Improving Efficiency – Embracing Technology

Cohesive ‘fully supported’ Audio Visual systems being cost-effective and promoting efficiency

Us folks in the AV market shouldn’t assume every school wants to embrace technology however, those that do should at least be supported in the use of it or they’ll lose patience, heart and faith in technology and some of the companies that supply it.  Companies that ‘supply’ technology to schools are very different to companies that offer a solution where the technology is implemented, supported and the user(s) are repeatedly trained to use their chosen technology to its fullest.

As a company, we recently attended a very successful Seminar.  Herts For Learning invited us to meet some of their many customers and talk about technology and its use in schools.  During the event we were approached by a Deputy Head who had purchased 10 Interactive Panels for his school.  The plan was to roll out 10 per year into his 30 classrooms.  He purchased the screens at the best price online, was let down on install, had no assistance with new software and had no training whatsoever – this was six months after his purchase!

This gentleman effectively was coming to inform us that the technology we were exhibiting wasn’t an asset to his school and that the next 10 classrooms will simply have large TV’s installed as they’re cheaper.  Needless to say, Proactive AV didn’t ‘supply’ these 10 interactive screens and once we demonstrated there and then what his screens could do, he was simply blown away.  Frustrated but blown away none the less.

Because we have a team of our own trainers and we could feel his frustration we’ve offered him two free staff training sessions on the use of their SMART Interactive screens.  This will not only demonstrate to his staff what can be achieved with what they already have but also will hopefully encourage him to invest in the next 20 screens with us over a period of time delivering improved teaching and learning via this supported technology.

Technology implemented in line with an agreed plan by both the school and the supplier should be a given but it’s not.  Too many companies are allowed to supply to schools directly, (on the ‘cheap’) never having understood the schools desired outcomes when investing in the technology or what problems they currently face that need to be resolved by the introduction of said technology.

Ironically the ‘cheapest’ quote never really is and it’s our job as potential partners to schools to ensure the educators are educated in the difference between:

     Buying a technology product or

     Investing in a technology solution

Quick tip to any school if I may?  To establish whether you’re buying option A or B above ask the potential supplier to provide you with a minimum of 50 references.  If they struggle with that instantaneously chances are, you’re heading for an A!

A planned investment project in introducing technology to schools should be:

Planned by the providers and receivers

Proven in advance

Demonstrated elsewhere

Measured during and after implementation

Supported in terms of training and after sales

Good luck with your project when and if technology beckons and please do call us if a  is your preference.