Listen Up!By Weil, Marty; T.H.E. Journal (Technology Horizons in Education),
Publication Date: August 1, 2011
Article discusses the role of classroom sound amplification systems in improving the academic performance of students with mild hearing impairments. Acoustical standards necessary for effective teaching and learning environments, defined by the Acoustical Society of America and the American National Standards Institute, stipulate a signal-to-noise ratio where the teacher’s voice is the signal and the noise may come from students’ chatter, street noise, ventilation systems, and the like. The signal needs to be sufficiently greater than noise to be heard and understood. A sound amplification system is described, called a unified sound field system, the components of which are speakers installed in the ceiling and a wireless microphone worn by the teacher. The microphone transmits its signal to a receiver typically mounted on the ceiling or a wall. The wireless receiver converts the signal to an audio signal and sends it to an amplifier, which then sends it to speakers. The wireless signal reflects and bounces around the room, reflecting off the walls and ensuring a very high percentage of room coverage regardless of the position of the teacher. Simple fabric-covered sound-absorbing panels can be added to a classroom to absorb excessive sound reverberations, called echo effect, for which sound amplification systems do not correct. According to educators in several U.S. and Canadian school districts quoted, installation of sound amplification systems has resulted in falling special education referral rates and improved student behavior and academic performance. A resource list of classroom sound system vendors is appended.
Published by: 101communications (Website:http://www.101com.com)
T.H.E. Institute (Web Site: http://institute.thejournal.com )
Link to text: http://thejournal.com/Articles/2011/08/01/Listen-Up.aspx?p=1