While infrared technology is not new, it still plays a valuable role in enhancing student learning in the 21st Century. Two of the benefits of a wireless over a wired learning center include providing a more comfortable learning experience with freedom of movement, and creating a safer classroom environment (no cords to trip over).
One aspect teachers appreciate is the flexibility in the number of students who can participate in activities with a wireless center. Although there is no strict limit to the number of participants, the range is determined more by the number of listeners who can be comfortably seated within the fifteen foot line-of-sight transmission range. This usually puts the effective cap at fifteen to twenty listeners, understanding that each must have a clear sight line from their corresponding Infrared Headphone to the transmitter on the media player. One way to ensure optimal reception is to locate the participating students in a semi-circle or a line in front of the transmitter (without any obstructions between the two). Helping to stretch budgets is another plus since instructors can add extra infrared headphones without purchasing another media player.
Carol Frees, a Primary Teacher within the Unified School District 367 in Sterling, Kansas shared that the cordless headphones on her 2395IRPLC-6 Infrared Music Maker™ Learning Centers “Make these learning centers ideal for the preschool and kindergartener environments. They allow the students to move around, providing independence and a safe environment without cords to get caught in or tangled.”
“These learning centers are ideal for the preschool and kindergartener environments. They allow the students to move around, providing independence and a safe environment without cords to get caught in or tangled.”
Students are more apt to learn if they are comfortable, and wireless headphones enable students to move around and find their favorite spots. Instructors no longer need to worry about students tripping over headphone cords or wrapping the cords around their fingers or themselves; and students stay on task without wasting time investigating or testing the learning tools.
Stephanie Marino, a Kindergarten Teacher for Wren Hollow Elementary in Manchester, MO stated, “We use the Infrared Music Maker with our Kindergarten students because they are able to use the wireless headphones independently. We tried using wired headphones, but they were constantly tangled together and required a lot of supervision.”
Infrared audio is a line-of-sight transmission sent by an FM (frequency modulation) carrier. This means there must be a clear line of sight from the infrared transmitters on the media player to the receivers in the wireless headphones. Also, since infrared transmission is from a light source (LED, lighting emitting diodes), reception will not work outdoors or in bright sunlight.
Learn more about other radio frequencies used in school.