Finding the Best AV Solutions to Engage On-site and Remote Learners
by Mark BarberSeptember 18, 2020
After a chaotic spring, we’ve all had a chance to take a deep breath and prepare for the new year. While some districts have already committed to a full semester of remote education, many are moving forward with hybrid learning models. In any case, it’s paramount that we empower teachers with the tools and training they need to thrive.
One way we do this is by investing in quality audio-visual (AV) equipment. The pandemic has revealed how important cameras, webcams and microphones are at a time when many teachers must educate both on-site and remote learners simultaneously.
However, it can be hard to discern which accessories you need to meet your specific goals. You must understand the challenges your staff needs to overcome, as well as how to maximize the value of any investment over the long term. Here are some thoughts to help guide you.
What Unfamiliar Challenges Are We Facing?
In many ways, educators and students are fighting an uphill battle as they return to school this year.
Keep in mind that teachers are not technologists. A vast majority don’t have the inherent IT skills to navigate complex software or diagnose bugs. They can’t afford to spend time troubleshooting issues with their own devices when students are struggling to engage.
Many teachers also aren’t aware of best practices when it comes to optimizing AV for hybrid learning. We need to help educators understand where to install their external microphones and how to minimize background noise rather than expect them to solve these issues on their own. AVer Media, Sennheiser and Shure make models that do an excellent job of minimizing noise for clear delivery.
Promoting student equity will also be a major challenge, especially as budgets tighten. Administrators can’t purchase new AV equipment unless every student will have access to the same accessories and devices. Additionally, some technologies are not widely available right now due to high demand or supply chain constraints.
Furthermore, there is more opportunity to vet the effectiveness of certain AV products for hybrid learning. Trox works closely with our vendors to evaluate the latest in remote learning so that we can provide the best possible recommendations to schools.
Keeping these challenges in mind, we can start to understand what factors are critical when making AV buying decisions.
What to Consider When Buying AV
Given the stressors educators are dealing with today, simple solutions are best.
They need equipment that is easy to set up and configure for their teaching styles. Even though the collective remote learning knowledge base has grown, there is still a lot to be learned about how to optimize AV utilization. Solutions that come with clear guides, online tutorials, and other resources are especially helpful.
It’s also important to define your ultimate objectives when it comes to AV equipment. We have local experts who are happy to work with you to ensure you achieve your goals within your budget and get the most value out of whatever you purchase for your staff.
By nature, some schools are early adopters and enjoy being front-runners when it comes to new AV. Others prefer to use tried-and-true products. They want equipment that has proven to be reliable and effective over time.
The right answer here depends on the nature of your hybrid learning model and your state’s educational standards. Ultimately, your AV should enhance your teachers’ abilities to deliver lessons and facilitate student development.
We encourage schools to think long term about their AV purchases. What you buy today doesn’t necessarily have to be a temporary solution for remote learning during the pandemic. Ideally, you can find future-proof AV that will be useful many years down the line.
Work with Trox for All Your AV Needs
The Trox team is dedicated to coming alongside schools to help them make the best use of their budget when it comes to AV equipment.
We offer a versatile selection of powerful, intuitive AV products, from large-format projectors to interactive touch panels. We also provide training and professional development upfront so that educators have the knowledge they need to implement remote and hybrid classroom models effectively.
We’re happy to provide tailored recommendations and value-engineer according to your unique goals and preferences. After all, everyone should have an expert partner with whom to navigate through what will be a trying year in education.
About the Author
Mark Barber is senior vice president of Sales for Trox. He excels in sales management and enjoys exploring the realm of the possible in matching the right technologies and services with the right environments to address today’s educational challenges. Mark and his team provide technology solutions and services for over one-third of the school districts and education institutions in the U.S. and Canada.