Smaller Headphones Improve Use and Instruction Among Indiana Students


Case Study:
Metropolitan School District of Warren County
West Lebanon, IN

Issue
With job duties spanning across four schools, high-quality technology is essential for librarian Margaret Fink and her students at the Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Warren County. A county-wide school system located in rural Warren County, Indiana, MSD has three elementary schools and one junior/senior high school, splitting Fink's time planning library-focused activities and ordering materials for the district's four schools.

Evaluating products essential to the libraries and computer labs, Fink was looking for smaller headphones that could replace the big, bulky headphones typically used by younger elementary students. Using the smaller headphones, students would receive an optimal learning experience without becoming distracted by the technology.

In addition, Fink was in search of headphones with a shorter cord and low price. The shorter cord would provide for easy storage and portability, while the low price would allow for more affordable, large-quantity purchases.

Implementation
After reviewing various options, Fink chose the Individual Storage Headphones (CA-2) from Califone, International, Inc., and purchased units for student use in libraries and computer labs throughout the district. Designed with on-ear, ambient noise-reducing earcups, the Individual Storage Headphones help to diminish exterior sounds, making it easier for students to concentrate on class activities instead of outside noise. The earcups also allow for reduced volume, protecting students' hearing.

The Individual Stereo Headphones are lightweight and portable, which influenced Fink's purchasing decision as she was in charge of ordering headphones for schools district-wide. In addition, the headphones come equipped with a moisture-resistant storage bag, which includes a labeling area for personalization for individual use.

These features further informed Fink's decision to purchase the Califone product, recognizing the benefits of compatibility, adjustability and individual storage for use among many students.

Results
"In school settings, students should use headphones for listening to any computer or media player-based audio-related activities," said Fink. "With the portability and lightweight comfort of the Individual Stereo Headphones, teachers can use headphones in the computer lab, library or in the classroom."

Used across multiple settings, the headphones were easy to integrate. Teachers are able to sign them out from the library, allowing for in-class activities outside of the library or computer lab. "Students enjoy using them, especially since they're smaller than the older, bigger headphones and easier to use," continued Fink. With the smaller size, teachers also spend less time assisting students with adjusting the headphones for proper fit.

The Individual Stereo Headphones are used primarily in computer labs for activities such as reading and phonemic awareness, but can be used in small group settings and on individual computers. The headphones are used with programs such as Starfall, a free website with phonics games and interactive books, and istation, an online reading program with curriculum-based assessments.

Product Links
Individual Storage Headphones