June 9, 2016

by Carolyn Hollowell

Millions of students around the world struggle to pay attention in classrooms. These children and their teachers often feel frustrated by the end of the school day. Why? Research suggests that 5 to 11 percent of children, ages of 4 to 17, have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The students diagnosed with ADD or ADHD tend to fall behind in class or act out due to their inability to focus on activities in the classroom. They generally can’t focus on tasks as long as their peers, and this inability to focus can lead to stigmatizing students as discipline problems.

Some districts we work with have implemented strategies that actually improve the educational experience for both these students and their teachers.

One new strategy is a multi-sensory approach to teaching. Stimulating the child’s various senses through guided activities is an effective way to ensure maximum retention and learning without distraction. One of the advocates of this multi-sensory approach is Roman Gouzman, who is the head of Tactile Instrumental Enrichment at the Feuerstein Institute. Professor Gouzman contends that using audio technologies, among other sensory means, is supremely beneficial for the learning experiences of students diagnosed with attention deficit disorders. Using classroom audio to reach students with ADD/ADHD is smart, effective, and surprisingly simple. When students receive a clear signal from their teachers and peers, they have demonstrated a significant change in listening behaviors and skills—and learn at a faster rate than their grade-alike peers in unamplified classrooms.

There is a difference in how children perceive their surroundings through sensory signals. Students with ADD/ADHD can get easily distracted by an abundance of visual information. This visual distraction could be anything from a teacher using visual means to communicate, student activity inside the classroom, activity in the playground, or even birds flying out the window. Dealing with so much sensory information can easily overwhelm a student with attention deficit disorder.

The goal of using classroom audio as the primary means of teaching is to cut down on the over-abundance of visual signals and allow students to organize their thoughts and understand what they are being taught. Focusing and listening can calm their brains enough that they can take in and process the information bit by bit.

How exactly can we achieve that, you ask?  Lightspeed offers a range of products that deliver clear audio to every student in the class. By providing this little bit of extra attention to the students with attention deficit disorder, educators can help them succeed, not just in the classroom, but in life in general.

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