July 12, 2018

By Shaun Fagan

Technology plays an essential role in everyone’s life. Whether you’re using GPS to navigate to a new destination in the car or using a cell phone to check the radar to see if a storm is headed your direction, we live in a society that is always online. This is true even in the classroom. Did you know that students check their phones in class 11 times a day on average? A recent study found that students spent 20 percent of their classroom time using digital devices for activities unrelated to class: mostly texting, surfing the web, and checking social media.

While the misuse of technology can hinder the ability to communicate with students effectively, appropriate use of technology can strengthen communication and help capture learning moments.

 

Students love using technology, so use it!

 

For example, technology can be used to enhance lessons and make it easier for students to communicate. Lightspeed specializes in creating audio solutions to allow every student to hear the teacher clearly, regardless of where they are seated in the classroom.

 

With multiple audio solutions to enhance the classroom in different ways, teachers can use wireless pendant mics that feed into speakers around the room. Now, even the students in the very back can hear what is being said by the teacher and their peers, helping them stay more engaged in the lesson, instead of pulling their phone out to play games. They’ll no longer miss important information due to poor acoustics in the classroom or students being disruptive around them.

 

Three ways tech can positively impact learning:

 

  1. Making the teacher’s voice heard throughout the room: Current research highlights the importance of good acoustics in the classroom. Energy Procedia looked at surveys collected from 11- to 16-year-olds about their impressions of the acoustics in their classrooms. The study found that not only were students sensitive to the acoustics in their classroom, but poor acoustics actually negatively impacted the students. Having an audio system enables teachers to project their voice throughout the classroom.

 

  1. Cutting though the clamor of collaborative work time: It can sometimes seem impossible to reach every student when the classroom is broken into small groups. Group work is crucial to students’ learning from their peers and developing autonomy. Each student can have their own microphone in these groups, along with a pod to listen to when their teacher chimes in. The discussions in each group are fed into the teacher’s microphone and earpiece. With a mobile device in hand, the teacher can switch from group to group, listen in and decide when those students are in need of teacher feedback. Ongoing teacher feedback allows for a more engaging session in which the students become invested in their learning.

 

  1. Capturing “ah-ha” moments anytime, anywhere: An important aspect of being a teacher is documenting evidence from your students to track and share their progress. By using video and audio solutions, teachers can gather and examine evidence from their classroom and share teaching techniques with peers and administrators.

 

While technology can interfere with communication, it can also make it clearer, richer, and easier to share. Being able to hear, listen, and understand what is being said in class has a direct impact on how students learn from their teacher. With a little help from technology, every teacher and every student can hear more clearly and have their voices heard.


Shaun Fagan

Shaun Fagan

Shaun Fagan's mission at Lightspeed is to continue to find new ways to create access to learning by studying the dynamics of the classroom. His goals include evolving our instructional audio systems to improve the learning environment for both students and teachers. Outside of the office, Shaun enjoys spending time with his family, running and training for marathons, and rooting for the Oregon State Beavers!

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