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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Sound systems enhance learning environment
Technology helps all students hear clearly
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Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston: Alice Davis teaches her English class at BFMS using a sound enhancement system in which a surround sound speaker (shown in the right of photo) amplifies sound, allowing all students to hear the lesson equally.

Monday, April 7, 2014

By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer

Sound enhancement systems have found a home in Franklin County classrooms as one of many technology advancements that enhance the educational experience for all students.

The sound system provides a microphone that hangs around the teacher's neck. The teacher's voice is projected through the microphone into a receiver and transmitted to four speakers located on the walls or in the ceiling of the classroom.

"Franklin County public schools initially engaged in the use of audio enhancement after visiting area schools that were using the systems," said Director of Technology George Washington. "The largest installations of these systems came about in 2007-2008 and again in 2008-2009."

Research indicates that students who sit in certain locations in a classroom cannot always clearly hear their classroom teachers, Washington said. "Additionally, students who were in the proximity of air conditioning units or heaters had distractions, which impacted the clarity of their hearing," said Washington. "Also, teachers have various voice tones. The human ear picks up on some tones better than others."

The devices are often required of a small population of students who receive special services for hearing impairment. The school system is able to obtain the systems, when necessary, for the special needs students while serving a large percentage of their total population.

The audio enhancement feature is also bundled with a ceiling camera that can be activated from the teacher's microphone.

"This will provide the office with the ability to see the classroom in the event of an emergency or other security issue," said Washington.

All Franklin County schools are equipped with several of the devices with the exception of Windy Gap Elementary, which has devices installed in each classroom.

"While more realization and more awareness of technology is already happening in large numbers, in a few short years, most community, educational and business leaders will fully realize the true power and capabilities of technology in the society in which we live," said Washington.

To learn more about audio enhancement systems in the classroom, visit www.audioenhancement.com or www.lightspeed-tek.com.

 
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