Classroom audio systems offer many benefits to schools. They have been shown to positively affect student achievement and engagement, as well as reduce fatigue and vocal strain for teachers. Some might argue that audio systems don’t offer the same benefits in today’s classrooms where traditional seating is shifting to flexible seating, and teachers don’t just lecture at the front of the room. How does classroom audio fit into new learning environments? How can teachers use today’s technology in conjunction with classroom audio to enhance the learning experience?
CHANGES IN MODERN CLASSROOMS
Teachers used to spend much of their day sharing information with the class from the front of the room, but teaching methods are changing. Teachers act as facilitators of learning, facilitating class discussions, visiting with small groups, or working with individual students. Class time is now dedicated to students researching and learning in small groups, and students spend more time in front of the class, presenting what they’ve learned. With the classroom environment changed so much, how does sound amplification fit into this mix?
The changes in today’s classroom environment make it even more important for teachers to have a microphone/audio system. As teachers move around the classroom, student seating varies, and the increase in students collaborating, hearing a teacher in the classroom has become more difficult. With a classroom audio system, students can hear the teacher, no matter their location in the room. When teachers need to talk to the class during or after small group work, having their voice distributed throughout the classroom makes it easier for everyone to hear a call to attention. When students are presenting their work with the class, they can also use the teacher microphone, or a separate handheld microphone, to make sure everyone can hear them clearly.
The advancement of technology in today’s classrooms provides additional options when using classroom audio systems. With a computer and classroom microphone, teachers can use lecture capture—software that allows the teacher to capture a desktop recording along with their voice from the microphone. This will enable teachers to create digital learning opportunities for students who are sick, away for extra-curricular activities, or hospital homebound, providing anywhere anytime learning.
Schools can integrate interactive displays with their classroom audio systems. These displays offer striking visuals, but their sound is not always clear, nor does it always carry well. With audio system integration, sound from presentations and videos can be distributed throughout the classroom, making multimedia more enjoyable for everyone.
Today’s classroom setups and teaching methods are always evolving, and classroom audio systems offer many benefits for teachers and students as a part of this evolution. As teachers use audio enhancement systems to enhance their voice or the voices of their students, lessons can be more engaging and understandable for everyone in the room. As technology is integrated, teachers can take advantage of digital learning opportunities that are created easily with lecture capture software to give students every opportunity to learn. With the increase of student presentations and the use of multimedia use in classrooms, audio systems can optimize technology utilized to create a more engaging environment for everyone.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
In the successful publication of The Seven Secrets of Learning Revealed by Dr. Laurence Martel, Dr. Martel states one of the most important factors of learning is the factor of sound. Dr. Martel explains, “In today’s classrooms, teaching is done by talking. For people to process spoken language, the trainer, or teacher's voice, must be 17db (decibels) louder than the noise in the classroom environment” (The Seven Secrets of Learning Revealed by Dr. Laurence Martel). This is more evident in today’s classrooms than ever, and the use of an audio enhancement system can be a game-changer in the classroom.
Classrooms are noisy. Even when students are quietly working, you can hear computers humming, clocks ticking, air conditioners thumping, ceiling fans whirring, chairs shifting, feet shuffling, and many other competing sounds. If these sounds are reverberating off linoleum floors and bare walls, the noise level can make it very difficult for students to hear and learn. “It could be argued that all students can benefit from sound amplification, as it creates a more favorable learning environment. If children (and adults) could hear better, clearer, and more consistently, they would have the opportunity to learn more effectively” (The Seven Secrets of Learning Revealed by Dr. Laurence Martel).
It is safe to say that, if students can’t hear the lesson, they can’t understand what’s being taught. Whether it’s the teacher, another student speaking, or one of the many resource’s teachers use now, hearing and understanding material presented is critical to student learning.
Audio Enhancement, Inc.