When it comes to school testing, listening center activities and more, are earbuds a good choice for school-age children?
With their small, in-ear design, earbuds can be a much more convenient and portable choice than headphones. However, educators and parents may be concerned about the safety of earbuds when it comes to protecting the sensitive earbuds of young students. Not only that, but some parents and teachers may worry about the level of comfort their students might experience with earbuds compared to headphones.
While these are legitimate concerns for some of the youngest learners, earbuds might be the ideal choice for older elementary school students, as well as middle and high school students. Let’s explore how earbuds can be an excellent educational tool with numerous benefits for grade-school students. Here are just some of the advantages of incorporating earbuds into your classroom.
From background chatter and laughter to rustling papers, a typical classroom can be a noisy place. Students with attention-deficit or sensory processing differences especially can have a difficult time concentrating on their work when they’re in a distracting environment. Earbuds can allow students to tune out all of this extra noise and focus on their studies rather than worrying about what their neighbors are doing.
Minimized Noise Levels
Classrooms aren’t just noisy and distracting for students; they also can be a headache for teachers. In addition to the general noisiness that comes with teaching children, almost every educator has experienced a student who feels the need to talk, react or vocalize during lessons. Allowing students to wear earbuds during lessons can help teachers minimize the noise in their classrooms, creating a quiet, less distracting environment while maintaining classroom control themselves.
Let’s face it: class sets of deluxe school headphones aren’t in every classroom’s budget. As more and more educators add headphones to their students’ school supply lists at the beginning of the year, the cost can get passed onto parents who also might not find it affordable. However, many schools are able to purchase wholesale earbuds in bulk for pennies on the dollar of what headphones would have cost even a decade ago, giving them the ability to provide listening instruments for each student in the school body without breaking the bank.
Personalized Learning Experience
When it comes to school testing or other educational platforms with increasing levels of difficulty, earbuds offer a customized learning experience that prioritizes each student’s privacy. By using earbuds with a learning program for reading, math or another school subject, students can get the practice they need at the appropriate level for them without their classmates listening in on their progress. This heightened level of privacy can help facilitate students’ educational growth and keep them immersed in their customized lesson without any external input from others in the classroom.
For students with hearing impairments, understanding what their teacher is saying can be difficult. The difference between really understanding the words clearly and trying to read their teachers’ lips can have a significant impact on students’ comprehension of the lesson at hand. Some hearing-impaired students use amplification devices with earbuds to better hear and understand their teachers. The use of earbuds to help increase students’ understanding of subject materials is another strong example of how they are a benefit to classroom learning.
Decreased Stress Levels
As we mentioned before, a number of grade-school students find the average classroom to be a stressful environment, with a variety of distractions poised to detract from their learning experience. Because the use of earbuds can help minimize these distractions and reduce background noise, they are also working to help students reduce their anxiety and stress levels. Lower stress means greater concentration and higher levels of engagement, which are the building blocks of achieving educational growth.
Incorporating Music With Learning
According to the University of Wollongong Australia, students who listen to music not only have improved moods but can also experience greater focus and increased test scores. Additionally, some students report that listening to music while studying allows them to better recall the material when the information is linked in their minds to the songs they were listening to during their study session. By allowing students to listen to music with earbuds during quiet study periods, educators may be able to help them retain more of what they’re reading about, which can lead to improved test results and an overall more positive view of school and learning. While we are not advocating that students listen to music nonstop in the classroom, the use of music as a memory-retention and mood-boosting tool can be extremely helpful for some students.
When you think of earbuds, it’s likely that you don’t consider them a tool designed to protect hearing. On the contrary, the image of someone blasting loud music directly into their ear canals can almost make your own ears hurt just thinking about it! However, since most hearing loss is actually caused by consistent exposure to loudness rather than infrequent bursts of loud noise, the use of earbuds can help minimize the ambient noise of a loud classroom by blocking out the background chatter and sounds. Additionally, the ability to control the volume of the sound coming from the earbuds can help educators keep their students learning at an acceptable noise level.
Earbuds can be a valuable learning tool for students and teachers alike. In addition to being essential for school testing and listening center activities, earbuds can also go a long way toward creating a quiet, distraction-free learning environment that helps each student achieve their personal best. For students who learn best when noise isn’t a factor, you may just find that earbuds are an ideal solution. In fact, providing each student in your class with a pair of earbuds is almost like building them individual insulated work spaces designed with their unique learning preferences in mind. If you haven’t looked into earbuds for your classroom yet, now might be the time!