As part of the bond program, audio enhancement is going to be installed in most BVSD classrooms to help teachers and students hear each other better. The need for audio enhancement was identified by the Capital Improvement Planning Committee (CIPC) for inclusion in the bond master plan and was based on previous research. You can read the CIO Technology blog for more information regarding this change.
The audio enhancement systems will be replacing and modernizing the current Calypso systems for sound in the classroom. Part of this change includes an upgrade to a single HDMI wall connection which will replace the two VGA wall connections. The advantages of HDMI (digital) over VGA (analog) include:
carries audio and video in a single cable
has flush connector pins that do not bend or break
has higher quality video output
This upgrade will require changes to many digital devices as well. Most old desktops and document cameras use VGA connections and require a converter in addition to the existing splitter to work with audio enhancement. This leads to a complicated setup that requires several cables and power sources that many would find daunting to use:
After research and testing, the bond, Ed Tech, and IT teams have concluded that the best course of action moving forward is to adjust the Employee Technology Tools schedule to follow the audio enhancement installations. This means that old desktop and document camera will be replaced with a new Chromebook (or laptop where approved) and USB document camera when audio enhancement is installed. This modernized setup will:
simplify the teacher user experience
reduce setup and troubleshooting time
add a path for future connectivity to 4K TVs
When audio enhancement is installed at a school, one can expect three things:
New sound equipmentA new wall control, wall connections, speakers, and two microphones are part of the new system, which will be replacing and modernizing the current Calypso sound system. Part of this change includes an upgrade to a single HDMI wall connection which will replace the two VGA wall connections.
New computer equipmentAn old desktop and document camera, will be replaced with a new Chromebook and USB high-definition document camera. Most laptops already have HDMI and will not be replaced. Teachers will have the option to keep their old desktop, but it will be removed when the hardware fails. Please see the Teacher Chromebook FAQ for more information.
Training on the new equipmentThe bond and IT will schedule a training for teachers before the new system is installed.
For more information:
Audio Enhancement: Learning Begins with Hearing
Audio Enhancement Concept Brochure
Audio Enhancement Microphone Quick Start Guide
Audio Enhancement Microphone Tips and Tricks
Audio Enhancement Videos
KB165: Teacher Chromebook FAQ 2016