Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Educating the educators

Choosing the correct av kit is essential for effective learning, says Sam Dimond, founder of AV integrator Spotlight Sound

The AV industry has been riding high over the past few years with consistent growth at around 7.6%. However, it is anticipated that this upward trajectory will slow and drop to around 5.5% over the next 5 years. Like many industries, there are still areas of the AV world which will remain consistent and should still see growth. One of those is the education sector. 

Classrooms now look very different to those of 20 years ago. Blackboards have been replaced by interactive screens which are controlled by laptops. The sound and lighting in classrooms is also something that has changed. Research has found that humans often react better to visual aids. A 2019 National Library of Medicine report found that 65% of the population are visual learners. However, other studies have found that the figure could now be as high as 80%.

With this in mind, it stands to reason that the use of technology in schools has a direct impact on the attainment of pupils within the setting. For example, we know that AV technology helps with active learning rather than passive listening meaning that children can engage with lesson content by watching videos, participating in discussions and interacting with simulations.

As a society we are now more aware of neurodiversity and how that presents early on in children. Research shows that the physical learning environment a child is in can affect their ability to progress, lighting and sound are a big part of that. 

AV equipment enables children to process information using both their hearing and sight, which can enhance their comprehension and retention of information. Technology in schools is not just limited to classroom teaching. Whole school assemblies often rely on big screens and sound in larger rooms and halls. 

Staged events such as productions, presentations and assemblies also require AV technology with microphones, screens, lighting and sound. Teachers have to get to grips with how these systems work.

Many schools make mistakes when choosing and installing their AV systems. Budget is usually a constraint, therefore choosing the cheapest option often means that they end up with a system that is not best suited to their needs. Within their AV budget schools need to ensure that they allow for ongoing maintenance as AV technology does need looking after and updating. The most important consideration for schools is to ensure their AV technology is user-friendly and the team installing it demonstrates how to use all aspects of it as well as how to troubleshoot. 

Schools need to identify what their specific educational goals and objectives are and exactly how they need their AV system to support those objectives. For example, primary schools are less likely to have students operating the systems but secondary schools and colleges will have students using them, therefore that needs to be considered when choosing the system.  

AV systems can often facilitate better communication, which is especially important in today’s global and digital education landscape. Therefore it is key that schools choose the right AV kit for the future of their students.