7 ways classroom sound accelerates learning

Posted by Milena Basile

5/1/15 1:05 PM

Teacher wearing FrontRow Juno microphoneAt FrontRow, we put a LOT of classroom sound system in schools. This technology is designed to create a more effective learning experience. It simply helps students hear more clearly, in turn helping them learn better.

Here are seven great things you can achieve by using classroom sound technology:

1) Improve student behavior and attentiveness

Listening is a skill, and it can be hard work if you're young, don't speak the language well, or if you simply have to absorb a lot of new information all day. Students' minds can wander, and when they do, they can misbehave. But classroom sound technology helps improve student focus and behavior, because it reduces distractions and clarifies the lesson  – not what one's neighbor is giggling about. As a consequence attentiveness, understanding, and behavior nearly always improve.

2) Increase comprehension

Students, especially younger students or English language learners, can miss up to 40% of what the teacher says — because of seating arrangements, background noise, reverberation, and still-developing vocabularies and brains. That's a huge disadvantage. By ensuring that that teacher’s voice is clarified and evenly distributed around the room, classroom sound systems can be tremendously helpful in overcoming these barriers, with the result being improved student literacy, comprehension, and test scores across the board.

3) Create a more inclusive environment

Although classroom sound technology is beneficial for all students, it has even greater advantages for children with special needs such as hearing impairment or learning disabilities. Classroom sound (and lecture capture as well) helps to compensate for the difficulty these students may have in understanding spoken content. It provides a level playing field so that all students can hear and participate with less confusion, embarrassment, or fear. Some schools using classroom sound have seen reductions in Special Education referrals.

4) Reduce teacher sick days due to vocal fatigue

Because they need to project their voice to back of the classroom, half of all teachers will experience a voice disorder during their career, and many need to take time off for their voices to recover. That's not just unhealthy for teachers; it's disruptive to learning. FrontRow systems eliminate this added strain. Most teachers using FrontRow report more energy and greater teaching satisfaction. Using a classroom sound system has been shown to reduce teacher sick days due to vocal fatigue by 63%.

5) Empower shy or quiet students by building confidence

Students who are typically hesitant about classroom participation can come out of their shell if they can hear — and be heard — properly. Most classroom sound systems come with student microphones that can be used for reading aloud, presentations, and discussions. Having the sound system 'speak up' for a shy student often has the remarkable effect of building their self-confidence not only in public speaking but also in general interactions with their peers.

6) Compensate for background noise and seating arrangement

Think of all of the potential background noises in a classroom. From outside traffic and construction to inside heating and hallway chatter, there is an endless stream of potential distractions for students. Children with normal hearing need the teacher's voice to be 15 decibels louder than that noise in order for that speech to be intelligible. But direct speech (the teacher's voice) drops 6 decibels for every doubling of distance.  So a child sitting a meter from the teacher may hear her voice at 65 decibels, but a child sitting four meters away only perceive her talking at 53 decibels. And since noise levels remain fairly constant around the room, the child sitting farther away will inevitably miss more important content. This is the fundamental reason why schools use classroom sound: to make sure students have equal access to clear verbal information no matter where they're seated and no matter how the noise conditions may change throughout the day or year.

7) Get better test scores

The most measurable and important benefit that classroom sound offers   is simply better performance on your school's formative and summative assessments. Numerous research studies and independent school evaluations continue to show that classrooms using a sound system just do better — in reading, spelling, math, and more.

When you're ready to see what FrontRow’s sound technology can do for your classroom or school, contact us.

Topics: amplification, audio, Special Education