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Classroom Amplification Helps Students Learn and Teachers Teach

by SUMMIT on June 30th, 2015

Classroom Amplification Helps Students Learn and Teachers Teach

This year in the United States, students will spend around 943 hours in elementary school. The majority of time will be spent sitting in a classroom listening to lessons. Background noise, instrument noise, and reverberation (when sound in an enclosed space reflects off hard surfaces like walls) can make paying attention to what teachers have to say extremely difficult. Classroom amplification systems are a useful audio technology that helps students learn and teachers teach.

How Amplification Improves Student Learning

  • Amplification makes sound even and clear, while also filtering background noise for better comprehension. Students seated in the front row of a classroom may only be 6 feet from a teacher’s desk, and can hear him or her clearly, but what about the children in the back of class? Also, the distance between student and teacher may change if the teacher is walking around the class. And if the teacher’s back is turned while writing at the whiteboard? Bad for everyone in the class. Consider the stereotype that “bad kids” always sit in the back. A lot of the time these kids could perhaps simply be the “unengaged kids,” who cannot hear the lecture as prominently, and are, quite frankly, bored. Lecture halls and auditoriums have the same problems. Children’s auditory processes have not fully matured and developed until their mid-teens, and it’s easy to see how when a child cannot fully hear what an adult is saying, they will tune out, and get easily distracted.
  • There are three styles of learning: Visual (show me), auditory (tell me) and kinesthetic (hands on). Some students learn best using only one style, but most students benefit the most with a combination of all three. This means most students require clear amplified instruction to learn effectively. ESL students have an even bigger requirement for clear, auditory learning. While learning English as a second language, the clarity of each word spoken helps these students learn correct word pronunciation and have better retention.
  • Then obviously, one must consider those students with hearing disabilities, though other learning disabilities also are improved with extra amplification in the classroom. Even in students with excellent hearing and no known learning difficulties it is estimated that students only accurately hear 71 percent whatever it is they are listening to. When background noise or a poor environment is introduced this number fell to less than 30 percent.

Ways Amplification Helps Teachers

  • When kids are paying attention with fewer distractions, teachers can teach more effectively. Even the most interested child will fall to the wayside if they cannot understand a soft-spoken teacher. Plus, being a teacher is no walk in the park. With nearly seven hours of talking per day even the strongest voiced teacher can fall victim to vocal fatigue. This leads to sick days and substitute teachers, and I think we all know most students view subs as a “free pass” for a day of coloring and skipping lessons.
  • Being heard correctly the first time means less repetition. Cut back on repetition and teachers will see less boredom, which is a great thing. When students are bored they tend to act out, leading to more classroom disruptions. And time spent facing the whiteboard can be spent with teachers feeling confident they are still being heard clearly.

Ensuring engagement in the classroom is vital for students, teachers and the wider educational system alike. Consider investing in a classroom amplification system today and bring more enthusiasm back into the learning environment.

Photo Credit: richard_pilawski via Compfight cc

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