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1 Enhancing Classroom Performance Utilizing an Assistive Listening Device Presented by: Dona M. Hoehn, M.S., CCC-SLP Ellen Mills Schwinger, L.D.T.C. Board.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Enhancing Classroom Performance Utilizing an Assistive Listening Device Presented by: Dona M. Hoehn, M.S., CCC-SLP Ellen Mills Schwinger, L.D.T.C. Board."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Enhancing Classroom Performance Utilizing an Assistive Listening Device Presented by: Dona M. Hoehn, M.S., CCC-SLP Ellen Mills Schwinger, L.D.T.C. Board of Education Meeting September 19, 2007

2 2 A Child’s Viewpoint Ladle Rat Rotten Hut What's Going On?  This story, believe it or not, is the very familiar fable of Little Red Riding Hood. This curious version was written in 1940 by a professor of French named H. L. Chace, who wanted to show his students that intonation - that is, the melody of a language - is an integral part of its meaning. The words here are all common English words, but not the ones you'd expect to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

3 3 What is an Assistive Listening Device (ALD)? An ALD is utilized to amplify a teacher’s voice throughout the classroom. It consists of a wireless microphone worn by the teacher and either one or multiple speakers placed strategically around the room. An ALD can be utilized with or without hearing aids to improve the negative effects of distance, background noise, and poor room acoustics.

4 4 The Need for Classroom Amplification Increases Sound to Noise Ratio  Speech occurs in the 45dB range  Most classrooms in older buildings have a dB sound range  New building code regulations support at least a 35dB level  Noise levels in occupied rooms are generally dB higher.  In the presence of typical levels of classroom noise, a student’s ability to understand may drop to 60% or even as low as 27% if there is no carpeting (sound absorption). Hearing Review September 1996; Language, Speech, and hearing Services in Schools October 2000; 2007; Besing 2001

5 5 The Need for Classroom Amplification Sources of distraction  External noises (planes, playground, lawn mowers)  Internal noises (hallways, PE class)  Classroom noises (talking, writing, clock ticking, pencil sharpening)  Other noises (heating/ventilation systems, fans) Hearing Review September 1996; Language, Speech, and hearing Services in Schools October 2000; 2007; Besing 2001

6 6 Research has shown for more than a decade now, that a classroom sound- field amplification system is an effective way to produce significant change in the students’ listening behaviors and academic achievement. “The Oakland County Audio Field Project” district administrators found audio enhancement systems in classrooms increased academic learning; improved student on-task behavior; were teacher friendly to use; and were reliable in enhancing all student learning environments. The district’s audio enhancement reliability report indicated audio enhanced classrooms were successful in improving student improvement and teacher instruction (Oakland County Public Schools, 2002). Sound field systems have been found to benefit ‘at risk’ children. For example, those with conductive hearing loss, fluctuating hearing loss, central auditory processing disorders, developmental delays, attention deficits, minimal hearing loss, language delays, articulation disorders, and those learning English as a second language (www.asha.org, 2007). Research

7 7 Positive Changes in Student Functioning  Improved academic achievement  Increased students’ attention spans  Increased behavior management  Increased students’ listening skills  Decreased number of requests for repetition  Decreased vocal strain and fatigue for teachers  Improved Teacher Proximity  Decreased special education referrals  35% increase in reading fluency  35 % growth in test scores  72 % decrease in teacher redirection Independent Trost Study December 2002; language, speech and hearing Services in Schools October 2000; Language Speech and Hearing in Services in Schools July 1990.

8 8 Improvement in Academic and Social Achievement Standardized Test scores improve Improve student attention and on task behavior Increase classroom participation High ambient noise levels reduced within the classroom 30% of K-6 children hear their teacher significantly better Children for whom English is a second language can experience over 30% Improvement in Word/Sentence Recognition (http://www.lightspeed-tek.com/default.aspx?id=23) Acoustical environment of a classroom is a critical factor in the academic, psycho educational and psycho-social achievement of children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools October 2000; Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research August 1998).

9 9 Increase in Students’ Attention When a classroom is equipped with an assistive listening device, all the children regardless of their seat location and the direction the teacher is facing, are able to hear the teacher. This provides the teacher with the opportunity to maximize student listening and learning across the curriculum.

10 10 Increase in Behavior Management Within the Classroom Studies have reported that the use of a classroom amplification system have resulted in:  Increased on task behavior  Improved attention and focus  Positive changes in classroom management  Increased productivity and work completion Information Capsule Report: Miami Dade Public Schools, March 2007

11 11 Increase in Students’ Listening Skills The Improving Classroom Acoustics project (Rosenberg et, al 1999) revealed that the amplified classrooms demonstrated a significantly greater change in listening behaviors and at a faster rate than their peers in unamplified classrooms.

12 12 Decrease in Number of Requests for Repetition Classroom distractions can get in the way of students' listening. Teachers using a sound field amplification system report significantly less repeating of instructions, vast improvements in on-task time and quicker, more efficient transitional times.

13 13 Decrease in Vocal Strain and Fatigue for Teachers Teacher Absenteeism Due to Voice & Throat Illness Is Almost Eliminated Voice fatigue and throat infections account for 11-16% of teacher absenteeism. Classroom amplification allows a teacher to speak in normal tones, eliminating voice strain. Schools using sound-field amplification report significantly lower teacher absenteeism due to voice and throat problems. (http://www.lightspeed-tek.com/Teacher+Effectiveness.aspx?id=24)

14 14 Teacher Proximity Regardless of seat location and the direction the teacher is facing, students are able to hear the teacher. Background noises will not interfere and will benefit children with learning disabilities, those in the early language acquisition process or with fluctuating hearing losses (Michele Wilson, Ph.D.). The typical ear infection causes a ‘plugged’ ear hearing loss. Two-thirds of preschoolers have at least one episode of ear problems and 16% of preschoolers have six or more episodes. One-half of all episodes of ear infections go undetected by parents or teachers. Even with good medical follow up, 10% of preschoolers continue to have chronic ear problems during critical language development years (The Hearing Review, 1996).

15 15 Decrease in Special Education Referrals The Marrs Project: Mainstream Amplification resource room study The Marrs project in 1990 revealed that after 60 Sound-field amplification units were phased in over 5 years studies found that the number of students placed in a LD classroom declined nearly 40%.

16 16 Real Life “No matter where they were sitting, all students listened more attentively. Natural speech recognition and intonation are essential in language acquisition. With the sound system, all students were focused.” Roberta Lyons ESL teacher Phantom Lake Elementary

17 17 Real Life Video

18 18 What This Means Sound field systems have been shown to: Improve academic achievement Improve speech recognition Improve attending and learning behaviors Increase seating options for students with mild hearing loss Improve listening and learning environments for "at-risk" learners Reduce teacher vocal strain and fatigue Improving Classroom Acoustics, Florida Department of Education,

19 19 Imagine…… Imagine a classroom where there is a teacher at the side of each student giving one-to one instruction.


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