Dedicated GPS Devices and Classroom A/V Controls

A desire to kick it old school.

October 27, 2014

Last week I purchased a Garmin Nuvi 2539LMT GPS navigation unit. $199.99 on Amazon.

This purchase was an agonizing decision.  The tech-forward people in my family (my brother, my kids) seem to think that the iPhone is all one needs for driving navigation.  They argue that an app like Waze provides superior turn-by-turn directions because it combines maps with user generated traffic updates.  Why spend the money on a dedicated GPS device when a smart phone app can provide a better experience for way cheaper (or free)?

My decision to buy the Garmin Nuvi 2539LMT came down to two reasons: trust and tasking.  

Trust: I trust that the GPS satellite connection will be there wherever I am driving.  Can we say the same thing for a cellular data connection?  

Tasking: The turn-by-turn directions for iOS apps like Google Maps actually seems to work very well. But I tend to use my iPhone for more than driving directions while driving. The iPhone will be playing an audiobook or a music from Spotify. Directions and the map display on the screen gets interrupted by the other apps.

Just because we can do many things on one device, things that previously required many devices, doesn’t mean that we should.  

This seems to be the case with classroom A/V controls.  As the controls for source and lighting and volume and lights have moved to one podium screen the presenter experience has gotten worse. Without dedicated knobs and buttons and sliders and buttons and switches to control classroom A/V the risk of a bad presentation experience has increased.  Every screen-based A/V system seems to be different.  There is no standard or uniformity in menus and sub-menus.  Too often it takes an A/V professional to hook up a laptop with a PowerPoint and some embedded video. This should not be the case. Classroom A/V controls should be simple enough that even a PhD can figure it out.

Do you have examples of classroom A/V setups purposely going old school? Big chunky levers and sliders and knobs?  Dedicated controls for discrete systems?

Will this be the last dedicated GPS device that I will ever buy?  

Where have you decided to forgo the app for the dedicated device?

Do you have any better luck with classroom A/V setups than I do?

How do you navigate?


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