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Clarity key to a collaborative classroom

With more than 50 years’ experience in audio, lighting and staging, Jands was among the early Australian pioneers of the modern staging and entertainment technology industry.

Founded in 1970, the company distributes some of the world’s leading audio, lighting and staging brands for the installation, production and retail industries throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Jands Business Development Manager Christopher Ling says classrooms and educational facilities have evolved into a collaborative audio visual (AV) environments, where students connect, learn and communicate through technology.

The company believes great learning environments start with seamless audio visual in the classroom with students and educators interacting with content on site and remotely.

Audio quality and media connectivity can be the difference between understanding and confusion for the learner.

When the classroom turns to entertainment and larger gatherings, Jands’ stage lighting, staging and venue engineering solutions can turn a multipurpose, traditional school hall into an advanced performance space with moving lights, wireless microphones and custom stage machinery.

“We have done many school auditoriums who use top of the line, A-level brand PA systems, but it is also looking at schools who might have a multi-purpose auditorium where you don’t need that big expensive designed/specific solution,” he says.

Outside of the classroom and the Auditorium, necessary audio solutions for bells, paging and alerts is also an area Jands is trusted in.

“Trust is a big thing when we are dealing with schools and we understand that in a school environment, children are its biggest asset,” Ling says. “Something as simple as hearing the bell ring or hearing announcements if they are out on the oval if something happens is essential to ensuring students are looked after.”

Schools require technology that enables learning at a distance and facilitates an immersive collaborative classroom experience.

Whether users bring their own devices and services or benefit from dedicated sound equipment, Jands now delivers classrooms the same high-quality communications experience as high-end theatres and lecture rooms.

Ling says Jands prides itself on being able to provide technical support, knowledge and working with all stakeholders involved with a school.

“As more schools have enterprise level IT infrastructures behind them, which many schools are moving into, there is now more AV equipment that will have some element of network application,” Ling says.

“Anything that now interacts with the schools’ IT network now needs to be managed by the IT team. We are able to help facilitate that conversation by being aware of what elements of this solution needs to be on that network that we need to manage. It has become a vital part of the AV industry and it is something that Jands wants to be at the forefront of.”

Following a year of disrupted learning and remote classrooms, Ling sees hybrid classrooms as an initiative that is on the rise in secondary and primary education.

In the classroom, the blend of traditional and new teaching methods, and the mix of online and face-to-face learning – known as the hybrid classroom – is posing profound questions about the lessons of the future.

“There are instances where some schools might have a sister school in another country and they want to collaborate on a particular project, that’s a necessary use-case for a hybrid classroom,” Ling says.

“With the latest COVID-19 implications on schools and restrictions on numbers, schools might want to do a larger lesson across different year groups, which you are able to do with a hybrid classroom.”

Ling says two of the key components to a hybrid classroom is making it as natural as possible and having clear audio.

“If you can’t hear or understand what the other person is saying and they can’t hear you, you can’t communicate. Once the audio quality is down, then you really are struggling to maintain a classroom or experience,” he says. “Smart intelligent processors are the heartbeat of a great audio solution and investing in the right products there will ensure a more natural experience for everyone.”

Jands focuses on solutions that are fit for purpose and is something that the customer needs to achieve their goals.

Ling says that by looking at every option and not offering solutions that appear past the realm of possibility for the client, it gives the company a unique position to provide the best solution for the right space and application.

“We want schools to know that AV is not a dark art or an evil necessity, but the earlier it is considered for a classroom or school, the easier it will be to have the right conversation,” he says.

Over the past three years Jands has built its portfolio up to consist of number one or number two brands across lighting, pro audio, retail, audio visual, ICT and theatre hardware.

Ling hopes that in the next 50 years the company can continue supporting the right applications for all its clients.

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