Schools are noisy places that can make communication between teacher and student nearly impossible at times. Although you can’t see it, poor audio has major, lingering effects on students who can’t cut through the noise. These students tend to perform worse academically and may disengage from learning altogether – an outcome all educators seek to avoid.
On the teacher’s side, it’s not much better. During times of peak noise, teachers tend to raise their voice, which can affect the student-teacher relationship and the teacher’s vocal cords. More than 600,000 educators take at least one sick day every year for voice reasons, and emerging voice issues can accelerate teacher burnout.
Audio enhancement technology can mitigate these concerns on both sides. With better audio, students remain focused and engaged. And teachers can instruct in a conversational tone that promotes better lesson delivery.
Most Classrooms Have Audio Problems
Even if it isn’t obvious, it’s likely that your classrooms also have audio problems. According to a mountain of research, the typical student misses about 25 percent of what the teacher says. For students in the back, this number can climb up to 40 percent. With this data, it’s easy to understand why students in the back row are more likely to develop behavior problems.
Distance isn’t the only issue, either. Background noise can interfere with lessons, whether it’s coming from passing traffic outside or students in the hallway. Poor acoustics are yet another issue, as most classrooms weren’t designed with sound quality in mind.
These issues are made worse when you consider hearing development in children. Most people aren’t fully developed from a hearing standpoint until their teenage years. Younger students also do not have the vocabulary to substitute in words that they can’t hear, making retention even more difficult.
Audio Enhancement Solutions That Provide Better Sound in Classrooms
An audio enhancement solution is one way to minimize interference and allow students to hear the lesson effectively. Some leading solutions include:
- Audio Enhancement’s Optimum system – Audio Enhancement has been a leader in audio enhancement solutions for decades. The company has done extensive research on the effects of audio in the classroom (the company’s founder created the business to help her two deaf sons) and has produced several sound-improving solutions with that research.
The brand’s leading audio enhancement solution is its Optimum system, though the company also offers several scaled back models built on the Optimum platform.
The Optimum system includes a receiver, an amplifier, microphones, speakers and control devices (like a wall plate or touchscreen). Together, these components allow the teacher to press a button and be heard everywhere in the classroom without raising their voice.
Even better, the Optimum system is designed to integrate with the school’s communications at a schoolwide level. For example, The Optimum system allows for two-way communication between front office and classroom, so teachers can respond without leaving their students. The Optimum solution can also be used to send emergency alerts from or to the classroom, leveraging the room’s displays simultaneously to produce an immediate response. The Optimum can even be integrated with the school’s class bells, so any sound can be used for them.
The goal is better audio, and the Optimum microphone and speaker combination ensure perfect volume and coverage in every space.
- FrontRow’s ezRoom system – FrontRow is another primary audio enhancement technology provider, and it also produces several systems designed for education. One of its most popular solutions is its ezRoom system, which offers an ideal mix of usability and clarity.
The ezRoom system is prewired for easy ceiling placement and is designed to be an all-in-one AV control solution. Through the ezRoom, educators can control the room’s displays, cameras, lighting, and audio technology, producing the best instruction experience possible. There’s practically no learning curve, either, as the ezRoom is designed to function as intended right out of the box. There’s no complicated device wiring to account for.
Like Audio Enhancement’s Optimum solution, the ezRoom can also be used to deliver emergency alerts and facilitate two-way communication during paging.
- FrontRow’s Juno system – FrontRow also produces audio solutions designed for extremely fast setup. Its Juno solution is one example. The Juno is a standalone tower speaker that can be placed anywhere in the classroom and can be set up in just minutes. Once installed, the Juno leverages its best-in-class audio hardware to remove echo and propagate sound more efficiently through the room. The result is an ideal classroom environment for learning.
The Juno also uses a worn microphone to channel sound through the speaker. When the instructor does speak, Juno automatically suppresses audio from other classroom sources to ensure the educator can be heard.
Modern Audio Technology Provides Additional Features That Can Help Teachers
The benefits of audio enhancement equipment go far beyond better sound. Solutions like the Optimum and Juno can also record video of the teacher during instruction. This video can be used like a tool by the instructor to improve their lesson delivery. It can also be delivered to remote students to help with their study efforts. Recorded content can also be a strong lesson-reinforcer even for those attending class in-person.
Don’t Allow Poor Audio to Cause Learning Challenges
It’s a challenge to be heard in modern schools. Classroom audio solutions can meet this challenge by amplifying teacher voices and giving students exactly what they need to learn – high-clarity audio that delivers every spoken word without interference.