Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 45

MARKETS
How Integrators Are Meeting K-12 Market Needs
With classrooms equipped for hybrid learning, the focus has shifted to integrating large community
areas to meet AV needs. By Alyssa Borelli
A CLASSROOM ISN'T WHAT IT USED TO
be five years ago, let alone 10 years ago.
Just as auditoriums aren't used only for the
annual spring and fall play anymore - rather,
they're multi-use spaces that might host, for
example, city council meetings - classrooms
are no longer single-use spaces, either.
" COVID-19 made every traditional classroom
with a display and a teacher at the front
of the room become obsolete, " says Travis
Askew, VP of the southeast region at Los Angeles-based
national integrator Solutionz Inc.
Tom Warda, presentation product specialist
at West Chicago, Ill.-based AV integrator
Midwest Computer Products (MCP), notes
he's not working directly in classrooms as often
as he was in 2019. " What we are seeing
is an influx of projects that may have been on
the backburner, " he explains, " [where] the
[K-12 client] has been able to solidify equipment
through the use of federal funds. "
Dave Perkins, account manager at MCP,
agrees, mentioning that he's had many
school districts tell him they aren't doing
structured planning purchases because they
can't count on certain products being available.
K-12 districts are now looking to focus
on areas with flexibility, he says. Perkins offers
an example, saying, " If the gym doesn't have
a projector [right] now, it's not a bad thing. If
it comes in two months later, [the school is]
operating like it always did. "
Solutionz's Askew observes that the
student of today is very different from the
student of 2012. He explains, " They need
engagement - they're used to it - and
they expect interactivity. " If those areas are
lacking, then engagement is lost, he says.
" Collaboration tools like cameras and microphones
engage students and drag them into
that one-on-one environment, [which is] so
critical for learning, " Askew declares.
One often-overlooked consideration when
working with K-12 clients is the importance of
high-quality audio and voice amplification.
MCP's Warda notes that it's hard for younger
commercialintegrator.com
Auditoriums aren't used only for the annual spring or fall play anymore.
children to learn when everyone is wearing a
mask. The mask's muffling effect can result in
soft consonants being covered up. " [When]
you get voice amplification in there for the students,
it definitely helps them understand the
lesson, " he observes. " [But] it's not taking off
like hotcakes, like one would think it should. "
But these sorts of technology applications
are starting to become more relevant to, and
better understood by, school districts.
Basic, but Often Overlooked
Solutionz's Askew agrees, saying, " If
[students] can't hear, they're not in the
conversation...they don't understand what's
going on. " The classrooms of today must be
equipped with an audio system with the capacity
to make sure that " ...every student has
the same level of ability to hear what's going
on, " he adds. " [Otherwise,] you risk losing
students. It's one of the most basic things,
but, quite frankly, it's always overlooked. "
Askew continues, " Teachers can [usually]
be loud enough hear, but, after eight hours
of talking, you'd be surprised at how quiet
a teacher's voice [can be] getting. Students
in the back of the room oftentimes struggle
with this. " He adds, " By putting in even a
basic audio system, you can change that
student's level of engagement and their
experience in the classroom. "
When it comes to K-12 budgets, Warda
notes it's not a vertical that lends itself to
" overselling. " He says integrators must keep
the budget firmly in mind, while working to
provide the client with the tools to help them
succeed. " You want to give them the best
bang for their buck, " Warda declares. " But
also know that you can't be rolling out the
top-line products for every project. "
According to Askew, budgets are " ...one
of the conversations that's really difficult in
K-12 because the financial decisions have
to be made at an administrative level. "
He elaborates further, saying, " What the
teachers want [and] what the students want
and need are not always in concert. Trying to
balance all those things together and create
a solution that meets all those boxes is a
challenge. " One secret that can help school
districts maximize their funds is to utilize
grants to help obtain funding for projects.
A final consideration: Ensuring teachers
understand the technology they're utilizing.
" If you spend all this money on technology,
but you don't educate those who are actually
utilizing it every day, [then] you're not going
to maximize the [ROI], " Askew concludes.
After all, integrated technology is meant to
be used, not merely to exist.
APRIL 2022 Commercial Integrator 45
http://www.commercialintegrator.com

Commercial Integrator April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator April 2022

Commercial Integrator April 2022 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 1
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 2
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 3
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 4
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 5
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 6
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 7
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 8
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 9
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 10
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 11
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 12
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 13
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 14
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 15
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 16
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 17
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 18
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 19
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 20
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 21
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 22
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 23
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 24
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 25
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 26
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 27
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 28
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 29
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 30
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 31
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 32
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 33
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 34
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 35
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 36
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 37
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 38
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 39
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 40
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 41
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 42
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 43
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 44
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 45
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 46
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 47
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 48
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - Cover3
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/july_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/june_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/may_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/april_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/march_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/february_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/january_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/december_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/november_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/october_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/september_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/august_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/july_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/june_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/may_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/apr_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/march_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/february_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/january_2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com