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4 Exciting Benefits of Standardizing AV Technology in Higher Education

Implementing a uniform AV technology standard across all higher education classrooms can enhance operational efficiency and improve the learning experience for faculty and students.

Audiovisual (AV) technology has become an integral part of the educational experience in colleges and universities. From interactive displays and software to high-quality audio and video systems, AV technology plays a crucial role in facilitating effective communication and collaboration in educational settings.

However, the diverse and decentralized nature of AV deployment across various departments within higher education institutions can lead to operational challenges and inefficiencies. In turn, this burdens AV and IT teams to keep up with maintenance requirements for different types of equipment and causes disruption for faculty and students in the classroom.

By standardizing AV systems, IT teams, administrators and AV specialists can enable a more centralized management strategy, streamline daily operations and improve the educational experience for everyone.

What Is Standardization, and Why Is It Important?

When it comes to technology in the classroom, standardization is a crucial practice that ensures a consistent user experience, regardless of the equipment brand or type. While hardware standards focus on the specifications and compatibility that the equipment offers, standardizing the user experience can go a long way to foster ease of use, accommodation and optimization of the overall classroom experience.

Challenges of Creating a Standardization of AV Equipment

Due to the immediate need for remote learning during the pandemic, colleges and universities were forced to meet the needs of their students quickly while dealing with supply chain issues. They also struggled to access funds to purchase equipment that catered to hybrid and remote teaching styles. Unfortunately, these challenges created disparate AV systems. This non-uniformity of AV systems placed burdens on IT teams and AV specialists to maintain equipment and operate it efficiently. Many administrators realized they needed to figure out what their strategy would be going forward and adopt best practices to implement a uniform technology standard across all classrooms.

What Are Some Benefits of Standardizing AV Systems?

Implementing a technology standard in all classrooms can have four primary benefits that fall under two categories: simplified technology and standardized hardware. Breaking down the complexity of AV systems can make the user experience smoother, enabling students and teachers to better communicate and collaborate.

Let’s expand on these four benefits and the categories they fall under.

Simplified Technology Means a Simplified User Experience

1.     A Sense of Familiarity

Having a user interface that is consistent across all classrooms can improve the educational experience. It can eliminate distractions and allow instructors to focus on teaching without worrying about learning new technology in every classroom.

Although some classrooms may require more advanced equipment, the technology should provide a congruent experience for both students and faculty. Instructors shouldn’t have to concern themselves with the specific equipment in the rack or the network switches in a nearby closet. Instead, they should have the freedom to prioritize their lesson plan and depend on the reliability of the system, its user-friendliness and adherence to their expectations.

Standardizing AV technology can create a sense of familiarity, reducing disruptive elements in the room and enabling faculty to concentrate on presenting their content to students.

Hardware Standardization

2.     Greater Efficiency in Managing Devices

Implementing a uniform classroom technology standard leads to greater efficiency and support for IT staff. When considering your equipment choices, selecting a specific ecosystem can streamline firmware updates and align with your security policy. This means you won't need to scour multiple brands' blog posts and release notes for updates, leading to greater efficiency in managing your devices.

3.     Cost Savings

When you adopt a methodology that adheres to established standards, you are effectively reducing both unnecessary costs and the burden of providing support. You can also mitigate the potential risks associated with variables that could lead to lost class time.

4.     Improved Agility

To optimize break/fix processes, greater agility is achieved by utilizing a consistent set of equipment, service providers and installation partners. This eliminates the need for AV specialists to familiarize themselves with numerous brands. It is crucial to remain objective and carefully select the most suitable options. By solely relying on a single brand indefinitely, there is a risk of missing out on innovation and the availability of superior equipment.

Improving the Learning Experience

By implementing a uniform technology standard across all classrooms, you can improve learning outcomes while streamlining your operations.

As a trusted IT partner, CDW can help you design a classroom technology system that best meets your needs. By taking a consultative approach, we can help you develop a roadmap to maximize your investments and aid you at every stage of your journey — from design to implementation to managed services for your AV equipment. We can also work with you to refresh your aging AV equipment, ensuring a positive and consistent experience for your faculty and students.

Our experts work with industry-leading partners to find the right solution for your needs, enabling you to elevate the classroom experience for your college or university.


Make class time quality time with the interactive display brand that stands the test of time.

Jim Spencer

CDW AV Field Solutions Architect
Jim Spencer is an AV field solutions architect for higher education at CDW. He has over 14 years of experience in the field and is an expert in AV projects of all shapes and sizes. Spencer holds certifications and honors from manufacturers and organizations in the industry. In his free time, he enjoys motorcycling, 3D printing and following space news.