Classroom Learning Centers Use Sound To Enhance Learning

6 Features to Consider When Purchasing A Classroom Learning Center

From pre-K through adult education or even for home schooling, many students find learning enhanced by listening rather than looking.

That’s why learning centers, which use sound to help you teach, are standard classroom AV equipment.

Learning centers not only reinforce and enhance visual learning, but also help students with learning differences to process information more easily.

What Is A Learning Center?

A classroom learning center generally combines three components: A media player, headphones or headsets, and a hub to link multiple headsets to the media player or audio source so several students can listen in at the same time. This hub could be the output jack of your media player, but it could also be a jackbox.

Learning centers may seem straightforward enough, but just as there are many different types of media players or headphones, there are a lot of different learning centers out there too.

What should you consider when choosing a learning center for your home or classroom?

6 Features To Consider When Buying a Learning Center

1. MEDIA PLAYER.  If you already have a media player, all you need may be headphones and a jackbox. If you need to buy a player, consider the media you have on hand. A library ranging from SD cards to cassette tapes will be better served by a multimedia boombox than a cassette player.

2. JACKBOX.  I explain exactly what a jackbox is here, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that the number of headphone jacks your jackbox has will determine the number of listeners that can use the center. Also consider whether or not the jackbox’s input is compatible with your player, whether it’s a laptop or a cassette deck.

3. MONO VS. STEREO.  Whether you need a stereo learning center or not depends on your curriculum and your budget.  Mono jackboxes cost less, and if you’re using a learning center for no-frills, speech-based lessons, mono should well serve your needs. If you have more sophisticated source material, and especially lessons where music is employed, students will require a stereo jackbox for students to get the most out of the material.

4. PORTABILITY.  Having an all-in-one learning center complete with media player, headphones and jackbox is great, but how easy is it to move from one classroom to another?  Many learning centers come with handy carrying cases that make transporting easy, and protect the individual components as well.

5. REMOTE CONTROL.  Some learning centers come with remote controls, so the teacher or instructor can roam the classroom and still be able to adjust the audio source.  If you’ve got a large classroom, or need to periodically check on individual students, having a remote on hand can be important.

6. WATTAGE.  There may be times when you want to dispense with the headsets and use the media player with an entire classroom.  That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your media player’s Wattage.  If you’re instructing in larger classrooms or outside, you’ll need greater wattage than in a small room.  Lower Wattage means you’ll have to turn up the volume, which could distort the audio in the process.

Have questions about finding a learning center that’s right for you and your classroom? Email or call us at 1-800-263-0112 for more sound advice on classroom AV!