In order to make sure her students heard her voice, first grade teacher Jessica Short walked laps around her classroom.
However, even though Short moved around the room while she taught, there were still some students who couldn’t hear her.
As a result, Short’s school, Channing Hall, invested in Listen Technologies’ ListenPoint 2.0 Soundfield system.
According to Russ Gentner, President, CEO and Chairman of Listen Technologies, ListenPoint 2.0 “incorporates AV technology and assistive listening systems so that all students can have the opportunity to hear their teacher clearly.”
The system includes four speakers, control units, M1 microphones, room modules and additional accessories like expansion sensors that work cohesively to help students hear better during an in-class lesson.
It enables teachers to amplify the volume of their voices in class, as well as:
- Add sound effects and music to a lesson
- VoIP/Skype capabilities
- Internet access
- DVD and MP3 player features
- Assistive listening capabilities for ADA compliant classrooms
Gentner says that not only will ListenPoint 2.0’s features increase the chances a teacher’s voice will be heard by a whole classrooms, it will also lends a helping hand to students with hearing difficulties.
“Students who have listening difficulties due to hearing loss or other issues can experience delayed speech language skills, lower grades and academic achievement as well as social isolation and poor self-esteem,” he says. “However, when sound is properly amplified in a classroom, student attention improves and class interaction increases. Students learn and retain more through hearing better.”
Short says the only major challenge with ListenPoint 2.0 was learning how to use it.
“It’s just a learning curve, and getting used to it,” she says. “But you can usually solve it through the main system. It’s pretty easy once you get it.”
In the case of Channing Hall, Listen Technologies came in and integrated the new system.
“The system was installed and configured, tailored to meet the Ms. Short’s daily use and overall needs,” Gentner says. “There were not any challenges faced during the implementation. ListenPoint has far fewer cables than a traditional system, making it easier to operate and install. The wireless M1 microphone/media Interface and single Cat-5e connection also provide easier management and maintenance.”
Short says she helped wired the speakers into the ceiling, and received additional training from Listening Technologies on how to use the solution.
“The person who came in to install it gave me a one-on-one,” she says. “And we have customer support who can help. We work closely with the company, too.”
The Perks & Pluses of ListenPoint 2.0
Short says that she and her students use handheld microphones and wear microphones around their necks when talking in class.
From there, their voices are projected through four speakers that are mounted high on the classroom walls, which help Short keep the voice volume consistent.
Short says one perk with the main system is that she can play with the volume on the transcription microphones and students’ microphones by her desk, or from anywhere in the room.
“What’s really nice about the system is I can control what I’ve got [playing],” she says. “If I’ve got classical music going during study time, I can move it from the mic on the lanyard on my chest, rather than run over to the computer [to adjust it]. I can just press pause, give my lecture and then start it again.”
Even though Short can easily control and access the volume in her classroom, students cannot play with it or tune her out.
“Students can’t play with the volume on it, or mute it,” Short says. “When you give it to them, they don’t have that option. We played around with it, [picked] a good volume, and just kept it. And you can go back into the settings and change it.”
The ListenPoint 2.0 can also connect with any assistive learning technology that students need, such as hearing aids or implants.
“People will come up to me and say, next year I’ve got a student coming in who’s wearing cochlear implants,” Short says. “The technology can connect to those devices so that the student can hear me inside of her ears rather than through the speakers.”
The biggest perk of all, Short says, is that the technology has increased the attentiveness among her students.
“What I enjoy about it is that when I do wear it [the technology], I know their attention is a lot better, especially in the back in the room,” she says.
How to Handle Technology for Better Hearing
Talk to the Vendor
Gentner says talking with your vendor before the installation will help your school identify challenges and set it on a path to finding a solution quicker.
“I recommend talking with a specialist…to discuss the exact challenges you are facing at your school, he says. “They are able to best guide you to a solution that not only meets your needs, but fits within your budgetary constraints.”
Keep up the communication
Short says that teachers and other end users should communicate things like class schedules to their vendor throughout the installation.
That way, both the classroom and vendor can adjust their work schedules and work space, and ensure the workflow runs smoothly.
“Communicate well what your schedule is, because it can be hard for them to come in when your classroom is occupied,” Short says. “Takes notes on certain things; I wished I had done that.”