Monday, May 4, 2015

Higher Ed Tech Decisions: AV Experts Predict 4 Hot Higher Education Trends to Hit the Market by December 2015

I was interviewed for this Higher Ed Tech Decisions article about popular higher ed AV technology trends.  It was hard to pick only a couple, so I talked about lampless projectors and the importance of designing 4K compatible infrastructure and systems even if you aren't installing 4K projectors/displays yet.

May 04, 2015 
written by:  Jessica Kennedy 
AV experts predict the higher education market will see a rise in lampless projectors, 4K compatible systems, recording studios and wireless collaboration by the end of the year.  AV experts and integrators forecast four major trends will surface in higher education by the end of 2015.
Mike Tomei, former AV specialist at Ithaca College and owner of Tomei AV Consulting says lampless projectors will gain popularity by the end of the year.  He says that lampless projectors used to have a track record of high prices and poor color quality.
However, he says more manufacturers are getting into lampless projectors, and that the prices are coming down.
“They will be more reliable, and higher ed support staff won’t have as many service request tickets [to fulfill],” Tomei says. “The support staff will also like the idea of not having to stock extra lamps on campus.”
Tomei also says that 4K compatible systems will make more frequent appearances in higher education classrooms this year.  He says 4K compatible systems have always been hot in medical settings, but have not been specified in higher education until recently.
He also says these systems will become more compatible with higher education infrastructures, switchers and cabling, and will be a popular item to see at InfoComm 2015.
“4K compatible systems will also help [higher ed] support staff,” he says. “They won’t have to pull out all the equipment when 4K gets big in higher education.”
Bill McIntosh, CEO of the integration company Synergy Media Group says that more recording studios will be built into college campuses this year.  He says recording studios will become a necessity for colleges to create high-impact online learning programs; the traditional route of a professor speaking into a webcam with a PowerPoint is stale and uninteresting to students.
“Online learning courses need to be dynamic, fluid, and entertaining,” McIntosh says. “Since online learning has no geographical constraints when recruiting students, the way the content is packaged and delivered is a major differentiator for students choosing between similar online programs.”
McIntosh also says that wireless collaboration will be a high-demand trend in higher education by the end of 2015.  He says students will utilize wireless collaboration to share content from numerous devices onto a single display during group work. This will enable students to “reach in” and have an equal hand in a project they are working on together.
“Being able to simultaneously display a Word document of the assignment, an Excel file with financial data, a PDF of research, and a website with additional information allow everyone in the group to see the same digital information on a single display and create more efficient decision making,” McIntosh says.
Fostering these trends to support online learning will be crucial towards determining a college’s overall success or failure, McIntosh says.  “Online learning is the way of the future,” he says. “In 2020, I feel that at least 25 percent of students will be attending university though partial online learning programs and that number will only continue to rise. Schools that don’t implement online learning as part of their short-term strategy will have no need to create a long term plan.”

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