Communication is an integral part of any type of relationship. It requires a two-way street of compatibility and reception. When considered in educational settings, these two are even more true for wireless headphones.
Wireless headphones are increasingly the preferred way to listen to audio from a classroom computer or media player. Teachers report they prefer the neater environment which comes from eliminating the same headphone cords that become tangled or chewed on by students. But before you dive in, understand there are different types of radio frequencies used between the headphones and the transmitting source (each has its own pluses and minuses). One of the most stable and popular wireless technology is infrared technology, which calls for a direct line of sight between the transmitting and receiving sources (whether they be a classroom amplification system or multimedia players) in order for communication between the two to take place. Making sure the infrared signal is not interrupted ensures there is no interference in the audio transmission. Also important is to remember that different systems have varying signal strengths. Most classroom amplification systems for instance can send or receive up to 40′ while infrared multimedia players (Infrared Music Maker™ Plus and Infrared Cassette Recorder/Player) transmit their signal to a maximum 15′ to students wearing the infrared wireless headphones (HIRHP1). As a British teacher shares, “The 2395IR infrared media player and the infrared headphones are used in our nursery class for the development of listening skills.”
In addition to headphones married to a particular media player, there are other options to incorporate wireless learning in classroom and library environments. Students working on a computer can also take advantage of using infrared technology with the HIRHP1 wireless stereo headphones. Just as so long as they place themselves no more than 15’ line of sight from the USB transmitter that the headphones communicate with and leave the earcups uncovered. These wireless headphones are also available as a wireless computer learning center.
There’s another type of wireless headphone which provides even greater mobility for headphone-wearing students so that they don’t feel tethered to their media player or their seats. If a more flexible learning environment is closer to your teaching style where students may roam about the classroom, then the VHF-based Classroom Learning System (CLS) may be the more appropriate choice for you. When wearing CLS wireless headphones to listen to an audio book or language activity, it is important that the students keep within a 100’ distance range of a matching transmitter that connects to multimedia players due to their use of VHF frequencies. Andrea Crawford, a second grade teacher from St. Marks School in Altadena, CA agrees: “Having the wireless headphones allows the students to be at their desks or in the reading area. They can choose to read along with the book or just listen.”