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Classroom Audio-Visual Technologies that Work

by Tim Heneveld on March 21, 2012

image of classroom audio-visual technology consultant“It depends.” This is probably my most frequent response I give when people ask me a tech-related question. Why? Because the answer to the question will vary depending on circumstances, factors, and requirements. So when someone asks me, “What’s the best AV technology to put into a classroom?” My answer usually is, “It depends.” What we first need to know is what the appropriate type and quantity of technology is in order to support the curriculum and teaching style of the school.

The trouble is that many schools don’t exactly know how the technology should support the curriculum in the first place. Do you need a projector to teach better? How about a SmartBoard? Do you need two projectors (either for viewing angles or to show different types of content) or maybe three projectors for a more flexible classroom arrangement? The answer to what technology is needed really depends on these types of questions (and many more!).

We recently worked with a school system that was wrestling with these questions. Of course, funding is tight in schools these days, so the district was seeking to get the most technology for their money. In an effort to answer some of these questions we assisted the district in designing 3 different “rooms” that used different types and orientations of technology. Then the systems were installed in rooms in their existing building and the faculty was invited and encouraged to hold their regular classes in the rooms to try out how the systems worked. This exercise has resulted in a much better understanding for the staff and administrators of what technology can and cannot do to support their teaching and curriculum.

Outfitting a school building or a school district with new technology in the classrooms is an expensive project. Figuring out the types of technology and the necessary configurations is an important part of the process. Asking the right kinds of questions and effectively vetting how the technology will support the curriculum so that student learning is enhanced is the key to it all. At Acoustics By Design, we work with you through each step of the process and help select the right technologies for improving classroom success in your school.

Tim Heneveld

Tim Heneveld

Tim Heneveld, CTS-D, has worked in almost every aspect of the Audio-Video and lighting industry. From System Design to Project Management to Studio and Live Engineering. Tim has overseen audio, video, and lighting systems as well as operations, and provided recording studio and live sound engineering around the world for recording artists of all genres. Tim is a Certified Crestron and Extron Programmer, and is the Senior AVL Design Consultant for Acoustics By Design, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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