Students come in all shapes and sizes, requiring educators to teach using a variety of skills and tools. Some kids learn visually. Others are tactile learners. Teachers adapt to a variety of learning styles and student needs.
What happens, however, when you have a student who can’t hear well? When the boisterous sounds of a typical classroom impede a student with hearing loss from accessing education?
FM technology is one of the tools available for teachers who find themselves with a deaf or hard of hearing student in the classroom. The technology helps students who use hearing aids or cochlear implants to better identify, understand, and respond to a teacher’s instructions and directions.
In the classroom, FM technology can clearly transmit your voice between 50-80 feet, via a transmitter worn around your neck. The message is delivered directly into a receiver that is attached or coupled to your student’s hearing aid or cochlear device. The process eliminates the need to raise your voice to try and be understood.
For students who rely on lip-reading speech clues to understand what you’re saying, FM technology brings speech sounds directly to their ears, so they can hear and understand you no matter what direction you’re facing, even when you’re working on a whiteboard with your back to the room.
The FM broadcast feature also helps outside the classroom. Children with hearing aids find it easier to hear and respond to instructions, whether they are in the cafeteria at lunchtime, walking with friends in the hallway, or playing a game of dodge ball in P.E.
FM technology is a tremendously powerful tool that makes it easier for your student with hearing loss to hear you in a variety of situations. The result is a child that is more likely to stay engaged, both socially and academically.
Families familiar with the way that FM technology works will tell you: The tool can transform a hard of hearing or deaf child’s schoolroom experience.
The set-up is relatively easy. The teacher wears an FM transmitter microphone around his or her neck, and the microphone then sends the teacher’s voice directly into a receiver attached to the child’s hearing device.
When FM technology delivers the teacher’s presentations and instructions to students wearing a listening device, those students have greater access to education. Bypassing most of the classroom noise, FM creates cleaner communication, which, in turn, can reduce confusion between teacher and student.
That same microphone (or up to 9 additional microphones) can be passed to anyone else talking in the classroom. For instance, if different kids are giving a series of presentations, each can wear the FM transmitter when talking, to ensure that the child with hearing loss is an active participant in the exercise.
FM technology can make a difference in your child’s confidence and energy.
Clearer communication will not only reduce classroom uncertainty for the child with hearing loss, it can also reduce the strain of listening, lip-reading, and filling in the blanks – all things that make listening so tiring for many kids.
Not only will the FM unit travel with your child from class to class throughout the school day, it also helps outside the classroom – at lunchtime in the cafeteria, at gym class, and during group activities. The mix of background noises in these situations all pose a real challenge for hearing and understanding. FM technology cuts through the distracting noises, helping your child hear more clearly and enjoy greater success, both in and out of the classroom.