This post is sponsored by HARMAN
Technology expectations for teachers are high, particularly when it comes to the media they incorporate in lessons. High-quality video and audio that supports lessons are not just luxuries; they are the standard. Providing teachers with the resources they need to deliver this media is vital to student engagement, helping provide a bridge for unfinished learning and student creativity.
This student engagement is the aim of Harman’s new AMX Jetpack, a tech management system designed specifically for K-12 classrooms. Using a keypad and wall-plate, teachers can access content and media from a variety of sources using high-quality video and audio, saving precious instruction time and ensuring that every student in the room can follow along with the lesson comfortably.
We recently spoke with Colin Mahoney, product marketing manager of video & control at HARMAN Professional Solutions, about how the new AMX Jetpack is helping educators meet their teaching goals and enhance the learning experience for students. Here is what he had to say about this classroom tech:
Question: In these challenging times, educators need tech tools that save time for what really matters – engaging their students. How can the AMX Jetpack make it easier for instructors to interact with the technology in their classrooms?
Answer: We understand that every second spent fiddling with equipment detracts from the student experience and makes it more difficult to keep the class connected and engaged. The durable, simple user interface makes controlling the system very straightforward, and conveniences, like a USB-C laptop input, which removes the need for easy to lose cable dongles, are engineered to ensure that instructors spend as little time and effort as possible getting their content on the screen.
Q: The ability for a school district to configure and manage large numbers of AMX Jetpack systems remotely is a key benefit of this system. Is the installation process as seamless as the ongoing management?
A: That’s true. Jetpack Manager is a free software tool for PC or Mac that enables an administrator to discover, configure, manage, and control multiple Jetpack systems over the network. Once the systems are connected to the network, administrators can auto-discover and organize them into a logical, hierarchical structure, and configure the audio, video, control, and security settings all at once, or in groups of any size. The keypad, input wall-plate, and receiver are daisy-chained together with only a category cable and a single power supply at the receiver powers the whole solution, making for a simple install.
Q: Is the AMX Jetpack appropriate for educators to incorporate media from existing smart boards, online video or streaming options or even from their own personal device?
A: We included a USB-C input and two HDMI inputs as well as USB pass-though on the input wall-plate for maximum flexibility. Room PCs, document cameras, or streaming devices could be connected to the HDMI inputs and the instructor’s laptop, phone, or tablet may connect through the USB-C port. Devices connected to the wall-plate with either the USB-C port or the USB Type B port can be used with USB smart boards or displays with touch overlays that are connected to the receiver. Jetpack also supports a technology called HDMI ARC. If the classroom has a smart display with a built-in streaming app that the instructor is using, audio from that app will be sent back over HDMI so that it can be played over the speakers connected to Jetpack.
Q: Budgets have always been top of mind for administrators. How does the AMX Jetpack system help keep costs manageable?
A: One of the biggest issues that educational facilities and integrators asked us to solve was that some of the competitor’s packages include too much. No one speaker is ideal for every classroom and if rooms are pre-wired, you shouldn’t be forced to pay for wire you don’t need. Jetpack includes a keypad, input wall-plate, multi-function receiver, and the management software. The multi-function receiver has a lot of built-in technology like an amplifier, microphone input, control ports, and remote mute, but our package does not include speakers, cables, or display mounts. With Jetpack, you only pay for what you need and have the freedom to choose what’s best for your classroom.
Colin Mahoney is the Product Marketing Manager for Video and Control Products at HARMAN Professional Solutions. Colin has over 20 years of experience in the AV industry in technical, sales, and marketing roles. He spent his first few years in the industry as a manufacturer’s rep and has been with AMX and HARMAN since 2007.
HARMAN is a global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems for the classroom and beyond. Learn more about the AMX Jetpack and how it creates engaging environments where instructors and students can communicate productively.