Grade 2 students in Cassie Dunlevy and Linda Routenberg’s classroom feel like “rock stars” as they speak into a microphone during their math lesson. Those without the microphone are “all ears.” The microphone is part of a “pilot” sound-field system, gifted from the Parents Association and recently installed in their classroom to help optimize student learning.
During instruction, a student should receive the best speech “signal” possible from the teacher. Any signal in any room is degraded by noise and reverberation. A poor signal, even for children with normal hearing, can compromise perception, thus affecting attention, concentration and behavior. For students who are at risk for listening, processing, learning and/or attending, a poor signal can have even greater lasting effects on reading scores, spelling ability, and learning, in general.
A sound-field amplification system, including a wireless microphone, a receiver, a charging station and speakers, amplifies and enhances the speaker’s speech signal. It delivers the speaker’s voice to the listeners at an appropriate and constant intensity, no matter where the speaker or the listeners are positioned in the room. It insures that the entire speech signal reaches every child in the room at an optimum level. It also reduces vocal fatigue. Research suggests that sound field systems can increase on-task attention and behavior, and facilitate opportunities for improved academic performance.