Case Studies & Research

If students can't hear the instructor clearly, class is over before it starts. How can classroom audio technology help? See how FrontRow has helped schools communicate effectively.

The MARRS Project

The MARRS (Monitoring and Acting on Remote Real-Time Student Performance) project aimed to explore the impact of using a Comprehensive Assessment and Data System (CADS) in schools.

Simplifying School-Wide Communication with an Integrated Bell, Intercom and PA System

With FrontRow Conductor’s easy-to-use controls and flexibility these distributed admin offices can all be easily zoned together so they all receive the same information despite being spread throughout the Frederick County Middle School in Winchester Virginia.

Conductor Helps Take Richgrove School District Communication to New Level

Located in California’s Central Valley farm country, the Richgrove School District serves 750 students in grades K-8. Richgrove is dedicated to helping all students become 21st century learners; the school’s students and staff operate modern technology that allows and fosters access to a broad curriculum and meaningful experiences.

Piedmont School District turned to FrontRow

California’s Piedmont Unified School District provides a stimulating educational environment for 2,700 students. Part of their formula for success is making their classrooms easier to learn in with FrontRow classroom audio and making their campus easier to run with FrontRow’s campus communication technology.

Learning Enriched with Juno at Woodbury Elementary

Woodbury Elementary School is a year-round school serving grades K-6. Their instructional programs combine explicit skill instruction, such as phonics and mathematics skills, and instruction that is embedded within a meaningful context. Students have the ability to go beyond the “basics,” through the use of technology and through an intentional focus on meeting the needs of each individual student. As part of their core instructional program, students participate in music, art, and science from specialists in these fields.

According to an Adult Literacy Survey (NALS), between 40 and 44 million Americans are unable to read and another 50 million are limited to a fourth or fifth grade reading level.

This data suggests that an increased use of sound field amplification equipment would result in substantial annual savings for school districts in substitute teacher pay.

Results demonstrate how meeting the ANSI S12.60-2002 standard, which was written for elementary school classrooms, can benefit young adult listeners in post secondary classrooms. Also, classroom amplification was shown to improve speech recognition for students across the classroom in both acoustically poor and acoustically sound classroom environments.

The data in this study, along with current literature, suggests that rooms with poor acoustics require students to use more effort to attend and concentrate. T his study also highlights the importance of addressing hearing problems among students in the early grades. School personnel need to be aware of the many components involved in creating optimal classroom listening environments including characteristics of the students, room acoustics, and benefits of using sound f ield amplification.

The 10 factors discussed determine to a large extent the architectural factors that affect the acoustical learning environment of classrooms. Successful classrooms for all students require a holistic planning, design, and construction process that considers not only the physical size and layout of the rooms, but also other factors.

The purpose of this clinical exchange has been to provide two examples of how to apply the theoretical tenet of acoustic accessibility to the practice of using sound-field technology in general education classrooms. Because children do not have the neurological maturity and decades of lifetime learning experience that adults have, they require a quieter environment and a louder signal in order to support their learning. Managing the auditory learning environment for children thus can have positive results.

This paper is a summary of research studies investigating efficacy of sound field amplification for children and adults. Reviews of issues in classroom listening and learning environments, and the contributions of sound field amplification have been published in books and journals, this paper is intended to be an updated, condensed review, categorized with respect to populations in which the use of sound field amplification has been studied, for use by consumers of research in education.

A project was undertaken to demonstrate the effects of sound-field amplification on learning in a low socio-economic urban classroom environment. The results of testing for identifying children who are at risk for academic difficulty as measured by the Preschool S.I.F.T.E.R. and phonological awareness as measured by the TOPA (Kindergarten Version) for two kindergarten classes were compared.

Ninety elementary school teachers were surveyed regarding their preceived usefulness of different common equipment used to facilitate instructional delivery in the classroom setting. Each teacher was asked to prioritize the same list of equipment and rank each piece according to its usefulness.

Veteran teachers too often believe that when they talk loudly the noise will not be a problem to students who are paying attention. This belief has resulted in teachers being at 20 times the risk of average workers for permanently damaging their voices. The average teacher takes at least 1 sick day per year related to vocal strain.

This special project was designed to determine if students' listening and learning behaviors improved as a result of an acoustical environment enhanced through the use of sound-field classroom amplification. The three-year project involved 2,054 students in 94 general education classrooms in 33 elementary schools in Florida.

By ensuring that the teacher’s voice is clarified and evenly distributed around the room, FrontRow systems can be tremendously helpful to English language learners — who have particularly strong speech perception difficulties when seated in the middle or rear of the classroom.

Classrooms are auditory-verbal environments with listening serving as the cornerstone of the educational system. When we take a minute to think about it, the majority of learning takes place through speaking and listening in the classroom. Actually, children spend 45% of the school day engaged in listening activities

Decades of research on the topic of room acoustics and the effect of poor acoustics on listening and learning in the classroom have lead to certain tenets concerning classroom acoustics. These tenets are so important, that they have formed the basis for guidelines and standards designed to ensure adequate acoustics for listening and learning.

The typical elementary school classroom is an environment full of sounds. Learning is a highly dependent on clearly hearing the verbal messages being communicated. In fact, most of the information children acquire in school is communicated through speaking and listening. Being able to hear verbal communication in elementary classrooms is a fundamental factor accounting for learning the phonology of speech, which underlies learning to read. Thus, it has been well-stablished that successful students are able to listen to and comprehend spoken messages in the classroom.

Children for whom English is a second language (ESL) exhibit greater speech-perception difficulties than native English speaking children, particularly in degraded listening environments. The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the effects of sound-field FM amplification on the perceptual abilities of ESL children in a commonly-reported classroom environment.

Good listening conditions are essential to children’s auditory development and general learning. A child’s ability to hear words, phrases and instructions is vital to them being able to process information and understand concepts1. Research shows that excessive noise levels impair children’s speech perception, reading and spelling ability, behaviour, attention and overall academic performance1. Studies have also found classroom noise to be an issue in most New Zealand schools.

Children learn a great deal through the auditory system. Classroom instruction is presented primarily through the teacher’s speech, or through video or tape recordings. Many students are auditory learners: They learn best when information is presented to them verbally. Students with hearing loss or other learning disabilities, however, may have difficulty with comprehension of auditory information

Classroom acoustics are generally overlooked in American education. Noise, echoes, reverberation, and room modes typically interfere with the ability of listeners to understand speech. The effect of all of these acoustical parameters on teaching and learning in school needs to be researched more fully. Research has shown that these acoustical problems are commonplace in new as well as older schools, and when carried to an extreme, can greatly affect a child's ability to understand what is said.

Because children’s brains are not fully developed for listening until they are in their teenage years, primary age children find it harder to correctly hear the teacher’s voice in difficult listening situations. They miss key words, phrases and concepts in poor listening conditions so they don’t really understand what words have been spoken. They need very good signal-to-noise ratios. This means the teacher’s voice needs to be loud and clear above the background noise.

In classrooms, speech is infrequently transmitted to a child without interference from background noise. Background noise refers to any undesired auditory stimuli that interferes with what a child wants, or needs, to hear and understand.

Because teachers manage and instruct students through verbal communication, it would seem logical that improvement of pupil's abilities to detect and attend to the teacher's speech could improve pupil performance. Using sound field amplification which increased the intensity of the teacher's voice, children who attended a primary-level class for children with developmental disabilities, made significantly fewer errors on a word identification task than they made without amplification.

Classroom amplification technologies are designed to clarify and evenly distribute the teacher and student voices throughout the classroom. Built on the premise that improving communication improves learning, classroom amplification technologies seek to create acoustic environments where learners can more easily hear the teacher’s and one another’s voices making key concepts more easily understood by removing interference.

50% of teachers will experience a vocal disorder at some point in their career. An estimated 2.5 billion is lost to sick leave for vocal related issues. Teachers surveyed rated classroom audio systems one of their most useful teaching technologies with as much as 60% fewer days sick days from vocal strain when using classroom audio.

Even in an acoustically good classroom, children receive only 83% of a teacher’s voice signal when they sit in the front row; 66% in the middle rows and only 55% in the back row. Almost half of elementary students would fail a basic hearing test, on any given day, becauseof middle-ear infections.