Schools often have a number of spaces where quality AV is required to not only enhance the learning process and the safety on campus, but also to provide a better experience for students, teachers, staff and parents. Let’s look at 4 spaces and important factors to consider for each when upgrading or installing a new AV system.
A critical space for learning where students and teachers spend most of their day, classrooms should allow for a teacher to speak to their students without the need to scream so those in the back can hear. There are sound amplification systems such as voice lift that can amplify the teacher as well as the fellow students voices just slightly to dramatically improve voice intelligibility within the classroom. Additionally, interactive white boards or projector systems can provide an engaging way to teach, learn and collaborate. Teachers can annotate onscreen with their finger, or a pen, and students can simultaneously work together to create and learn with multi-touch surfaces.
Everything from basketball games to pep rallies to homecoming dances and graduations take place in school gymnasiums and all of these events require AV systems. Announcements, student or administrator speeches, and music, are required, so a sound system is a must. Accounting for acoustic difficulties in such a large space with hard surfaces is crucial to making sure announcements and speakers can be clearly heard by all. Large video displays or video walls as projectors may also prove very useful so the space can easily morph to serve any of the myriad of events that may be taking place.
Another all-purpose space, auditoriums are often used for performances as well as student assemblies and even community meetings. Here AV should focus on a sound system that will accommodate theatrical performances as well as speaking engagements. Large displays or a projector can be utilized for video, but maintenance and ease of access should be considered. Projectors that are ceiling mounted are difficult to reach, so one that does not require bulb replacements would be advantageous. For this reason, laser projectors would be ideal. Projection screens can also be fairly heavy and require storage, therefore a motorized screen provides much easier and more convenient set up and tear down scenarios that require less manpower.
Outdoor PA systems
For outdoor stadiums or fields, a PA system is key for games such as soccer, football or lacrosse games, as well as other outdoor activities that may take place on the field or in a stadium. Elementary schools may also want to utilize a PA system for after school pick up lines to call students or parents for dismissal. In outdoor venues, equipment needs to be weatherproof to withstand rain, snow, heat, cold and humidity among other inclement weather conditions. The ability to film and stream games or other events may also be a priority so this should be accounted for when planning.