April 26, 2023
3 min read
As many schools and universities continue to navigate in-person, virtual, or blended learning environments, the importance of technology adoption in higher education has never been clearer. The rapid transformation of the traditional classroom setting has heightened the need for technology that keeps faculty and students connected as they adjust to new ways of teaching and learning. While today’s classroom setups and teaching methods are evolving, classroom audio systems offer many benefits for educators and students.
There is no technology that can enable and ensure classroom equity quite like proper audio. The ability to communicate clearly with high-quality audio is essential to achieving educational experiences that enable students to learn and communicate effectively. For teachers, the use of audio technology can help enhance communication and support engaging learning experiences in physical and digital classrooms. Reliable and clear audio is not only crucial for comprehension in lectures, it also allows universities to embrace more advanced, innovative learning experiences.
Whether you’re learning from home or the classroom, investing in the right audio technology solutions is paramount for success. Here are a few qualities to look for when selecting audio equipment for educational environments.
1. Clear Sound Capture & Delivery
From background noise to reverberation, even a well-designed classroom can have acoustic challenges. Having audio technology that is focused on optimizing sound quality for spoken word is key to meeting these challenges head-on.
A wireless mic like the Panasonic WX-ST200 Digital Wireless Handheld Microphone is not only optimized for maximum speech intelligibility but also utilizes noise suppression technology to enhance the clarity of the speaker’s voice. A wireless system like this has the flexibility to deliver excellent sound quality in small or large spaces and is ideal for hybrid and fully virtual learning experiences.
Educators can also use a combination of microphones to establish a more natural feel in hybrid classroom settings. For example, the Steven M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan used both ceiling-mounted microphones and a desk-mounted microphone that we set up to ensure the professor could be heard regardless of whether they were in the room.
2. Easy Integration & Intuitive Usage
Undoubtedly, today’s classrooms have a diverse set of technology to help facilitate learning, but ensuring that these technologies can communicate with each other helps to create more equitable learning environments. Whether you want to add to an existing setup or plan to switch in the future, finding an audio system that offers ease of integration with third-party control systems can allow for a more comprehensive and intuitive ecosystem in the classroom.
Through the integration of audio, sound from presentations or videos can be distributed both in-room and remotely. Touch panels allow instructors to view and adjust audios levels as well as see the battery status from a central location. Further, presenters can either bring their own laptops or plug in a USB thumb drive into an integrated computer.
In the end, having an audio system that seamlessly fits into existing rooms and software offers institutions and lecturers flexibility to switch between systems with ease. However, if desired, an institution can also opt to standardize audio equipment across all classrooms to further simplify technology usage for instructors.
3. Flexible Wireless Capabilities
As FCC regulations continue to reduce the UHF spectrum range available for wireless microphones, airwaves are becoming more crowded. But, DECT-based wireless systems offer a wideband frequency and noise suppression technology that can help prevent interference and interruptions. Systems like Panasonic’s 1.9GHz digital wireless microphone system offer an easy and intuitive solution as it continuously monitors channel usage and automatically switches channels to enable stable communication. Ultimately, the wireless frequency spectrum is always changing as new technologies emerge but staying up to date with a flexible wireless microphone solution can help to ensure your operations continue to work at optimal efficiency.
4. Scalable for Current and Future Needs
When investing in audio technology for the classroom, it's important to consider both the needs you have today and the needs you may have tomorrow. That's why a scalable solution is essential. The technology you choose must support your performance requirements now and support updates and maintenance in the future.
While the modern-day classroom experience is evolving to adopt new ways of teaching and learning, having a reliable audio system can ensure that students inside (and outside) of the classroom are engaged.
To stay up to date on the latest AV solution trends in higher education, subscribe to Panasonic Connect's Visual Systems blog. To learn more about Panasonic’s Pro Audio Solutions, visit https://na.panasonic.com/us/audio-video-solutions/professional-audio/