30 Aug

Different kinds of plugs for classroom headphones

Times have changed; the life is under the great influence of technology. There is not a single day or single moment where we don’t apply the technology. From our small bedrooms to the offices, from your railway stations to the banks, from the kitchen to the airports nothing remains detached from the technology. The same is happening with the schools these days. The traditional ways of dealing with the students through the books is almost over now. The students have become more exploring and enjoy discovering out of the world of books. This has brought about a considerable change in the methods of education. Today the students require enough time to be spent in the audio visual rooms, along with the time they need to spend in the classroom. Due to this addition to the curriculum the school stuff has changed a bit. Along with the basics tools including the pencil, pens, colors and crayons the students need headphones too. Today almost all the schools have changed their mode of education, and opted for the modern ways like iPads, laptops and computers as a part of their curriculum. The lessons are no more confined to classroom now. The teachers can prepare the audio and video records that can be played anytime while me the school. One important add-on in this regard is the headphones. The students who want to study in silence just listening to what is being delivered as a lecture can put on these headphones. For the proper working of the headphones they have to fix in the output device with the help of plugs. The better the plugs fix in, the better will be the performance of the headphone leaving no room for the interruption.

What is a plug?

The plug is the small equipment added to the headphones to make them connected with the source of the sound. Just like the ear pieces are important part of the headphone, for the better fixing and connection plug is equally essential. Generally, it ensures that a stable, non interrupting connection is being set up between the headset and the media source or the computer. You will find different types of plugs attached to the headphones. For the systems running in the school it is essential to have secure connections to guarantee the safety of the equipment being used by the young students. When you purchase the headphones the common types available in the market are of six types. These types are distinguished on the basis of the applications too. The attachment is either a headphone that facilitates listening only or it is the headset that can be used for both speaking and listening.

Styles of plugs:

  1. Double plugs: Before the advent of the digital learning the headsets were being used. For these headsets the generally, two plugs were in use. One of the plugs was used for the listening while the other was meant for carrying out the function related to speaking. These types of plugs included the 2964AV type monaural and the 306AV stereo type of the plug.
  2. Single plug: most of the headphones in practice today need to be connected with a single pug only. In the language classrooms where monaural activities are at the top of the list a single plug measuring ¼” with 2924 AV is commonly used. For the headphones that are stereo or computer based a solitary plug that measures 3.5mm is enough. One such commonly used plug is 2800-BL. These single solitary plugs come in two sub classifications: the straight plugs and the right angle plugs. Although both plugs measure the same that is 3.5mm, but there is a little difference of shape. These plugs are the connecting devices for the listening lesson series and the sound alert headphones. They were solely created for the young ones. The experts and the conscious school owners prefer that the right angle solitary plugs must be used. These plugs fix in the device well and it is not easy to pull them out. This makes them a secure preference for the young kids. Another modification currently available is the switchable headphone that comes in both versions that is the monaural and the stereo. These kinds of headphones are fitted with a plug measuring 3.5mm which also is attached with the snap-on adapter measuring ¼”.
  3. USB plugs: it is one of the recent versions. Today when all devices are depending on the USB technology, the headsets are being introduced with the USBs also. There are numerous kinds of USB plugs that are easily available in the markets. This includes 3064USB, 3068MUSB, 3066USB, 4100USB and the most recent ones in the line known as the Titanium series. Today, the USB technology has proved its worth as a fast growing technology in the field of data transfer. They are preferred because they take less time to transfer the data as compared to the earlier devices. Thus, the headphones fitted with the USB plugs are commonly suggested for the distance learning and for the entertainment applications especially games.
  4. To Go plug: this is the product of the most recent technology. the only use is in the headsets. The commonly equipped headsets include 3068 headset, 2800-xx Listening First headsets that comes in two versions solid color and the animal-themed), Discovery headset also referred as DS-8VT, Lightweight Stereo multimedia headset available in the market as 3065AVT, 3066AVT commonly known as Deluxe Multimedia Stereo headset, and the most advanced version that is the Titanium (HPK-1010T) headset. Unlike other pugs it has a third circle too which means that it can be used as a microphone too. This latest version is highly beneficial for the students who need to listen and then speak back what they have learnt. It can be connected to the mobile phones also.

Point to ponder:

When you intend to buy the plug it is important to count the rings on the tip. These small rings appear in black color. The plugs are identified with the number of rings on them. A single ringed plug is for the monaural functions. In case it has two rings, it would be a stereo.

17 Aug

Hygiene Practices with Classroom Headphones

You’ve seen children listening to their favorite song or playlist, with each sharing half of an earbud. That’s what they do. Children don’t often stop to think that sharing is not always caring. In fact, teachers have to be the ones to ensure that the earbuds which are shared during instruction, independent practice, testing, and at stations do not contaminate the string of listeners who come behind each other to use them. With low budgets on the district and school level, teachers already fork over a lot of money for paper, pencils and other supplies – and they often do it out of their own pockets. So, if earbuds have to be recycled during the year, a few precautions can keep the woes at a minimum. Here are a few ideas.

Sanitizing Spray

An ear infection and its fluid build-up, excess wax and such are not the type of thing you want students sharing while they learn or take tests. We all have microbes in our ears, this includes adults, but may be especially true with children. Sanitizing spray is handy, doesn’t require a lot of manipulation, and they are easy to use. They don’t take up a lot of storage space. You can even buy spray that is scented, so that when you clean the earbuds, you also release a nice fragrance in the air.

Sanitizing Wipes

There are all kinds of sanitizing wipes out there. Ones with Clorox bleach are nice and very serious about eliminating germs. With a proper swipe, and a few seconds drying time, you’ve eliminated a lot of nasty microbes. After a child uses the earbuds, you can either wipe them down thoroughly yourself, or have an assigned mature student to do it after you train them. It also helps to wash those hands after this procedure – after you properly discard of the wipes of course.

Gel Hand Sanitizer

A lot of teachers say this is their handy go-to cleaner for earbuds and other shared or often-touched items. Available in a variety of formats and fragrances, gel hand sanitizer will vanquish germs if it is of the right formula. With common core requirements in most states, this will give you one more way to ensure that children who use them can be reasonably assured that they are not picking up the last classmate’s germs.

Regular Cleanings

Regular cleanings are a must. It’s a good idea to go back over the earbuds with some type of sanitizer at the end of the day after all the children are gone. After all, children are so prone to sticking the earbuds in their ears when they are passing by, such as while lining up to leave. You might not see this, but children are mischief makers as much as they are learners. They may do it just to be doing something, especially the fidgety ones.

So, if Loren and Aiden are going to have to stick an earbud into their ear and sit at a station to take a test or to watch/listen to video or audio/video content on an important area of content, then you have to make sure you are giving them each an optimally clean learning or testing experience.

Parents

Parents, when you see sanitizers showing up on the school supply list, be sure to buy them and have your child report to school with it, along with their other supplies. Teachers use them for purposes such as described. On Back-to-School Night, make sure you ask your child’s teacher what procedure she or he has in place to make sure children don’t share germs during the constant back-to-back use of earbuds. If you have time, volunteer to help out in your child’s classroom. If the teacher hadn’t thought of a procedure, visit the classroom some day and help her or him come up with a procedure for cleaning earbuds properly. Do it early in the year before bad habits take root.

Teacher Beware

If you’re the teacher, you should have a written procedure for this. You should also teach children, and have them practice the procedure. This will spare you from a lot of confusion and earbud sharing.

10 Aug

The Technology Hurdles of SBAC Testing in the Classroom

Even giant leaps forward in technology, education and other fields comes with some setbacks or deficiencies. Often they can be worked out over time. The SBAC or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is one nifty example. This test gives students who are exposed to it a leg up on the question stems which are aligned with their grade level. It’s available for students in grades 3-8, and high school for the core subjects. Questioning stems refers to the way the questions might be worded and the kinds of questions that would be presented. Even the advance exposure of the SBAC brings some glitches. Clearing the hurdles is possible, but they do exist. Here are a few:

On Screen Reading

There’s a certain amount of eye strain involved in reading content on screen. Called Computer Vision Syndrome, the American Optometric Association suggests that 70% of Americans suffer from this malady. The problem presents itself as stress on the eyes. For children it may include a negative impact on their normal vision and development. The brain is said to not respond the same way to characters on the computer that they do characters on paper. Pixels and points on the screen all converge to make the images, but there is not always the fluidity people expect. There are all kinds of recommendations for writers and others who are on the computer a lot. The idea is to give the eye muscles a break. Looking away periodically is one of them. Wearing computer eyeglasses is another. For testing, students are conditioned to stay on task for the duration, so they may need retraining in order to even grasp the idea of taking short seconds long eye breaks. In addition, not all students who are prepared to take the SBAC test can go out and get an eye exam and glasses for onscreen reading.

The same difficult dynamic applies to those who take the SBAC test, as it is an online test. Students used to paper test may be some of the most difficult ones of all to struggle with taking a test where they have to constantly look at the screen.

Pause Feature

Students taking the test can put their computer on pause for up to twenty minutes. If they return and resume the test in 20 minutes or under they can return to the same section when they are done with their break. They can even go back and work on (modify, change, review) answers in that same section. If the student keeps the test on pause for longer than 20 minutes, they may not be able to do any further work on the page they were working on before the pause.

Taking Audio and Video Notes

If students are not used to taking notes from audio and video, this test may present them with some frustrations. Without the value of prior experience at note-taking from audio and video, students will often have problems keeping up with the speed of delivery of audio and video content. Students may also struggle with organizing the notes as they watch or listen to content if this balancing act is not familiar to them. The best solution for them is pre-test experience with shorthand note-taking, note-taking technology or experience organizing notes efficiently through a program like Cornell Notes (from AVID). When it comes to note-taking in general, practice makes perfect. It is more so true with taking video and audio notes.