Easy technology management a must for schools, experts say

With record attendance of 32,000, InfoComm 2008 continued into the second day of conference sessions and exhibits with a focus on easy technology management, innovative audio systems, and digital signage.

School IT professionals often wear many hats, and when they receive multiple requests for technical support, IT staff, as well as classroom teachers, need quick and simple solutions on hand.

Crestron introduced a new media presentation controller that connects, controls, and routes AV presentation equipment in a one-projector application.

Any PC or other web-enabled device can monitor all of the devices that the media presentation controller controls.  A simple "help" functions lets IT staff speak with an instructor in real time if that instructor needs help with the unit.

RT Com USA introduced HDMI and DVI distributors.  School technology staff can send different images or videos to different television screens or displays from one central unit.

1UControl’s Virtual Remote Control Center gives a teacher control over all classroom AV equipment, from a single source, eliminating confusion that may occur when switching from one piece of AV equipment to another.

Sometimes the most basic solutions are overlooked when ensuring students have the best possible experiences in a classroom.

Simple actions such as making sure a room is bright or dark enough, or checking to see if every student can hear the instructor, go a long way during class time.

Crestron also introduced a series of wireless green products for lighting and window shade control.  The system lets IT professionals see their school’s carbon output, energy usage, energy costs, and energy savings per year based on how they have configured the system’s settings for their building.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, having easy access to lighting and window shade control ensures that the light in a classroom where an instructor is using a projector does not wash out the display, or that a room is bright enough so that all students can see.

Anchor Audio introduced the AN-Mini a portable speaker and audio system weighing less than three pounds.  The speaker comes with a corded or wireless microphone, and lets educators at the K-12 or university level plug in iPods or use voiceover features as well.

Audio Enhancement debuted SoloSolution, an infrared multimedia wireless sound system compatible with iPods, DVDs, VCRs, and laptops.  A remote control controls the system’s handheld microphone and multimedia audio sources.

A dedicated pavilion immersed attendees in a digital signage environment.  Experts say digital signage–electronic displays and digital signs in public areas–is quickly becoming an essential component of business.

Workshops on digital signage opportunities, content choices, and best practices helped attendees become familiar with the basic principles of digital signage, as well as how to proceed with the technology.

eSchool News Staff

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