A variety of microphones available in the market that can be used in classrooms include:
? Desktop mics are good for a stationary lecturer because they are designed to sit in front of the lecturer on a table. However, they cannot reduce background noise, so they must be placed close to the teacher.
? Boundary mics are omnidirectional mics designed to sit on a table or mounted on the wall. They can be useful in recording seminar classes that are in small classes. However, they do not give a quality sound to work with.
? The presenter wears lavalier mics so they can move around with them. They give high-quality sound. However, they are wireless, requiring a more complex setup than the other mics.
? Hand-held mics are a good backup for lavalier mics that might not be working.
? Podium mics are good for stationary speakers and provide good quality sound.
? Built-in mics are installed on laptops or mobile phones and in cameras. They require a quiet place for them to record good quality audio.
The pick-up pattern is the main factor to consider in selecting the best microphone. Omnidirectional microphones will pick up the sound from all directions within the range. Unidirectional will only pick up sound from one direction, while bi-direction can pick sound from two different angles. It is upon you to decide which will suit your class best.
4. Video recording devices
One thing that Covid-19 taught us is that video conferencing is very important and that a lot of things can happen virtually. Video recording devices are vital for video-based education in large classrooms and online learning. Even though the school has not had much money to spend buying cameras, a single camera model can serve different purposes as long as it can pan, tilt and zoom. Be able to record good quality videos even in poor lighting conditions.
A variety of the cameras that you should consider include:
? A webcam
They are either in-built cameras on a laptop or connected using a USB port. The quality of the webcam has greatly increased as they can now record a 4K video. They are designed to record a smooth and clear video in a well-lit room. A teacher can use them to record themselves while teaching.
They are placed on a tripod or hand-held by the operator. They offer zoom capabilities, which can be used in a standard classroom to record the teacher. They give great control over exposure and white balance.
? DSRL cameras
They can produce high-quality and professional videos. They can be fixed on a tripod to record a class or a presentation. However, they do not have a good zoom range, so they cannot be used for huge classes.
? PTZ cameras
These remote-controlled PTZ cameras can be used for large class recordings. Ideal for recording labs and presentations.
? Motion tracking cameras are good for large classes where the teacher walks around. However, they are expensive compared to other cameras.
? Smartphone cameras
? Specialty cameras such as document cameras and microscopes.
Other necessary accessories are:
? Video mixers and switchers
? Audio mixers
? Visual recording indicators
The benefits of installing an AV control system in classes
1. All devices are controlled from one place; All the devices used in AV classes are interconnected into one system. The av integrator can therefore program the system to behave in a certain manner on user interaction. For example, the user can switch on the whole system using a single button.
2. There is only one interface to familiarize with; there are only possible control interfaces, either a touch panel or a keypad. Once the teacher has familiarized with it, it is done. All the classes will be going to have the same interface.
3. Less time will be spent on IT support: having the same technology in the whole school will make it easier for teachers to adapt to them, and once they have familiarized themselves with it, they can operate the whole system on their own.
The world is changing for the better of us. It is good, therefore, for schools to embrace school technological advancements to give learners a great learning experience.