Ask me what technology I’d most like to see implemented in every single K–12 classroom and I’d say instructional audio. As a long-time audiologist, I’m admittedly biased. But research bears out the benefits and I’ve seen the results firsthand in my 27 years (and counting!) working in public schools.

Here are some of the ways we know instructional audio technology helps build students’ confidence and benefits all student groups—as well as a few suggestions on how to get started.

Amplifying students’ voices

Did you know a fear of public speaking affects an estimated 73 percent of the population? Unfortunately, that stress and fear can start in the classroom at a young age. Whether presenting a project, raising a hand to answer a question, or reading a passage out loud in front of others, students are often hesitant to put themselves out there.

At Rio Rancho Public Schools in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, we’ve seen how some students can be reluctant to participate and engage in the classroom. However, we’ve found that microphones can help boost confidence and classroom participation. Students often struggle to hear their soft-spoken classmates, someone with an unfamiliar accent, or someone talking from the opposite side of the room. Audio clarity particularly impacts the ability of non-native English speakers to follow discussions.

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