For those of us in education, the next few weeks will be quite interesting. This is the time when the students return and our campuses are once again awash in activity. However, it is not as if we higher education technology managers have been sitting idle all these summer months. We have been refreshing equipment, soldering bad connections, and checking every professors’ wish list twice. Now is the time of crossing our fingers and hoping it all works. Not that we haven’t tested it; we just didn’t have a professor with three PhDs try it out over the summer. Here are some things to think about to ease your mind for the next summer install/repair season.
1) PM. Or, preventative maintenance. A number of years ago a good friend of mine turned me on to this magical phrase. Now, every summer and winter break we go over each classroom to check connections, aspect ratios, cloning, check bulb hours, and generally dust everything off. It’s not a bad investment over about a week. This practice has cut down on the number of trouble calls dramatically.
2) Start early… like, January. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to create drawings, make changes, and flesh out your designs. Starting early helps you figure out problems on paper before you begin pulling cable.
3) Get with your reps/market development managers. These AV professionals are a tremendous resource. Whether it is a control or projector company, they can help you with your design, plus tell you what is coming down the pipeline in the next few months.
4) Have a digital road map. With 2015 looming large (the year Dell has said it will quit supporting VGA/analog connections) it will help you head off any issues once your IT department begin deploying PCs without analog connections.
5) Go to InfoComm 2014. Not only is it a great place to see the latest technology, it is also a resource for classes that will help you in your design, implementation, and upkeep processes.
6) Have fun. This is one of the greatest jobs. Where else do we get to get our hands on the latest technology, help the next generation get ready for their careers, and work with some pretty interesting faculty? It is a great job, and we are lucky to have them. So, have fun doing what you do.
Let’s make this a great school year for all of us in higher education. It’s an exciting place to be in the world of AV, and we are right in the middle of it.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.