In a conventional school audio system you might often expect to find one system for public address and another for visual or media use. However, to provide optimum efficiency in schools there are now combined systems which use network audio systems, offering new opportunities for communication, learning support and securty in the educational environment.
Using network audio has enhanced the traditional audio system's functions and opened-up new opportunities for use throughout the entire school grounds and campus in more efficient and effective ways.
Audio systems in schools and education campus environments isn't new; there are a wide range of applications - from the simplest bell timer/class change system to complex integrated AV or security lockdown systems.
The latest in distributed sound technology Audio-over-IP (also referred to as as AoIP, network audio or audio-over-ethernet) offers huge opportunities for flexibility, expansion and control - taking a huge leap in development from conventional analogue systems such as 100v line or low impedance.
A conventional analogue audio system requires its own independant cable infrastucture; audio-over-IP allows high quality audio signals to be transmitted via LAN or WAN over standard Ethernet network infrastructure. As well as allowing the system to use existing network cabling, each AoIP 'end point' (for example - an IP loudspeaker) has it's own IP address, allowing for huge flexibility, control, expansion and long distance signal transmission.
Broadcasting messages to the students/teachers is a main function of audio in the education sector; public address plays a central role in the structure of a school day, for example, using scheduled announcements that signify the start/end of the day, break times and assembly.
Smart zoning adds additional functionality to public address; it allows administrators to make announcements to be targetted to specific areas of the school. Using network audio makes it easy to change the zones and content at anytime.
For even more specific zone announcements (e.g. an individual teacher/ or student), the administrator can connect to individual classrooms or areas of a school. And administrators are less tied to an office than before, as the audio ability is now enabled via a phone/mobile device.
If an emergency arises and it requires a lockdown or evacuation - pre-recorded announcements can give calm instructions that help prevent panic and confusion. It also ensures staff and students take the approriate actions to keep safe and secure.
IP audio systems provide a powerful, flexible and ultimately cost-effective solution for communication, educational enhancement and safety & security in schools, colleges and universities.
Using standard IP protocols and Ethernet cable infrastructure allows an Audio-over-IP system to be easily integrated with other 3rd party AV, security and telephony systems. It also offers flexibility of control, use and expansion previously unachievable using conventional analogue systems.
System set-up, control and servicing of a network audio system can usually be achieved remotely via a secure web-based user interface - therefore allowing access from any computer/terminal by appointed staff or service engineers/installers.
An audio-over-IP system also allows for simple and broad expansion at any time. As school/college/university campuses frequently change in use and size, additional IP audio endpoints/IP speakers or entire zones can easily be connected to the network system.
As well as network audio being used for PA and emergenices for the daily workings of the school, it can also be used in the classroom as a learning tool. Audio is a great method for engaging students with information, it is a quick and cost effective different option to text to connect with the students.
By using network audio in a classroom it allows more interactive content to be used to teach children. For example teachers can connect PCs, tablets or smartphones to amplify lectures and broadcast media through classroom speakers. As well as being used to play background music in hallways etc.
Audio is powerful and a cost effective way of management of a school, it enhances students safety. It is cost effective as the new network audio systems can easily be updated or added to unlinke traditional audio systems.
Our professional system design team provide a unique AV system architecture service for installers and integrators to help you deliver the best in public address, background music and professional AV systems.
If you would like to discuss your next AV system or would like more information on the latest audio products, please call our team today on T. 0115 9770075 or email us now.
As one of the UK's leading experts in professional audio systems and audio-over-IP technology, CIE has been appointed as the main UK distributor for the Axis range of network audio products. Working in close partnership with Axis Communications, CIE provides expert advice and system design, product specification and integrated IP systems.