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Increasingly, flatscreen televisions, large computer monitors and interactive panels have been making their appearance in classrooms, along with the laptops and tablets that teachers and students use to project their work or lesson plans for the entire class to see.
These giant screens, monitors and panels make learning more engaging, flexible and accessible. But if you don’t invest in the right mounts, these bulky devices can become a burden by cluttering up the classroom and straining the necks of student viewers.
Placing a 65-inch or larger flatscreen on a tabletop just isn’t feasible, for two reasons: A table that big would take up too much valuable classroom space, and the TV or monitor would remain in a static position; swiveling, lowering or raising it for maximum visibility would be difficult, given the size and weight of these behemoths.
Putting devices on a fixed mount presents its own unique issues. First, it’s difficult to access the back of a fixed mounted screen if maintenance is required. Second, in many classrooms, mounting these large devices in a fixed position would result in the loss of valuable storage space that is often built right into the front wall.
And most important, if students have to tilt their heads back for an extended period of time to see the screen, it can result in headaches, neck pain and even back problems, discomforts that make it difficult for students to focus on the lesson.
A smarter way of mounting a large screen without reducing classroom or storage space, is one that supports multi-directional movement, is easy to get behind for repairs and provides a more comfortable learning environment.
There are a wide variety of AV mounts that can meet these criteria; a few of them offer vertical movement that allow TVs and monitors to be mounted high on a wall, out of the way of whiteboards and storage spaces. They can be lowered for prime viewing position (eye level is ideal), then easily retracted to their original positions.
Many types of districts benefit from mounted AV
MantelMount, a leading designer and manufacturer of full-motion mounts, has seen an uptick in the number of districts – both large and small – sing this type of mount. From Santa Cruz (California) City School District, which ordered 241 mounts, to La Habra (California) Elementary School District and Oregon City School District, which ordered 2-3 dozen, the cumulative effect of these purchases is something that even MantelMount CEO Lee Marc couldn’t predict.
“The level of demand that we’ve seen in the educational market is surprising, even to us,” he said, noting that even universities, such as Cornell University and Brigham Young University, are using the mounts.
The demand is driven by a desire to capitalize on the latest in-classroom AV technology as well as accommodate distance learning brought on by COVID.
Rachel Kooiker, director of technology at Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said the 45 mounts her district ordered were a sound purchase.
“The units allowed teachers to bring their TVs down to eye level – the perfect viewing height – so that kids didn’t have to strain their necks or their eyes. Plus, they’re providing the safest, most secure support for these heavy sets.”
Flexible mounts save classroom space and storage
Mounts have also helped schools work around some unique classroom configuration issues. In the Los Gatos (California) School District, school officials wanted to mount their new TVs in the middle of the front wall. But this would cover up whiteboards and block valuable storage space behind the whiteboard.
Tim Landeck, former director of technology for the district, oversaw the purchase of 80 new mounts. By mounting devices above the whiteboards, teachers can now bring the TVs down in front of the whiteboards when they want, then push them back to their out-of-the-way position. Optimal viewing height achieved, storage space preserved.
“Our teachers love the mounts and what it allows them to accomplish in the classroom,” he said. “Not only do they like that the mount can travel vertically, but they also find the swivel capability useful as well. And of course, they are very happy that they still have their storage space behind the whiteboards, as well as the whiteboards still being available for use.”
The proliferation of and replacement of TVs and monitors has clearly driven the need for mounts that will hold this new generation of AV devices. But a word to the wise: There is a wide selection of mounts available. When it comes to getting the one that’s right for your classroom – in terms of durability, vertical and horizontal movement, ease of installation and maintenance, and preservation of storage space, among other considerations – make sure you do your homework.
The Innovator Solutions section includes contributions from corporate sponsors and advertisers representing education organizations, businesses and other influencers dedicated to transforming education. This blog post was provided by MantelMount. Michael Smith is vice president of MantelMount Wholesale Operations.