Social Media – Blessing or Curse?

Like so many industries, the AV industry has a robust and valuable community in the social media sphere. Many of us have dozens, if not hundreds of contacts and “friends” that we know only via social media. While we have opportunities to catch up and meet during industry events, including the always popular tweet-ups, the […]

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Tiner’s New Take on AVaaS

In late June, Andrew Davis posted a blog entry here on rAVe in which he declared that “in 10 years or less, what was once the AV industry is going to be a be a footnote in the history of business technology.” In the post he made the argument that software will, essentially, take over […]

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Are Crowd Mics a Potential Game Changer?

A couple months ago, I wrote about the various problems that arise when people choose not to use microphones during large meetings or classes. In particular, I was discussing the negative impacts this choice has on people who have some type of hearing issue or hearing loss. I wrote about my belief that all rooms […]

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Listen to What Is Being Said (If You Can)

We recently had a email thread at my institution discussing whether people should use microphones as a standard at all meetings. The discussion started as a result of people having a hard time hearing during faculty meetings. Interestingly, this discussion took a different direction that previous ones had. It was focused on accessibility and how […]

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Integrators or VARs?

Over the past several years my job has evolved more and more into the IT world. This has given me an interesting opportunity to see how vendors act differently between the AV and IT areas. This hit home recently as I began to talk with value-added resellers that want to do business with my college. […]

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Operating Through an Emergency

Despite our industry’s change from box sales to services, I still see some integrators who don’t seem to understand how a service must deliver value to a customer. As I wrote about last month, I see some who still look at what can deliver money to the firm, independent of value to the customer. With […]

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Writing and Recording in the Classroom – An Existing (Unsolved) Need

Last month, I wrote about how I don’t want to see another whiteboard advertised as THE solution for the classroom of the future. I stand by that, I still don’t like them, but I think I may have not been clear about one thing, the concept behind what they are trying to do makes sense. […]

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No More Collaborative WhiteBoards, PLEASE!

I think that InfoComm 2018 may have been the signal to me that I have started to turn from a technology dreamer into a practical user of technology. This transition was realized as I toured around looking at the continual assortments of “collaborative” or digital whiteboards. For years and years I have been searching for […]

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The AV Industry Should Lead in Improving School Safety

In rAVe Ed, we read about technologies that help teachers reach their students in new and improved ways. On occasion, we have written about how technologies in schools can also improve the safety of schools. In light of the recent violence in Florida and regular violence in schools in this country, I think we, as […]

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Designers Can Help Themselves By Listening

Every time we build a new building or renovate a new space, we need to address the age old questions of AV in classrooms. Why does the screen need to block the blackboard? Does there need to be a podium in the room? Does there need to be a rack in the room? Is there […]

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A Thoughtful Approach to Active Learning

Active learning has been on the rise in American college classrooms over the past several years. In general, active learning usually takes place in a classroom that is designed for more group work and discussion and less lecturing from the front of the room. There are dozens of varieties of active learning, and most furniture […]

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Service Contracts That Make Sense

For years, this publication, its founder and many others have been all but begging companies to get into the service business. The days of selling boxes and making margins that can support a business have been over for years. Every now and again you will hear of firms that have managed to make this switch […]

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The “Active” Classroom

For the past several years, one of the buzzwords in education has been the “active learning classroom.” In fact, the active classroom even made the list of EduCause’s Top 10 Emergent Technologies for 2017. While the concept is not new, the implementation is new. I remember hearing about similar concepts back when (way back when) […]

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InfoComm and UBTech 2017

If you have read my columns over the past couple of years, you have likely noticed a pattern. In most of the columns I try to explore creative ways for integrators to continue to find value. Whether that is in the digital signage realm, by selling to higher ed, or just in the general AV […]

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Political Advertisements of the Future?

I am writing this article on the afternoon of Halloween. I spent the day running errands the get ready for the long winter that is ahead of us here in the North. As I drove around completing those errands, I was amazed with the lawns that are awash with political signs. In addition to realizing […]

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Security Wake Up Call

On Fri., Oct. 21, a company in small Manchester, New Hampshire was the focus of a DoS internet attack.  While the city it is located in is small, the company, Dyn, is not. It provides DNS (Domain Name Server) service to a large part of the country. By attacking this company the hackers effectively shut […]

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Higher Ed Still Offers Lucrative Opportunities

In the last couple of days, I have run across a few things that have made me remember that education is a little slower in adopting technologies than other industries. Please remember as I write this, I love where I work. I actually think we are very advanced technically and always continue to advance. What […]

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VR on the Coaster

According to an article titled “Amusement Parks Hurtle Into Dizzying Realm of Virtual Reality” in the August 31st Wall Street Journal, there are over 3,000 roller coasters worldwide. Did you know that? Well, unless you happen to be a coaster-fanatic, probably not. Why? Because amusement parks have never been firms that widely use technology. Yes, […]

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Ticketing Solutions for AV

If you serve the education market, you are well aware that the crazy season is upon us. Students are back on campus and the faculty are joining them and getting ready to begin a semester of new classes. On our campus this is always an exciting and nerve wracking time. Everyone is a little disappointed […]

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Lean Model to Determine Designs

We have all heard, “Well that is how it was designed.” Or, “the integrators made this more complicated than it needed to be.” I, as much as anyone like to pass the buck, but when dealing with customers we need to make sure we provide the end result they want. A lean model of looking […]

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Building a Service Using the Lean Startup Model

I recently read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and could not help but think about how IT and AV could benefit from the processes Ries defines. I particularly found myself thinking of the AV integrators and the struggle that some of them have right now with the small margins they are receiving on equipment. […]

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Getting Close

This month, I take a quick break from writing about ITIL. Why? Well, it is June and in the AV world that means InfoComm. We all know that InfoComm is the closest that all of us AV people get to a national holiday.  I won’t be in Vegas this year but will be watching intently […]

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ITIL: Service Design

For the past couple columns I have been writing about the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is a set of best practices for managing technology services. In my last column, I addressed the first cycle in the process, Service Strategy. For the people who like the hands on work more than the “big picture” […]

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Samsung D’light

In March, I had the unique opportunity to visit Samsung Worldwide headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. An interesting note is that the headquarters are in the Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul. So, along with being able to visit the headquarters, I also was able to do the horse dance in Gangnam. For those tech geeks out […]

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ITIL: Service Strategy

Last month, I wrote about the ITIL guidelines and the powerful changes implementing them can drive. As I wrote, ITIL is divided into five lifecycles. As one begins to look into the learning and certification process, it can be a bit confusing. How do you know which lifecycle you should look into? What about certain […]

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ITIL: Not Just Another Acronym

Years ago, we used to talk about IT and AV convergence. I think that most of us would agree that the “convergence” is over. AV is part of IT. As we went through the process of convergence we, discussed how best to prepare for this eventual converged state. Many AV specialists went on to get […]

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Virtual Reality: Opportunities for the Classroom

As a digital subscriber to the New York Times, I was frustrated when they announced they would be sending Google cardboard to their print subscribers. I was on the verge of dropping the whopping $15 that could have bought one on Amazon, when the Times told me they were sending them to some of their […]

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iOS 9: A Digital Sign

My brother had an odd experience last Saturday evening. He got into his car and before even starting it, his iPhone spoke up and told him that he was 10 minutes from his destination. The funny thing, he had not asked for directions anywhere, or in anyway indicated where he was going. The freaky thing, […]

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Customer Service: Products That Are Ready

As I sat down to write this column, I hemmed and hawed. I even got the column in a little late as I hesitated as to whether I should submit it or write a new one. I did not want to write something that was overly critical of a company, and yet I have had […]

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What is YOUR Strategy?

A couple times in this column, I have written about strategy. In those columns I have focused specifically on the strategy of the companies you are working with, and how to help them develop a strategy for digital signage. As I was clicking through some web pages over the past few weeks, reading up on […]

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Sometimes, Appearances Do Matter

We have been using the Crestron Capture HD products at Bates College for several years. However, we have always had various problems with the devices. On occasion, they will stop taking the video input from the camera in the room. Other times, they will stop recording the audio. These are the worst type of problems […]

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Measure Your Success

In my recent rAVe DS column, I wrote about the value of developing a strategy for digital signage and from that strategy developing metrics to measure whether you have achieved your goals. As we prepare for another academic year to begin, I am thinking about how we measure the success of technologies in our classrooms […]

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