Teachers instruct their students by communicating ideas and concepts, mostly through their own vocal power. But, how many classrooms have you walked into where the teacher could be heard clearly over classmates giggling or while seated in the back of the class? Add in the epidemic of young people with hearing loss, growing class sizes and decreased attention spans and it becomes obvious that instructors have quite the challenge to be heard loud and clear by every student sitting in their classroom. An obstacle to effective learning, it also takes it’s toll on teachers as well, who are struggling to make themselves heard, often forced to raise their voice to get the attention of a rowdy class.
Studies agree that classroom audio can increase the learning capabilities of children in classroom settings. The MARRS Project Study concluded that in classes with amplification in grades K-6, reading and language test scores increased for students with and without hearing loss after only one year. Studies by Dahlquist (1998) and Smaldino and Crandell (2000) indicate that students spend between 45% and 75% of their day listening, signifying the great need for quality audio to clearly disseminate information to all students.
Effective audio solutions for a classroom can vary depending on the proximity to other classrooms, size of the classroom, acoustics of the room and equipment used, among other things. Microphone headsets for teachers, a receiver, portable microphone to pass among classmates and speakers are the basic needs to create an effective solution. Keep in mind that you may want to connect speakers to other elements such as flat screens or projectors. For microphones, IR technology is ideal for walled-in classrooms with minimal windows. IR signals stay contained within the walls so privacy and interference are not a concern. For more open formats, XD microphones are a better option, as they are specifically paired to a particular receiver and can allow more than one microphone to work in one space without interference.