In the old days, showing a film or slideshow meant that a teacher would have to plan weeks in advance to reserve equipment. The A/V guys would then roll in a heavy cart loaded with equipment, interrup class to set it up and then come back at the end of the period to take it away. The set-up process was tedious and interfered with class time learning. With the arrival of new media carts, though, things have improved markedly, reports THE Journal.
The A/V people still have to load the cart up and transport the equipment to the classroom, but now laptops, projectors, document cameras, televisions, and VCRs are affixed to movable carts. Technicians simply wheel the equipment into a classroom and everything a teacher needs is right there.
“This isn’t exactly emerging technology or cutting edge, but it brings a lot of different pieces of equipment together and provides easy access to it. Carts in our district have been huge," says Lucas Wilson, a technology support specialist in Lenawee Intermediate School District (MI).
The carts not only help transport various media but also help organize and store equipment. The carts are relatively inexpensive and for budget-minded districts, they can help keep costs down for purchasing expensive A/V equipment for each classroom.
Media cart vendors such as Bretford, Jar Systems, EarthWalk Communications, Hewlett- Packard, and Span all say cart sales have increased in recent years.