713.781.1999
866.CALL.DPI (225.5374)
Contact DPI via Email

Blog

How Does Clevertouch Differ from Other Interactive Flat Panels

Interactive flat panel technology has made a significant difference in boardrooms and classrooms across the nation. Clevertouch is one such panel that is quickly becoming a frontrunner for this modern method of communicating and collaborating, and it is often preferred by both schools and businesses. One of the best ways for an organization to match their needs with what a specific type of technology offers is by first discerning how Clevertouch differs from other interactive flat panels.

The Benefits of Using Interactive Displays to Engage Audiences

Display technology of yesteryear was cumbersome and not particularly user-friendly, however, with modern advances interactive displays are becoming much easier to use and offer a wide range of flexibility when it comes to function. Some of the benefits of using interactive displays to engage an audience include:

  • It is ready to go when you are. Gone are the days of having to read a complicated one-hundred-page manual before there was any hope of operating display technology. New interactive displays are outfitted with an onboard processor and hard drive components which means it does not depend on an additional external device to operate. Everything a user needs is located in one place but offers extra ports in the event that a user would like to connect a supplemental device.
  • It can enhance presentations and lessons. Interactive displays should come with standard software that helps teachers and business executives compile presentations with visual aides such as calendars, lessons, idea concepts, and web content.
  • The sky is the limit. A reputable interactive flat panel will offer almost unlimited access to extra content that allows for creative meeting and lesson planning by effortlessly integrating web resources.

In short, this modern technology is designed to make leading presentations and engaging participants a cinch.

What Sets Clevertouch Interactive Flat Panel Technology Apart

Interactive flat panels are designed to make easy work of presentations, but they are not all created equal. Some options simply offer more when it comes to both functionality and value, and for many that option is the Clevertouch.

Some of the features that set the Clevertouch interactive flat panel technology apart from others include:

Cost effectiveness.

Many of the technologies in the field of flat panels can be cost prohibitive. However, Clevertouch is in many cases more budget friendly than its counterparts, making it an affordable solution for schools and businesses.

Variety of models.

This can be important, particularly depending on the intended use of the system. Clevertouch offers the Pro Series which is more tailored for executive use, and the Plus Series which is generally geared for the classroom.

Variety of sizes.

Depending on the space for which the flat panel is needed, there may be some size constraints. By offering a variety of Clevertouch sizes ranging from 55 inches to 86 inches, there is a perfect size for nearly any space.

Ample sound for a room.

The most recent version has 2 – 15-watt speakers and a 15-watt subwoofer which provides ample sound for a room. They have also incorporated a 6-array mic into the panels, so adding a webcam can easily turn the panel into a video conferencing solution.

Software offerings.

The software available with the Clevertouch can make all the difference. Lynx Whiteboard software gives presenters the capability to create a presentation with media and deliver them via simple controls. Lynx software can be particularly useful to teachers, as is Snowflake, which is software that is able to support learning for all levels and has a unique split screen capability that can engage up to 4 users simultaneously around the board.

Windows and LUX capabilities.

The Clevertouch may have a PC module that lets a user switch between Windows and LUX as needed.

Additional ports.

Some interactive flat panels do not feature additional ports, but the Clevertouch does, which provides greater connectivity with devices including USB-C.

Free education-focused apps.

Cleverstore offers users extra and free educational resources via their app store.

A Word About Other Interactive Flat Panel Solutions

While technology is constantly advancing and more interactive flat panel solutions are becoming available, it is important to compare apples to apples for each solution. Some considerations to keep in mind as you research interactive flat panel solutions should be:

  • Is it geared for businesses, schools, or both? Ideally, if the panel works for school and business use alike, it can be the best of both worlds as some schools may need capability for a business meeting and some businesses may need to utilize the program to teach employees a new concept.
  • Does it offer access to additional educational resources for teachers, and will it cost extra? With the Clevertouch offering additional education resources at no extra cost, that is the price to beat.
  • Does it come in multiple sizes? An organization may need several interactive flat panels for different spaces, which will most likely require different size offerings to be the most effective.
  • What is the onboard mic and speaker quality like? As part of a presentation, speaker and microphone qualities should be excellent.
  • What types of software can it utilize and what capabilities will that offer? Ideally, a flat panel should work with a variety of software and do so seamlessly.
  • How many USB ports does it feature for added connectivity? On average, the more USB ports for additional connectivity, the better, as it can further enhance a presentation with even more components.
  • Is it priced to provide what I need or is it overpriced for extra bells and whistles? Ensure that the price paid is reflective of what you need. Work with a reputable AV integrator to decide which model of the Clevertouch is the ideal fit for the school or business.

As the demand for interactive flat panel technology continues to grow, so will the number of providers. However, Clevertouch continues to lead the pack in its school and business capabilities and affordability.

Where to Start When You Need AV Consultants in Texas

Technology is increasingly becoming the foundation for the way the world operates and does business every day, both at work and school. As organizations grow more technologically minded, it is necessary to inventory their current systems and evaluate the role a more modern system would play. If wondering where to start when you need AV consultants in Texas, most businesses and schools need look no further than a company that utilizes consultants and integrators to help organizations customize the technology solutions that work best for their unique needs.

Why Do I Need an AV Consultant in Texas?

The goal of incorporating new audio-visual technology is to make communication easier and more seamless, but this requires careful systematic planning in the beginning.

A business or school investing in new audio-visual equipment or upgrades can greatly benefit from the help of a dedicated and reputable AV integrator. Some of the ways they can help include:

  • Inventorying the client’s current system
  • Identifying the client’s specific needs
  • Matching those needs with available AV technologies
  • Choosing the right equipment

Some individuals use the terms AV consultants and integrators interchangeably. On the whole, both provide similar services, although a consultant who also acts as an integrator is typically better suited to address more technically demanding aspects of the job.

What Can an AV Consultant Do for My Organization?

As mentioned above, an organization wanting to incorporate modern audio-visual technology should have an AV consultant come on board to inventory current equipment, identify the client’s needs, and match them with the appropriate equipment.

From that point, AV consultants who also act as AV integrators can facilitate the installation and set up of equipment. Although many modern technology solutions are ready to go once they are properly set up, installations are still often intricate and complex. Some of the services they can provide for an organization can include:

Placement and installation of equipment

With a thorough plan already executed, an integrator can acquire the equipment needed and take care of installing it. This process generally includes running cable and making sure equipment is mounted to code. It requires the expertise of a seasoned professional.

Configuration of equipment

Some AV solutions can require a number of different pieces of hardware such as cameras, displays, microphones, speakers, conferencing equipment, processors, and control systems that are configured to work together as a cohesive unit. Most schools and businesses also require the use of software that will be compatible with the chosen hardware. Because hardware and software generally go hand in hand, an AV integrator can assist in selecting both if need be.

Education on new technology

It is normal for new technology to come with a bit of a learning curve. With sophisticated technology in place, it is only as good as the person trained to correctly utilize it. An AV integrator is instrumental in introducing people to the technology and training them to use it. On average, organizations who see to it that their employees are properly trained from the beginning tend to enjoy a more successful use of AV equipment into the future.

System maintenance

Most AV equipment is made to interact with other equipment and be interactive among users, and for that reason it often requires regular maintenance to ensure the proper controls are back in place and performing at their best. Scheduling regular maintenance can be key in avoiding downtime for the system. A proper plan can include everything from regular maintenance to maintenance that requires a more rapid response.

Benefits of Using an AV Consultant to Install and Implement AV Solutions

Beyond bringing a school or business’ technology into the modern age, utilizing an AV consultant to install and implement audio-visual solutions can also offer these additional benefits:

  • Improved internal communication. In schools and businesses, there are many different working parts of those organizations, and the glue that holds them all together is effective communication. Using fast and reliable internal communication via audio-visual equipment can connect people effortlessly between offices, campuses, or even thousands of miles. For those organizations that communicate long distance with other entities, the use of AV communication may even help save on travel expenses.
  • Engaged learners. Individuals that are learning in the boardroom and the classroom can all too easily tune out a lecturer or guest speaker. However, by implementing interactive AV technology solutions, presenters can make lesson delivery more fun and have attendees interact directly with the material by taking polls and facilitating Q&A sessions.
  • Better exposure. People of every age are growing increasingly connected to the world around them through technology. Whether it is in the lobby of a business or the main entrance of a school, individuals who can see and interact with well-placed digital displays have a front row seat for that organization’s branding, messaging, and social media presence.

A Word About Choosing an AV Company with Multiple Locations

When it comes to choosing the right AV consultant or integrator for you, it is highly recommended to choose a respected audio-visual company that has multiple locations spread across different cities. This is an added convenience especially for school districts or companies with multiple locations.

If your Texas school district, campus, or business is looking to upgrade to more modern and effective communication via audio-visual technology, be sure to work with a reputable AV consultant.

What Is A DSP and Why Is It Needed

Audio-visual conferencing has become one of the most popular and cost-effective methods of communicating in this modern technological age. However, conferencing and collaborating cannot work properly without the right components, such as a DSP, or digital signal processor. While the DSP is an integral part of any AV system, many businesses and schools wonder exactly what is a DSP and why is it needed?

For now, suffice it to say that for an audio-visual system to be at its best, it also requires an excellent digital signal processor. To find one that best fits your organization’s unique needs, it is critical to have a deeper understanding of what a DSP is and why it is needed. So, lets dive in.

What Is A DSP?

DSP is an acronym for digital signal processor. The purpose of a DSP is to take digitized audio, video, position, pressure, and temperature and then manipulate them mathematically by subtracting, adding, etc.

For example, a sound from the outside world, such as music can be transmitted through a receiver and then converted to a digital signal that can read like a series of 0s and 1s. The DSP can save this complex code to memory, be manipulated, and then converted back to an analog signal for use.

A good digital signal processor is programmable and can perform all these functions quite accurately and at a relatively high speed. It can also essentially help improve the quality of a sound. To do all of these things it takes several key elements working together.

There are four main components that make up a digital signal processor, including:

  1. Compute Engine. This part of the DSP is responsible for handling mathematic processes.
  2. Data Memory. Much like a computer, this is where information is stored as it awaits processing.
  3. Input/Output. This component provides connectivity functions.
  4. Program Memory. Instead of information storage, this area stores programs used to process data.

Most audio-visual systems will at the very least have an audio DSP which assists with audio functions like compression signals, equalization, limiting, and volume. It is especially common to find this piece of equipment in auditoriums and conference rooms, but it can also be used in conjunction with a computer to regulate telephones and video compression.

Why You Need A DSP

Without signal processing for an audio system, sound adjustments can only go so far. Think amplifiers for example. While this can change the sound and make sure it is heard, that system simply cannot provide the quality, resolution, or adjustability that a DSP offers.

To truly value a DSP’s capabilities, think about your next business or professional development conference and auditorium lecture or performance. Now consider all the people that your words and messages will be reaching in that space. Then ask yourself if it is more important that they hear those sounds or really be able to listen with clarity. That is the difference a digital signal processor can make.

Finding the Right Digital Signal Processor

Now that you understand the function of having a working DSP for your AV needs, the next obstacle becomes finding the right digital signal processor. While there are a number of different styles and brands available, some of the most popular options include:

  • Biamp TesiraFORTE Series: This series of DSP products features multiple analog and network audio connection points and either 4 (X400), 8 (X800), or 16 (X1600) channels of Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) depending on the model.
  • Crestron DSP 860 (8×6): Known for its best-in-class audio and configurability, this DSP is designed to deliver quality sound in a conference room, auditorium, and other meeting and performance venues. It offers configurability, easier implementation, intuitive software, system integration for rapid programming, eight mic/line inputs, and can work off of Ethernet or USB.
  • Crestron DSP 1280 (12×8): This model offers many of the same features as the Crestron DSP 860 but can be a step up in that it offers twelve mic/line inputs.
  • Crestron DSP 1281 (12×8): This product features user friendly implementation, customizable input and output, intuitive software, twelve mic/line inputs, and internal universal power supply. It can work off of USB or Ethernet.
  • Extron DMP Plus Series: This series includes the DMP 128 Flex Plus, XMP 240, DMP 64 Plus, and DMP 128 Plus. Each model offers a variety of different DSP functions.
  • Extron DMP Series: This series includes DMP 44 LC, DMP 64, DMP 128 C P, DMP 128 C P AT, and DMP 128. Each model in the series offers a different range of DSP capabilities.
  • Extron AXP Dante Series: This series includes the AXP 64 C AT and the AXP 50 C AT. These audio expansion processor models may integrate remote microphones to a Dante enabled audio system.

If your school or business has an audio-visual conferencing system that is less than crystal clear, consider the positive impacts a DSP could have on communication and collaboration.

Do You Have A Control System That Isn’t Working Properly?

In today’s fast paced world, technology is in the driver’s seat when it comes to connecting people. More schools and businesses than ever are relying on audio-visual control systems to facilitate and enhance daily communication. But what if you have a control system that isn’t working properly? A qualified AV integrator can correct issues and provide solutions, even on an existing system, and get your organization back to collaborating and connecting with others.

What Is A Control System?

Essentially, an AV control system is designed to make hardware and software work together to facilitate audio-visual communication. It is valuable at multi-tasking by controlling multiple pieces of technology for optimal performance. A control system can effectively run a single boardroom or even an entire office by making conference telephones, cameras, computers, tablets, smartphones, digital signage, and interactive whiteboards work together—all with the touch of a few buttons.

Since the control system is key in operating multiple devices, it should be designed and implemented by a seasoned, client-focused AV integrator. This ensures that the system will be user friendly, easy to learn, and have intuitive interfacing capabilities.

The Three Most Common Issues with Control Systems

Since AV control systems include the use of multiple pieces of equipment, there may be times where maintenance is required on the system, and it is typically not because anything is broken. Three of the most common issues with control systems have less to do with bad equipment and more to do with bad set up by an inexperienced technician. Here are the three most common issues AV integrators see:

  1. Too much equipment that confuses users. It is normal for an AV control system to have several working parts such as multiple panels, displays, and remote controls. The problem becomes when there are too many components that are indistinguishable. For example, most pieces of equipment typically come with a designated remote control. While this is a convenience, it ceases to be so if a user has eight remotes for eight different pieces of equipment. If no one knows what remote goes with which device, it renders the system ineffective. An AV integrator can work with the client to provide ultimate convenience by using an integrated control system instead of multiple remotes and controllers.
  2. Complicated user interface. Even the best AV control system in the world can be useless if the user interface is so complicated that a user cannot operate it. While it is possible for some of these issues to be training related, many are due to the fact that the system was set up to interface in a way that made sense to the technician’s mind, but not to the average layperson. A client-focused AV integrator can provide solutions that make the system more user friendly.
  3. A system that has become ineffective. Before a reputable AV integrator installs new audio-visual equipment, it is common for them to take an inventory of the client’s current equipment and needs. Based on their findings, a recommendation can be made for proper up to date upgrades or a new AV control system.

The good news is that in these situations, an experienced AV integrator can work to correct an existing control system that isn’t working properly.

Signs That You May Have AV Control System Training Issues

While it is possible to have issues with a control system that isn’t working properly, it may be just as plausible that some are due to ineffective training on the system.

If a control system was installed or modified without thoroughly training a point person or multiple staff, it can manifest itself in the following unfortunate scenarios:

  • Staff that does not know how to effectively work the control system
  • Staff that can only operate the system if IT personnel is present
  • Staff that doesn’t know how or is intimidated by trying to access the user interface

An AV integrator is typically brought on site to assist with the installation and set up of a new audio-visual systems because running cables and mounting equipment can be complex to say the least. If the set up is intricate for a professional, then learning how to use it without proper training would also be complicated.

A reputable integrator understands the vital importance of appropriately training personnel. Modern AV technology is typically user friendly and easy to use for individuals who have been properly instructed on the system. This can ensure the increased use of the system to enhance both internal and external communication.

If your school or place of business has a control system that is experiencing issues, it’s important to find a reputable audio-visual company with multiple locations across Texas to handle the set up and provide proper training for personnel.

Effective Strategies for Teachers to Engage Remote Students

Teachers have continued to educate children through all odds as much of the nation’s students became remote or virtual learners during 2020 and 2021. The challenge for most educators became developing effective strategies for teachers to engage remote students, and doing so on the fly. Almost a year into remote and hybrid learning, there are signs that virtual education is here to stay in one capacity or another.

Why Remote Learning Offerings May Become A New Educational Standard

Prior to the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, remote learning was something primarily offered in a limited capacity for college students. Now, not only has this trend transitioned from serving a small group of people to students from age four to twenty-four, there are strong signs that remote/hybrid learning is the new normal.

Some of the benefits of a school or teacher continuing to offer remote learning capabilities include:

  • Absentee learning. When a student is absent for more than a day or two, teachers are often tasked with rounding up all the work they have missed and assembling it into a packet for the parent to pick up so a student can work on it as they recuperate. With a library of remote lessons ready and waiting, students can access, review, and complete the lessons they missed. This keeps a teacher from getting bogged down in absentee homework packet requests and it provides students with more online instruction than a worksheet alone.
  • No more inclement weather days. If the weather turns ugly and transportation to or from school becomes too risky, instead of closing the school and adding a makeup day elsewhere in the year, students may still be able to hop online to complete work without falling behind.
  • Connectivity. Some students who are shy to participate in class enjoy the connectivity offered by remote learning. It may spur them to ask more questions or get involved in a way they would not when in a crowded classroom environment.

Platforms That Can Help Teachers Facilitate Remote Learning

One of the biggest obstacles in setting forth a remote learning experience that facilitates learning and encourages participation with next to no time for preparation, is doing so without having to reinvent the wheel.

Building a remote or hybrid learning experience from the ground up takes time, which is a resource that many teachers simply do not have the privilege of with the sudden and overwhelming switch to long distance learning. Educators need the right preestablished tools to create and implement an online curriculum that is user friendly, efficient, and academically strong.

Some of the most current and effective technology strategies teachers may find beneficial for engaging remote students are:

Audio Enhancement’s VIEWPath

Also called the Video Interactive Education Window, Audio Enhancement’s VIEWPath includes a classroom camera integrated with computer software that enables teachers to create digital content for in person, remote, and hybrid learning environments. It allows educators to record their lessons from a classroom camera, webcam, mobile, or mobile app and share it with students.

Barco’s weConnect

This real-time option can be perfect for high school and college level teachers and students. Barco’s weConnect is designed to make virtual students feel like they are still in a classroom environment with their peers, and it is easily accessible by students via a computer and the Chrome Internet browser. Classroom set up is intended to be straight forward and expandable as needed for teachers. With integrated stimulating participation strategies such as polls, quizzes, and silent questions, weConnect can be an easy and user-friendly way to engage students in a lesson.

Microsoft Teams

This digital hub creates an educational platform that incorporates apps, assignments, conversations, and content in one central location. This program is set up to help students and teachers communicate via live calls, create a collaborative virtual class space, assign and complete work, and use a OneNote Class Notebook.

T1V

This technology specializes in hybrid collaboration software that offers a wide variety of capabilities based on a user’s specific needs. It was created to support various learning styles including in person, remote, and hybrid. T1V can be used for lectures or group work and allows content sharing.

Zoom

This modern platform facilitates the connection of users via the Internet or a smart device app. Teachers can have real-time conversations with students and can share their computer screen with them. Zoom allows each user video and audio capability, however, teachers may choose to mute users during a lecture or presentation and then unmute at the end for questions. A chat option also lets users communicate with the teacher and each other as the settings an educator sets allows.

Considerations for Choosing Your Audio-Visual Integrator

When it comes to choosing the right AV integrator to work with for effective strategies for teachers to engage remote students, there are some key things school districts and teachers will want to keep in mind:

  • Knowledge of multiple audio-visual technologies. Select a provider that offers clients a wide range of AV technologies instead of only one or two products. This enables them to tailor an AV system to exactly what you need and still stay within your budget.
  • Budget. Choose and AV partner that has experience in working with budgets of all different sizes. This is critical to designing a solution that is cost effective.
  • Availability. Choose an audio-visual provider that is able to assist with technology set up and training. It is important to work with a company who is invested in the client and not just the technology.

If you are looking for effective strategies for teachers to engage remote students, there are a wide range of audio-visual solutions at your disposal. Take away some of the stress of remote learning and connect with a reputable AV integrator today.

How To Host A Professional Webinar Using Zoom and Discover Video’s DEVOS Platform

How To Host A Professional Webinar Using Zoom and Discover Video’s DEVOS Platform

Secure, private and flexible distribution of digital content is the most important aspect when businesses and educators think about how to host a professional webinar using Zoom and Discover Video’s DEVOS platform.

In diving deeper into the benefits of these platforms, there are many factors that are specific to the host and recipients alike.

Business Applications

It doesn’t matter whether your business is small or large and whether your clients are across town or around the world, you want to be able to present information and interact as though you were in the same room.

There are several solutions to help keep your business running smoothly:

Zoom webinars –

Zoom has several great features that add a level of professionalism to the presentation. For instance, with so many people working from home, you may not want your viewers to see that you are working from your kitchen table. Zoom offers virtual backgrounds, so you can take a photo of an office like setting and upload it to make it the background that people see on the screen. You can create studio effects if you are making a presentation and want to add some pizzazz, such as your brand colors or logo.

Zoom phone –

Not every communication can be done using video. Zoom phone is just as effective as video Zoom calls. It can be uploaded to a mobile device or desktop as an app. It allows you to transcribe, record and connect with multiple users and has superior voice quality. Of course, if you needed to, you could also easily switch over to video or chat if needed.

Scalability –

Webinars on platforms like Zoom or DEVOS each have the ability to reach thousands of users. One of the many benefits of the Discovery Video’s DEVOS platform is that it can measure viewer behavior. You can deploy polls, chats, interactive questions, and receive instantaneous feedback while your webinar is in session. Plus, you’ll get comprehensive data analytics to see how effective your webinar was to your viewers.

Library storage –

Both platforms allow you to record your sessions. You may want to build a library of webinars as part of your ongoing sales and marketing strategy. You can organize your webinars, place them in ether public or private portals, and allow access from users whenever they want.

Educational Applications

Teaching students as young as kindergarten and through university level each has its own requirements and challenges. So, depending on your needs, there may be specific criteria in how to host a professional webinar using a Zoom and Discover Video’s DEVOS platform.

Let’s break it down:

Primary School –

If you teach young children, you know how hard it is to keep their attention for a period of time. It doesn’t matter whether you are teaching in the classroom, virtually, or in some kind of hybrid situation. Teaching via Zoom can be helpful because you can share your screen, play videos, and you can allow the students to see one another. Zoom effects is a game changer when it comes to teaching young students because you can have fun with your lesson plan. You have the ability to change your background, so you can set the mood for a good story or history lesson. You can add funny effects to your face or others, so your students can become a pirate, or a bunny and play the part during story time.

Middle School –

Young adolescents often forget or zone out while they are in school. With both the Zoom and DEVOS platforms, they can access recordings of the lesson if they need to go back and review what you were teaching. It is great for reference materials, homework reminders, and invitations to other sessions, such as assemblies, meetings with other educators, and parent/teacher meetings.

High School –

As students enter high school, the need to really buckle down and think about what they plan to do after their K-12 education ends becoming more important than ever. You may want to begin to mentor students in making presentations of written reports. Having the ability to allow students to share their own screens, ask questions, and interact with other students during class discussions becomes vitally important in teaching them the skills needed to succeed in higher education and the real world.

Regardless of the techniques used in how to host a professional webinar using a Zoom and Discover Video’s DEVOS platform, the objectives are still the same. You want to make sure the connectivity is seamless without any disruption to the streaming service. You want to have the option to use voice only or add a video option. There needs to be a function to scale up or down with the number of participants.

Those are all of the practical requirements. It is also really important to have flexibility in the presentation itself. Streaming video has evolved in its features. Now, it is possible to really make your presentation unique and engaging. The level of creativity to bring your viewers into an environment, rather than just a meeting or classroom, makes the entire webinar more meaningful. Enabling viewers to interact in real time helps to personalize the meeting. Finally, having the ability to record, transcribe and store your webinar means you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Plus, you can gain insight and analysis of how engaged your viewers were during the session, which will help in how you approach future webinars.

Are Your Students Really Paying Attention to the Video You Are Teaching With

Technology is part of our everyday lives, however, with so many virtual and hybrid learning environments, the challenge for teachers becomes how to make sure students are really paying attention to the video they are teaching with. It can be a challenge, especially with all the other obstacles teachers have faced in educating students during the age of a pandemic.

While it is true we can’t help grade papers or take attendance, in an effort to provide support for already overworked and overextended teachers, we’ve done some leg work and put together a short guide on how to keep students engaged and paying attention when watching an educational video, whether it is in person or virtually.

Define Your Expectations for How Students Should Pay Attention

While it is ideal for students, especially those that are virtual to have access to an environment that lends itself to learning, not all students have control over the quality of their internet connection or their ability to sit in a quiet room.

However, if a student is able to be in class or be present virtually to watch a video, there are things they can do to better pay attention for the duration of the lesson. Some practical tips teachers may choose to offer students to help them focus more clearly can include having them:

  • Sit properly in a chair with feet on the floor and with proper back support
  • Put away or turn off all distractions including screen-based technology outside of what is being used to watch the video
  • Keep eye contact with the screen
  • Use headsets or earbuds (if available) to limit distracting noises
  • Be aware of the reason the video is being shown, important points, and where they might likely see this information again

These suggestions can come together to make a student more successful in learning from a classroom video, whether it is in person or virtually. With this said, helping equip students to pay attention is only part of the equation. The other part is keeping students engaged with an educational video for its duration.

Ways to Engage Students While They Are Watching a Video

Since the pandemic began, many schools have engaged in virtual or hybrid learning. Educational videos have become a visual aid of choice as some children are working without the aid of textbooks.

Although videos have the potential to be engaging all on their own, a student’s specific circumstances such as health worries or lack of sleep may hinder them from engaging with and learning from a classroom video.

Some suggestions for keeping students paying attention to and engaged with an educational video are:

  1. Making your own videos. Sometimes the unpredictable is more exciting. Consider making a charismatic video of your own when addressing concepts. Students tend to take more of an interest in a video that features someone they know and is geared to specifically what they are learning.
  2. Have students make predictions about the video before watching based on context clues such as the title. This requires a student to focus some on the topic at hand as they think about what topics and concepts a video may address.
  3. Using short clips or breaking up a longer video to avoid monotony. A video that is thirty minutes with no breaks leaves ample time for a viewer’s mind to wander. Consider working in frequent breaks in the form of questions or lively discussions to help engagement.
  4. Embedding quiz questions throughout a video to ensure understanding. Students will likely pay more attention to the information presented if they know they will be quizzed in five-minute increments as a video progresses.
  5. Opening a chat for questions during the video. Teachers can post a discussion question to a chat and have students answer them privately or discuss as a group on the forum.
  6. Taking a poll. Let your class know you are interested in their opinions. Consider posting periodic polls about the information presented to increase engagement and create a platform for discussion.
  7. Have students look or listen for something specific in the video. This could be the number of times a certain word is said, or the number of times the life cycle of a butterfly appears in the background.
  8. Having a live review discussion following the video. This could be done in real time as a class or teachers can divide their students into smaller groups and have them discuss a certain topic from the video and then present their findings back to the class.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Perhaps one of the most important things a school district can do to set their teachers, students, and families up for success is to equip them with the technology they need to succeed. It is well worth the time to establish a relationship with a reputable audio-visual integrator with a variety of solutions for the modern-day classroom.

What Is Feedback Suppression

While schools and businesses have changed the way they communicate remotely with students and employees, one of the biggest challenges on many platforms can be audio feedback. The task then becomes identifying and finding an audio solution that enables feedback suppression.

What Is Feedback Suppression?

Feedback suppression is the act of eliminating audio feedback. AV integrators are experts at dealing with the issue and can improve feedback suppression in a variety of ways. They will consider such things as the acoustics of the room and the placement of speakers when determining the best solution.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, many schools and businesses are increasingly turning to specially designed audio solutions for feedback suppression. This allows meetings, class and collaboration to continue without the interference of audio feedback.

All About Audio Feedback

Whether it is in an in person, virtual, or hybrid meeting or class, it is becoming increasingly common to at some point hear a high pitch ear splitting sound, more commonly known as audio feedback.

Some situations that may cause audio feedback can include having:

  • Phone and computer audio live at the same time
  • Multiple computers with audio enabled operating at the same time in the same room
  • Speakers in too close of proximity of one another
  • A microphone too close to a speaker
  • Inefficient acoustics in a conference, meeting, or classroom space

How Audio Feedback Can Be A Hindrance at School and Work

An in-person or online class, meeting or event experiencing audio feedback presents problems that can affect its success, such as:

  • Participants turning down the volume and not turning it back up for several minutes until they are sure the sound is gone, which may result in them missing out on critical information in the meantime.
  • Participants leaving a virtual meeting thinking it is an issue on their side and then not being able to effectively return if they are not readmitted to the meeting by a moderator.
  • Participants leaving a virtual meeting if audio feedback is a recurring problem. That student or employee is then out of the loop on the information being presented.

No classroom or boardroom can risk losing the productivity of students and employees due to annoying feedback, which can be resolved with the help of an experienced AV integrator.

Audio Solutions for Feedback Suppression

As our normal routines and operations have changed since early 2020, the need for feedback suppression has increased as hybrid learning and remote video collaboration have become the new normal. When an AV integrator is called in to help, they may suggest one of the following options:

1. Biamp Crowd Mics

Biamp Crowd Mics is an app-based solution that connects classroom or meeting presenters with participants via a wireless network. Essentially, this technology allows an individual’s smartphone to become a personal microphone and a meeting engagement tool. Some of the benefits for utilizing Biamp Crowd Mics include:

  • Personal microphone access for moderators and participants
  • Text capabilities for meeting participants who do not wish to speak aloud
  • Increased control over the pace and conversation flow of a meeting by a moderator who can mute mics and open select mics
  • App-based polls to actively engage participants that also estimate a meeting’s participation levels

Another popular technology solution is Poly Headsets. These headsets are designed to be durable and are good for use in the office or at home. They offer a noise-cancelling feature and can be effective at suppressing ambient noise and feedback. Some benefits of using a Poly Headset include:

  • Clearer communication
  • Compatibility with other communication platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoTo, and others
  • Increased productivity as participants are not required to hold anything and will be free to work with both hands

A reputable AV integrator will offer a variety of audio-visual technologies, making them a one stop shop for schools and businesses looking for a variety of solutions that enable them to better connect with others, whether it is in an in-person, virtual, or hybrid environment.

Don’t let annoying feedback suppression hold your organization back from achieving its mission. Make audio feedback a thing of the past with the help of an experienced AV integrator that can provide the best feedback suppression options.

What Innovative Solutions In 2020 Helped Businesses And Schools Manage COVID?

For most businesses and schools, 2020 was the year of COVID, and the pandemic forced organizations to transform the way they do business or education. AV solutions were and continue to be the engine behind these efforts, as they simplify remote work, promote social distancing, enhance online education, and help organizations keep their spaces clean and their teams healthy.

Video conferencing platforms, presentation systems, better lighting, document cameras and various health and safety technologies are among the AV solutions that organizations have integrated into their workflow, in response to the pandemic.

Video conferencing and presentation systems are making remote learning and working possible

Video conferencing was already a top AV target for businesses, government, and school districts alike, but with the COVID pandemic, they have also become irreplaceable in how they support remote workforces. Even better, though, is that video conferencing and other AV systems are now being built with simple, wireless operation. Wireless presentation systems minimize physical contact, which is good for physical hygiene, and minimizes frustration, which is good for mental hygiene.

Some notable wireless presentation solutions include:

Creston’s AirMedia

Crestron is a trusted brand in conferencing systems and its AirMedia products facilitate wireless presentation. Just enter the room, connect wirelessly, put in a code and being a meeting. This can all be done from the user’s own device, too, so there is zero contact with shared surfaces. The AirMedia can also be connected to the room’s controls, so it can bring up lighting and greet people as they walk in.

Barco ClickShare

The Barco Clickshare also allows people to present with zero contact and is engineered for ease of use. For example, the ClickShare is triple agnostic, so it can work with any device, any AV peripheral brand and any unified communications technology.

ScreenBeam

ScreenBeam is another wireless presentation solution, but one that’s also designed for education. It can switch between wired and wireless mode instantly, so students can connect nearly any type of device when sharing work. It also comes with Ghost Inking, which removes the lag between finger and annotation, and allows educators to make notes cleanly.

Mersive Solstice

The Mersive Solstice allows users to connect via Miracast, AirPlay, Solstice’s own app, using an HDMI cable or through a browser. That’s because the Solstice is meant to be as intuitive as possible for streamlined team conferencing. It’s also optimized for performance, as the system can utilize both the corporate network and guest network to draw resources from. This is done with maximum security in mind, and Mersive subjects its technology to third-party penetration testing to ensure security.

Improved lighting is also improving workspaces, both remote and in office

Video conferencing and collaboration is tough to do in the dark, and many professionals have found that their home’s ambient lighting isn’t enough for their workspace. One simple solution to this is the LumeCube. Originally engineered as a photography accessory, the LumeCube is ideal for providing additional illumination for better clarity and communication. It can be mounted to a monitor or on a mini tripod so it can be positioned anywhere.

Certain forms of lighting, specifically UV-C lighting, also has potential in combating COVID. According to the national Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, UV light is likely effective against COVID as it is a proven weapon against other coronaviruses. Now, it is being used in some offices to sanitize work surfaces periodically. One product that uses this technology is the Nemesis Hydra, which comes with various controls and timers to detail exactly when sanitation occurs. Outside of these times, the Nemesis functions like a normal office light.

Better cameras and audio ensure everyone can be seen and heard

Professionals and educators are also improving their conferencing capabilities with better audio and camera technology. Some examples include:

Poly’s headsets

Poly is a leader in the conferencing industry, with decades of experience in connecting professional teams. Much of Poly’s renown is due to its excellent handling of audio, and its headsets take full advantage of this. For instance, Poly’s headsets are designed with ambient noise suppression, which helps block out distracting noise. They’re also durable and intercompatible, as they can be used with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, 8×8, WebEx, and GoToMeeting.

Logitech’s cameras

Logitech manufactures a variety of cameras for every professional environment. This includes everything from its Poly Eagle Eye Mini, which can be quickly mounted to a laptop or PC monitor, to its sophisticated PTZ cameras. Many of Logitech’s PTZ models are designed with face detection and framing technology, so it tracks whoever is speaking, even if they are moving around the room.

Biamp’s CrowdMics

Biamp’s products include some of the industry’s best microphones, and its CrowdMics technology allows people to utilize any smartphone as a microphone. If granted permission, users can connect their device to the system and run their audio through the room’s PA system. With CrowdMics, there is no need to pass a microphone around the room, which keeps things cleaner.

Some 2020 technology solutions were aimed at better workplace hygiene and safety

A handful of 2020 solutions were aimed at controlling the spread of COVID itself. Some of them include:

Protect98

Keeping sick people at home is essential, and Protect98 makes it easier for businesses to protect their employees. The app can be used with most devices and scans body temperature with excellent accuracy and speed. It only takes a couple seconds per person, and pass or fail indication is done with sound and light. People are guided through the process with visual instructions, too, so it’s also simple.

Creston’s meeting room flags

Crestron’s meeting flags are already used to help with room booking and faster meetings, but now they can also guide cleaning teams to rooms that require sanitation. Designed to provide simple information quickly, Creston’s flags can be color-coded to denote whether a room is in need of cleaning, is already clean, or is occupied.

iCloth

iCloth isn’t an AV solution, but it does keep AV solutions clean. iCloths are pre-moistened with a 70-percent isopropyl solution, which is what the CDC recommends for disinfection. They are approved for aerospace use, as well, because they will not scratch surfaces and are individually packaged.

2020 was the year of COVID, but it was also a year of innovation to ensure safer workplaces that could still be productive when teams work remotely. With some of the industry’s best AV manufacturers put to the task, they were able to develop many technologies that are helping companies and schools maintain safe operations, even in the face of a global pandemic.

Cut Through the Noise: What Equipment Does Your Hybrid Learning Environment Include

With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, the way educators teach and children learn has changed significantly. Most school districts have either adopted a completely virtual classroom setting or they have combined it with in-person educational options, both of which can require a hybrid learning environment at times as schools close and reopen due to changing coronavirus cases.

As a leading audio visual solutions designer and integrator, Data Projections is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of school districts, teachers, and students to help ensure a hybrid learning environment can yield success whether at home, in the classroom, or both.

The Importance of Providing A Hybrid Learning Environment for Teachers and Students

School districts across the nation are already making plans for next year’s curriculum, which may still include working around a pandemic. For this reason, most districts are planning to still offer some sort of a hybrid learning environment to their students.

As our students and teachers have adapted to school amidst a pandemic, they are learning what works and what doesn’t, and we can help improve the solutions a district chooses. One of the main obstacles of learning in-person and remotely is the teacher wearing a mask when instructing. Some studies show that students can miss up to a staggering twenty-five percent of what the teacher says if they are wearing a mask. Not only can the teacher be difficult to hear, but with a mask covering their mouths, students are not able to read their lips either.

Perhaps most concerning is that these roadblocks can impact how students learn. Many children report that when teachers are wearing a mask it can make it harder for them to learn. Ultimately, challenges in learning can yield frustration for both teachers and students and may cause students to fall behind.

To help address this issue, we now offer several solutions designed to help teachers communicate more clearly when wearing a mask, live streaming, or recording digital lessons with this technology. This allows virtual students to participate in a more meaningful way with better audio. The following are some of the solutions designed to be a win-win for school districts, teachers, and students:

Audio Enhancements VIEWpath for Remote and Blended Learning

Audio Enhancements VIEWpath Blend for Portable Audio and Video

Front Row Solutions

Audio Enhancements VIEWpath for Remote and Blended Learning

One of the biggest challenges for teachers in the classroom amidst the coronavirus pandemic is figuring out how to streamline remote and blended learning. Many teachers have classrooms with both in-person and virtual students, which can make teaching a challenge.

Enter Viewpath (Video Interactive Education Window), a simple solution for remote and blended learning. This setup addresses some of the most significant problem areas for teachers, including:

  • Options for creating content
  • Delivering content
  • Mastering the live stream

When it comes to creation, VIEWpath offers four main recording options for teachers so they can create video lessons with ease. These include:

  1. A mobile app accessed from a smart phone
  2. Web cam accessed from a computer
  3. Portable camera
  4. A camera installed in the classroom that can provide a nearly 360-degree view

Delivery of the digital content teachers create is designed to be shared via:

  • Downloads
  • Embed codes
  • Streaming through popular channels such as Zoom, YouTube Live, or Google Hangouts

When using VIEWpath, the goal is to make creating and sharing content more accessible and user-friendly for teachers.

VIEWpath Blend for Portable Audio and Video

Without enhanced audio programs, a teacher’s words can sound muffled and fuzzy to students, whether they are in the classroom or at home, which can make it difficult for children to learn. The VIEWpath Blend balances portable audio and video to provide teachers and students with the tools they need to transcend communication challenges.

The audio component of VIEWpath works with classroom microphones. Teachers can wear a wireless microphone designed to transmit their voice as clearly as possible, even while wearing a mask. This keeps teachers from straining their voice or having to speak extra loudly to compensate for wearing a mask. Microphones can help students in the classroom and at home hear the teacher better, which improves engagement.

Other audio perks can include a portable speaker system and blue tooth capabilities. Although the portable audio solution is a popular option, we also offer an installed audio solution.

The video portion of this tool includes utilizing a portable classroom camera that can record a teacher’s lessons and make this content easily shareable with students across various outlets as mentioned in the VIEWpath for Remote and Blended Learning section.

Front Row Solutions

Front Row video conferencing integration is another popular program for hybrid and remote learning environments. It allows both teachers and students to get more out of the learning environment.

Here are some of Front Row’s standout features:

  • Video conference functionality on a teacher’s computer via a USB cable
  • Teacher microphone to amplify their voice for in-person and virtual students

This alone would make the solution worth it, but the additional benefits are what can really make Front Row a fantastic solution:

  • Teachers can mute virtual students
  • When unmuted, virtual students’ voices are also amplified in the classroom
  • In-person students may access a student microphone to amplify their voices so that remote students can also hear what they have to say
  • A screen share option allows teachers to seamlessly share learning content with students
  • Recording functions allows a teacher’s lessons to be archived for convenient access

If you are a school district or teacher who is interested in creating a hybrid learning environment to better support your classroom and virtual learning experiences, please reach out to Data Projections today to see how we can help.