There is research on classroom audio to back up these observations. However, these three points stand out:
1. Some Students Suffer from Hearing Loss
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 15 percent of children ages 6 to 19 have low- or high-frequency hearing loss in one or both ears. COVID-19 can further compound the issue due to social distancing and masking in some classrooms, leading to muffled sounds from both teachers and students.
2. Audio Amplification Can Help
Classroom audio distribution systems, also known as sound field amplification systems, provide benefits to all listeners in a classroom, according to the American Speech Language Hearing Association. So, in addition to installing interactive whiteboards with advanced audio, some schools also install voice amplification systems (which include microphones for teachers) to ensure that sound reaches every corner of the classroom.
3. Teachers Also Suffer in Noisy Environments
According to David Lubman, an acoustic scientist and consultant, teachers’ voices can become fatigued when they are forced to speak loudly to be heard over background noise.
LEARN MORE: Districts use interactive panels as a teacher-driven learning tool in K–12 classrooms.