An Old Friend That’s Going Away

by Cougar News Staff 302 views0

The Audio Visual Cart better known as the LCD/Computer/PA (Speaker) cart is silently fading away. The four wheeled metal carrier, once so prevalent clanking and growling through the hallways as it was powered by determined professors, has mostly been phased out of circulation by the “SMART ROOM”—now the standard in all the new expansion classrooms, along with most of the old classrooms which have now been upgraded at College of the Canyons.

“SMART ROOM” offers one touch control pixie boxes, faster desktop computers, built in ceiling LCD projectors, DVD/ Blue Ray and the replacement for the old over head projector: the document camera, capable of projecting 3-D objects as well as flat papers on to the screen mounted at the front of the classroom. Most importantly to professors, the days of waiting in line and making reservations for what has become standard room installed computer related classroom equipment is over. In addition there are no more vigil like pushing treks covering the distance of the campus, which sometimes included walking in heat up hill and rain which made it necessary to cover the projector and cart in plastic. Projectors are high-ticket items requiring constant supervision, and getting across campus was hazardous; in most cases the user had to hold the projector to prevent it from falling off if a pothole or large crack in the sidewalk was suddenly hit.

SMART ROOMS are not flawless; the easy to use white Pixie boxes can lose programming, especially after a power outage. Infrared connectors can come unglued interrupting control of the projector or DVD player. Then there are learning curves and service issues such as the annoying pop up warnings in the middle of the screen indicating the projector filter needs cleaning, and total shut down which means you’re out of business when a bulb burns out.

A few AV-Carts will be around for a while, to fill in when a rare catastrophic equipment failure happens in a SMART CLASSROOM. Certain special events will always require portable Audio Visual equipment. Change is good; most SMART CLASSROOMS operate quickly and flawless providing more tools for instructors. Bur for some technicians, getting out of the office and walking across campus to pick up an errand cart that someone forgot to bring back, will be missed.