A recent article in InfoComm spotlighted the need for commercial audio-visual integrators to be aware of the budget constraints facing educational institutions. For years, audio-visual integrators have looked to education institutions, especially K-12, as a solid source of consistent work and high revenues. But with K-12 budgets being slashed, it’s important that A/V integrators stay on top of new developments in school technology, budget restraints and opportunities to grow in the future.
School technology is moving away from a dedicated teacher at the front, to more of a collaborative learning style, according to the article. Author Mark Mayfield writes: “Today’s generation of learners value the role that technology plays in sharing ideas and information, even outside of school.
Research firm Grunwold Associates found in a 2007 study that 96 percent of online teens used social media. That number is likely closer to 100 percent today. Learning technologies that capitalize on this fact — and other tech trends that kids have already adopted — will be wise technology investments for the future.”
A key maxim in the piece notes that projection and flat-panel technologies are becoming far more commonplace in school environments. Projectors and screens are on the way, cites the author who writes: “Over the last decade, projection and flat-panel display technologies have neared their mature stage, too, with lower prices and higher performance. Since the early days of AV in schools, the most cost-effective presentation system was a projector and a screen. Today, that’s changing, as flat-panel display prices have dropped, sizes have increased, and performance has dramatically improved.”
CCS Presentation Systems Julie Solomon is quoted in the article, stating that the company sees a trend towards more technology in the classroom environment. It reads: “We see a migration toward large-format LCD displays, and away from traditional projectors with screens,” says Julie Solomon, manager of marketing and business development at CCS Presentation Systems. Although interactive whiteboards are the hot technology in K-12 today (analyst firm Wainhouse Research says more than 80 percent of schools use them), that may not always be the case. “Eventually, everything will move toward touch interactive displays,” Solomon believes.”
Another industry expert quoted in the article believes that in the future, the entire curricula will be digital, so it makes sense that new technologies will be designed around creating, consuming and managing digital curricula. Some of the key aspects include real-time online visual learning, desktop video conferencing technology, cloud-based digital resources accessible from home, and ease of technology devices that are monitored and controlled remotely via single interface remote maintenance software.