September 8, 2014

Being prepared for great teacher-student communication in the new school year.

If you’ve ever read a description of how knights in shining armor got ready for a crusade, it reminds me a little of teachers preparing for the new school year.

Knights first broke out their armor, all the tools of their trade, much of which was heirlooms passed down, or custom-made implements by beloved smithies.

Well, whether you’re a newbie or a veteran teacher, the IT department is going to wheel out all your goodies for the first day of school — the innovative tech that’s going to help you engage your young apprentices in education.

Being prepared with a checklist can make the difference.

So that you may prepare properly for success in directing exciting classroom communication through classroom audio this year — challenging minds, sparking imaginations — I’d like to give you a short checklist (you can see the full list in the pdf accessible on this page).

  1. Batteries — I recommend you make sure you stock up on batteries as soon as possible. Better to have fresh batteries for the school year now. A fresh set of batteries will get you through the whole year.
  2. It also bears noting that you must check to see which batteries are required for your microphone (the majority are nickel metal hydride — NiMH). But pearl or black colored Redmikes require special “sensing” batteries (see the full checklist for details).
  3. When you haul out your Lightspeed classroom audio tools, it’s best to run down the checklist in the “is it/are all” categories: is it turned on?; are all the wires/devices connected properly? (The full list has details on checking such things as volume knobs and sliders, too.)

A bonus consideration of classroom audio for your audio mechanism — your vocal chords — also has to do with starting the new year off right.

That is, over my years of serving educators I’ve talked with teachers who tell me that within two or three weeks they’ve lost their “summer voice.” The first time I heard a teacher tell me this it was about a month into a new school year, and she had already missed a day or two due to vocal strain.

One of the things we’re proud to have designed into all of our classroom audio systems (RedcatTopcatFlexcat and 700/800 Series systems) is allowing teachers to speak in a normal conversational tone and be heard clearly by each student, regardless of distance and ambient noise. You won’t be shouting any more. Those students seated right in front of you will really appreciate that.

In fact, I’d like to leave you with one last thing for your personal checklist. When you’re speaking through a Lightspeed microphone, speaking in a normal tone, you should be able to slightly hear your voice through the system. If you hear your voice loudly it also means your neighboring classrooms can hear your voice. Which also means you’re tool loud for the kids in your class.

Rest assured, if you’ve run through the checklist on this page, you’ll be just loud enough to engage every student in the room using your normal “summer voice” — all year long.

Now, good luck all you knights in shining armor on this new year’s crusade for better education!

Merri Bragg

Merri Bragg

Merri is formerly a consulting audiologist for many school districts in the New York/New Jersey area and has been with Lightspeed for 14 years.

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