Not Your Grandfather’s Library…


When Sheri McNair, library media specialist at James I. O’Neill High School in Highland Falls, NY, came to her district four years ago, she stepped into a very traditional space that was mostly taken up by free-standing stacks of books, traditional wooden tables, and eight computers that “needed to go,” she laughs.

Talking and collaborating are encouraged at the James I. O’Neill High School library.

McNair quickly realized that she was spending most of her time scraping the heavy wooden desks across the floor, rearranging the space to encourage classes to come in. So the first thing she did was move the freestanding stacks. “I put the books around the perimeter, which opened up a ton of space. Instant improvement!”

Over the next three years, McNair completely renovated the space, adding carpet tiles, rolling chairs and tables with whiteboard tops, 50 computers, and 60 Samsung Chromebooks. She converted an old classroom into an innovation room by attaching white frosted acrylic panels to three walls and adding pub tables, chairs, banquettes, a TV, and acoustic panels. There are mini makerspace stations with Legos and craft materials, board games, puzzles, a SMART Board, and an 80-inch monitor that’s used for movie nights.

Westlake High School students love hanging out in their library’s Juice Bar.

“I inherited an outdated space with lots of rules—no talking, no food, no backpacks, no devices,” says McNair. “Now it’s a multifunctional space where students socialize and collaborate. They bring their lunch and their work. It’s theirlibrary.”

Need any proof that a library transformation is worth the time and money? In 2011–12, the year before McNair came on board, students chose to visit the library during study halls, lunch, and after school a total of 6,784 times. Last year, after the library was renovated, students came to the library, on their own time, a total of 24,610 times.

 

“Rated Best in Service, 2015” 

ABOUT SPACECOAST AV COMMUNICATIONS

SpaceCoast AV Communications is East Central Florida’s leading Audio Visual Firm that designs, integrates and supports systems and environments that enable video collaboration. SpaceCoast AV Communications has highly-trained and certified system engineers supporting clients across the U.S. Visit www.spacecoastav.com for more information or connect with SpaceCoast AV Communications at (321) 257-9700 and on Twitter, Facebook andLinkedIn.

9 Proven Ways to Narrow the Communication Gap


communication gapTechnology is only half of the Solution, using our words wisely, both written and spoken is the other part of the solution to effectively communicating.

One of the biggest challenges any of us face in our careers and maybe even personally, is communicating effectively. Sub-standard communication or lack of it altogether, can severely damage or hold back an organization or an individual.

In the business of Audio Visual Communications, there are numerous potential pitfalls in the regard, ranging from improper cable selection and management to not being clear with your team members to bad instructions from those above us– many more. Communication builds relationships and all business is about relationships. With that in mind, let’s look at a short list of “best practices”.

  1. Determine a clear sense of logic before starting the communication process. What are the priorities? Who is the intended audience? Is there anything they need to know before the next part of the message? This will be helpful in paring away unneeded bits while making sure the important stuff is included and emphasized.
  2. Treat your vendors like customers. Pretty simple right, but in my experience over the years, I haven’t seen it happening as often as it probably should. Basically, if we can’t treat our vendors the same way we would want to be treated as customers, we’re missing out on a host of benefits. How would you like to be addressed? Do the same to your vendors. What information would you need if you were on the other end of the phone or email? And, it almost goes without saying that we should do the same thing when communicating with our clients. (Right?)
  3. Keep in mind that various forms of communication are better (or worse) for certain purposes. Face-to-Face is still the best way to communicate with someone, and some of the reasons are interesting. For one thing, non-verbal cues like body language and facial expressions are shared and understood. But another, more sublet thing with any technology based communication method is that humans are extremely sensitive to timing. Certainly, we’ve all been frustrated by cell phone conversations where there’s a noticeable delay and /or dropouts. It can drive us nuts when we can’t seem to “get in the flow” of the conversation. As it turns out, people can perceive timing discrepancies in a conversation well below 1 millisecond (a thousandth of a second). Video conferencing lets us see and hear each other, although the timing might be slightly off due to latency. And there’s no personal handshake or hug at the end that can add affirmation of what has been discussed. On the phone, we can at least hear the nuances and inflections in each others’ voices. Way down the list is email, which is devoid of all these subtleties. In other words, we should focus and take care to generate written communications that are straightforward, along with following common grammar and spelling conventions as much as possible. One problem is that folks don’t seem to want to take the time to do this anymore and on the other side, sometimes they don’t want to take the time to thoroughly read an entire message. Which leads us to:
  1. Keep the communication direct and to the point. We’ve probably experienced times when a carefully written email with 17 important points receives a one-sentence response that only addresses the first point. If you’re like me, you want to reach through your computer screen and strangle someone when that happens. But is it their fault? It’s taught me to be very economical with words and ideas and prioritize them from most to least important right out of the gate. Read through the whole doggone email before responding! Maybe read it twice! Also, if it’s a thread, try reading the whole thing to get valuable context. There have been many times I’ve fallen into the trap of just reading the tip message and not knowing all of the background before responding. Oops!
  2.  Texting can be a great way to reach someone immediately and hopefully get a quick response, but it has drawbacks. There’s no convenient way to store the information offline. Some devices don’t attach dates/times to messages, so it can be difficult to figure out a timeline if needed. It’s also not good for longer messages.
  3. With in-person, video conference and phone conversations, be careful not to “listen to reply” This is a common problem and often makes things worse than better. In other words, take the time and put in the effort to listen…carefully. An old school technique is to reply first by summarizing what was said before adding new information. This can sometimes be overdone but the idea is still valid.
  4. Conclude the conversation or meeting with a summary of what was decided, and who’s going to do what. We have no doubt all been in countless meetings where this doesn’t’ happen because everyone assumes that everyone else heard what we heard, and plans to act upon the information in the same way we plan to act. Way too often this isn’t the case, and besides it never hurts to have a five minute summary conversation. And don’t forget to take notes!
  5. Be Timely. No one wants to receive valuable information about the next day’s important gig at midnight. At the same time, sending a message too early can also be problematic, because the information can be easily forgotten.
  6. Finally, we need to keep our egos in check and remember that we were all once eager, starry eyed young people looking up to our elders in the industry and lapping up every utterance. We vividly remember those who treated us well and those who did not. It’s important to treat others with the respect and humility and the best way to do this is with clear, consistent, logical communication in whatever form that makes the most sense for the situation at hand.

Think about all the great quotes on the internet that seem to capture some really important concepts in just a few words…and the impact they make when you read them. Now imagine yourself doing this every time you had to convey a message to your team…imagine the awesome impact!

7 Trends You Don’t Want To Miss


7 Trends You Don’t Want To Miss

HOME & FAMILY AV LIFESTYLE TRENDS

Bring entertainment to a whole new level with products and solutions
tailored specifically to meet each homeowner’s individual lifestyle
needs.

Our whole home audio systems guarantee an unparalleled listening experience with wired and wireless distributed audio solutions.

Discover More about the Player Portfolio Audio System

SpaceCoast AV is an Authorized Dealer of legrand and NuVo solutions.

EDUCATION AV NEWS

8 CIO Tips for Leading Change in Higher Education via Campus Technology

In a recent Educause Review essay, Joshua Kim noted that campus CIOs
must have one foot in daily technology operations, one foot in strategic
decision-making and one foot in the larger discussion of how higher
education is evolving.

Why This Matters: How can a CIO
today successfully manage and impact campus changes? Communication is
critical for campus CIOs to make the right connections.

READ MORE

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT AV NEWS

Using Microphone Techniques to Attain a Better Result

Let’s face it – the live sound reinforcement realm presents some microphone challenges that regularly threaten sound quality.

Look at the conditions…

READ MORE

BUSINESS AV NEWS
Get Superior Brightness, Image Quality with ProScene Projectors

SpaceCoast AV Communications brings you ProScene line of projectors for use in large conference rooms Theaters, Houses of Worship, Museums, Galleries and other venues and applications

See the Latest Technology

With a premium placed on reliability the ProScene Line of Projectors are supported with our Express Replacement Warranty.l


SpaceCoast AV Communications is an Authorized Dealer of Optoma products.

HOUSE OF WORSHIP AV
5 Steps to Move Your Video System to High Def

Migrating standard definition
video equipment to HD can seem overwhelming, but smart planning and
strategic purchasing can simplify the process.

READ MORE

GOVERNMENT AV AND UC
PODCAST: The impact of innovative new UC solutions on government workplaces


Unified Communications solution manufacturer, Polycom, conducted a
Webcast where they announced multiple new additions to their already
impressive lineup of collaboration solutions. Included in the Webcast
were new video collaboration solutions at a wide range of price-points
and solutions designed for multiple different environments, effectively
clearing the way for video to truly become pervasive across the
organization.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

AV IN THE NEWS

Android 6.0 Coming To HTC One A9, Joining Google’s Nexus


HTC will become the first smartphone supplier after Google to launch a phone running the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS when the HTC One A9 hits store shelve in the U.S. in early November.

The first two phones with Marshmallow — the 5.7-inch Huawei-made Nexus 6P and the 5.2-inch LG-made Nexus 5X — were unveiled in September by Google.

GET THE FULL STORY HERE

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4 Vital Considerations When Choosing a Home AV Integration Company


office-space-fax

Since 2012 we have seen how all AV and communications manufacturers have geared their products toward being net-workable, making a strong, dependable and secure network a necessity more than a luxury.

As more American homeowners than ever before purchase high-end home entertainment, lighting control, whole home control and security systems, the need for competent, experienced and cost-effective integrators will increase. The residential electronic systems industry will realize a third straight year of growth in all categories especially the control/automated sector.

This year more products than ever will be automated, controlled and linked.

Quality and Value:

When upgrading your home technology systems it is important it is to select the correct AV integration company. A common mistake is to assume that going with the highest quote will give you the best system. Some companies tend to over specify jobs which can lead to unnecessary complications. Be sure to check into the experience and results of an integrator in offering the best value, but still delivering a system which works perfectly and is easy to use. It is important when comparing AV proposals to ensure you are comparing ‘apples with apples’.

Open Communication:

Home technology can seem confusing. Does the company you are considering  use complicated industry jargon when speaking with you. Or will they instead explain exactly what these systems can do for you. Of course you should ask as many questions as you like, so that you to feel comfortable with the system and the service.

Not Sales People but AV Consultants:

Does the company you are considering have a long-standing clients base with the majority of their business coming from recommendations? The best will consult with you and not try to “sell” you. After all your budget is your budget. With an investment in Home Entertainment and AV you’re probably going to be stuck with the solution you choose for a while. Make sure you are happy and understand all the bells and whistles!

Ease of use:

The first consideration should be “will this be easy for me and my family to use?” True consultants will keep this a top priority, from the planning stages to final system handover.  Also, be sure to ask if they use external programmers for any configuration and programming that needs to be accomplished. Many a customer has found themselves in a situation where the integrator they chose neglected to tell them about the exorbitant fees that will incur for making even a slight change to the system in the future.

The Tail-Gate Meeting


project-meeting1The importance of a pre-job briefing should not be under-estimated. Even in a small business where your resources are limited to two people.

A pre-job briefing (sometimes called a “tailgate meeting”) is a meeting which informs all workers of the job requirements. In particular a pre-job briefing is used to alert workers to potential safety hazards. A pre-job briefing need not be a formal gathering; however, it is mandatory that all workers involved attend, and worker attendance should be documented.

What Should Be Included?

OSHA

rules require that a pre-job briefing discuss, at a minimum, the following issues:

Special precautions to be taken

Hazards associated with the job

Energy control procedures

Procedures and Policies

Personal Protective Equipment Note that the first letters of each of these bulleted items form the acronym SHEPP, which can be used to help remember the important issues that need to be discussed.Pre-job briefings should be proactive meetings in which workers are informally quizzed to make certain that they fully understand the safety issues that they will face.

When Should Pre-Job Briefings Be Held?

At the beginning of each shift

At the beginning of any new job

Any time that job conditions change

When new personnel are introduced to an ongoing job

The time you save because of this upfront time of communication is time well spent.

The Fight for Truth


In a culture where the mainstream news distorts with biased opinion world and more importantly, national events arises the need for the people to consider an alternative. Not just any alternative, but an alternative that will reach millions at less than the cost of some apartment rentals.

Enter:  APNetwork.TV ~

Our Vision: To provide the First National Online Television platform to those who work in local, state and national Government.

Our Mission: To build and operate the largest Online Political Television Network that is free to anyone who has access to the Internet.

Why All Politics TV?

All Politics TV is a revolutionary television service that uses your high-speed Internet to deliver online “On Demand” Political programs. Anyone, Anywhere can watch any of our programs, any time of day: For FREE.All-Politics-Logoxcf-672x165

44% of Americans say they went to the Internet or a mobile digital source for their news each day. All Politics TV will cater to this population of news seekers who go online for their political news with shows that inform and educate the public.

All Politics TV will provide shows from all political parties and all areas of Government.

For more information or if you have a drive and passion to get a message of truth in front of millions and combat the current state of the mainstream news outlets contact me