Enhance Learning By Recording

5th in a series about boomboxes

One of the best tools to help students learn, especially in a language learning situation, is to let them record themselves and play back their own responses. Creating call and response activities is an effective way to involve students and model vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and accent, to name just a few.

Whether you create differentiated learning opportunities for smaller groups or on an individual basis, one convenient way to do this is with a multimedia player/recorder that has a built in microphone. The Performer Plus (2455AV-02), MP3 Capable Music Maker (2385-03), Music Maker Plus (2395AV-02), Infrared Music Maker Plus (2395IR) multimedia player / recorders and the recently upgraded Spirit (1776 ) each has a built in microphone to accomplish this. More focused on language learning, the CardMaster also has a built-in mic.

If your boombox doesn’t have this feature, then it may instead have a mic input so you can attach a microphone to achieve the same goal. An advantage of this approach is that a mic can be effective at helping to eliminate background noise for a clearer voice recording (as well as less cumbersome as you only hold a lightweight microphone) in a variety of learning applications.

The Performer Plus has a ¼” mic input. The longest running inputs have been 2.5mm and 3.5mm, both of which can be found on the MP3 Capable Music Maker, Music Maker Plus, and Infrared Music Maker Plus multimedia player / recorders. The 1300AV, 1500AVBL, 3432IR, 5262AV and 5272AV cassette player / recorders also have these dual 2.5 & 3.5mm inputs as well as the CardMaster.

4805AV 2395IR Rear panel

The ideal mic for remote stop / start recording (left) plugs into the two rightmost ports on the rear panel of the Infrared Music Maker Plus (2395IR)

With any player which has both of these inputs, you have the nifty option of using a remote microphone with a start/ stop switch (4805AV). And what might this useful accessory be you ask? It’s a mic with dual 2.5mm and 3.5mm plugs at the end of its 6’ cord. When both plugs are attached to a recorder, you can start and stop the recording from the switch on the mic instead of having to reach over to the media recorder. This can be practical during individualized learning where a student can sit farther away from a media player and speak directly into the microphone, and then stop it once completed. (The 4805AV will record with either plug attached by itself, but the remote operation needs both to be connected at the same time.)

Students learning a language can use their media player to record and check their improvement throughout the school year. Students can also create their very own personal audio journals or record notes from a science lab experiment. Children involved with speech therapy can also couple the remote mic with a media player to test their development in improving their skills over an extended period of time. They can practice their language lessons and build their vocabulary by recording onto a cassette, an SD card, or onto the internal memory of the media player or computer, depending of course on which type of media player is used (or even directly onto their MP3 player).

Read the next article in the series or the previous one

calblog

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