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The Top Three Considerations When Selecting Robotics

The Top Three Considerations When Selecting Robotics

If your school is set to launch a robotics program, congratulations, and you’re not alone! For the foreseeable future, the educational robotics industry is expected to grow about 25 percent every year. Schools all over the world are embracing the STEM-boosting power of introducing robotics and programming concepts early.

Studies show that early STEM education can improve job prospects for students, enhance engagement and develop a range of skills, like problem solving and creativity.

There are plenty of reasons to consider robotics curriculum for your students, but there are also plenty of robotics programs to choose from. As a result, getting started is a big hurdle for many schools. We’re here to help you get over that hurdle.

If you’re still putting together a design for your robotics program, there are a few considerations to iron out. If you can answer those questions, you’ll be ready to get your students started with robots.

Question One: What Kind of Robots are Your Students Old Enough to Use?

User age and skill are primary considerations for any robotics curriculum. In fact, manufacturers develop their robot models for specific grade groups to challenge without overwhelming. Here’s a broad grouping of robot designs by age, so you know what to look for:

Physically programmable robots

For the earliest STEM users, robotics are designed for play. This means the difficult code-heavy stuff is hidden in favor of physical controls (typically big, bright buttons). Physically programmable robots are designed to look cute and colorful, favoring animal and cartoon character designs that are inviting to early learners.

There are a couple things to consider with physically programmable robots, though. For one, they aren’t appropriate for teaching the basics of coding and some of them can be pretty heavy, so make sure your choice is compatible with smaller hands.

Early software-based robots

For students in their early elementary years, there are robots that combine the cute, colorful, playful nature of physically programmable robots and software-based coding. These robots are the gateway into true robotics programming and typically deliver their software-first approach in a game-like package.

Computer-programmable robots

By the time students get to their late elementary and middle school years, they’re ready to jump into software coding entirely. Computer-programmable robots aren’t as cute or colorful, but they’re smaller, easier to store and come with additional functionality. They also require fine motor skills to handle appropriately, but this is where the real robotics projects can begin.

Robot building kits

In high school, students are ready to build and program robots from scratch. A robot building kit can help those students ramp up their programming skills and stretch their problem-solving abilities. In particular, robot building kits challenge students to reconcile the software-hardware boundary, as they will see how their coding alters their custom robot’s behavior.

Question Two: What is the Goal of Your School’s Robotics Curriculum?

Your curriculum goals will largely be determined by student age, but there’s still room to be flexible. Robotics can be incorporated into a variety of educational applications, including:

Structured, lesson-based programs

You can teach robotics in a traditional lecture format where one lesson follows another. This is most effective if you have a teacher who can deliver robotics concepts in an engaging way.

Self-guided lesson programs

Some schools elect for self-guided lessons instead. When it’s time to for robotics, students can pick from a collection of robotics lessons and pursue them individually or in groups. The benefit of self-guided lessons is that it allows students to pursue robotics at their own pace and remain engaged.

Open robotics lab for experimentation

If your robotics lab is focused on the creative side, consider opting for an open robotics lab. With an open lab, students can come and go when they have time to do so. With this approach, interested students can pursue longer-term projects and remain engaged when not in class.

Question Three: What Kind of Space Will Be Dedicated for Your Robotics Program?

While robotics can be taught in a traditional classroom, there are benefits to designating a space just for robot learning. After all, robotics can be messy and chaotic, and containing all of that creative energy facilitates better making.

Given the added space demands associated with robots, we recommend carving out an under-utilized space in your school and dedicating it to robotics. In other words, establish a makerspace for your students.

Makerspaces are another emerging trend in K-12 education, and they don’t have to focus solely on robotics. Makerspaces are designed to inspire and facilitate many forms of creation, so it’s here where you’ll often see the intersection between STEM and art.

Makerspaces are at their best when they’re organized for better creation and organization. To do that, here’s a few additions to consider:

STEM storage and charging equipment

Once the robotic fun is over, there’s typically a mess to pick up. With STEM storage and charging equipment, it’s easy to manage your class materials and ensure they are only accessible when needed. Some storage equipment can also charge robotics modules while they aren’t in use.

Interactive display technology

Interactive displays are especially helpful if you’re using traditional lesson formats to teach robotics. With an interactive display, instructors can deliver lesson content in a visual format that allows for easy annotating and brainstorming. In short, an interactive display can be a visual idea generator for students.

3D printers

3D printers open up an entire world of from-scratch creation, but they’re designed for older students. In robotics classes, 3D printers can be used to fabricate various components and can allow students to do some rapid prototyping.

Modular furniture and seating

There’s usually a lot of movement going on inside makerspaces, so investing in bulky, heavy seating is probably not a good idea. Instead, consider lightweight, modular furniture that can be moved around and connected for better collaboration between students.

Your Certified AV Integrator Can Help Select the Right Robot and Supporting Technologies for Your Students

Setting up robotics curriculum is challenging but an exciting challenge to tackle. There are real benefits to introducing students to robots and programming, but how they’re introduced is essential.

That’s why you’ll need the right robots and supporting technologies to launch your STEM curriculum. And that’s where a certified AV integrator familiar with all leading educational robot solutions can help.

How to Choose a Reputable AV Integrator

How to Choose a Reputable AV Integrator

There’s room for an AV system in every organization, but AV is one of those things that companies can have trouble getting started with. That’s why the typical business turns to a reputable AV integrator to install and support their AV projects.

The integration process is complex and requires expertise and commitment to the job. That means the challenge for your company is finding a reputable integrator to work with. Here, we’ve outlined what to look for in an AV integrator, so you can get the most from your AV solutions.

Certification with AV Technology and Design is a Must

No matter the industry, certification is a proven way to boost standards and skills. That’s also true of the AV industry, where there are plenty of certification tracks to choose from. Ideally, organizations should choose an AV partner with a wide range of certifications, and here’s why:

  • Integrators handle a staggering amount of audio and video technology – Reputable AV integrators must be familiar with a huge variety of AV products. That includes major solutions like video conferencing, wireless presentation systems, digital signage, interactive displays, and audio enhancement solutions. It also includes emerging solutions like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
    There’s a lot of knowledge to keep up on, clearly, and certification can help AV professionals do just that.
  • Certification demonstrates a commitment to success – Certification takes work to attain and maintain. There are also many certification options out there, so it takes even more work for a professional to round out their skills through education. This education is vital for job performance, and it indicates a desire to do the job properly.
  • Certified integrators can handle a full range of AV services – It’s very common for organizations to expand on their AV goals once an initial solution is in place. That’s the power of effective AV. However, even if you have your needs mapped out, an integrator will be able to adapt when those needs inevitably change.

What Certification Tracks are Available to AV Integrators?

Among AV professionals, there is no shortage of certification tracks to choose from. However, the most popular and reputable certification programs are produced and delivered by the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA). A couple of AVIXA’s standout certification offerings include:

  • Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) – AVIXA’s CTS certification is a leading option for AV integrators, offering a strong collection of fundamental AV concepts. This includes the basics of audio and video, along with proper system design, installation, and networking. With CTS certification, AV technicians can develop and further their careers in many directions.
  • CTS-I and CTS-D certification – Two of those directions include AV system installation and design. For technicians interested in installation, there’s the CTS-I certification track, which focuses on proper installation processes and practices. For design-minded professionals, there’s the CTS-D track, which teaches students the techniques involved in visualizing and crafting an effective AV solution.
  • Vendor-specific certifications – In addition to AVIXA’s certification options, there are many additional vendor-specific tracks. Certification in these tracks can help technicians specialize with certain products, like those offered by Poly or Crestron. Many organizations have one or more preferred AV brands, and it’s better for those organizations to work with technicians certified in those brands’ products.

Experience with Organizations Like Yours is also Important

Certification is one of the ways that integrators can demonstrate their experience, but it’s always a good idea to consider that experience in depth.

For example, you’ll want an integrator who has worked with partners similar to your organization. Why? Every company’s AV needs are different, but if your integrator has helped similar companies succeed in the past, then they will have a better idea of what you’ll need from the start.

Reputable integrators know that AV solutions are a big investment, so they’re ready to provide examples of their work and references so you can connect with previous clients. This can provide an idea of what to expect from the integrator and whether their work is sound.

AV Systems Require Ongoing Maintenance Following Installation. Will Your Integrator Provide It?

To extract maximum value from your AV solution, ongoing maintenance is highly recommended. Like with any technology, time and use will affect your system’s performance. To ensure your AV solution provides long-term productivity, an experienced integrator will offer ongoing support through a maintenance agreement. That agreement typically includes the following:

  • Responsive onsite and remote technical support – The foundation of any maintenance agreement is technical support and service. It’s common for integrators to offer this support through multiple channels, including e-mail and phone. If on-site service is needed, the integrator should be able to provide it during business hours, though some maintenance agreements come with 24/7/365 support.
  • Preventative maintenance – Preventative maintenance spots emerging system issues before they cause downtime. During a preventative maintenance appointment, the technician will arrive onsite and inspect any equipment covered by the agreement. If there are any performance issues, they can be handled quickly.
  • Assistance with warranties and shipping – Sometimes, hardware needs to be sent in for repair or replacement. There may be warranty-related concerns to consider during the process, too. It’s practically impossible for organizations to keep up with details like equipment warranty status unless the task is delegated to someone specifically.
    As part of a maintenance agreement, this task can be delegated to the integrator. Further, the integrator will handle and oversee all shipping between the client and the manufacturer.
  • Additional training – Training is a standard part of the integration package, but the occasional refresh or skill expansion is nice to have. As part of a maintenance agreement, the integrator will frequently offer additional training to keep user skills up to date.

Ready to Launch Your AV Project? Our Team is Ready to Partner With Your Team

If it seems like there’s a lot to check before partnering with an AV integrator, there’s a good reason for that. The quality of your AV system design and installation will determine how effective the solution is, and if your organization is committing to AV, then it makes sense to secure the best AV installer and designer available.

Choose a reputable AV integrator that has provided services to a range of commercial and educational clients for decades. It’s important to work with technicians that have attained dozens of certifications and apply best practices and standards to their client’s projects.

Six Must Haves For The Best Video Conferencing Experience

Six Must Haves For The Best Video Conferencing Experience

The modern professional spends a lot of time in video conferences. According to a survey of nearly 2,000 professionals, about half are in video conferences for at least four hours every week.

Clearly, a lot of organizations prioritize video conferencing solutions. The question is: Are those organizations getting the most out of their conferencing technology? There are several solutions that can enhance the conferencing experience, and we’ve got six of them here. They include:

  • Wireless presentation systems
  • Interactive flat panels
  • Concealed microphones
  • AV room controls
  • Better cable management and connectivity
  • Room scheduling solutions

Together, these solutions can help your organization produce the best conferencing experience.

Wireless Presentation Systems: Run Meetings From Your Own Device

Some of the leading wireless presentation systems include the Barco ClickShare, Crestron AirMedia, Mersive Solstice and the ScreenBeam.

All four allow professionals to start in-room meetings using the space’s conferencing hardware. To do this, users first connect their own device to the room’s technology. This is done wirelessly and is guided by on-screen prompts delivered by the room’s display. The connection process is simple and can be done with either a temporary code or with a dongle.

Once connected, the meeting’s presenter can control the room’s conferencing technology, audio levels, lighting, climate settings – anything that can be controlled by the room’s control hardware can also be managed from the user’s own device. In addition, users can quickly push content to the room’s display from their own device, making for quick and engaging presentations.

Interactive Flat Panels: Meet, Engage and Collaborate Better

Interactive flat panels add a tactile dimension to meetings and give users additional presentation and collaboration tools. Popular interactive flat panels include the Clevertouch, ActivPanel and ThinkHub, and all three are designed to facilitate better meetings.

Interactive flat panels are useful for video conferencing, remote collaboration, and in-person collaboration that doesn’t involve remote participants. During a conference, the meeting’s presenter can open up a whiteboarding session that everyone, in-person and remote, can see and follow along with. Whiteboarding with an interactive flat panel makes it easy for teams to brainstorm visually and bring in media for inspiration. When the meeting is over, hit a button and the whiteboard is saved for future reference.

Interactive flat panels are plenty effective for standard, non-collaborative meetings as well. That’s because the meeting’s presenter can focus their eyes and ears on the audience while using their hands to navigate through the presentation. This is a better approach in keeping everyone engaged in the meeting.

Concealed Microphones: Maximum Audio Quality, Minimal Visual Profile

Poor audio is one of the most common video conferencing problems, and it can completely undermine meeting productivity.

To prevent this, AV integrators outfit conferencing rooms with quality microphones that can capture audio clearly and at a distance. The issue with a lot of microphones, though, is the tabletop space they take up. Some teams would rather have that space to work with.

Fortunately, there are high quality microphones that won’t take up precious tabletop real estate. – The new ceiling microphones from Shure and Biamp are a great way to cover the audio in the room without having table top mics. Another option are boundary microphones, which can be mounted flush with the conference table or even integrated inside of it.

AV Room Controls: Take Full Control Of The Conferencing Experience

A single conference room may consist of several technologies. There’s the conferencing hardware itself, along with audio, lighting, climate control and other systems. To get the best video conferencing experience possible, all of these systems need to work with each other. It doesn’t matter if your video conferencing system captures crystal clear video if the room’s lights are too dark to see.

To keep the room’s technologies from fighting each other, many organizations invest in AV room controls. Touchscreen displays are a popular control surface choice, allowing users to easily launch a call, set optimal lighting and audio values, and configure the room’s temperature for maximum comfort. Every user can be assigned with certain permissions, too, so they only have as much control as they need.

Cable Management And Connectivity Solutions: Get Rid Of The Clutter

More technology could mean more cables and more connectivity confusion, but it doesn’t have to. Wireless connectivity is always an option, and there are others. For instance, conferencing room furniture can be built with integrated connectors. This provides a perfect combination of connection stability and minimal clutter.

It’s hard to ditch the cables completely in some conference rooms, though. In those spaces, a low-profile raceway is a good option. Low-profile raceways are ADA-compliant, inexpensive, easy to place and effective, so they’re a popular quick fix for the cable clutter problem.

Room Scheduling Solutions: Optimize Your Conference Spaces

If you’re making upgrades to your video conference rooms, then they’re likely going to get a lot more use out of them. To keep your conference room traffic flowing smoothly, consider integrating a room scheduling solution.

Leading room scheduling solutions consist of hardware and software components. Room scheduling software is used to identify available conference rooms and reserve them for a meeting. Room scheduling software also makes it easy to communicate the details of the meeting with everyone involved. On the hardware side, digital displays can present the reservation status of the conference room they are paired with.

Room scheduling streamlines the process and adds accountability, ensuring your conference rooms are getting proper use.

AV Integrators Are Conference Room Upgrading Experts

If it’s time to modernize your conference rooms, it’s time to bring in an AV integrator. Certified integrators have plenty of experience in installing, configuring, and upgrading conference spaces, so they can spearhead your AV project, ensuring it’s done on time and within the budget.

An AV Integrator Can Help Your Dallas Business With Audio and Video Solutions

An AV Integrator Can Help Your Dallas Business With Audio and Video Solutions

The Dallas and Fort Worth Metroplex is bustling with high-powered corporations and busy schools. At last count, more than 20 Fortune 500 companies had their headquarters located in Dallas, and Dallas ISD schools serviced more than 140,000 students in 2021.

There are clearly a lot of organizations that could use an AV integrator’s expertise. AV integrators are experts in AV technology, products, and solutions. Specifically, they can do the following:

  • Assess your company or school’s current AV infrastructure
  • Analyze your organizational needs
  • Target potential areas of improvement
  • Select the right technology for the project
  • Design your new AV solution
  • Install and configure the hardware
  • Provide ongoing support and maintenance as needed

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into every integration project, which is why many organizations in the Dallas area work with an AV team to handle the job.

Three AV Solutions a Dallas County Integrator Can Provide to Companies

AV integrators regularly work with businesses of all sizes to help with their AV needs. And there are a lot of AV solutions tailored for the corporate world. Here’s three of the most popular:

  1. Video conferencing solutions – If there’s one AV solution that defines modern business, it’s video conferencing. Today, professionals in nearly every industry use video conferencing solutions each day to facilitate faster and more effective communications.
    Video conferencing systems have been especially important for organizations that rely on remote employees or hybrid teams. With a video conferencing solution, you can keep those teams unified.
    There are many video conferencing solutions to choose from, including popular platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Leading hardware providers like Poly and Crestron have partnered with these brands to develop superior conferencing options. There are also conferencing solutions designed for smaller spaces like huddle rooms. The Poly Studio all-in-one bar is one such example.
  2. Wireless presentation technology – Wireless presentation solutions were developed in response to the Covid pandemic, to improve cleanliness and help remote employees access conference room technology better.
    Popular wireless presentation solutions include the Barco Clickshare, Mersive Solstice and Crestron Flex. All three allow users to access AV equipment in enabled conference rooms through an app on their own device. Once connected, users can control room technology and share content from their device.
  3. Interactive displays – Interactive displays like the Clevertouch are effective in the classroom or meeting room, as they allow users to plan and execute more engaging presentations.
    Clevertouch panels are extra effective when used with video conferencing solutions, as they can be used while running a call. During the conference, remote team members can connect to the display and make their own annotations as if they were there. This allows effective visual collaboration from anywhere.

Three Examples of how a Dallas Integrator Can Help Schools With Their Education Needs

In addition to commercial clients, AV integrators partner with schools and universities to improve their AV resources. If your school wants better technology for its students and teachers, here’s three projects to consider:

  1. Interactive displays – The Clevertouch is also a good fit for the classroom, where it makes for an excellent lesson planning and delivery tool. With a Clevertouch, teachers can “wow” their students with visually engaging presentations that also provide an audio and tactile edge.
    Interactive displays can also be used to support collaboration between students. Set up a few of them in a STEM lab, for example, and your students can develop their ideas with each other using their eyes and fingers.
  2. Enhanced audio systems – A lot of classrooms are plagued with poor audio, leading to reduced engagement and retention among students. To counter this common problem, AV integrators can implement audio enhancement solutions. This could be as simple as placing a couple of speakers in the room and running a worn microphone through them. It could be as complex as setting up a school-wide audio system that’s connected to the building’s PA hardware.
  3. Digital signage and wayfindingDigital signage works everywhere, including in schools. With digital signage, you can display event schedules, competition results, or even just the occasional spirit-boosting message.
    Your schools can also use digital signage for wayfinding purposes, which can help visitors and new students easily find their way around the building. This is extra helpful for university campuses.

Your Dallas Integrator Can Also Provide Maintenance and Support Services for Your AV Systems

The AV integration job isn’t over just because installation is. A mistake some Dallas-area organizations make is neglecting system maintenance. Without that support, though, it’s only a matter of time before your people run into an issue they can’t easily solve. This is certainly true if your staff doesn’t include an AV specialist.

With an AV maintenance agreement, you can protect the equipment that’s most valuable to your operations. Here’s what you’ll get with a maintenance agreement if you sign onto one with your integrator:

  • On-demand remote technical support – The first line of support is usually remote, either over the phone or through e-mail. In both instances, an integrator will help your employees through the issue quickly, as most AV issues are a matter of configuration or user error.
  • Onsite technical support – If the problem is intractable, the integrator will dispatch a technician to the client’s facilities. There, the technician will diagnose the problem and determine what, if any, resources are needed to resolve the issue.
  • Preventative maintenance – The best offense is defense in AV, and that means preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance is offered either quarterly or monthly and involves dispatching a technician to inspect any covered equipment. While there, the technician will assess the hardware’s performance and make changes where necessary to ensure future performance. This will ensure your AV solutions remain up and productive.
  • Warranty and shipping assistance – If hardware repairs or replacement are necessary and the equipment is covered by a warranty, the integrator will help process those warranties and facilitate shipping both ways for the client.
  • Additional training – AV integrators typically provide training with their integration services, but sometimes people need the occasional refresh. With a maintenance agreement, your Dallas integrator will offer extra training sessions to help your employees reinforce learned concepts or to introduce new, productivity-enhancing features.

Need to Upgrade or Replace Your Audio Visual System? A Dallas AV Integrator Can Help

If your office or school needs an AV upgrade, a certified Dallas AV integrator is the expert to work with. A certified integrator typically has experience with educational and corporate clients, so they know what solutions work best in each professional or classroom setting.

Working with a certified AV integrator gives your organization access to a variety of AV specialists, each with their own capabilities. If you work with a certified Dallas integrator, for example, you’ll be working with designers, technicians, and project managers to see your AV initiative through from start to finish. Not only will this minimize costs and optimize system performance, it will also give your organization all of the information it needs to make the right AV-related decisions.

In short, if you’re ready to make a commitment to AV, then a Dallas AV integrator is ready to help with the right solutions.

Simply Connected Halloween Edition: Spooky AV Stories

It’s the season for scaring, so what better time to share some spooky AV integration stories from the field. There’s no ghosts or ghouls involved, but if tangled cable runs, tight crawl spaces and bailing wire-secured projectors are your idea of a frightening time, look no further!

 

A Giant Spider’s Web or a Tangled Mess of Cables? Sometimes it’s Hard to Tell The Difference 

 It’s one of the most common spooky sights that AV professionals see out in the field – a gordian knot of cables that even a family of rats wouldn’t nest in (more on rat-related mishaps later).

Proper cable running and management are underrated parts of AV integration, so it’s easy to see why installers frequently run into hair-raising cable nightmares, like cables that start and end in places unseen. Or cables snaking like spaghetti, piled on the floor and without a single cable tie in sight. And that’s just the rack room. On the other end of the run, things can get even scarier, with cables punched through makeshift holes in the drywall or running along the floor in high traffic areas.

Most of the time, poor cable management is due to an inexperienced, rushed or just plain careless installer. If you’ve never done cable management before, it’s a lot harder than it looks. For experienced installers, though, there’s nothing spooky about arranging cables neatly.

How do they do it? By using a handful of tricks like the following:

  • Planning where the cables will be routed before connecting anything.
  • Color coding and labeling cables by function and destination.
  • Bundling like cables together and securing them with ties.
  • Running the cable out of the rack’s sides so technicians can access the hardware without cables getting in the way.
  • Using cable management accessories like cable combs and bars.

In this case, the treat that comes after the tricks is a beautifully organized rack room.

They May Not Be Haunted, But Older Buildings Can Still Make an Installer’s Heart Pound 

If you’ve ever wondered why AV integrators ask so many building-related questions before starting a project, there’s a good reason for that. Even if you’ve worked in the same office building for decades, you’ve probably never crawled around in the ceiling, under the floor or behind the walls. Sound creepy? Slinking around in dark, tight spaces is just part of the job for AV installers. Hope you’re not claustrophobic.

Why do AV professionals hang out in crawl spaces? Mostly to figure out where the cable is going to be run, which is why you’ll get a lot of questions about facility access during the project’s initial planning phases.

And it’s no surprise that these old, musty spaces sometimes harbor wild animals, which are typically not happy to have visitors. We’ve heard stories, including one where a rat – it’s always rats – jumped out at a technician inspecting some hardware racks. We’re guessing those racks hadn’t been inspected in some time, giving the rat a chance to find a warm, cozy spot – perfect for staging a sneak attack. When you’re surveying crypt-like networking rooms in old buildings, it’s not uncommon to run into the occasional rodent ambush.

Every now and then, though, it’s the building itself that ambushes the installer. We’ve seen, for example, an entire drop ceiling collapse on one of our installation teams. Unsurprisingly, it was in an old school. Tasked with doing more with less, it’s often the case that school districts need to keep their old facilities around until they’re practically haunted. At least it feels that way for some AV installers.

No rats in the ceiling, though, which was a plus.

Nothing Scares an Integrator More Than “Creative” Installation Methods

For many AV integrators, what frightens them the most is their own imagination. For example, imagine what could happen if a projector was suspended from the ceiling with nothing but bailing wire. What if it fell during a class or meeting? Now that would be scary, and potentially dangerous.

Or what if your business took apart its expensive video wall – we’re talking a 3×3 here – and tried to perform maintenance on it without any in-house AV expertise, voiding the warranty in the process?

Yes, it’s terrifying to think about, but stories like these demonstrate why partnering with a certified AV integrator is so important. If those organizations had a maintenance agreement in place, they could’ve avoided the kind of mistakes that make facility managers turn white with fright. That’s why reputable AV integrators prioritize long-term maintenance contracts for their clients – it’s no trick.

How Do AV Integrators Face Their Fears? With a Detailed Needs Analysis and Site Survey 

As you can see, AV installers run into the scariest stuff during the initial phases of integration. Prior installation mishaps, extremely outdated technology, structural challenges, the occasional rodent on attack – these usually emerge before any hardware has been installed.

That’s why experienced AV integrators spend time and effort on a thorough needs analysis meeting and site survey. If there are any potential obstacles the installation team needs to know about – like a disintegrating drop ceiling – they’re discovered during the project’s planning stages. It’s during this stage that the AV team will take note of each room’s layout, size, construction, and access points, including scary crawl spaces that no one wants to go into.

That is, no one but experienced AV integrators, as they are accustomed to dealing with the spooky side of technology installation.

AV Solutions For The Courtroom

AV Solutions For The Courtroom

Every day inside courtrooms, a lot of important information is delivered through audio and video channels. Most of those courthouses are operating using outdated technology, or no technology at all.

These courts aren’t functioning with the efficiency they could, but AV solutions can help. Modern AV technology can improve the courtroom experience and with courtroom management. Even better, such solutions are easy to use and can be set up quickly with the help of a certified integrator.

There are plenty of AV solutions that are an ideal fit for courtrooms, no matter the room’s size or layout.

Virtual Arraignment Is A Convenient AV Solution For Busy Courts

There are some courtroom tasks that can be handled virtually, as long as you have the right technology in place. Virtual arraignments, for example, are becoming a popular way for courts to reduce crowding and expedite routine court tasks.

Virtual arraignments are made possible with a video conferencing setup, which includes cameras, displays, and microphones. These solutions are typically packaged with a secure means of transferring legal documents online.

With a virtual arraignment in place, the judge, defendant, and attorneys do not need to be physically present. This helps with courtroom efficiency and security, as there are fewer people to account for at the court.

Video Conferencing Can Improve the Voir Dire and Jury Selection Process

It’s critical for attorneys to select impartial jurors for their cases, and video conferencing solutions can help here as well. How?

  • Attorneys can see all potential jurors at once – An attorney may be required to voir dire more than a dozen people at once, and it’s inevitable that some of those potential jurors will be outside of the attorney’s vision during the process. That, of course, makes it more difficult to assess each person’s fitness for jury duty. With video conferencing solutions, though, attorneys can monitor the entire group’s reaction to every question at a glance.
  • Attorneys get a close-up look at every potential juror’s reaction – The quality of each person’s reaction is also different when it’s delivered virtually. In a courtroom setting, attorneys have to take in an enormous amount of information after everything they say. Some of this information, like facial expressions, may be impossible to pick up in an in-person setting, especially if potential jurors are wearing masks. Virtually, though, attorneys have a close look at everyone during the process, and it’s less likely that any of those potential jurors will have a mask on.
  • Virtually, jurors are more likely to be candid with their responses – An amazing thing happens when people aren’t forced to dress formally, commute to the courthouse and deal with security protocols. When people are allowed to handle the process from home, they’re more relaxed and, therefore, more candid with their responses. An experienced attorney can leverage this added comfort to get more thorough answers from their voir dire candidates.

What Video Solutions Can Help Courtrooms Run Better?

Not everything can be done virtually, and for in-court proceedings, better display technology is needed. Some of those solutions include:

  • Enhanced display hardware – Large, LED-powered digital displays are an effective choice wherever they go. Whether it’s the courtroom itself or in waiting areas, digital displays can be used to track court schedules and dockets. Courthouse clerks are constantly asked for the kind of information you can output to a display, so installing displays can free up your clerk staff for more important work.
  • Annotation displays – Annotation displays are installed inside courtrooms and can be used by attorneys or witnesses to make important notes during evidence presentation. Annotations can be made using a finger and saved for review later, so they’re a simple device to integrate into courtroom proceedings.
  • Evidence presentation technology – Evidence presentation can be tricky in large courtrooms, where the jury may not have a clear viewing angle. Evidence presentation solutions are an easy way around this problem.
    Evidence presentation systems are standalone units that include multiple presentation-enabled components. Some of these components include high resolution document cameras, LED lighting for enhanced visibility, a small display that outputs the camera feed, and audio enhancement.
    Consider installing small displays at the jury stand so jury members can get the best view possible of all presented exhibits. The document camera feed can be routed to these displays for detailed viewing.

Audio Is Also Important, So How Can Courts Improve Their Sound Technology?

Courtroom conversations are packed with extremely important content, so quality audio capturing and delivery technology is essential. If courtroom activities are being held back by poor audio, here are some solutions that can help:

  • Sound reinforcement systems – Audio reinforcement boosts the overall quality and volume of sound in the courtroom, and is delivered through a mix of signal processors, amplifiers, and speakers. When it comes to audio reinforcement, the trick is arranging the equipment for even sound distribution. That takes an experienced integrator to pull off properly, as acoustics are a concern in many courtrooms.
  • Assistive listening solutions – Assistive listening solutions are required in courtrooms and help people with hearing difficulties follow what’s being said. Assistive listening solutions utilize transmitters and receivers to deliver audio directly to an assistive listening device like a hearing aid.
  • Audio masking systems – Audio masking systems output unintelligible white noise, effectively creating a sound-based barrier through which audio cannot pass. In the courtroom, audio masking is effective for masking jury discussions, so jury members can deliberate comfortably and without fear of someone eavesdropping or recording audio.

AV Control Systems Are Essential For Efficient Courthouse Management

The best audio and video in the world won’t mean much if it can’t be easily managed. That’s where AV control systems can make an impact.

AV control products give courtroom deputies complete oversight regarding courtroom proceedings. With an AV control solution in place, deputies can alter audio output levels and switch between multiple sources.

AV controls are operated on the user’s end through touchscreens, typically small enough to mount on top of a desk or even integrated into courtroom furniture. Touchscreens allow for ease of use regardless of the user’s ability to handle technology.

Audio And Video Recording Ensures No Valuable Court-Related Information Is Lost

All courtroom communication must be recorded for future reference, and that communication must be recorded as accurately as possible.

Modern courtroom recording systems leverage AV technology to its fullest. For example, courtroom recording technology can capture video in 4K resolution and can capture that video from multiple cameras. During playback, users can switch between cameras to view the proceedings from a variety of angles.

Some recording platforms also allow users to tag specific parts of the video for quick reference and playback.

Room Scheduling Solutions Can Optimize How Your Courtrooms Are Used

If you’re running a busy courthouse, you may have trouble matching your room resources with your room needs. In other words, your courtrooms and conference rooms may not be optimally utilized.

Room scheduling solutions can solve this issue. With a room booking solution, courtroom deputies can reserve particular rooms for particular times, ensuring there are no issues with double-booking and no need to find a space at the last minute.

Also, courthouses can monitor the distribution of rooms and their utilization. If some rooms are frequently empty and others frequently booked, you can use room scheduling software to reallocate your room-related resources appropriately. That’s a big efficiency boost.

A Certified AV Integrator Can Design, Install And Support Your Court’s AV System

Courtrooms are one of the biggest challenges for AV integration, as courthouses tend to be older buildings with older infrastructure in place. Further, AV courtroom solutions can scale up quickly, as there are many technologies for courts to consider. It’s likely that, during integration, the AV crew will need to remove, replace, or integrate existing technologies with new ones.

Given the complexity involved, you’ll want to work with a certified AV integrator as they will be more familiar with solutions built for courtroom environments and will have the expertise needed to implement them. Also, with their advanced knowledge comes adaptability, so experienced integrators will be able to adjust to your project’s needs as they develop.

In short, with a certified integrator, your courtroom will have a full-fledged technology partner supporting your efficiency-enhancing AV projects.

AV Solutions for Keeping Education Engaging

AV Solutions for Keeping Education Engaging

For educators, the goal is to engage students because an engaged student is an enthusiastic learner. The problem is that student engagement is dropping fast, according to multiple surveys. One, published in Idaho EdNews, reported that only 46 percent of students felt engaged in their high school classrooms. That was from 2021. In 2018, that number was 65 percent.

A lot has impacted the way schools operate in the last few years, but one thing is certain – there are AV solutions that can help make the learning experience more engaging for every type of student. We’ve listed out some of our favorite solutions below.

Interactive Displays Foster a More Interesting Learning Environment

Chalkboards, dry erase boards and overhead projectors had a good run, but interactive displays are next up and have a lot to offer. Most importantly, they combine the visual impact of a modern digital display with engagement-boosting power of interactivity.

Interactive displays like the Clevertouch are designed to be instantly familiar to teachers and students, as they can be used like a smartphone or tablet. Simple touch gestures allow users to navigate through the display’s interface and utilize applications like whiteboarding.

With interactive displays, your teachers will have additional lesson planning and execution tools, so they can deliver content in a way that students will be more likely to respond. It’s a well-established fact in education that we learn better when classes combine compelling visuals with lecture, and an interactive display serves this role.

For Larger Venues, Digital Displays and Scoreboards Can Provide Excellent Signage Options

We’re used to seeing oversized digital displays in major sports and performance arenas, but they can also be scaled down for a smaller audience. An obvious application of oversized displays is for athletics, where they make excellent scoreboards and screens for replays. If you’re looking for more engagement in student athletics, a large digital display can make a big impact.

An oversized display can also make for an effective advertising platform. The extra advertising space can pay for the display itself rapidly, and then become a source of revenue for the school.

Large-format Projectors Can Also Deliver Impressive Video in a Bigger Space

Another large-format display option is a projector. Digital displays get most of the attention in AV these days, and rightfully so, but current-generation projectors can throw an extremely large image at ultra-high resolutions. They can do so economically, too, as projectors tend to be less expensive than high-end digital displays.

A large-format projector may not be ideal for athletics, but it can be used for K-12 assemblies and presentations. Leading projector manufacturers include Panasonic and EPSON, including the EPSON Powerlite and Brightlink.

PTZ Cameras and Video Streaming Technology Allow People to Watch School Events from Anywhere

The educational journey must also be engaging for parents. Engaged parents are much more likely to support students and help keep them engaged.

One way to do this is to make school events more accessible to parents who cannot attend in person. PTA meetings, board meetings and athletic events are activities that parents often have trouble finding time for, but advanced cameras and video streaming technology make it possible with even the busiest schedule. Specifically, PTZ cameras like those that Poly and Logitech offer.

A PTZ camera stands for pan-tilt-zoom and can be used to capture high quality video from any angle. Even better, quality PTZ cameras can be remotely controlled, so no one involved in the event has to focus on handling the cameras. Consider multiple PTZ cameras to create multiple viewing angles for parents to view.

Audio Enhancement Makes the Classroom Experience Better for Teachers and Students

In the drive to make learning more engaging, a lot of schools forget to address their audio technology. Poor audio, though, can be a major impediment for many students, particularly those sitting in the back. Many classrooms also suffer from excess ambient noise.

In both cases, the result is poor communication between teacher and student, resulting in worse performance and (often) poor engagement.

Audio enhancement technology can solve the many issues that frequently interfere with communication. This could be as simple as audio amplification and better-positioned speakers. It could also be the addition of white or pink noise generators that drown out hallway noise.

A popular approach is to equip the teacher with a worn microphone that they activate with a button press. The microphone is connected to in-room speakers that pipe any audio picked up by the mic. This not only produces even audio coverage throughout the room, it also saves the teacher’s voice.

Facilitate School-Wide Communication With Paging and Intercom Systems

Ideally, a teacher would never need to leave their classroom during a lesson. As soon as the educator’s gone, engagement drops, and the interruption typically results in lesson-long disruption.

To prevent such interruptions from impacting class flow, consider a paging and intercom system if your schools don’t have one in place already. Paging and intercom equipment facilitate instant communication between the school’s front office and any other room in the building. This includes classrooms, so teachers don’t have to leave their class to receive important communications.

Intercom solutions are especially popular because they allow for two-way communication. If there’s any confusion regarding a message from the front office, the teacher won’t have to sprint there for clarification.

Intercom and paging systems are also vital emergency response tools, which can be activated in response to fire, tornado, or other incidents.

Not Sure What AV Solution to Select for Your Schools? A Certified AV Integrator Can Help

As you can see, there’s an impressive variety of AV technologies to choose from. For educators who have a budget to work with, selecting the right solutions can be extremely challenging.

That’s why many districts opt to work with a certified AV integrator when considering an AV project. An integrator can provide insight into all the AV tools available to educators, and which ones would fit best into your school and students’ needs. An integrator can also design your school’s AV solutions, install them, and support them following installation. In short, an experienced AV integrator can act as your district’s technology partner, ensuring your schools are making the most out of their AV solutions.

Why Schools And Businesses Should Consider A Clevertouch Cart

Why Schools And Businesses Should Consider A Clevertouch Cart

Interactive display technology is a good fit for the classroom, the meeting room, or the boardroom. In every setting, it improves presentation quality and engagement, so wouldn’t it be nice if your Clevertouch were available in every setting?

Your school or business can have that with a Clevertouch cart. If budgeting or usage realities are such that your organization doesn’t require a Clevertouch for every room, a Clevertouch cart is the next best thing. And even better, they’re available in a variety of designs for a variety of audiences.

The Benefits Of Adding Mobility To Your Interactive Touch Panels

A Clevertouch cart can expand your interactive display’s impact, ensuring it can reach additional students and professional teams. Here’s how that can improve what your school or business does:

  • Better meetings and lessons for all – The primary reason for bringing in a Clevertouch cart is to improve access to the technology across multiple classrooms or meeting rooms. If your teachers don’t require everyday access to the Clevertouch, this is a viable option for schools. And if your meeting rooms aren’t utilized frequently enough to justify a Clevertouch in every space, this is again a good option.
    Interactive displays like the Clevertouch have a major impact on meeting and lesson quality, and a cart gives more people the opportunity to leverage that.
  • Less space taken up by the display – A couple of Clevertouch’s cart models are wall-mounted carts. They aren’t mobile, so you can’t move a mounted display from one room to another, but with a wall mount, the display remains flush against the wall instead of floating somewhere inside the room. This can help keep the display from interfering with classroom activities, ensure there is ample room for the display and protect it from damage.
  • Centralized hardware management – The Clevertouch is designed for easy management, whether you have a single display in operation or an entire network of them. However, the more displays you have, the more difficult it will be to keep track of all that hardware. This may not be a challenge for your organization, but if it is, sticking with fewer displays and investing in display carts instead could be a time-saving idea. That way, your technology personnel won’t be burdened with too much hardware to manage.
  • Reduced upfront equipment costs – A Clevertouch will quickly prove its worth to businesses and schools, but if your organization’s budget is a concern, then investing in carts instead of additional displays can be one way to reduce budget impacts.
  • A chance to try the technology before committing to more hardware – Your organization may be interested in ramping up its interactive display initiatives, but only after the technology proves itself in a live setting. By opting for a cart, you can see how the display improves your lessons or meetings before scaling up your company’s or school’s investment.

What Mobile Carts Does Clevertouch Offer With Its Displays?

Clevertouch manufactures several mobile carts for its displays, each one built for a different audience or situation. All six are electrically driven, so there’s no need for teachers to roll up their sleeves and lift the display. Further, Clevertouch trolley carts are built with a V-shaped caster design or C-shaped caster design for enhanced stability. Clevertouch tilt models also come with caster brakes, so safety is ensured in every setting. Finally, every Clevertouch cart is anodized for improved corrosion and damage resistance.

Clevertouch carts include the following models:

  • Low access trolley lift – This low access trolley lift is designed for small children and is mounted onto a mobile cart.
  • Low access lift and tilt trolley – This model is also designed for small children and offers both height adjustment and angle adjustment.
  • Standard height lift and tilt trolley – This model is also capable of lift and tilt positioning but can reach greater heights for older children and adults.
  • All heights lift and tilt trolley – This model also tilts and lifts and can be adjusted for audiences of all ages and audiences who are either seated or standing.
  • Low access wall lift – Clevertouch also produces wall lifts that are installed directly to the wall and minimize the display’s physical footprint. This one is typically utilized for younger audiences.
  • Standard access wall lift – Clevertouch’s standard access wall lift functions just like the low access version but is designed for older audiences.

As you can see, the differences between these six carts are subtle, but important when considering which model will work best for the needs of your school or business.

A Clevertouch Cart Means More Of Your Teachers, Students Or Professional Teams Can Use It

There’s no doubt that interactive touch panels can transform the way your organization delivers lessons, meetings, or training sessions. The Clevertouch is excellent for lessons, meeting planning and effective delivery, designed to drive student participation and professional collaboration. It’s also a vital AV tool for modern organizations.

Without a cart, though, interactive displays like the Clevertouch are limited to wherever they are installed. With a cart, that’s no longer an issue, and your teachers and professional teams can share the power of Clevertouch interactivity between them.

If your organization is having difficulty selecting a cart, consider working with a certified AV integrator. Certified integrators can help your organization review its options regarding all things Clevertouch, including Clevertouch carts. Whether it’s a simple trolley or a sophisticated wall mount, a certified integrator can match the best option to your needs.

Common AV Issues and the Ideal Solutions

Common AV Issues and the Ideal Solutions

AV technology is much more reliable than it used to be, but even leading-edge solutions experience the occasional hiccup. And sometimes, organizations have AV problems that aren’t technology-related, but related to the room itself or how meetings are managed.

Regardless of the source, meeting problems are embarrassing and productivity-sapping. So here, we’ve included some of the most common AV issues and how they can be overcome with better solutions or a different approach to meetings.

Problem 1: Poor Audio is Interfering with Conferencing

Poor audio is a conference killer and causes immediate frustration with meeting participants. Research shows that low quality audio can make the speaker appear less trustworthy or knowledgeable – and no professional wants to come across that way.

If your conferencing audio is bad, it could be due to settings in your conferencing software. It could also be due to a malfunctioning microphone or aging speakers. There could be too much ambient noise going on or even someone just tapping their fingers next to the mic. Even the room’s acoustics could be the culprit.

Solution: Consider Upgrading Your Audio Hardware or Improving the Room’s Acoustics

Audio issues can be difficult to diagnose without an AV integrator helping out, but once diagnosed, the problem can usually be dealt with easily.

If your audio hardware hasn’t been addressed in a while, the sound coming out may sound weak, tinny, muffled, or completely indecipherable. A certified integrator can help select and install new microphones, speakers, amplifiers, and processors to blanket the conferencing space with clear, comfortable sound.

If ambient noise is an issue, modern conferencing solutions (like Poly’s) are built with noise control features that automatically detect and block common audio annoyances like rustling paper or barking dogs. Pink noise generators can create a sound “cage” that blocks audio from leaving or entering the room.

An integrator can also analyze your conference room’s acoustics to detect echo or reverberations. Hanging baffles and soundproof materials can help bring these issues under control.

Problem 2: It’s Difficult to Connect Devices to Our Conference Room Technology

When people walk into a conference room ready to run a meeting, they want to connect quickly and easily. If easy connectivity is not available, it may take several minutes (or longer) for the presenter to get the meeting going. By that time, the audience may have lost what interest they had in the presentation.

Solution: Consider Wireless Presentation Technology for Your Conference Spaces

If it’s been a while since you’ve considered conference room connectivity, it may be a good idea to consolidate your approach.

Specifically, ditch the wired connections altogether so there’s no cable confusion. Instead, consider a wireless presentation system for your conference rooms. Wireless presentation systems, like the Barco Clickshare and Crestron AirMedia, allow professionals to connect to the room’s technology from their own device, using a simple passcode that’s available on the room’s display screen.

Once connected, users can control room equipment and share content from their own devices – making for a convenient connection experience that any professional would appreciate.

Problem 3: Our Meetings Lack Engagement and Participation

Nearly every business has trouble getting its professional teams engaged in meetings. Boring presentations can leave everyone feeling like they’re wasting their time in conference rooms instead of getting something more meaningful done.

Solution: Leverage Interactive Display Equipment for Better Presentations

If an organization’s meetings aren’t engaging, then maybe those meetings aren’t being delivered in a compelling way. That’s frequently the case.

To enhance the impact of your teams’ meetings, consider interactive display technology. Interactive displays like the Clevertouch allow presenters to maintain eye contact with the meeting’s presenters while easily navigating through a slideshow or media with simple touch gestures.

Interactive displays can also drive engaging whiteboarding and visually focused collaboration sessions. Launch a whiteboarding session, bring in images, videos or other content for inspiration, and allow other team members to add their own ideas to the board.

This solution is especially effective for hybrid and remote teams, as interactive whiteboards can be used in tandem with video conferencing technology. Remote users can even annotate as if they were in the room.

Problem 4: Our Teams Don’t Have the Time (or Inclination) to Mess with AV Equipment

Conferencing technology itself can be intimidating for people to handle, and this fear of tech can result in poor system adoption. Ideally, your AV technology should be simple and pain-free to manage.

Solution: All-in-one Video Bars Make the Meeting Experience a Breeze to Manage

The solution here, like the solution to many problems, is to keep things simple. Technology-wise, this means something like an all-in-one video conferencing bar.

Video conferencing bars, like the Poly Studio and Crestron Flex, are packaged with everything needed to run a successful conference, except for the display. This includes microphones, speakers, a camera, and a simple control interface that allows for one-touch call capabilities.

The Studio and Flex also simplify things at the organization level, as they can be integrated into conference rooms of nearly any size, down to compact huddle rooms.

Problem 5: Keeping Tabs on the Organization’s Audio Visual Technology is Too Much

So, you’ve got the right AV technology in place, but now it’s too much to handle. There aren’t enough people to support the solution and performance issues keep popping up before your company can respond to them. As a result, your teams are growing increasingly frustrated with the organization’s AV technology.

Solution: A Certified AV Integrator Can Help Monitor and Manage Your AV Solutions

As companies grow, their AV solutions are likely to grow with them. Eventually, you’ll need additional people to manage those additional technologies. Fortunately, you don’t have to add to your staff to support your AV hardware.

Instead, consider working with a certified AV integrator to monitor and manage your technology. As experts in all things AV, certified integrators can provide ongoing support services for your solutions. This includes proactive system monitoring and preventative maintenance, so emerging performance issues are spotted and resolved before they become downtime-causing problems.

Of course, a certified integrator can help with all of your AV issues, no matter what they are. If your organization is fighting with its technology, contact a reputable AV integrator for the ideal solution.

Virtual and Remote Learning are Here to Stay

Virtual and Remote Learning are Here to Stay

Remote classes were already emerging before the pandemic hit, but since then, the trend toward virtual learning has greatly accelerated. Though there were some bumps along the way, it’s clear that students, families, teachers, and schools can all benefit from distance learning opportunities.

AV manufacturers have caught up with this trend and now offer solutions that can help districts get more from their distance learning approach. It starts with technology that allows for instruction and collaboration, even when educators and students aren’t in the same room.

Video Conferencing Makes Any Virtual and Remote Learning Program Possible

Video conferencing solutions are at the heart of any remote learning initiative. With video conferencing, your students aren’t confined to classroom walls. Instead, they have access to a world full of thought leaders – like authors, artists, engineers, and athletes.

At the minimum, your school will require video conferencing technology to drive a distance learning model. There are plenty of conferencing platforms to choose from, including both hardware and software-based systems. Whichever platform your educators prefer, modern AV solutions can be tailored to fit around it.

How Video Conferencing Technology Can Support Education: A Few Ideas

Video conferencing expands your staff’s capabilities, giving them additional tools and resources to help every student do their best. With video conferencing in place, school districts can do the following for their students:

  1. Allow teachers to instruct in-class students and remote students simultaneously – At the outset of the pandemic, it was common for teachers to maintain hybrid classrooms, where in-class students and remote students would learn the same lesson at the same time.
    This was a challenge for educators at first, especially for teachers handling younger children. Hybrid classes still make sense, though, for students who cannot attend for health reasons. With video conferencing and remote learning solutions in place, students required to isolate and students experiencing long-term health concerns can still attend class.
  2. Help students access lessons and learning content outside of school hours – Survey after survey finds that people learn better when they’re able to learn at their pace and on their schedule.
    With video conferencing technology, teachers can record lessons delivered to in-class students or lessons delivered directly to the camera. In both cases, these videos can be uploaded to a learning management system (LMS). Through the LMS platform, students and parents can access lesson videos on demand (VOD) and additional lesson resources at any time.
    For students who are ill or isolating, lesson VODs ensure no progress is lost. Even in classes where students are well, having VODs for reference offers students the flexibility to research and learn on their time.
  3. Help teachers access additional teaching resources – Teachers can also benefit from video conferencing technology, as it allows educators to connect and pull ideas from each other. Video conferencing also allows teachers to attend educator-focused webinars and train on current pedagogical practices.
  4. Allow students to take advanced, college-level courses – Video conferencing solutions also offer fast-moving students an opportunity to take college-level classes and pick up valuable university credits. Students that have the option to take college courses will be far more prepared for post-secondary learning – and this could boost the number of students graduating and entering university.
    Many colleges have programs in place for this very thing. Your school only needs a video conferencing solution in place for students to utilize.

A Couple of Solutions That Can Enhance the Virtual Learning Experience

In addition to video conferencing technology, there are a couple more AV solutions worth considering for distance learning purposes. They include:

  • Interactive flat panels – Interactive flat panels are an excellent complement to video conferencing systems. Interactive displays like the Clevertouch are designed for educational purposes, with lesson delivery and whiteboarding applications.
    With an interactive flat panel, the teacher can run the entire lesson from the display. They can open up a whiteboarding session, write notes and bring in any media through the display’s built-in browser.
    If there is a second display for video conferencing from in the classroom, teachers can deliver lessons to both in-class and remote students while utilizing the interactive flat panel. When the lesson is over, the teacher can save what’s on the whiteboard and share it with every student, including those who are connected remotely. That way, virtual students have the same access to any annotated material.
  • Enhanced camera and microphone technology – The better the audio and video on your remote lessons, the more effective those lessons will be. Leading AV manufacturers pair their video conferencing solutions with quality cameras and microphones to enhance AV data input.
    For example, a face-tracking camera is especially helpful, as it ensures the teacher remains in view even if they walk around the room constantly during a lesson. The camera automatically detects where the teacher is and maintains framing on them.
    Many video conferencing solutions come with high quality MEMS microphones, but these can be upgraded for a microphone array for better audio pickup and zoning.

Technology is at the Heart of a Virtual Learning Solution. An AV Integrator Can Help With That

Virtual and distance learning initiatives are a major undertaking, but a certified AV integrator can help design and implement them. That includes selecting the optimal hardware and software for your school’s distance learning needs.

Once in place, an AV integrator can provide ongoing support and maintenance for your distance learning solutions. If needed, this includes preventative maintenance, on demand technical support and troubleshooting if there are network-related issues. Virtual and distance learning solutions can make a huge positive impact in many ways, but only if they are properly implemented and maintained.

That means to get the most out of your virtual and distance learning investment, you’ll want to work with a reputable integrator. That way, you’ll enrich your students’ online learning for years to come.