Empower Students with In-line Controls

Interactive learning and assessments are playing more essential roles than ever in student learning. Increasingly accomplished through the use of computers, adding headsets to the process is not only one of the most cost-effective approaches schools and districts can take for test taking and engaging their learners, but it also lowers the critical student-to-computer ratio.

21st century students not only view and listen to more data than ever before, they’re doing so via skyping or podcasting through an increased use of headsets rather than listening only with headphones. Since traditional 3.5mm connections may not be able to accomodate the resulting data flow, one way to solve the issue is by using headsets with faster a USB connection instead.  PC and MAC compatible, students can listen, talk, record, and save their recordings directly onto computers through the USB connection.

Karen Maguire, a Reading Coach from Oakridge Middle School in Naples, FL, shares, “We use the Deluxe Multimedia Stereo headsets in our middle school Intensive Reading classes which are part of the READ 180 program. Since the program requires headphones with mics, we need a product that captures student responses with sufficient audio quality and can stand up to the day-in an day-out uses.


Headsets equipped with a USB connection offer more controls than a 3.5mm connection in the form of four in-line control buttons: Microphone On/Off, Volume Up and Down, and Mute. Students can read and press the correct button without guessing unlike controls, which are located on the earcups. The in-line station also prevents the cord from getting tangled, not even when the students hold the cord in their hands to play; it encourages students to focus on the tasks, not the tools that are helping them learn. Having individual controls over these functions also provides students the hands-on experience with technology. Some of the benefits from the in-line control include:

Microphone On/Off
Enables students to focus on the listening skill – When the focal point is to listen to the details of a story, or the main points of a recorded report, you can request students to turn the microphone off. This enables the students to really focus on the task of listening and eliminates any temptations of just recording for fun.
Allows students to learn at their own pace – With the microphone off, students can practice pronouncing new vocabulary or key words and feel what it’s like to wear the headset and talk into the microphone without actually recording the material until they are ready. It gives students opportunities to practice and sharpen their language skills, learn at their own pace.
Save school budget for other opportunities – The USB headsets can be used as a regular headphone with computers or media players that include an USB port when the microphone is turned off. There is no need to purchase separate headphones for interactive learning, which saves the budget for other learning opportunities.

Volume Up and Down
Teach students about safe listening practices – Providing students with the individual volume controls enables them to learn about safe listening. They’ll gain first hand experience about moderate volume makes even longer period of listening comfortable.
Promote customized learning – Students have the freedom to absorb the curriculum at their customized volume level.

Train students to be team players – When participating in an online debate for instance, students can press the Mute button as they listen to the other party’s argument; ensuring no noise will take place to interrupt the ongoing procedure or flow. At the same time, learn to show respect for other members and their respective turns/roles.
Provide opportunities for group discussion – Whether it’s group assessment or team evaluation, the Mute button allows students to conduct short and quick group discussions privately before submitting their answers. This is a great feature to be utilized when the curriculum learning involves competitive contests.

Every little feature or function has its purpose and can provide great efficiency. Califone USB headsets are designed specifically for school use, it provides a lot more than clear sound and USB connectivity. Just remember: The in-line control allows you to be in control.

Read the series Learning About Headsets and Headphones


Helping teachers and students with educationally appropriate classroom AV equipment since 1947.