Portable Audio System Allows for Improved Direction and Instruction


Case Study:
Stephenson High School
Stone Mountain, GA

Issue
As a fine arts teacher, vocal amplification is necessary for successful direction and instruction during class time and performance rehearsals. In addition, clearly communicating messages during school assemblies, athletic events and other large group activities is essential to gain students' full attention.

At Stephenson High School in the Atlanta suburb of Stone Mountain, Ga., fine arts teacher Vada Coleman and Nardiann Mighty, recognized the need for audio technology that could provide teachers with the kind of vocal assistance necessary for performances, events, assemblies, and other large school events.

Also functioning as coordinator of the Small Learning Communities Initiative, Mighty acts as a voice between area schools and the DeKalb County School System regarding the program. The district-wide initiative was created to build small learning academies on specific subjects, such as business and nursing. Students join an academy based on specific interests and receive help to prepare for college.

Together, Coleman and Mighty choose to purchase multiple items of a single portable audio product for fine arts classes, as well as other uses at Stephenson High School.

Implementation
After researching products, Coleman chose the 5-Watt VoiceSaver™ (PA-285) from Califone International, Inc., and brought it to Mighty's attention. From their conversation, Mighty purchased 20 units " 10 units for the fine arts department and 10 units for the remainder of the school. Designed specifically for school use, the PA system provides vocal assistance for teachers and other group leaders.

The VoiceSaver consists of a headset microphone and a lightweight loudspeaker worn by the user. The loudspeaker is encased in durable, shatter-resistant ABS plastic, allowing the PA to be used for both indoor and outdoor activities. In addition, the PA can be clipped to a belt, worn over the shoulder with a case, or placed on a desktop or other flat surfaces.

The unit includes an on/off switch and companion LED status indicator, as well as a volume control, a 3.5-mm microphone input, and an auxiliary input to connect with laptop computers for enhanced audio amplification. Furthermore, the VoiceSaver can be used to project audio from video projectors to enhance larger-scale presentations.

Results
"When we originally placed an order for the VoiceSaver, we were told there was a short wait before we'd receive them," said Mighty. "I asked Vada if she wanted a different product, but she said no because others weren't equipped with the features she was looking for in a product."

Both teachers and fine arts directors at Stephenson High School are happy to have the assistance saving while amplifying their voices to keep their students' attention. "We chose the VoiceSaver because of its convenient features," continued Mighty. "We really liked that it can be clipped on as opposed to wearing it around the waist, and that it came with a battery charger."

Mighty introduced the product during a faculty meeting, and teachers can now use the product by signing it out from her. Although the VoiceSaver was purchased initially for direction during chorus, band, and drama classes and rehearsals, the product also is being used during class lectures. It has also proven to be useful in math and English classes with larger numbers of students and is available for other school events.