Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Loud and Clear!

I have a new toy.

As I mentioned previously, they finally hooked up all my gadgets and gizmos the other day and it's been great. No more whining, "but I can't see the TV" when I'm showing videos, doing PowerPoint notes, or running a BrainPop. The document reader is a blast and I can do things like put up the weather map from the paper and talk about weather forecasting (gotta hit those standards!) and the kids can see it larger than life and in full color. (They also get a kick at seeing my hands magnified at a gazillion times which reminds me, yet again, why I wish I could afford a decent manicure).

However, the gadget I'm starting to like the best is the microphone.

Yup, this set up came with not one, but two microphones! One I can wear around my neck and turn on, and then my voice is broadcast through speakers in the ceiling and throughout the room. The other one can be used by kids when they're reading aloud or doing a presentation or whatnot. (Although I rarely have them read aloud.) Mr. Social Studies has started to use the student one and all of a sudden he's got kids frantically waving their hands wanting to volunteer to read and use the microphone. He actually started to use the teacher one last week, (and discovered that he can actually stand in the hallway outside his door and yell at a kid to sit down and get quiet, and it booms throughout his room). For some reason I held off, mainly because I have a pretty significantly loud teacher voice anyway.

However, on Monday of this week my throat was scratchy and raw for some reason (seasonal allergies most likely) and I decided to try the microphone.

And I'm hooked.

This thing is absolutely wonderful. I don't have to raise my voice at all. Everything I say is broadcast loud and clear and all the kids can hear it. And to be honest, it really sets them on their toes when they can hear me through six speakers. There are a couple of things to get used to, however. Feedback happens if I get too close to the control equipment (but that's not a big deal). I also have to remember to turn it off when I'm talking with a kid privately.

And remember to turn it off when the allergies hit and I have to sneeze. (Nope, hasn't happened yet, but I've come close).

The best thing is that I don't feel as worn out at the end of the day. I can actually teach a class of 29 (my largest class, and I have lab seats for 28), and never have to raise my voice. I can actually talk with them in a normal conversation.

Sometimes technology is just wonderful.

3 comments:

Mrs. T said...

Now, if it's wireless, just make sure you turn it off when you go to the restroom.
Isn't it great to have equipment that's useful and relevant?

happychyck said...

I love my audio enhancement, too! I was surprised to hear that a lot of the teachers in our school prefer not to use it. I prefer to keep my voice at the end of the day--especially this time of year when I started to get hoarse BEFORE the kids came back, simply because I was talking to people.

That deal about remembering to turn it off when speaking privately isn't too tough...it's when I walk out of my classroom and forget to turn it off. Then if I walk into another teacher's room with my enhancement on, whatever I say is amplified in their rooms because it's all the same frequency. And you know how we teachers like to joke around in the hallway, too! Yikes!

Guidance Geek said...

Speaking of going to the restroom with your mike live.. this is hillarious - CNN anchor Kyra Phillips went to the RR while Bush was making a speech, but her mike was on.. and she just kept talking ... http://www.current.tv/google/GC01934 btw - current.tv is pretty neat too...