students interest pretty quickly. That why I’d like to stick with max two monitors if possible.

The only way I can think of overcoming this, atm, is to have the material that you’re going over with the students essentially be the course plan for the day.

For an example you can watch some of the demos that Jonathan Blow has presented: Demo: Temporary Storage, Expandable Context, Placeholders

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Hi @midenfors and thanks for your suggestion.

I see how Jonathan has prepared comments in the document that he follows on his demo .That technique could work. For my lesson I will have students create their own documents in the Atom editor along with me live coding doing the same. I could use prepared documents with comments as Jonathan does, but I’d want to show things from the very beginning, how you create documents directly in Atom. The students have probably not used a code editor before.and are not familiar with code comments at all.

My question on the forum is technical in one sense, about setting up monitors, but my real concern is how to point the student’s attention in a certain direction and avoid cognitive noise. I’ve sat through t many presentations where I wasn’t sure whether to look at the presenter, the screen or elsewhere. I’m beginning to lean towards good old paper notes for my lesson plan.