School’s out, and the work is well underway to update campuses with the latest technology. It’s always a delicate dance to balance the latest edtech tools to maximize learning experiences for students and instructors alike with the varying budgets of public institutions versus private. Oftentimes every dollar gets scrutinized, and there are various parties across the board fighting for every cent. There are many ways to approach these project goals of course, but here are three categories that are helping institutions invest wisely this fall.
Laser Light Sources
When laser projectors were first introduced, there were collective “ooohs” and “aaahhhs” (mixed with occasional ducking to avoid blindness risk), but the reality was that as impressive and promising as the technology was, it simply wasn’t affordable for mass deployment. Sure, there are fundamental economic savings in maintenance by avoiding costly lamp replacements, along with the downtime involved, but even with these benefits, the upfront investment still remained out of reach for most, until recently. As expected, laser projection has continued to come down in price as every major manufacturer in the space—one of the most diverse and competitive AV product sectors—has some laser light source offering. The technology itself is maturing and further driving price down. As a result, 2017 is turning into the year that higher ed has been able to embrace the visual, maintenance, and now cost benefits that laser projection offers.
Data is King
As audiovisual technology is rapidly being deployed over IP networks, new software tools are flexing their muscles and adding value across the board. The ability to record, review, and analyze lakes of data concerning how classroom technology is being utilized have tremendous potential in the ROI game. It’s true that these technologies take time and resources to leverage, but the payoff in being able to quantify usage per device and effectively measure productivity couldn’t be more valuable information when it comes to technology buying decisions. And as classrooms without borders and distance learning continues to carve its space out in the pedagogical world, monitoring these remote workflows and managing their needs becomes a significant value an institution can offer to students.
The physical infrastructure that students and professors interact with most in the classroom has historically been a sore spot. In the past, either aesthetics or functionality were prioritized, with little consideration to the best of both worlds. Today AV furniture innovators have raised the bar for users while presenting administrators with more bang for their buck. Whether it’s a lectern with full AV rack functionality obscured within custom finishes—complete with bells and whistles or slimmed down for more discerning budgets—or workspace surfaces outfitted with the connectivity inputs of today’s tech savvy BYOD students, the furniture game has hit its stride matching form with function and budgets. To delve further into the nuances of these areas and other benefits of deploying active classrooms, you need a trusted technology integration partner. VCA is here to help. Contact us today.