At least half of the nation’s higher-education classrooms will be equipped with digital projectors, control systems, audio or video conferencing equipment, or other audio-visual (AV) technology within the next five years…
The same thing is happening at UHS. Our new building on Sacramento St. will include a data projector, control panel, and speakers in each classroom. The same is true for remodeling classrooms in the main campus. Within two years, we will have A/V systems in all of our classrooms.
Support for A/V systems in classrooms starts with teachers but does not end there. Data projectors are more securely fastened to a difficult-to-reach part of the room than any other A/V device. They also solve the problem of TV carts clogging the hallways and violating fire hazards. Finally, they are multipurpose devices, suitable for all kinds of computer and video presentations.
Now that we have about 15 setups in our school, the maintenance needs of these systems have become clearer. Projector air filters needs to be cleaned regularly, as often as every few months in a dusty environment. The devices also need manufacturer service a lot more often that I had imagined would be the case. We are acquiring a spare mounting bracket so that a loaner may immediately be put in place when a projector must be sent out for service.
As recently as last year, I did not have to concern myself often with projector maintenance and repair. Now I need to count on it, in terms of time, equipment, and budget.
One more thought. There has been some listserv discussion recently regarding running video over Ethernet to data projectors. Since the network cards increase projector cost by a few hundred per unit, I have decided to wait until the technology is proven. I bet that video over wireless will be much improved not too long from now, eliminating the need to use wires at all. In the meantime, we will use video cables and remote control technology if we choose to display student screens on data projectors.