The Mighty Jackbox

How often have you found yourself with a class full of students whose abilities and learning styles were at the same level so all of your energies could be evenly spent throughout the class? Maybe only in the “perfect world” right? If you struggle to provide differentiated learning, how can you lead multiple groups at the same time?

One of the simplest solutions to extend your reach by the use of a jackbox. A simple device that connects an audio source (through 1/4″, 3.5mm or even a USB plug) to a number of headphones (usually four to ten positions) so as to not disrupt other classmates. Like headphones which come in stereo vs mono versions (depending on  if a monaural-based language learning or a computer-based stereo use is needed), jackboxes also are found in monaural versions or stereo ones.

Using a jackbox allows you to engage a number of similarly leveled students at a learning center. You can place students who read at a different pace in groups at one table and have students on another level in a separate group for differentiated instruction. Dividing them according to their learning abilities allows them to master the activities.

In addition to listening only, there’s also a USB jackbox with microphone inputs to complement the headphone-out connections so up to 6 students wearing headsets at one time can engage in podcasting activities or for computer-based learning. With your assistance, students who grasp the lessons better than others can help their peers within their same group which taps into critical thinking and problem solving skills. All students will excel and move ahead with confidence. Shared Aron Sterling, technology specialist from Fairfax, VA: “The USB jackbox…creates learning centers which encourage students to develop and use their own critical thinking skills.

To read more about the 1216USB Jackbox, click to read the coverage by THE Journal.


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