Better Classroom Performance Through Better Hearing

I have been working with our local school district and the Yankton Sertoma Club to place soundfield systems in as many classrooms as possible. Frequency Modulation (FM) systems are designed to help students better identify and understand speech, especially when background noise is present. Classroom FM systems work by caring the teacher’s voice from a microphone she wears to a strategically placed speaker on a specific frequency. We will commonly place the speaker in the back of the classroom, which effectively eliminates the back of the classroom because the teacher’s voice is coming from both directions.

Research has shown that classroom FM systems have several advantages including increased attention, comprehension and overall academic success for the students, as well as less strain on the teacher’s voice.

The positive feedback we have received has made this a very rewarding project. One teacher recently wrote a thank-you card stating “For more than 20 years I have been in the same classroom fighting the sounds of blowers. I definitely see the positive impact it has on my voice … secondly it allows my children to be better listeners. It’s the best thing that has happened for my classroom since ‘sliced bread.’” Our goal is to install a system in every classroom in our district so all children benefit from this technology.

By Dr. Matthew Rumsey

Audiologist at Avera Sacred Heart

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