Over the past several years, we’ve seen technology play an increasingly important role in the education system. Technology in the classroom is no longer a pipe dream—it’s an integral part of education, from primary school all the way through higher education. However, including various forms of AV technology in all classrooms can be expensive and trying to keep up with rapid advances in technology is not feasible for many schools. That’s why future-proofing AV in the classroom is important to consider.
Future-Proofing Could Be the Answer
Since most educational organizations don’t have the resources to update their AV setups on a regular basis or with each new evolution, it’s important for educational leaders to work with their technology departments to devise future-proof AV solutions. Fortunately, the AV industry recognizes the need to standardize components to prevent the need to constantly shift to new forms of connections, components and devices. Standardization also improves the IT end of things, affording IT staff with fewer variables with which to contend. Your AV provider/vendor partner can be a great resource for you in this regard.
It’s important to note that technology today relies much more on software than hardware, so future-proofing your AV setup for the classroom is going to entail covering this concern as well. You’ll need to make sure your AV system allows software updates and any additional plugins you require.
Many organizations have attempted to overhaul their AV setups in preparation for the next big thing, but that can be problematic. Betting on what will be the next “big” thing for AV can leave your organization struggling to play catch-up if your decision turns out to be a big misstep in the wrong direction. If you work with a trusted AV partner and follow accepted standards, it’s easier to adapt to the natural flow of things once the next big thing truly takes hold. Until then, go with the flow in terms of acceptable AV standards, instead of betting on a sudden shift in trends.
It’s important to realize that you really can’t entirely future-proof any piece of technology. If we’ve learned anything from the boom in digital technology over the last decades, it’s that everything will eventually be outdated or replaced. When it comes to the classroom (which typically involves a less flexible budget), it’s important to find a balance between investing in future-ready technology and sticking to what works.
The mainstays of your legacy AV systems may have years of life left in them. Others may have been outdated several years ago. You need to stay flexible in terms of your AV investments, so you’re not wasting resources on things you don’t really need, or overlooking areas that definitely require attention.
Work with Your AV Integrator
When handling your AV needs, whether for the classroom or the school district, your AV systems integrator is an important resource. In most cases, your systems integrator does exactly what the name implies—he or she will find ways to integrate new technologies and systems into your existing systems, enhancing what works and replacing what doesn’t. It is there job to be on the cutting edge of technology and working to keep your systems operating to their optimum capacity.
Your systems integrator’s input can be invaluable. When you work with the right partner, you can rest easy knowing that you can rely on your AV systems integrator to help deliver the best solutions to suit your future-proofing needs for the classroom, at the best possible cost.
Is future proofing the AV in your classroom something you are considering? Take a look at how the professionals at HB Communications can help.Photo Credit: AV_Festival Flickr via Compfight cc