by Dian Schaffhauser
A Southern California school has added technology that enhances "audio clarity" in its classrooms. New River Elementary School in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District has implemented microphones that hang around the necks of teachers and students to amplify their voices through a flat panel speaker.
New River Elementary third-grade Teacher Linda Fox uses a microphone as part of an audio enhancement system that projects her voice to students.
According to Principal David Hoffman, the school used Title I funding to install the devices into all 17 of its classrooms. The cost was about $1,300 per room.
The system being used is Redact Access by Lightspeed Technologies. The deployment requires no installation and runs on a frequency that avoids interference with other technology that may be in use in the space.
"Since I've been teaching for many years without this technology, I didn't think I needed it," said third-grade teacher Linda Fox in a prepared statement. "But now that I'm using the microphones, I've noticed that I grab my students' attention quicker and I'm not losing my voice by the end of the day."
A New River Elementary third-grade student presents her project while using a microphone that will project her voice in the classroom.
Hoffman said he chose to acquire the microphones to boost students' confidence in the classroom and increase participation in lessons and discussions. "The audio enhancement systems give our students a chance to become more involved in their classrooms," he noted. "Our teachers are also assured that the lesson can be heard clearly by each student."
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