Sept. 2022 - After our first post highlighting how AV in the classroom has changed over the past decade, our AV in education experts delve deeper into key trends in their regions. Beyond being an excellent comparison, it is interesting to note that even within a region, different countries can have very different experiences.
Insights and experiences shared by:
- Marc Remond, President Asia Pacific
- Kristen Garner, Director of Business Development US Education Sales
- Bharat Kerai, Regional Sales Manager UK
- Jared Walley, Regional Sales Manager Australia
- Kirti Shetti, India Country Manager
- Nir Elizov, Israel Pre-Sales Manager
- Sefi Aharon, Global Education markets development
What are the latest trends for AV in education in your region?
Sefi Aharon, Global Education Market
From a global level, I can already tell you that we teach and learn differently in each country.
It's hard to determine which is the most advanced and active at adopting AV in education. However, I can say that AV costs are lower in APAC countries like Singapore, Thailand, and Japan, where there's a lot of competition between manufacturers, which helps with adoption. Plus, there's more openness to technology. As a result, you'll find classrooms equipped with interactive flat panels, which are considered very expensive elsewhere. In contrast, in India and Israel, there's a lot more use of less-expensive equipment such as projectors and large displays.
In China, you need to have products that are made in China, so that impacts what technology is used there.
In the US, everything is big. A single district may require a rollout for 12,000 classes that uses the same solution. So even with what we'd think of as a small and simple solution – like one or two products per class – the number of classes makes it a big project. The needs are kept fairly basic to accommodate the scale, without "fancy" technology.
In the US, higher education has its differences. For Ivy League universities, being at the front end of technology is part of building their reputation and a way to draw students, and they have the budgets to do this.
Those are just a few examples, of course. What's important to remember in our role in the AV industry is that each country has its own specifications, requirements, and even terminology, and we need to be accommodating to that.
Marc A. Remond, Asia Pacific
After two years of attending classes virtually, many students are back on campus, but many others still attend classes remotely. So, the most significant trend is the hybrid classroom. Particularly in Asia, we have many international students who have yet to obtain their student visas to go and study in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, or even Australia.
In addition, many institutes want to attract international students to join their virtual education programs because it's easier to increase enrollment by opening more hybrid classes or virtual programs to students from any country worldwide.
This is particularly true for local business schools, which need to compete against business schools worldwide that offer MBAs online. And one of the ways to do this is by investing in technology to create competitive differentiation. That means business schools tend to be the first ones to try new things and offer new services, not only to MBA students but also to their corporate clients in executive education and leadership development programs, which are pretty lucrative.
China is a very different market because a university in China is like a small city. There can be 100,000 students on campus – with 20, 30, or even 50 buildings that are part of the same campus. Just the size of the campus dictates the adoption of AVoIP at the highest possible speed today. And it's all based on 10-gigabit Ethernet networks to carry audio and visual signals from one building to another.
In terms of technology investment, Australia is a very large market. Every school spends money on technology. People understand how it can contribute to the learning and teaching experience from K to 12, all the way to university.
Kristen Garner, US
Each state has its government in the United States, which makes for many differences across the country, including how new AV solutions are rolled out and how quickly students return after COVID. Some states have much larger budgets devoted to education, which also impacts trends.
One trend I've noticed is a lot of small broadcast studio-type spaces, which makes sense. If a faculty member is delivering content almost exclusively remotely, they only need a small space, maybe with a whiteboard. They don't necessarily need to take up the entire classroom that seats 30 students. With a smaller footprint, they can deliver the content much more intimately.
Another exciting trend is related to the opportunity to extend some of the teaching spaces. Maybe you're teaching one class at one school, but you need to reach students at another school. In America, we have this big spread between metropolitan areas that are densely populated and highly remote, lightly populated rural areas where students don't have the same access.
There's also a noticeable trend for AV adoption in professional development. Each district seems to be including administrative spaces devoted to professional development. They are outfitting those spaces with equipment to accommodate things like group learning and small workshops in a way that incorporates different learning styles while facilitating discussion.
Also, some exciting things happen between schools and the communities around them. For example, I'm seeing a lot of K-12 schools and smaller community colleges create beautiful culinary programs that are more community-facing than just a general classroom. And for that, they need technology like 4K cameras, streaming, and fast switching.
Bharath Kumar, UK
We talk about universities, colleges, and schools as education customers in the UK. But one interesting customer I had was the National Health Service (NHS), which has an extensive education department that needs to stay on top of new medicines and treatments. To do this, during lockdowns, one NHS hospital in Liverpool upgraded its operating theaters to send feeds to learning hubs both in the hospital and across the UK and abroad. To me, it's been interesting seeing how AV technology improves not only the teaching environment but also the global medical community.
London, in particular, has seen a big AV boom. It's always had the latest technologies in education because it's such a densely populated area, but during the lockdowns, we found almost every university within London implementing distance learning. So, a student can virtually be in class without actually being there. Plus, it's interactive, so they can share work and content, and also edit content, with the solutions we provide. And that has spread beyond London, too, though to a lesser extent.
Jared Walley, Australia
In Australia, there's been a strong trend toward using AV to enhance flexibility in education, especially in terms of content creation and recording. We're giving the students far more flexibility now in being able to watch their content from home and then attend tutorials and things afterward.
Also, in general, Australia is working to increase accessibility and inclusiveness in education. This includes integrating accessible lecterns and tables in learning spaces for wheelchairs or other mobility tools. And in AV, we're addressing it with solutions for the visually and hearing impaired.