Using Classroom Sound Field Technology to Enhance Learning

By Joan Flagg-Williams, Rhonda L. Rubin and Catherine Aquino-Russell.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Given that children spend a large part of their school day engaged in listening activities, the impact of classroom acoustics cannot be overlooked. The complex listening environment of classrooms affects instruction of all students, especially young listeners. In this study of kindergarten to grade 3 classrooms: (a) hearing screening results indicated that only 71% to 88% of students passed; (b) measurement of noise revealed that 92% of classrooms tested did not meet noise level standards; (c) observations showed mixed results with trends toward improved student responses to amplified teachers’ voices as compared to unamplified; and (d) interviews with teachers and students who had sound field amplification indicated positive attitudes towards the technology. Recommendations which emerged from the study include the need for: hearing screenings of young children; improvements in classroom listening environments; and teacher education on sound field amplification technology. Practical implications for the use of sound field technology are discussed.

Keywords: Technology, Sound Field Amplification, Classroom Listening Environment, Student Learning, Classroom Acoustics

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp.509-518. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.257MB).

Dr. Joan Flagg-Williams

Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Atlantic Baptist University, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Joan graduated from Goucher College, Maryland, with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She received her Master of Education from the University of New Hampshire. Her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology was earned at the University of Connecticut. Joan’s work experience has included both teaching and psychological work with children who have a variety of special needs. Joan has certifications in teaching and school psychology. She is currently teaching in the graduate and undergraduate programs of the Faculty of Education at Atlantic Baptist University in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Dr. Rhonda L. Rubin

Speech-Language Pathologist, Extra Mural Program-Tantramar Unit, South-East Regional Health Authority, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

Rhonda graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science majoring in speech-language pathology. She also holds a Master of Education from l’Université de Moncton and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Ottawa. Rhonda works as a speech-language pathologist in schools and home care settings for the Extra Mural Program-Tantramar Unit, South-East Regional health Authority, Sackville, New Brunswick. She has been utilizing sound field amplification technology for over 20 years. Rhonda is involved with a number of community based advocacy groups, both provincially and nationally.

Dr. Catherine Aquino-Russell

Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of New Brunswick, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Catherine completed a Bachelor of Nursing Science from Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario; a Master of Nursing from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg; and a Ph.D. in Nursing from Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. She has held numerous education, leadership, and administration positions in hospitals and universities. She holds the position of associate professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of New Brunswick, Moncton Campus. She also works on a casual basis as a home care nurse for the Extra Mural Program-Tantramar Unit, South-East Regional Health Authority, Sackville, New Brunswick. Catherine lives with a different sense of hearing and is committed to enhancing others’ understanding of this experience. She is a qualitative researcher.


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