By Kenji Kawaguchi, Founder and CEO, OC Acoustic
Is music distracting in class?
Maybe if there are dozens of students, each listening with headphones. But that isn’t an option, and not what I’m here to address.
Many teachers and school administrators not only welcome music in the classroom, but they also make it part of the overall learning experience. I personally know someone whose first grader was in a class where they not only incorporated music in the syllabus, but audio was used as a management tool, with students told not to reach a volume louder than the background music.
I first became aware of the role of audio in the classroom when I gave my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher an OC Acoustic Newport Plug-in Speaker, without any expectation of how it would be put into action. Days later, the teacher sent a note to tell me how much she enjoyed using the compact speaker in class. From music to stories, the stealth speaker complemented her efforts without overwhelming them.
This is why the Newport plug-in speaker from OC Acoustic is a welcome audio solution for educators who want to bring the benefits of streaming music into the classroom without asking the school administration to commit thousands of dollars to an installation that will probably be outdated in a few years.
The Newport, which sells for $69.95, is a compact plug-in speaker that disappears by plugging into an outlet, flush against the wall. Visibly, it’s out of sight, yet it fills the space with clear, full range audio that is streamed directly from a phone or tablet.
Listening activities in the classroom are proven to aid comprehension and skills development. A phone or laptop speaker doesn’t have enough power to fill a class with sound, which is why an outboard speaker is crucial for supporting listening activities and video presentations.
The Newport is designed for heavily trafficked rooms in that there is a complete lack of wires. Nowhere is this more important than in a classroom that is a hive of activity. The fact that it plugs directly into an outlet not only ensures it won’t be a safety hazard, but that it never needs charging, so teachers aren’t forced to think about remaining battery power.
If sound is of good quality, students are apt to get excited in the material, remain focused, and enhance comprehension. Likewise, poor quality sound results in boredom and distraction.
And, for teachers who are required to multi-task every day, music calms the mind and improves concentration, just as it does for students.
The Newport plug-in speaker accomplishes the goal of bringing clear, great-sounding audio into the classroom at a highly affordable price. With the push of a single button, the source will stream to the speaker every time it’s plugged in. And, if the room is too large for one compact speaker to adequately fill it, OC Acoustic’s “Party Mode” makes it easy to add up to 50 Newport speakers to a single stream, though two or three total will more than fill the average size classroom with great sounding audio without breaking the budget.
Between its affordability, ease of use, and stealth design aesthetic, Newport is the logical choice for adding music to small-to-large classrooms. It’s never been easier to aid educators as they incorporate music, story-telling, and other audio presentations in their lesson plans.
Bluetooth speakers are an essential accessory for any classroom. By removing the clutter of wires and creating a model that is designed to plug into the wall and hide from sight, OC Acoustic is giving educators the perfect tool for bringing music and stories into any learning environment.
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