These are some of the things I have been thinking about the last few weeks. But I am looking at it with a different lens - not what I would want as a teacher, instead, what is best for the students in the classroom. I want to move from putting technology in the hands of adults and putting it in the hands of our students. We are very lucky in our district - a few years ago our community passed a bond that will fund many things - one of which is an upgrade to the instructional technology in our classrooms. We are very fortunate now, but like many other districts we have some areas where we can improve.
So here I am again, comparing our classrooms to others - looking at short throw vs mounted in the ceiling projectors, interactive boards vs interactive projectors, doc cams, voice lift systems, panels on the wall to turn everything on/off and so much more. As a teacher I use say to anyone who would listen, "Why can't they just mount my projector? I'd do it myself if they would let me!" Now that I am in the tech dept I understand why I was never able to just do it myself. So many reasons - if you want to know...send me an email.
Back to reality... A few years ago I applied for a grant to buy an iPad to use in my classroom, both as a tablet and as a doc cam. I had found some nice DIY stands that would sit on to my science demo table where I could slide the iPad in and use the camera as a doc cam. I also asked for an Apple TV so I would be able to use AirPlay to put my images up on the screen. I did not receive the grant - but I am looking at that option again for other teachers in our classrooms. Why not have a tablet (it doesn't have to an iPad) as a doc cam so that you can also use it to be more mobile in the room and give you some of the interactive features of much more expensive boards or displays? I have heard pros (mobility, apps) and cons (lighting, low megapixel camera) to this idea - but I feel the ability to use it for more than just a camera that points at the table all day long makes it a great instructional tool for teachers.
I'm not going to drone on and on about these things - but just start to think about these items in your own classroom. If you could start over and redo your classroom AV, what is your utopia? What do you want/need to allow students to be successful in your room? I have talked to many others and there are many ideas. We obviously can't put in everything everybody wants - we need to standardize items so we can give teachers the training they need to use the equipment and so a tech can go in the room and repair the equipment if needed. But put together a list and share it with your tech leader...it may just lead to some much needed changes in your classroom for your students!