'

Lightweight mikes for teachers improve student performance

A new device allows hearing impaired to participate in mainstream classrooms.

With the advent of a new portable electronic headset, teachers don't have to strain their voices to be heard above the din anymore. The headset utilizes a compact, lightweight wireless microphone for the teacher that transmits to a small speaker, amplifying the voice, reports the Mineral Wells (Tex.) Index.

FrontRow is put out by California-based Phonic Ear. A teacher wears an earpiece that places a small microphone near the lips. The device transmits sound to a speaker placed in the classroom. Lapel microphones are also available.

Aside from saving teachers' voices, the technology helps the hearing impaired.

“It’s been in [the school] three years,” said Norma Yates, Palo Pinto (Tex.) Independent School District superintendent. “We’ve got it in all of our classrooms, library and gym. … It’s an assisted listening device which aids the hearing impaired.”

“We’ve had improvement in student performance. More than that, we find that children are better able to pay attention … [they’re] able to learn more,” Yates commented. “It just projects their [teachers’] voices to where they [the students] can hear them.