AVT Question: Please share insight and best practices for designing the higher ed classroom for today and the future.
Thought Leader: Nancy Knowlton, Chief Executive Officer at Nureva
There’s never been a better time to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to classroom technology. Times were, when you installed a system, that you were stuck with it as it was for its full useful life. Today, with everything USB and plug and play, you can easily swap out system components and get refreshed performance, effectively extending the useful life of some significant portion of the total system. AV/IT managers can now do a few things to ensure that you design for today and yet are prepared for tomorrow as well:
First, keep an open line of communication with users and decision makers to stay on top of what they’re thinking. Share your thoughts and get interactive on where things are going. Deeply understand emerging trends and needs of higher education, getting out of your swim lane that only relates to AV/IT.
Second, regularly check in with suppliers of current system components, asking for them to share roadmaps so that you can fully understand their thinking about what’s coming. Share your thoughts about what’s important so that they can develop the toolsets you will need in the future.
Third, read and attend conferences to see and understand emerging solutions and new configurations/solutions. Reinforce and challenge what you know.
Fourth, relentlessly experiment with and evaluate new tools and products—sometimes well ahead of when you think you might use or need them. Build experimental classrooms for administrators and instructors to experience. Gather their feedback and input.
And finally, connect with colleagues to share with and learn from what they’re doing. Give a little and get a lot back from collaborating with colleagues in other institutions.
These suggestions are simple. Keep engaging, experimenting, learning, and looking for more. If you evolve, you’ll lead the change and be right where you need to be.