One of the fields where multimedia and audio visual technology has brought extraordinary advancements is education. The use of innovative technology, to support courses with high-quality images, videos and sounds just means being able to deliver information in a convenient and attractive manner. Anyone feels much more attracted to a picture or a colorful and animated graph than to a dull, written or spoken text.
However, there is one particular domain where this progress is the most visible: distance learning.
From a marginal phenomenon, restricted to a few people, distance learning is becoming a more and more important tool in providing education to students in any part of the world, including poor rural areas. Furthermore, it is a convenient way of providing continuous education to people that are already much too busy to be physically present at a traditional face-to-face course.
Distance learning programs, powered by high-tech multimedia and audio visual equipment, allow an incredible variety of options. You may choose to attend no matter what course, from the other side of the Globe. This, in turn, favors a wider interaction and exchange of ideas between people from different countries.
How Does Technology Improve the Educational Process?
Well, there are many ways in which both teachers and students can profit from these advancements:
- Information can be delivered through a wide variety of media. It is not just speaking and sending some papers. Nowadays, electronic storage devices (CD and DVD, USB sticks), online transfer means (electronic mail, e-books), presentations, videos and so on, can be chosen to do the same thing in a much faster and easier way.
- Instant communication to and from any corner of the world is now possible. E-mail, SMS, social networks, all these are of great help, ensuring not only a proper dissemination of information, but also feed-back from students. Not to mention that modern multimedia and audio visual technology allows real-time communication through video-conferencing. It is like a presenting a regular course, just that your students can be thousands of miles away.
- Electronic storage, downloads, etc. make things much easier for students. Has a student missed a course? No problem, he can just take it home in an electronic version and study it whenever he wishes to.
- A wide variety of media also means much more varied information. There are things that you cannot simply transmit through text. By using multimedia and audio-visual means, instead, you can do just that.
The advances in multimedia and audio-visual technology have changed our lives forever. Broadcasting, conferencing, telepresence meetings, they all need suitable equipment, in order to have your message transmitted at the highest fidelity possible.
Such equipment is rather complicated, with lots of devices, cables and software that allow capturing and transferring high-quality images and sounds. Operating, managing and maintaining them is no easy job, especially if you own a company that frequently needs to work with such advanced equipment. You definitely need a good technician to handle all that stuff for you.
What Are the Qualities of a Good Audio Visual Technician?
If you want to hire a technician for dealing with your multimedia and audio visual equipment, you will surely find lots of persons claiming to have the knowledge and skills needed. But, how do you know who is really suitable for the job?
Here are some basic qualities of a good technician:
- Proper knowledge of how exactly this kind of equipment works, not only as a whole, but also as far as the specifications of each type of component are concerned. Nowadays, with so many brands and models, you really need to be familiar with a wide variety of devices, each with its pros, cons and operating particularities.
- Capacity to ensure the proper visual and sound support for any type of event that you need to organize. This might include conferences, business meetings, exhibitions, educational or entertainment events. Each of these needs a particular atmosphere to be created, and your technician should understand this.
- Being able to coordinate various types of visual displays (presentations, videos, etc.) with the appropriate sound effects, music or with the speaker is an essential requirement for this job.
- Being organized is also an important quality for anyone working in the multimedia and audio visual field. He should definitely be able to set up and run multiple types of equipment and also maintain them and regularly check their functionality, all these requiring a sense of organization.
- Obviously, a good technician should have all the knowledge and skills needed to solve various technical issues in the fastest manner possible and make all the adjustments necessary to adapt the equipment to diverse situations. After all, having technical skills is a prerequisite for any technician.
- Experience is also desirable. Someone who has been working for a while with multimedia and audio visual equipment has surely encountered various situations and problems and knows how to deal with them.
With the recent technological advancements, most hotel owners tend to invest lots of money in purchasing and maintaining multimedia and audio visual equipment. This is great, both for individual use and for providing multimedia infrastructure for meetings and conferences.
However, it is really worth the costs, from the economical point of view? Many experts in this field have a short answer: NO! Why is that?
Reasons Not to Invest in Multimedia Equipment
- Obsolescence. Like with any other high-tech equipment, you may spend a lot of money and be very glad you have the latest generation of such devices. However, even though the average lifespan of any electronic device is somewhere around a decade, you may quickly find out that it became obsolete. It may take as little as 1-2 years. It is true for computers, mobile phones software and, yes, also for multimedia and audio visual devices.
- Lack of flexibility. You may think that your system is flexible enough to cope with any demands. Well, very often, this assumption proves to be wrong. Various clients have various needs. If the system cannot adapt to their requirements, there are two possibilities: either the clients become frustrated and will just leave with a bad impression or they will try to change the settings with a serious chance of causing significant damage.
- Complexity. Being complex systems, they need professional staff to operate them, with all the know-how required to deal with the latest advancements in this technology. However, finding and, most of all, keeping such specialists is not really piece-of-cake.
- Maintenance costs. Well, you may think that you buy electronic equipment and that is all. Keep in mind that there are significant maintenance costs!
- Pointlessness. Many clients prefer to come with their own multimedia and audio visual, which they, obviously, trust more. So, why spend on equipment that will rarely be used?
What Is the Solution?
Do you have any alternative?
Yes, you have: just install the wiring. By having your own cable infrastructure, you avoid all the damage produced by your clients regularly installing and uninstalling wires throughout your room. Doing it in an appropriate manner also prevents trip hazards.
Put the connection points for microphones, speakers, data transfer and lighting and that is all! Do not forget power outlets, properly positioned!
One of the fields where the recent breakthroughs in multimedia and audio visual technology impact the most is that of conferencing. From universities to business meetings, these new advancements brought numerous changes. There are much more ways to share your ideas to any auditorium and, likewise, there are technologies that allow you to connect with people from distant places.
Thus, nowadays, conferencing is not just about the human resource, i.e. you and your ideas, views or experiences, but also about the quality of the technological resources available. Having proper devices might be just as important as having good ideas.
Multimedia and Audio Visual Aids
What are the types of equipment that help you sustain a successful conference?
- Even when meeting face-to-face with your auditorium, old projections means and dull text and graphics are no longer enough. You need, at least a good, computer-connected projector. But that is just basic. Embedding high-quality images and videos into your presentation is quickly becoming a must have, if you really want to impress. An LCD display is ideal for obtaining a maximum result.
- Motorized electronic screens, room darkening shades maximize the chance of properly delivering your message to all the people in a room. You might even want to provide your auditorium with electronic writing pads, in order to get their feedback. Needless to mention the good old laser pointer.
- Do not forget speakers, microphones and other audio equipment! After all, that is what “multimedia and audiovisual” means. Let your ideas be properly heard by your audience, while also having their comments spoken out loud!
- Last, but not least, telepresence is a great innovation. This way, you may share your views with people all around the world. Having a powerful, high-speed Wi-Fi connection opens the way for video streaming and video conferencing. The devices needed for providing such services are becoming more and more compact and portable. This means that you can carry them anywhere, install and uninstall them in no time. The Internet is becoming more and more an essential aid to a quality conference.
These advancements in multimedia technology mean that conference venues and individuals, businesses, etc. need to adapt to the new trends. Fortunately, the devices needed to sustain a truly multimedia conference are no longer expensive or difficult to find.
With just a small investment, you can have your ideas heard with maximum clarity anywhere in the world. That is the beauty of modern multimedia and audio visual technology!