Headware vs Hardware: Digital Collaboration in the Classroom



There was a time in the not-so-distant-past where technology was trying to keep up with what was happening in the schools. Then we reached a level where the hardware and the expectation of the curriculum were closely in sync. Most recently though we have seen the capabilities of technology outpace the models of classroom instruction that many of us have grown comfortable teaching with.

We are no longer in a space where we should worry about “what” technology we have. We should shift our focus to “what we can do with it” to enhance our student’s mastery of the world.

Some fantastic current examples of this trend are Project-Based Learning, MakerSpaces, Flipped Classrooms and many more. These new approaches were created as a “result” of what technology made available rather than driving the technology itself. We are playing catch-up to a certain degree within the classrooms. It can be very exhausting to attempt to stay on top of your curriculum, the needs of your students, your own personal digital surroundings, and, still attempt to bring and merge all of those together to create something new and exciting.

 “where do I go?” The wrong move or a minute’s delay can mean life or death..

How does Visual Notification Enhance Safety?

The Alarm bell goes off, three short bursts and the strobes start flashing. This is the real deal, are you confident your students and staff remember precisely what to do? It wasn’t so long ago that you only had to juggle two alerts – evacuate for fire, or move to a shelter for weather.  If students got mixed up, it only took a minute or so to redirect them and get everyone to safety.

Intruders, active shooter, lockdown, all clear, fire, and weather. Each has its own set of needs and instructions all focused on “where do I go?” The wrong move or a minute’s delay can mean life or death. What if, clear and accurate instructions could be reinforced with visual messages alongside the audio signals being sent throughout your building simultaneously? Once these types of systems were cost prohibitive, however with today’s technology advances these critical systems exist in cost effective packages that integrate all your critical communications.

But what does it really do?

How to better communicate with IT professionls

As AV over IP becomes more and more prevalent in our industry, the one constant roadblock to success is communication with Enterprise IT professionals.  It all stems from the fact that our answers don’t always mesh with their questions.  Some of it is terminology.  Most of it however, is understanding what they need to know and how to express it.

First, we need to define the type of deployment.  There are three main types.  CONTROL over IP, COLLABORATION over IP, and VIDEO over IP (with audio, of course.)

Let’s take a look at the points that you will need to clearly communicate to an IT professional when discussing each type of deployment.