Schoolhouse Beat

Acoustics: Sounding off

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A recent topic on Schoolhouse Beat — The Blog got readers' attention:

The Prince George's County (Md.) district is spending up to $1 million a year to install voice-amplification systems in every classroom. The blog posed the question: Do you think putting microphones on teachers is an effective way of addressing classroom acoustics?

Some of the responses:

  • ”NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! PLEASE spend the million a year on quieting the classroom and creating a suitable natural speaking environment.”

  • ”Solve the acoustical problems first before resorting to sound systems.”

  • ”Voice-amplification systems do not solve the underlying problem. In fact, they create more noise that can compound the problem and are likely to disturb adjacent classrooms.”

  • ”Electronic band-aids do not assist with two-way communications or student-to-student interactions. The room background noise needs to be controlled and acoustical treatments used to decrease reverberation and increase speech intelligibility. No batteries needed!“

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