Across the nation students and faculty are returning to schools in droves, but as classes resume some are noticing a new, unforeseen impedance to learning. While masks have been effective at reducing the spread of pathogens in the classroom, they’ve also been effective at muffling speech between teachers and students.
This was a problem Nebraska’s Lincoln Public Schools noticed when they first reached out to Audio Enhancement. Long a manufacturer of classroom AV products, the company was contacted to provide a solution that could make it so teachers and students could be more easily heard during lessons, while ensuring that schools were still able to abide by current mask mandates.
“All students deserve to hear what their teachers and peers have to say without difficulty,” said Stephen Joel, the district’s superintendent, in a press release. “Audio Enhancement’s teacher microphone system has allowed us to increase equitable audio access for all students in our classrooms, providing a much richer classroom experience that has translated to better outcomes for our students and teachers alike.”
The system consists of a lanyard-style microphone that teachers can wear around their necks. By simply pressing a button on the microphone, teachers can then connect to an associated Audio Enhancement amplifier to better project their voices within the classroom. Students are also able to have their voices amplified when asking questions or engaging in a discussion with a passable microphone connected to the same system. There’s even an option to pair two teacher-style microphones with the system to accommodate additional engagement with other instructors.
The school system is also currently trialing an alert system and recording system, both provided by Audio Enhancements. The Signal Alert for Education (SAFE) System lets a teacher press a button on their microphone to alert onsite staff of an emergency. Meanwhile, VIEWpath allows teachers to record sessions that can later be shared with students later.