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 their class at the front of the room, but teaching methods are changing. Teachers act as facilitators of learning, talking to the class as a whole, visiting with small groups, or working with individual students. More class time is dedicated to students working on their own or in small groups, and students spend more time in front of the class presenting what they’ve learned during research and projects. With the classroom environment changed so much, how do microphones fit into the mix?
Some of these changes make it even more important for teachers to have a microphone and audio system. As teachers move around the classroom and as student seating varies, teachers can’t face all the students all the time. With a classroom audio system, students can hear the teacher, even if facing away from them. 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. And when students are sharing their work with the class, they can use the teacher microphone or a separate handheld microphone to make sure everyone can hear them.
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. Then, they can share the lesson with students who are sick, away for extra-curricular activities, or hospital homebound, helping students keep up with classroom work.
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, but classroom audio systems still offer many benefits for teachers and students. As teachers use them to enhance their own 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 options like lecture capture software to help absent students keep up. With the increase of multimedia use in classrooms, audio systems can also optimize that audio to make it more engaging for everyone.