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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Decoding the hype around audio-visual integration

Much has been said about audio visual connection integration as a tool for learning.  A lot of times, people use it as a means of unified communications, but have you considered using audio-visual for more than just communicating between your employees at your office?

Recently I have had the pleasure of attending a series of workshops where a simple unification of audio and visual worked very very well.

Essentially the setup was that they had a main PC and a screen projector. The PowerPoint presentation was projected onto a screen where notes were readable and usable by all the attendees to see. In addition, there were clips from YouTube videos that were used throughout the presentations well. On top of that, there was audio in conjunction with the text. All of this was accessible with a few clicks of a mouse to show us, and it was intuitive.

Talking about the integration of audio-visual has become a highly recurring theme in the world of technology, as everyone tries to move forward and push the limits constantly.  Since 2013, many studies and much research has explored why audio- visual integration is important.

Up until then, the topic that I believed was audio-visual integration was really a marketing strategy for visual and audio communications to be sold to companies. Many times not, said companies saw it as an expense, but needed a nudge to actually invest in its advancement within their company culture. I now know it is much more than that. It is not simply voice or video chatting over Skype, but rather opening the senses and audio-visual receptors to a heightened response level, and ultimately, the communication process as a whole is on a new, more special, but most of all, more fun level.

it is essentially common knowledge that many people feel they learned, and continue to learn better through auditory means, and the needs of those who have preferred and continue to prefer visual as a means of learning seem to feel that there is a lack of stimulating resources.

The combination of adding sound to written text is supposedly the bridge between both sections of people.

As a result of research, we were, and continue to be reminded of, something that we already knew all along, and that people tend to learn better through auditory means. However, the majority of folks prefer visual, be it video or text or some such, as their main means of getting information.  There are always those who absorb information better and faster than others, but interestingly, it is not involving a difference in regards to the nature of said information; Audio or visual.

Up until now, the traditional methodology of integrating audio-visual was to simply have an audio with a visual component. Think of a PowerPoint presentation or subtitles with audible video.

In actuality, audio-visual integration is slightly different.  What makes it unique though, is that audio and visual are developed together when in regards to the final product. One is not an afterthought or an option. Both are presented upfront, together, and do not overpower each other. Two halves to a whole.

The best way to consider it would probably be looking how streaming works. Streaming where the person is live, which means that you can see them doing an action and you can hear them whilst doing said action, simultaneously and flawlessly. Now  you have this final product called a stream, and that’s probably why streams are so addicting. They tickle all of our audio and visual senses.

Full audio-visual integration is fantastic for learners who seem to have disadvantages with visual. According to research, the reason for that is because the auditory portion of the audio-visual integration actually stimulates the temporal lobe of those with visual impairment, and it causes them to receive the auditory component at much more crisp and at faster rate.

To break it down even simpler, the brain is used to collecting audio and visual, even if the body has a hard time doing so. With full and proper audio-visual combination, the person with visual impairment receives the auditory section of the audio-visual compilation at close to prime state because the brain does not have to focus so hard when it’s being fed with both, even if the body can’t handle both.

Alright, so you now you are probably thinking great, all I  have to do is get a computer and a screen and I have audio-visual integration, right?

The answer to that question is yes and no. Yes; At its most basic level, you have audio-visual integration. However, what if you have a live presentation? What do you need to make that visually appealing? Once you factor in lights for staging, sound equipment to make the sound quality clear, video equipment such as Blu Ray to play back any video you will be using and a few more bits of technology, you’ve got it. Think of going to the cinema, and leaving with your ears ringing and eyes sore, but yet you still feel deeply satisfied watching that movie you loved. You need that effect, and when you get it, that is the golden integration.

This type of setup is usually best left to professionals, because they can invest the time in finding the equipment, create the best possible set up, and work with you within a budget.

So, the next time you are at a public place of business, waiting for your turn, and you see TVs that either show cooking or news, usually on low or mute, or you see TVs displaying information such as the number currently being served, or you see the occasional advertisements for the establishment you are in, think of how this type of audio-visual  integration is working for you, and do you think your business or classroom can benefit from its use.

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