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Friday, June 29, 2012

iPads in Education: 10 Interesting Uses of the iPad for the Classroom

iPad is changing education for a few reasons:
  • Student Engagement.  Students love using iPads because they cater to their attention span and love for interaction with technology.
  • Cost. The upfront cost may be hefty, but with all of the free apps and discounted textbooks, they are well worth the price. Compare the price of an iPad to a laptop computer.
  • Versatility. With new apps coming out everyday, the opportunities for using an iPad are endless and always growing.
Here are 10 Interesting Uses of the iPad in Education:

1. Textbooks on iPad. Textbooks cost schools a lot of money.  iPads for the classroom does as well, but the benefit is that eBooks are so much more practical than ordering a new set of text books every few years, paying for shipping and having students carry books back and forth.

Many eBooks are available for free if they have passed into the public domain.

2. Engage groups of students. A cool piece of technology like the iPad has the power to unite groups of students around a task. You can have prizes for students who get the furthest in an educational game (see number 6) or assign group projects on the iPad.

3. Digitize your library catalog. This will encourage students to check out books and even suggest books to check out.  iPads also cost a lot less and can do a lot more than traditional computers used for the same purpose.

4. iPad Photography: With a powerful camera and video camera built-in, the iPad is an awesome tool for teachers trying to inspire creativity in their students.  You are able to touch up a photo and edit video with an iPad.

Introduce your students to popular photography techniques through their iPad.  This is something useful in the real world that students will love to do! Encourage them to do their very best work by having a contest with a prize for the best photo or video project.

5. Engage students through social media.  Twitter and Facebook are the enemy of some teachers because they are a great distraction.  But some teachers have found harnessing the power of tweets and Facebook posts can actually help the learning process by fostering education related tweets and interactions with classmates.

6. Games!  Games are another powerful way to engage students and have them learn--while having fun!

There are so many great educational games available today to teach all sorts of subjects: math, reading comprehension, history, a foreign language, programming, etc.  These games can take the addicting nature of some games and get students hooked on learning and exercising their brain!

Use student's gaming habits as an opportunity to learn as well.  Games subliminally teach some amazing skills: team strategy, critical thinking skills, resource management, and many others.

This teaches students to think critically even at home when they are gaming!

7. Blogging/Writing.  Writing is an invaluable skill in today's professional environment.  It is an essential communication means that will only become more important in a world increasingly bombarded with information because only the best content gets noticed.

Good writing stands out.  There are many apps available that can aid students in developing their writing and blogging skills:

The internet has a lot of great
free resources for teaching literacy.
8. Help students become literate. Engaging students with "cool technology" will help spur on their learning and make it more interactive.  There are many great iPad apps for reading and learning to read like the one below:

9. Language Learning.
The iPad is a powerful and motivating tool to learn a new language. The iPad is perfectly suited to teach reading, writing, and listening skills.  They are also able to record their voices and hear their progress.

10. Teach and learn music. Technology is revolutionizing the way students learn instruments.  iPad apps with instrument tutorials can save hundreds on private lessons and spur students to learn at a faster rate than they normally would.

While nothing beats learning on the real instrument, iPads can be an invaluable tool in learning to play an instrument.  This video shows a small orchestra playing instruments together:

What are your favorite uses of the iPad in the classroom?  Share it with us in a comment!

Brought to you by AmpliVox Sound Systems.  Our line of professional grade portable PA systems and lecterns and podiums are compatible with iPads, iPhones, and any other external device with a standard headphone jack.

Other Great Links:
The Best School Lecterns and Podiums
The Best School PA Systems
Ampli Blog: Top 10 Reasons to Integrate Technology in the Classroom
Ampli Blog: Top 10 Classroom Management Tips for Teachers
Ampli Blog: 15 Brilliant Albert Einstein Quotes on Education
ZDnet: 50 Resources for iPad use in the classroom
Images courtesy of Creative Commons: anitakhart Gustavo Devito, EG Focus, 24oranges.nl, Flickering Brad, David Ortez, gflinch, Johan Larsson, NASA Goddard Photo and Video, Barrett.discovery, gretchichil.

Inspirational Quotes about Life Work Office Inspiration

An Inspirational Quote about Life at Work
This inspirational quote about work should be an inspiration at the office.  Sometimes work can be a drag, but remember you do have the power to make the people you interact with have a great day.

Related Links:
20 Motivational Quotes and Sayings on Education
15 Albert Einstein Quotes on Education
Photo used under Creative Commons License: Thanks to Lululemon Athletics

Thursday, June 28, 2012

PA System Speaker Placement/Instructions/Information

All public address systems (PA systems) have three basic components.
1. Microphones

2. Speakers and 
3. Amplifiers
Download entire Wireless Sound System Setup Guide Here.

Custom Wall Mount Speakers
Now that you have picked up a microphone, you need to amplify the signal. The power amplifier is the next component in the system. The first question every presenter asks is “How Many Watts Do I Need?” Before that question can be answered, you need to decide what type of speakers you will be using. So let’s look at speakers first. For PA purposes, there are two basic types of speakers, Cones and Horns.

Full Range Speakers
Digital Audio Travel Partner
The first is the cone speaker. This is the variety you will find in home stereos, cars and large speaker columns. The cone type of speaker has a wide frequency response which can give your voice a very natural amplification. Excellent for indoor use or small groups, the cone speaker will have some drawbacks outdoors with large crowds.

Important considerations for cone speakers; First, they are not very efficient. To get abundant amplification outdoors or to cover large crowds, you will need large speakers driven by powerful amplifiers. These components are built fairly heavy in order to handle these power loads. Second, they are typically built of materials that are not designated for outdoor use.

Constant exposure to the elements may result in premature failure.

Microphones Belt Pack
Receiver with antenna
Wireless Mic Set-Up

Wall Mount Speakers
4 designed for outdoor use are even more expensive. Additionally, the quality of audio will actually become muddy at a distance. This is because the lower frequencies (bass) travel further than the higher frequencies. Ever walk into a party or concert and all you can hear is the bass at first until you get close enough?

Eventually, all you can hear at a distance is the bass. This will actually reduce the intelligibility for someone listening at the back of a crowd. Cone type PA speakers come in several configurations. The simplest is the single speaker in a box known as a full range speaker.  The full range speaker will reproduce a fairly wide speaker response. The full range speaker,  however, isn’t designer, however isn’t designed for high power levels.

Co-Axial and Tri-axial
Another common type of speaker are those which have different elements built into the same cabinet, each element designed to handle a separate part of the audio spectrum.

For example, a co-axial speaker contains a circuit (crossover) which splits the audio signal into two separate signals, one for the lower bass frequencies and one for the higher frequencies.  The bass signal goes to a large diameter speaker commonly called a woofer while the higher frequencies go to a smaller speaker. A tri-axial speaker will contain crossovers which will split the signal into bass, mid-range and treble. Three different types of speakers will be incorporated into the same cabinet.

Speakers with crossovers will give a clearer, cleaner sound. They will also require more wattage for the same sound levels and will generally be much larger and bulkier.

Half-Mile Hailer
The horn type of speaker has been popular for outdoor PA use for decades. The typical horn is usually made of metal or polymers and can withstand the elements better than the cone type speaker. They are far more efficient, which means more sound volume at lower wattage.

By lowering the power demands made by the speakers, you can reduce both the size and the power requirements of your amplifier.

Horn speakers can best be described as “bright” in their sound. The higher frequencies are reproduced very clearly with virtually no bass. The limited frequency response is one reason they are so efficient. They don’t waste energy reproducing the bass frequencies. Outdoors, the tinny sound is not very apparent. The speakers can also project farther with out getting “muddy.” The end result is better intelligibility at longer distances.

Sound Cruiser Car PA System
A very important point here is that horn speakers typically found in outdoor PA systems are incapable of producing bass. Therefore, a tone control on the amplifier doesn’t accomplish anything except send amplifier energy into never-never land.

The horn speaker is recommended for large groups indoors or outdoors, where intelligibility is important over greater distances. This is why you see horns on nearly all car top units, portable PA’s and in large auditoriums. As an announcer, it is far more important that your customers hear what you say clearly.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Microphone Instructions (Wireless, Handheld, Lavalier, Headset, Condenser)

All public address systems (PA systems) have three basic components.
1. Microphones
2. Speakers and 
3. Amplifiers
Download entire Wireless Sound System Setup Guide Here.

The microphone converts a sound source into electrical energy. In a presentation, that sound source happens to be you, the presenter! Microphones are relatively simple devices; however, there are a few factors to consider.

Handheld – Handheld mics are easy to pick up and use, they can be put down when you are done and they are easy to pack up at the end of your event. Unfortunately, they also keep you from using both hands and they are subject to some handling noise. People trained in microphone dynamics can be very effective with handhelds since the gain can be controlled and even the tonal quality of the sound varied by using the microphone in different ways.

Many directional microphones exhibit a phenomenon known as the proximity effect. When the mic is held very close to the mouth, the bass response dramatically increases. While this is good for singers and comedians, proximity effects can work against the presenter. Even so, the handheld mic is a popular choice for many presenters.

Wireless Handheld Microphone
Lavalier – This is a commonly used type of microphone. It clips on to the collar and is very small and very sensitive. They come in a wide array of styles and shapes. The lavalier mic leaves the presenters hands free and can be easily hidden under a lapel, if necessary. This makes these microphones popular with public speakers, motion picture production, television production, and church systems.

Headset – This type of mic is popular with auctioneers, aerobic instructors and broadcast announcers. The headset mic uses a boom to place the microphone very close to the lips.

By doing this, the user can get more gain from the microphone and the background noise is lower. This mic is the best bet for hands free public address usage such as auctioneering, coaching, announcing or aerobic instruction.

Around the neck mics – Many people will purchase a headset mic and wear it around their neck for comfort, while this may be more comfortable, there is a trade-off. Very few people keep their heads in one position while they speak, causing the mouth to constantly change distance from the microphone. Because the mouth is 1-2 inches from the mic in the closest position and several inches away when the head is turned to one side, the volume level rises and falls more dramatically. This can distract from the presentation. This is why you never see broadcast professionals use a headset mic in this way. If the comfort factor is important then careful attention to how you move may make the trade off worth it.

After deciding whether to hold or wear the microphone, the next step is selecting the pickup system.

Directional vs. Omni-Directional
All microphones have what is known as a pickup pattern. The pickup pattern is how the microphone “hears” sound. The pickup pattern can have a dramatic effect on the PA system, affected both intelligibility, (how understandable the speech is to the listener) and gain (how much amplification you can get from the system).

Omni-Directional Microphones
Omni-directional microphones pick up sound from all directions. Sounds coming from almost any direction will be picked up by the microphone. Generally speaking, omnidirectional microphones have a “flat” frequency response – they sound very normal, and they are resistant to wind and handling noise. However, they can add feedback problems to indoor settings, something we’ll discuss later in this manual. Most headset microphones are omnidirectional since they are so close to the mouth they have enough gain to avoid the feedback problems an omni-directional handheld would exhibit.

The Cardioid microphone picks up the sound more from the front than the sides and back of the mic. The pattern is heart shaped, hence the name “cardioid.” The microphone picks up sound from all directions.

Directional Microphones
Also called cardioid microphones, these mics tend to pick up sound from only one general direction. They help avoid feedback and interfering noises that many come from the rear and sides of the microphone. For example, at a livestock auction, a directional mic may help prevent the animals from “mooing” over the PA. Cardioid mics tend to sound higher pitched and need bigger windscreens to prevent wind noise.

Microphones are built with different sensing components called elements. The three most common are the dynamic, condenser and electret.

Dynamic Microphones
The dynamic mic is the simplest of all. In effect, it is very much like a speaker. Because of their simplified construction, they are durable, reliable and inexpensive. However, they are generally not as sensitive as the other types of elements.

Condenser Microphones
Condenser mics use a different construction involving a charged diaphragm vibrating near a
charged plate. They are much more sensitive because their internal parts are lighter in weight.
Since these pats are lighter, they can be moved around by sound more easily. The charged
parts require power, however, so the amplifier must provide “phantom” power. Phantom
power is provided by applying voltage to the microphone through the cable. Most condenser
Headset Microphone with Transmitter
mics require anywhere from 9V to 48V. This can restrict usage to wired operation only on some models. Their other drawback is lower durability. The higher sensitive of these mics makes it much easier to get more amplification from a lower sound level source.

Electret Microphones
Electret mics are a modified version of condenser mics. Instead of charging the diaphragm, they have a permanently charged plastic film diaphragm. Now only the other surface requires phantom power. Many require only 1.5V of power to work. Since the film is extremely light, these can be very sensitive. Advantages include good durability, very high sensitivity, extremely compact size and low power requirements, for example lavalier (tie-clip) microphones are electrets.

Wireless Microphones
Around the Neck Mic
Wireless mics are available in all of the variations discussed above. Basically, two additional components are added to the microphone, a transmitter and receiver. The transmitter translates the signal from the microphone into a radio signal. That signal is picked up by the receiver, translated back into an audio signal and sent into the amplifier. Eliminating the wire also eliminates the restrictions a microphone cable places on your ability to move about during the presentation.

[ Blog Posts: Presentation Tips ]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

AmpliVox's Music Playlist

Back in the 60s and 70s, music listeners bought albums and spun them over and over, having to switch records often to change songs.

In the digital generation, music listeners group all of their favorite songs onto a playlist instead of being limited to listening straight through albums.

The following list of songs are all from the record-spinning days on a custom "AmpliVox-Related" Playlist.  Enjoy!

Just click on the song title to listen to the song!

1. Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen
This song gets the nod because AmpliVox seeks to make our products in the United States.
Read More: Standing by America: AmpliVox Products Made in the USA

2. Roving Gambler by Simon and Garfunkel

Roving means "To roam or wander around."  The Roving Rostrum SW124 is a great traveling lectern with a built in PA System, that is why we chose the song "Roving Gambler" for it!

3. The Weight by the Band
 The Mity-Lite Small PA System is lightweight at 6.5lbs.  That is why we chose The Band's Hit, "The Weight."  This particular version of the song includes Guitar Legend Eric Clapton.

4. Mighty Wings by Cheap Trick (from Top Gun)
The MityVox PA System is a powerful small PA System that packs a punch.  That is why we chose "Mighty Wings".

5. Hips Don't Lie by Shakira
Shakira's Hips don't lie, and neither do our satisfied customers who have purchased the Belt Blaster PA System. This waistband amplifier is a favorite among blind skiers, tour guides, and magicians alike because it easily straps on your waist and allows you to amplify your voice while allowing optimal movement.

Audio Portable Buddy

6. Everyday by Buddy Holly
The Audio Portable Buddy SW222 is a handy system you will not mind having by your side on a daily basis.  It is 50 watts and can run up to 200 hours on D-Cell batteries!

7. Voices Carry by Til Tuesday
For an obvious reason, we chose this 80's one hit wonder for the Voice Carrier System SW230.  This system is available with wireless speakers and microphones.

8.  Half A Mile Away by Billy Joel 
The name of this Billy Joel song also describes the range of the Half Mile Hailer.  You are easily able to project your voice up to one half mile with this outdoor horn system.

[The Revolutionary New Radio Hailer can actually go over a mile!]

9. Take it Easy by the Eagles
Nothing is more user-friendly than the iPod Portable PA System.  With a wireless handheld microphone, iPod dock that charges and plays your device, remote control, and rechargeable battery, this system will make you want to sing, "Oh we got it easy, We oughta take it easy!"

10. Ignition by Tobymac from album "Portable Sounds"
Even though all of our systems are made to be portable, the Sound Cruiser is set apart because it lets you take your sound on the road. Literally.  Turn on the ignition and blast your message up to one half mile with this Car PA System.

11.  My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
The popular song from the movie Titanic is the obvious choice for the 100-watt Wireless PA System known as the Titan.  The Titan boasts a TITANIC sound and a battery that will go on, 6-8 hours on a single charge!

12. Shout by the Isley Brothers
What is the best way to "Shout" your message and emergency warnings to a large crowd?  With an AmpliVox Megaphone of course!

13. Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
The Safety Strobe Megaphone allows you to communicate your safety message with clarity and authority.  The emergency siren and whistle, flashing strobe light, and flashlight allow emergency professionals to direct a crowd with ease.  The Voice-Record and Playback-Feature allow you to record your message and replay it through the megaphone, saving your voice and multiplying the number on your safety team.

It is such a convenient product, it might just make you want to dance!

14. Any Way You Want It by Journey
For our customers who need a custom PA speaker/horn system, we offer custom speaker horn systems that fit their needs both indoors and out.

When we are asked if we can recommend a system for a specific setting and application, we just say, Any way you want it, that's the way you need it!

15. Travelin' Band by Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Digital Audio Travel Partner is a durable portable PA system that is compatible with a number of wireless microphones and external devices and instruments like a guitar, bass guitar, and piano.

Take your show on the road and be part of a Travelin' Band with the Digital Audio Travel Partner!

What other songs should we add??

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hospital Management Tips | Healthcare Equipment Supplies | Top 5

Healthcare management professionals hold vitally important positions and are responsible for the way their hospital functions.

Running a hospital forces managers to juggle a variety of tasks.

Due to the importance of this job, a manager should be equipped to take the necessary positive methods while avoiding certain pitfalls in managing the life of a hospital.

Here are 5 Hospital Management Tips for those in the Health Care Industry:
1. Develop a strong managed care team.
Having a support staff, surgical team, emergency room team, nurses, and doctors on the same page will save a lot of headaches by managing their care team well.

Having clearly defined roles that leave no room for confusion or ambiguity will mean you will not hear anyone say, "That's not my job!"

2.  Manage Stress Well.
Because of its potential life-or-death nature, the healthcare industry can sometimes be a stressful place to work.  The wrong medicine, extra wait time, or the wrong diagnosis could prove to be important or even fatal in certain situations.

Managing the stress that these situations bring is vital for preventing burnout and ensuring a long and stable career in your hospital.  While it is important to care about the people you serve, holding on to them too much can create what is called "Compassion Fatigue" and is something important for hospital workers to be aware of.

The Contemporary Aluminum Lectern from AmpliVox
3. Have the right supplies and equipment.
Having the right equipment an literally be a life-or-death matter for those in the hospital industry.  Ordering and storing the proper hospital supplies, medical products, and laboratory equipment are a no brainer.  But those ordering medical supplies often neglect other supplies related to the operation and safety of their hospital.

Health administration professionals and others in healthcare management need to consider what equipment the hotel needs for a conference room or for emergency preparedness.

AmpliVox's line of elegant and versatile lecterns and podiums are perfect for board meetings.  The Executive Adjustable Height Sound Column Lectern is an elegant addition for any presentation.

Having portable pa systems for clear communication is also important so that your public speaking and emergency messages will be loud and clear.

Video: Custom Mountable PA Speaker and Horn Systems
Megaphones for Emergency Situations

4. Have an emergency plan.
Having the right emergency plan is necessary for any school, business, and organization.  It is especially important for a hospital.  Are you prepared for a power outage?  If not, your patients relying on life support and medical equipment that require electricity are out of luck.

The Radio Hailer Emergency Communication System allows users to communicate over one mile away with the powerful handheld radio and public address horn combination.

Video: Radio Hailer Emergency Commuication System

5. Hire the right people.
Just like in hotel management and hiring for corporate event planning, assembling the right team with the right attitude is one of the most important things you can do.  Hiring hard workers with a team mentality is to be chosen over someone well-qualified but with a complaining and pessimistic attitude.  Negative attitudes can spread across an entire department or organization given enough time.

Here is a list of duties those in Healthcare management might deal with:
•Areas of the hospital management and organizational structure
• Management planning
• Financial management
• Personnel management
• Information management and record medic
• Management office
• Management of logistics
• Pharmaceutical management
• Management of medical services and care
• Management of nutrition
• Management of linen and laundry
• Management of hospital sanitation and control of nosocomial infections
• Safety management
• Security management
• Management of marketing

Related Links:
Product: Belt Blaster Waistband Amplifier
Product: Roving Rostrum Tabletop Podium PA System
Blog: The Ultimate Table Top Lectern Guide
Video: S1232 Powered Wall Mounted Speakers

Thursday, June 14, 2012

20 Motivational Quotes and Sayings on Education | Steve Jobs, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, John F. Kennedy

This blog post is a list of inspirational and motivational quotes and sayings on education by Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, John F. Kennedy, and Mark Twain and others.
They cover the importance of education, philosophy of education, and some random thoughts about education.

Here are 20 Awesome Quotes on Education:
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.  Benjamin Franklin

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.  Benjamin Franklin

If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him.  Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.  Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.  Abigail Adams (1744 - 1818)

Digital iPod School Listening Center
Whoso neglects learning in his youth,
Loses the past and is dead for the future.  Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC)

Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student.  George Iles

We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction.  Malcolm Gladwell

You learn more quickly under the guidance of experienced teachers. You waste a lot of time going down blind alleys if you have no one to lead you.  W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)The Razor's Edge, 1943

Older people sit down and ask, 'What is it?' but the boy asks, 'What can I do with it?'  Steve Jobs 

A child miseducated is a child lost.  John F. Kennedy

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.  John F. Kennedy

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.  John F. Kennedy

The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.  John F. Kennedy

The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds.  John F. Kennedy 

iPod Portable PA System
Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.  John F. Kennedy 

Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.  Mark Twain

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.  Mark Twain

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  Mark Twain

The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life. Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)