Extron’s WallVault Systems are designed for classrooms with a wall-mounted short-throw projector or flat-panel display. WallVault Systems include all the necessary audio and video switching, sound amplification, system control, source connectivity, speakers, mounting hardware, and cabling for a complete classroom AV solution, the company says; all that’s left to add is the video projector or flat-panel display itself.

Teachers can control their projector or flat-panel display through a wall-mounted controller, switching back and forth between a computer, DVD, VCR, or other media source connected to the display and adjusting the volume as necessary. Or, they can control the system via the school’s network, using a graphical interface on a web page.

WallVault Systems use Cat 5 twisted pair cabling for carrying the audio and video signals between the wall plate input and switcher. Twisted pair cabling is lighter, smaller, and more flexible than coaxial cable, Extron says, so it is easier to route through walls and pull through small conduits. What’s more, all the necessary switching and amplification is housed in the projector’s wall mount itself, thereby securing these electrical components and hiding them from view.

Califone has added flexibility to its Infrared Classroom Audio sound-amplification system, giving educators a way to tap into announcements made from a school’s main office. The redesigned console now features a dedicated port that receives an audio signal directly from the school’s office, complete with local volume control—essentially turning the classroom audio system into a public address and emergency-alert system as well.

“Traditionally, the Infrared Classroom Audio System has been used by classroom teachers to ensure that all students can hear clearly what they need to hear, whether it is the teacher’s own voice or other AV-based activities,” said Tim Ridgway, vice president of marketing for Califone. “Our upgraded system now helps schools to implement and maintain a school-wide announcement and emergency-response solution cost-effectively.”

At InfoComm, Califone also introduced a new Assistive Listening System, which enables educators to give any number of designated students a personal listening device to clearly hear the teacher or other amplified audio.

In smaller areas, the system helps hearing-challenged students overcome inadequate classroom acoustics and high levels of ambient noise, thereby increasing engagement and achievement. In larger settings, such as in auditoriums or outdoor applications like field trips, it means that specific students can receive extra audio support, whether for increased amplification or tailored for a tour-group activity.

Though kit sizes vary—and are configurable for any size group—the core of the system includes a 900 MHz transmitter for the presenter that can be fitted with either a headset or mini-condensor microphone, and any number of wireless receivers (with connecting headphones) for listeners.

The receivers feature dual headphone jacks, so one can be shared with a classmate. This also makes the system helpful for those who need translation support, Califone says, such as for non-English speaking parents at back-to-school nights.

Listeners can choose between a lightweight headphone or a single ear headphone attached to the receiver. The receivers and transmitter can be worn with a lanyard around the neck or hip worn with its belt clip.

“This new listening system is ideal for tour groups and wherever it is imperative that all students can hear the teacher clearly, despite language barriers or disabilities,” Ridgway said. It’s also a cost-effective way for schools using wireless microphones on the now-banned 700 MHz frequency band to switch over to another frequency, he added.

The RoomPro ONE, from RoomPro Technologies, is a fully integrated, all-in-one classroom AV control and microphone system that enables K-12 educators to provide an enhanced audio and video experience to improve student learning. RoomPro ONE is equipped with a built-in infrared microphone system that offers optimized voice enhancement and 360-degree sound reinforcement. It also includes a wall panel for simple, one-touch control. The wall panel also can be controlled with a Virtual Control Panel, RoomPro’s proprietary control panel emulation software that allows teachers to operate the system using multiple devices.