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How to Plan For a Classroom AV Project



Educators are constantly looking for ways to improve their teaching methods to make them more effective. Teachers can use AV equipment to teach students of all age groups, encourage problem-solving skills and increase focus. Interactive AV equipment can make complex ideas easier to understand and lessons more memorable. 


AV project management is essential if you're looking to implement AV into your classroom. With a clear goal, deadline, budget and understanding of your AV needs, you can get your ideal AV systems installed on time and within your budget. Follow our steps below to get started!


Decide on a Time Frame

To get started with your AV classroom project, you'll need to decide on a timeframe. Projects like these can get out of hand without proper deadlines. A project timeline will give you a clear path forward and set you up for success. You can also share your project timeline with other relevant parties so that everyone can see the bigger picture and the roles they will play within it.


To develop your project timeframe, consider the following:

  • Project scope: Decide what you plan to accomplish by the end of the timeframe. Writing a detailed project scope of work can help cement this — your statement should include measurable and achievable outcomes as well as who is responsible for each step of the project.

  • Work breakdown: A big project can be daunting. To combat this, segment your project into smaller, more manageable tasks. Create a list of things that need to be completed and look at the tasks involved for each one. You can then create a checklist for your project and work through one objective at a time. If you need help with anything, ask before you begin so you're aware of each person or company's availability and how long they will take.

  • Time estimates: Without time estimates, your project could take longer than it needs to. Provide a realistic time estimate for each task to keep you on track. It's also a good idea to note if any tasks are dependent on one another so you can predict any issues ahead of time. Add some extra time to your estimates in case of any scheduling or product delays.


With a good understanding of the tasks involved in your project and how long they'll take to complete, you can pick the final deadline for your project.


Determine Your Budget

Now that you know when you want to complete your AV project setup, it's a good idea to look into your budget. A detailed, thorough budget plan can help you make informed choices when choosing your audio-visual system. You may also need a budget to get approval for your project from your educational facility, or they may supply you with one to adhere to.


To begin, you'll need to list all the resources you need to create your ideal AV setup. Look back to the list you made when developing your timeline for some guidance. The most obvious costs will be for the AV equipment, but you may need to do some construction within your classroom and hire professionals to install everything for you. These costs can add up quickly, so get quotes early on and factor them into your budget. A good option is to have an onsite meeting early on that will allow the AV experts to build out a bill of materials that meets your budget, timeframe, and desired functionality.


If you're working with a tight AV budget, here are a few ways you can save some money:

  • Buy used audio-visual equipment.

  • Choose simple, affordable AV systems.

  • Determine what is most important, and build the system around that. You can upgrade and expand later down the road.


Select Your Equipment Type

Your audio-visual project needs the right equipment to engage and entertain learners. Look into the different types and choose yours based on your AV system needs and the equipment's quality, reliability, and complexity.


Projectors



Projectors are output devices that connect to computers or laptops to display an image. Most projectors these days are mounted onto the ceiling and project an image onto a white wall or board. There are also interactive projectors that track your movements on a whiteboard, much like a mouse on a PC. The main benefits of a projector are the large image and useable space when not being utilized.


Interactive Displays

Interactive displays — or smart boards — consist of a wall-mounted screen with touch capabilities, much like an iPad. Depending on the model, you can use your fingers or a pen or stylus to interact with the screen. You don't need to connect a laptop or computer with most interactive displays, as they contain the necessary software, such as Windows. The advantage of interactive displays is their better image quality, built-in speakers, and touch accuracy.


Peripherals

There are lots of additional components you may add to an AV solution to make it fit your needs better.


Speakers – Projectors typically will need additional speakers for any audio from them. Large classrooms may also need speakers even if using a panel to ensure students in the rear can hear the audio without increasing the volume too much for the students in the front. A key component to ensure installation is done correctly when installing speakers is ensuring integration to paging and fire alarms. A massive oversight and safety hazard would be speakers playing and the occupants unable to hear alarms or important messaging.


Document Cameras – Document cameras are ideal for teachers going over physical textbooks, homework, or tests. They allow the instructor to display whatever is on their desk which enables the students to follow along more easily.


Control Systems – Turning on/off the projector or display, changing input settings, controlling volume, and so much more is a possibility when you implement control systems into your classroom. These can make a full system operate seamlessly while reducing the number of physical devices a teacher needs to use which helps with simplicity and time savings.


PTZ Cameras – Cameras are great in our modern hybrid world with students both in the classroom and at home. This allows virtual students to see the teacher and the class to aid in their learning environment.


Voice Uplift System / Microphones – Soft-spoken teachers or large classrooms are two of the main reasons to use a voice uplift system. These are worn or handheld devices that will amplify the instructors voice so it is evenly heard throughout the room. This, like the speakers, allows the students an even instruction regardless of where they sit in the room.


Configuration and Setup

Once you've purchased all your audio-visual equipment, you will need to install and set it up properly. The correct installation will keep your equipment in place, reduce connectivity issues and prevent damage from falling. Ideally, it would be best if you planned to install your AV system during a break or over the holidays so that it doesn't interrupt teaching. Second-shift after-school work is also an option, as long as the rooms are fully functional at the end of every shift to ensure teachers aren’t without their equipment the next day.


Hiring an installation professional ensures a smooth, accurate, and efficient installation process. The equipment will work well, the installation will be tidy and correct, and it frees up your staff to continue their day-to-day without delays due to having to handle installs themselves. Logistics also plays a massive role in the deployment. Receiving, storing, and then dealing with the trash after the fact is often overlooked and can attribute the biggest headache to an installation. Enlisting the expertise of professionals addresses all of these concerns.


Try AVMountsUSA's Over-the-Board Mount



An over-the-board mount is a time and cost saver because it fits over your existing chalkboard or whiteboards. This means you won't need to spend money and time on renovating your classroom to remove them.


AVMountsUSA is a woman-owned small business that supplies durable and long-lasting over-the-board mounts. We source our materials from U.S. suppliers and manufacture our mounts in Pennsylvania to reduce costs and supply delays. We also offer fast, free shipping!


We'd love to work with you to create a customized solution for your classroom AV project. Give us a call at 717-276-4836 or fill out our online contact form today so we can get in touch.







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