Sound En­hance­ment Tech­nol­ogy

The Australian Education Reporter - - ACOUSTICS -

HEAR and Learn sup­plies tech­nol­ogy Aus­tralia-wide to op­ti­mise the de­liv­ery of teach­ers’ voices in learn­ing spa­ces. Think sur­round sound to cre­ate a soft, clear and gen­tle sig­nal for ev­ery child, ir­re­spec­tive of how far away they are from the teacher. More than 7000 Aus­tralian teach­ers have Hear and Learn equip­ment in their class­rooms.

Af­ter in­stalling Hear and Learn equip­ment, ed­u­ca­tors have no­ticed a marked re­duc­tion in back­ground noise as­so­ci­ated with fid­get­ing and chat­ter, hence im­prov­ing at­ten­tion rates.

“We couldn’t do with­out them,” Proser­pine’s St Cather­ine’s Catholic Col­lege Pri­mary School As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Dianne Stevens said.

“We want to pro­vide op­ti­mal learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments for all our stu­dents, ir­re­spec­tive of their learn­ing abil­ity.”

While ini­tially used for stu­dents with hear­ing loss, the tech­nol­ogy is now a stan­dard across most class­rooms.

The Hearn and Learn REDCAT sys­tem, one mem­ber of the fam­ily of all so­lu­tions for all room de­signs, is adapt­able to the school’s large high ceilinged class­rooms and smaller con­tem­po­rary spa­ces.

“The REDCATS en­able our staff to talk at the same tone and vol­ume as their nor­mal speaking voices and they can be heard clearly by ev­ery stu­dent in the class, no mat­ter what ac­tiv­ity is tak­ing place,” Ms Stevens said.

The over­all im­pact is that class­rooms are calmer; and calm stu­dents are more re­cep­tive to the learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and the cur­ricu­lum, which means more ef­fec­tive teach­ing prac­tices and learn­ing out­comes for every­one.

“The teacher can be heard even from the back of the room just as clearly as when all the stu­dents are sit­ting qui­etly to­gether in the read­ing area. It’s a bril­liant sys­tem.”

Teach­ing staff have found the tech­nol­ogy par­tic­u­larly use­ful for shy and softly spo­ken stu­dents who are able give pre­sen­ta­tions con­fi­dently, with the sys­tem con­tribut­ing to their so­cial and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment and self es­teem.

The au­dio sys­tem can also have a pro­found im­pact on chil­dren with au­di­tory pro­cess­ing prob­lems where clear and in­di­vid­u­alised in­struc­tion is vi­tal.

St Stephens Pre-pri­mary teacher San­dra Cor­co­ran from Western Aus­tralia be­lieves that the REDCAT pro­vides cru­cial sup­port for a hand­ful of chil­dren on the autism spec­trum in her classes.

“If these stu­dents in par­tic­u­lar are pre-warned of a change in ac­tiv­ity and the re­quired move­ment around our class­room, they are bet­ter able to cope with that change. Their success in those in­stances means they re­main calm among their peers and more con­fi­dent in their learn­ing,” she said.

Hear and Learns’ au­dio sys­tems al­low teach­ers to speak with­out strain, stu­dents to en­gage by op­ti­mis­ing speech in­tel­li­gi­bil­ity, and cre­ate calmer and more in­clu­sive learn­ing spa­ces.

More in­for­ma­tion can be found at www.hearan­dlearn.com.au.

The REDCAT au­dio sys­tem en­gages stu­dents.

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