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The Case for Continuous Audio Visual Education: Benefits to Your ROI

The value of investing in audio visual education is actually pretty easy to measure if you care about how your business is professionally perceived.

Alan C. Brawn Leave a Comment
The Case for Continuous Audio Visual Education: Benefits to Your ROI

To many, the process of learning has taken a back seat to the daily activities of simply getting the job done. Some might say that this is born out of necessity in our hyperactive and over-stressed times. We tend to revert to what we already know and apply that to the tasks at hand, rather than focus on continuing our audio visual education.

As one colleague recently opined, just getting through the day or the week can be enough of a task without taking the time to learn something new.

The inherent problem with this approach is that it inevitably leads to stagnation. Stagnation is the death knell of any industry, but most especially an industry based on ever-changing technologies and their applications.

Learning certainly takes an investment of time but it is time that can be scheduled, managed, and included in in your daily, weekly, and monthly activities. The key word here is investment.

The ROI of investing in audio visual education

The most powerful method for what experts call “continuous learning” is to actively listen with a healthy dose of curiosity thrown in for good measure. This is much more than just passively listening to the things around you.

What it really means is intentionally hearing and observing and remaining open and receptive while absorbing the things going on all around you.

What it really means is intentionally hearing and observing and remaining open and receptive while absorbing the things going on all around you.

As one educator pointed out to me, “Continuously feeding your curiosity not only educates you on the subject matter you’re currently pursuing, but it also removes those blinders and helps you see the daily opportunities for learning. Such a cycle helps strengthen the culture of growth.”

I ran across the following description of learning that speaks directly to personal growth:

“Deep and long-lasting learning involves understanding, relating ideas and making connections between prior and new knowledge, independent and critical thinking and ability to transfer knowledge to new and different contexts.”

Please pause for a second and re-read the description just noted. It speaks to a link between prior (existing) and new knowledge and then transferring that knowledge to new opportunities.

To me, this perfectly characterizes our commercial AV industry and the need for continuous audio visual education; applying it, and growing because of it.

There is science to back up the measurable benefits of learning

Clinical research into learning shows that your brain chemistry actually changes. Learning causes the brain layers to physically expand. It also shows that learning speed increases through stimulating more neuron pathways in the brain.

The more pathways, the faster impulses can travel. The activity of learning physiologically makes it easier to learn. In short, learning begets learning.

Behavioral scientists chime in as well. They have found that learning fights boredom, keeps your interest level higher, and prevents what might result in a debilitating cycle of monotony from setting in. Their research shows that continuous learning allows you to adapt better to change.

When you learn something new, the more expansive and varied your life experience is, making it easier and less stressful as you adapt to change. Learning increase social acceptance by expanding one’s appeal to others around them.

The good news for us in commercial AV is that we have many opportunities to learn about our industry and a great number of them are in formats that are easily accessible and can fit in our hectic lives.

Resources available

There are live events to attend both nationally and regionally. We have a plethora of webinars and recorded classes that make access convenient.

One highly promoted example of continuous learning is the AVIXA CTS certification and continuing education program. For those who are CTS (CTS, CTS-D, CTS-I) certified, there is a requirement to take 30 hours of continuing education over three years to maintain the certification.

AVIXA refers to these continuing audio visual education courses as renewal units or CTS-RU. While they have a great number of proprietary courses, they also encourage manufacturers, distributors, and others to create courses and submit them for CTS-RU credits.

For courses that are sales oriented a CTS-RU provider earns .5 credits per hour but if the course is non-sales oriented, they earn a full credit per class hour. Even if a person is not part of the formal CTS Program, they can take advantage of these learning opportunities.

The objective is to remain current in a rapidly changing environment i.e. continuous learning.

Two suggestions regarding the array of learning opportunities out there

First of all, don’t permit yourselves to be mired down or self-satisfied with what you know.

On the contrary, be excited and look forward to what you don’t know. Get up each day realizing you will learn something of value that you did not know when you went to sleep the night before. The discovery of new things is one of the true joys of life.

As noted earlier, openness and a healthy sense of curiosity leads to growth and this leads to differentiation. Today more than ever before differentiation is the key in what has become a sea of sameness.

My second piece of advice is to fill in the blanks.

By this I mean focus on the full version of who you want to become and how you want to be professionally and personally perceived by those around you. It is far too easy to confine yourself to the paradigm in which you are comfortable.

I am not suggesting you give up that which interests you the most, but get out of the comfort zone and explore learning opportunities that can expand your horizons. This approach leads to opportunities we may never have imagined inside our own bubble.

RESOURCE: Everything You Need to Know About AV Training

Whether we overtly recognize it or not, we all have the opportunity to learn something new each day.

The question at hand is whether we take advantage of that or not. To paraphrase Shakespeare, to learn or not to learn that is the question.

We are meant to learn throughout our life, not just in the beginning. Learning is accumulative. A famous neurosurgeon points out that “Your brain is like a muscle in the sense that if you do not use it, you lose it.”

What do you want to do? The choice is yours so invest time wisely. The return on investing in audio visual education can be significant.

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