The Sounds of Silence
Project Introduction: A 4th grade teacher will address how sound affects student engagement and achievement throughout this year-long project. The project will focus mainly on studying student reactions and responses to various types of music and silence through the use of wireless headphones simultaneously connected to different sources.
Problem Statement: This project will address one major problem area. Each year more and more students are diagnosed with issues relating to attention deficits. While many factors are blamed for this continued upswing, the issue still remains as to what to do. These students often struggle both with their ability to ignore distractions and their tendency to distract others. This lack of focus leads to less understanding and lower quality of work in general as well as on assessments.
Project Importance and Uniqueness: By utilizing infrared transmitter bluetooth compatible headphones, classrooms will be able to both address students who need sound to be productive as well as those that need silence. Additionally, the sounds being heard by these students will be directed by the teacher and will therefore be academically appropriate for the setting. Through the use of this technology, the teacher will be able to choose to either use a media player with CDs, tapes, and radio options, or connect a transmitter to a computer allowing for a variety of digital alternatives. This technology also has the ability to expand into other areas including small group instruction where certain students are in need of specific information or accommodations to be successful. While headphones and listening stations have been used for years in the educational setting with a variety of research on the benefits of certain types of music on memory, using them in this type of way is a new, possibly groundbreaking approach. Relationships with influential individuals and groups will be fostered to increase understanding of how the results of this project can benefit others throughout the educational community.
Funding: Funding for this project was provided by the Janks Fund of the Tuscola County Community Foundation.