Tag Archives: InfoComm

I Guess We’re All Free Wednesday Night

Well my Wednesday night InfoComm dance card just opened up, as I’m sure it did for many of you. I was as surprised by Extron’s announcement as anyone, although, after some thought, their exit doesn’t seem that crazy to me.

The Extron booth was a pretty low priority for me at the show. I’m familiar with their product line, plus they send out news and product information constantly – electronically and printed. They also have one of the best web sites in the industry.

It will be one less chance to catch up on their new products, but most of those were often the better part of a year from shipping. Kind of makes them seem a better candidate for “new product” next year, but I’m just a tech guy, what do I know?

My time at the show was better spent with other manufacturers, the smaller AV companies I don’t know quite as well, the folks I won’t see in glossy full-page magazine ads every month. (Not that we don’t appreciate those – helping to keep those magazines in print.) Those smaller companies are usually where I have found the products that have made the biggest changes to the systems we build. The big booths – let me guess: this year is smaller, lighter, brighter, faster, cheaper, or higher resolution. Am I right? And I’m kind of over the 3D and telepresence demos.

Of course the big thing everyone keeps talking about is The Bash. Sure it was fun, but how do you justify a huge party like that business-wise? Besides, wasn’t it just an exercise in “my Wednesday night party is bigger than your Thursday night party”?

I am disappointed that they aren’t going to be doing any classes or training. The Extron classes at InfoComm were consistently exceptional. This is probably the most short-sighted aspect of their exit in my eyes. With their size and eclectic product line they are in a key position to provide valuable industry training. I would have liked to have seen a bit more largess in this area and for training (open to the great unwashed AV masses) to continue at the show, not just for private invitees to the home office.

In retrospect I think they had no place to go. They set a very high bar for themselves – the biggest booth and the biggest party. They would jump the shark every year. That’s a tough act to sustain. What do you do for an encore?

For a long time they were the little guy who had something to prove. Once their size and key role in the industry became second nature to all of us, what was the rational for a huge booth and party? And to back down from either of those – to do anything less than this complete cut-and-run – would have had us all speculating far worse than the “they think they don’t need InfoComm” that most opinion seems to be boiling down to.

That’s my take, what about you folks? What do you think about Extron deciding to no longer participate in the InfoComm show?

Report from InfoCOMM 2011

Orlando, FL. While attending InfoCOMM 2011, we asked key industry insiders to speak directly to the AV-1 community and to share their views of the most critical issues ahead. The following articles include brief video clips from individuals possessing uncommon insight, intuition and experience.

While this is by no means an exhaustive report, we hope that you find these views useful to your due diligence and decision-making.

[Editor’s note: Interviews are provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as an endorsement. Neither AV-1, nor the author have received any form of compensation in exchange for these posts.]

This list is shown in last-in-first-out (LIFO) order. In the coming weeks, additional interviews and articles will be posted to the top of this list.

Table of Contents

Mark Valenti, The Sextant Group, discusses the up-side of a down economy as an inspiration for outside-the-box tech planning.

Ernie Bailey, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, speaks about the importance of cross-training to get the best out of AV and IT support staff.

Jody Forehand, Luidia, on the cost-effective approach of adding components as-needed.

Jackie Deluna, AMX on the importance of social proof for mission-critical technologies.

John Heffelfinger, Crestron, on the value of end-to-end technology solutions. 

Andrew Edwards, President of Extron, on the zen of simplification and support.

Andrew J. Milne, PhD, Tidebreak CEO, on the meaning and impact of collaborative learning environments. 

Mario Maltese, Audio Visual Resources CEO, on the impact of the AV9000 Standard and the future of zero-defect projects.

What’s your view? Are we seeing the big picture? Leave a reply below or discuss it with fellow AV-1 members on the AV-1 List.

Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Crestron

This interview is part of AV-1’s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

Over the past decade, Crestron has redefined the traditional boundaries between electronics manufacturers. In 2000, the company embarked on an ambitious course, redefining itself from a manufacturer of control systems to an indomitable provider of integrated presentation systems — systems designed to interconnect and automatically communicate with each other.
Continue reading Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Crestron

Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – AMX

This interview is part of AV-1’s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

The AMX brand is as much about culture as it is about technology. Their big-as-Texas heart is evident in their customer commitment (think of all the organizations that still operate the old Axcess Controller card cages they installed 15-years ago), their sometimes cheeky-yet-endearing marketing approach (remember the “We were just kidding about that Panja thing” campaign?), and their blazing technology firsts (networked controls, asset management software, media server, and especially their advocacy for open standards-based platforms). It’s no wonder they’ve been named one of the top 25 Best Medium-size Companies to Work for in America four years in a row.

Continue reading Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – AMX

Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Extron

This interview is part of AV-1’s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

Technology in learning would not be what it is today without Extron. When computer manufacturers needed a way to display a computer screen image on a 3-beam projector, Extron worked it out… a quarter of a century ago.

But just “working it out” has never been Extron’s style. In addition to designing cutting-edge components that play well with others, the company has amassed the most comprehensive open library of whitepapers and technical briefs serving to demystify the wild array of protocols and topologies that complicate our lives. Continue reading Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Extron

AV-1 Recommended: Activities & Sessions During EduComm 2010

EduComm 2010
This June in Las Vegas, EduComm brings together top thought leaders, innovators, and speakers to present, discuss, and navigate the unprecedented challenges and opportunities shaping the future of higher education.

Here is AV-1’s short-list of recommended activities and sessions while you are there. (If you had been planning to attend only InfoComm while in Vegas, think again!)

Monday, June 7

1:30pm – 4:00pm

click for reservations Classroom Tour of University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Guide: Joe Schuch Senior Associate for New Learning Environments, Thorburn Associates.

EduComm and InfoComm attendees are invited to visit some of UNLV’s most advanced learning space including the J-School’s newly completed Greenspun Hall (at right). Visiting other institutions provides the opportunity for colleagues to generate ideas and discuss challenges to planning and support of learning space at their institutions. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Special thanks to Darrell Lutey, Assistant Director of UNLV Instructional Technology Services for arranging the visit.

Space is limited. The visit is open to attendees of EduComm and InfoComm. Click here to join us!

6:30pm – 7:30pm Ballroom A

Sanjoy MahajanStreet Fighting Higher Education-Get Ready to Rumble

Speaker: Sanjoy Mahajan Associate Director of MIT’s Teaching and Learning Laboratory.

Dr. Mahajan’s insights into intuitive problem solving and the unintended effects of higher education’s accepted methodologies are transforming our understanding of how excellence is achieved, and how too often, academic success is eroded and undermined by precisely those things we thought were improving it. See also http://mit.edu/sanjoy/www/

Tuesday, June 8

10:30am – 11:25am Ballroom H

Sarah "Intellagirl" Smith-RobbinsDown the Rabbit Hole: Using Alternate Reality Games for Education and Training

Speakers: Sarah “Intellagirl” Smith-Robbins Director of Emerging Technologies at Indiana University, Kelley School of Business; David Eisert Manager of Emerging Technologies at Purdue University.

Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) present a new form of immersive experiential learning. Regardless of the topic being taught, participants in ARGs engage in an active, creative way with the game’s mechanics while also exploring collaboration mechanics, technology, and the attraction of a compelling story.

11:30am – 12:25pm Ballroom B

Ashley BurtA New Way to Learn

Speakers: Ashley F. Burt Interim Director of Information Technology at Auburn University; Michael J. Chavers Information Technology Specialist IV Auburn University.

How are tablet computers used by students at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine? Items to be covered include how the program developed; vision for how students can use these devices to enhance learning; how the college supported students; feedback on success; and plans for
the future.

12:30pm – 2:00pm Ballroom A

Annual Higher Ed Technology Update with David Pogue

David Pogue is the personal-technology columnist for the New York Times. Each week, he contributes a print column, an online column, an online video and a popular daily blog, “Pogue’s Posts.”

2:15pm – 3:15pm Ballroom C

Apurva MehtaThe New Helpdesk: Resolving Any Issue, Anywhere, at Anytime

Panel: Apurva Mehta Director of IT, UMass; Jonathan Brennan Director of Information Technology Services, Sage Colleges; Richard Crim CIO and Information Technology Strategist, Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC).

Senior IT leaders will detail the success of delivering IT support services 24-hours per day to users in distributed locations, as well as the qualitative benefits of leveraging remote support technology. They’ll share lessons learned and provide anecdotal advice on maintaining an effective campus IT department under tight budgetary constraints.

3:45pm – 4:45pm Ballroom B

In the Hotseat: Connecting with Students Through Backchannel Banter Kyle Bowen

Speaker: Kyle Bowen Director of informatics at Purdue University, where he is responsible for providing Web design and application development support for the university community; Hans Peter Aagard Senior Educational Technologist at the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing at Purdue University.

Hotseat, a new mobile Web application developed at Purdue University, enables students to engage in micro-discussion style collaboration both inside and outside the classroom from an iPhone, mobile device, participate via Twitter, or within a custom Facebook application, thereby transforming the traditional passive student experience through integration with popular Web 2.0 Web sites.

Wednesday, June 9

9:00am – 9:55am Ballroom H

Todd ConawayYour Digital Personality: The Real You in Your Online Class

Speaker: Todd Conaway Instructional Designer at Yavapai College in Arizona.

Participants will receive resources and examples of online instructors integrating their personality into their courses using web 2.0 products. Discuss the driving need for more than text-based learning.

10:30am – 11:25am Ballroom B

Amy Haston Extending Beyond the Classroom with Collaborative Spaces

Speaker: Amy L. Haston Learning Spaces Analyst at Purdue University.

Learn the steps Purdue University has taken to create their current collaborative spaces, which were driven primarily by key faculty and their pedagogy. How did Purdue’s Information Technology staff responded to the students’ needs? How did Purdue use a student centric model to design collaborative spaces to engender collaborative work outside of the classroom, allowing students to better prepare for the world they will enter?

10:30am – 11:25am Ballroom C

Amanda Mast Lessons Learned from Classroom Services AV Training Modules

Speakers: Amanda Mast Assistant AV Systems Engineer at University of Notre Dame; Jason Railton Assistant Manager, Technology Enhanced Learning Spaces University of Notre Dame.

The University of Notre Dame classroom support model was originally based on full time staff responding immediately to faculty calls for assistance from our classrooms. This model worked well in the 1990’s when technology classrooms were few in number. As the number of technology classrooms has expanded it became clear that the original support model would not scale well. This presentation describes how we developed a training program to equip student employees to respond to most calls for assistance.

11:30am – 12:25pm Ballroom C

Ken Woo The DO’s and Don’ts of implementing Smart Classrooms

Speaker: Ken Woo Dir. of IT & Facilities at Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies.

This session will explain how Nortwestern incorporated the best of what others were doing in order to make our smart classrooms better. You will leave with the building blocks to distinguish between a “need” and a “wish” for a Smart Classroom. Some lessons learned will also be discussed and what we saw as what works and what doesn’t.

12:30pm – 2:00pm Ballroom A

Curtis Bonk How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education

Speaker: Curtis Bonk Professor at Indiana University and author of The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education.

Many next-big-things introduced in recent years have failed to live up to that potential. In his recent book The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education, Curtis Bonk argues that what has been missing is convergence. Bonk outlines 10 technology trends that, when combined in whole or in part, can transform learning.

2:15pm – 3:15pm Ballroom D

Tripti SinhaNetwork
Refresh: Elevating Higher Educational Facilities into the 21st Century

Speakers: Tripti Sinha Director of Networking and Telecommunications, Office of Information Technology at University of Maryland, College Park; Tom Vogler Assistant VP of Finance and Administration, Office of Information Technology at the University of Maryland.

This session will highlight the best practices and processes for higher educational facilities to meet state mandates and enhance overall communication, research, and educational resources throughout the university.

2:15pm – 3:15pm Ballroom H

Phil Ice Data Changes Everything

Speaker: Phil Ice Director of Course Design Research and Development at American Public University.

This session will help institutional decision makers understand how to effectively capture and utilize knowledge and data from across the enterprise to drive programmatic growth. Topics covered will include using data to enhance pedagogical effectiveness, implementation of new technologies, reporting to accreditation agencies and maximizing return on investment.

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Joe Schuch Panel Discussion: Disruptive Technology in Education

Panelists: Joe Schuch Senior Associate for New Learning Environments at Thorburn Associates; Sarah Robbins Director of Emerging Technologies at Kelley Executive Partners; Phil Ice Director of Course Design, Research and Development at American Public University.

In education, are there any technologies that are not disruptive, really? With the arrival of each “great new thing” how can one know which to keep and which to toss? As leaders in our communities, how can we move our organizations and cultures from reactive to proactive?

Join us for an engaging discussion of disruptive technologies in the classroom and higher education.

Pre-InfoComm Jitters

Manhattan, Kansas. From 20,000 feet, it appears as a clot of suburbia surrounded by a pea-soup green patchwork of farms and foothills. Our captain announces that we are now half-way to our Las Vegas destination. Here, half-way between Mayberry and Sodom and Gomorrah, lies this sleepy, middle-American town  — an oasis amidst the Midwest flatiron landscape and a place I once called home.

Continue reading Pre-InfoComm Jitters

A DEL.ICIO.US Proposition for InfoComm 2008 Attendees

"You gotta help me… it’s an EMERGENCY!"

A panicked voice cracked through the din of activity at AV-1 HQ, high atop Puzzler Tower.

A friend in need learns the value of Web2.0 tools del.icio.us and flickr to streamline due diligence reporting from InfoComm, while prototype of holographic video conference unit is put through its paces…


Continue reading A DEL.ICIO.US Proposition for InfoComm 2008 Attendees