Unified School District #367 Gives Students The Freedom to Listen & Move

Case Study:
Unified School District 376
Sterling, Kansas

Unified School District 376 serves a community of 2,600 residents in Sterling, Kansas. Though the area is small - only 1.4 square miles - USD 367 is committed to providing its students access to technology in the classroom, even before kindergarten.

Carol Frees, the primary teacher for Early Steps Preschool, is charged with educating and inspiring 3-5 year-olds. "We want to use technology in our classroom, but it's important with preschoolers that everything works properly. You quickly lose their interest if you have to pause to fix something," Frees explained.

Sterling Grade School received a grant for purchasing technology and decided to invest in learning centers that would accommodate several students at a time. Already familiar with products from Califone, they decided to purchase the 6-person Infrared Music Maker Plus Learning Center.

The Infrared Music Maker Plus supports phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, ELL, ELD, and other language learning programs by offering teachers a reliable sound system for playing music and lessons on CDs and tapes. The system provides a dual cassette recorder and player, a 20-track programmable CD player and an AM/FM stereo.

Ideal for classroom environments, the Infrared Music Maker Plus can transmit wireless audio to up to 20 students to listen at the same time via wireless headphones (additional 34B-IR headphones from Califone, sold separately). This gives educators the opportunity to have a quiet classroom while students listen to the music or lesson, and participate in other activities, such as coloring, puzzle making or resting.

Educators also can use the Music Maker Plus for group lessons, as it supports full-fidelity audio and includes a remote control for easy classroom management. Teachers can use the stereo system during reading time, language lessons or music class to engage the entire class in the activity.

The Music Maker Plus also provides multiple headphone inputs for creating listening centers, or opportunities where students can learn at their own pace.

"The cordless headphones make these learning centers ideal for the preschool environment. They allow the students to move around, providing independence and a safe environment without cords to get caught in or tangled," Frees said.

Early Steps Preschool students are excited to use the headphones as they fit their heads properly. They all respect their time with the technology, enjoying their large basket of "read along" books.

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