School Sound Field Amplification Project

The research supporting the use of sound field amplification systems in classrooms is conclusive as documented by the growing number of states and school systems implementing them into their classrooms. The Alabama Ear Institute recognizes that sound field amplification systems show proven results for all children and not just those with hearing loss. Consequently, the Alabama Ear Institute (AEI) considers its involvement and leadership in pursuing the installation of these systems in all classrooms in the state of Alabama as a natural and justified initiative in its mission of improving the quality of life for individuals with hearing loss and their families.

The Alabama Ear Institute received a grant from the Alabama Department of Education to demonstrate the effectiveness of soundfield equipment on achievement of students in general education classrooms.

What was the purpose of the grant? Sound Field Project

To determine whether academic achievement and learning behaviors of students increase when amplification is used for instruction.

Which schools participated?

* Chapman Elementary School in Huntsville City

* New Market Elementary School in Madison County

* Pinecrest Elementary School in Sylacauga City

* Winfield Elementary in Winfield City

What is soundfield technology?

Sound field technology consists of a teacher wearing a wireless microphone transmitter whose speech is sent via radio or light waves to an amplifier and loudspeakers. The teacher can walk freely about the classroom while his/ her entire speech signal, including the weak high-frequency consonants, reaches every student in the classroom.

Why is it needed?

Students spend a majority of their school day listening. The effects of classroom background noise and distractions greatly interfere with students hearing the teacher.

What is the future of this technology in Alabama?

To heighten the awareness of sound field technology as a teaching tool, the Alabama State Department of Education solicited proposals as a one-year project to investigate the effectiveness of sound field amplification in the classroom with the hope that more schools will realize the benefits of a good acoustic environment for learning.