Benefiting Everyone in School

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Benefiting Everyone in School
The impact of classroom audio distribution
systems on teaching & learning:
A Local Authority Perspective
Roger Turner
RDT Consultancy: [email protected]
The Benefits of Classroom Audio Distribution Systems
Aural Neural
Development
&
Language
Knowledge
Distance
&
Noise pollution
(+15 dB SNR)
Hearing impaired
(30%)
[NDCS & BATOD]
Dialogic
Teaching
Speech
Intelligibility
SEN
All
ESOL
On-task
behaviour
Which
Learners?
Why
Learners?
Self-confidence
BENEFITS
OF CADS
Classroom
Management
&
Efficient use of
Lesson Time
Why
Teachers?
Voice welfare
(Clinics)
Absence
&
Supply Teachers
Even distribution
of intelligible
speech and all
other sound
sources
Wireless /
Portable
Integrates
multimedia &
systems for
hearing impaired
5-year guarantee
Age of building
Size of teaching
spaces
Classroom
Acoustics
Quality
CABE
Solutions
Infrared
NXT
Technology
RF
Cone
Technology
Cost
&
Immediacy
Acoustic
Materials
Why Learners?
“Talk has always been one of the essential tools of
teaching, and the best teachers use it with flair. But
talk is much more than an aid to effective teaching.
Children, we now know, need to talk, and to
experience a rich diet of spoken language, in order to
think and learn. Reading, writing and numeracy may
be the acknowledged curriculum ‘basics’, but talk is
arguably the true foundation for learning.”
Towards Dialogic Teaching (2010): Prof Robin Alexander,
Director Cambridge Primary Review
Why Learners?
Barriers to understanding
• neural immaturity
• limitations of vocabulary
• distance from teacher
• noise pollution / signal/noise ratio
• audibility and intelligibility
• lack of consonance clarity resulting in pupils inability
to close/complete words and understand sentences
• mild to severe hearing loss (30%+ on a typical day)
Why Learners?
Research
• The MARRS Project (1979 – 1994)
• Crandell and Smaldino (1995)
• Leavitt and Flexer (1991)
• Rosenberg (2004)
• Flexer (2002)
• McCarty and Ure (2003)
• Chelius (2004)
• Shields & Dockrell(2008)
Teachers’ judgements
Statement
%
My students were able to hear and understand me better
91.4
The pace my students learnt increased
78.9
My students demonstrated an increased ability to follow directions
80.9
My students’ attention skills improved and the CAT system helped
hold their attention
84.2
The CAT system improved my ability to control and manage the
classroom.
70.7
I experienced a decrease in the need to repeat directions and
information
74.1
My students benefited from using the microphone
76.9
Pupils’ Judgements
Statement
I was able to hear and understand my teacher better
The pace at which I learned increased
My English skills improved more quickly
My confidence improved when I used the student
microphone
I achieved better grades
It would be beneficial if all my classrooms had
amplification systems
%
70 (70)
51 (54)
46 (52)
39 (45)
42 (44)
64 (67)
Why Learners?
Preliminary investigation (2011)
• Typical American primary schools classroom (8.23m
long x 8.13m wide x 4.6m high)
• Very close to ANSI recommended classroom acoustics
standards
• Placed a Redcat in the classroom on alternate days
• Used LENA technology to collect and then analyse all
sound source material
• Result: Without Redcat approx 10,000 intelligible
words per day / With Redcat approx 15,000 words
per day.
Dan Ostergren: Research & Consulting Audiologist
Which Learners?
“Making a mainstream school more inclusive will
create advantages for all the children taught there.
For example, an amplification system provided in all
classrooms (called a sound field system) will
specifically assist children with hearing impairment,
and will also help audibility for all other children. It
sends a clear message that all children are equal,
regardless of their needs, encouraging greater
understanding and tolerance throughout the whole
school community.”
Creating Excellent Primary Schools (2010): CABE
Which Learners?
“Because hearing loss is invisible, the negative results
of poor acoustic accessibility and/or unmanaged
hearing loss of any degree (behavior problems,
attention problems, spoken language difficulty,
reading, and academic deficiencies) are erroneously
believed to stem from causes other than hearing
loss.” (2011)
Carol Flexer, Distinguished Prof Emeritus, Univ. of Akron &
NW Ohio
Which Learners?
“Children with language disabilities have auditory
processing problems with common consonant-vowel
combinations that are spoken quickly. The children
have trouble hearing them accurately and, as a
result, reproducing them accurately.” (1999)
Michael Merzenich: Prof Emeritus of Neuroscience, UCLA)
Which Learners?
Pupils with SEN who benefit
• hearing impairment
• speech and language processing difficulties
• attention deficit disabilities
• behavioural problems
• developmental disabilities
• other sensory impairment
• a lack of self-confidence
• EAL
Why Teachers
Teacher’s health & well-being
• many suffer voice strain and loss of voice
• absence as a result of sore throats
• pupils taught by supply teachers
• schools incur high supply teacher costs
• the cost of purchasing CADS technology recovered
from reduced supply teacher costs.
• teachers with vulnerable voices retained in the
profession
Why Teachers?
Teacher benefits
• an ability to more quickly settle pupils
• give instructions, ask and answer questions, give
feedback etc. once
• engage pupils in work more quickly
• a calmer, more industrious working atmosphere
• use their voice with much greater variety of
expression and character
• increase usable lesson time
• increased energy throughout the day
Classroom Acoustics
Criteria affecting student achievement
• Human Comfort – i.e., temperatures within the
human comfort range
• Indoor Air Quality – i.e., appropriate ventilation and
filtering systems
• Lighting
• Acoustical Control
Prioritisation of 31 Criteria for School Building Adequacy (2004)
Glen Earthman: Prof. Emeritus, Virginia State University
“A number of studies have demonstrated a positive
correlation between appropriate acoustical
conditions and student achievement. Good research
indicates students simply do not learn when they can
not hear well. As simplistic as this statement sounds,
numerous students suffer through school in
buildings that are too noisy for them to learn
properly, yet nothing is done about it. The ability to
clearly hear in the classroom is vital for student
learning and teacher performance.” (2004)
Glen Earthman: Prof. Emeritus, Virginia State University
Classroom acoustics suffer from:
• low public & Government concern
• insufficient school capital funding targeted at the
quality of teaching and learning environment (only
13% focused on scenery and classroom settings)
• value engineering during the build or refurbishment
stage where educationalists are not included
• the creation of many large and very large teaching
spaces
• a severe reduction in the new Government’s school
capital funding budget and in school budgets for the
upkeep of schools
• no funding for ICT in new school building contracts
More positively
• It appears that the Government will require new
school buildings to meet good acoustics standards in
line with BB93
• Classroom audio distribution systems are a highly
cost effective way of achieving higher acoustic
standards than BB93 at a time when capital funding
is scarce.
More positively
• CADS are now:
– easy to install with some systems being completely mobile
– using NXT technology to ensure even voice distribution
with no dead areas
– using high frequencies bands that optimise speech
intelligibility
– instantly controllable through volume control microphones
– able to integrate all other sound sources including
computers, CDs, i-pods, interactive whiteboards etc
– fully compatible with specialist hearing aids
– of very high quality, aesthetically attractive, with
comfortable light-weight microphones and high reliability
with some systems now providing 5 year guarantees.
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