COVID-19 Educator Help Desk

Microphones and Masks!

  • 1.  Microphones and Masks!

    PLN Leader
    Posted 08-11-2020 13:26
    As most of you are planning to wear masks in the classroom, I am interested if anyone has given thought to anyway to amplify the instructor's voice (while wearing a mask) and in a video call??

    My instructor is currently using a Polycom to connect through Zoom to other schools. She is soft-spoken already and a mask makes it hard for her classroom students to hear. She can speak closer to the microphone to help with the distant students, but it doesn't amplify her voice in her room. Maybe add a mic and speaker in the room, but afraid it will cause echoing through the Polycom system?

    Does anyone have any ideas for possible fixes? Thanks in advance!!

    ------------------------------
    Audra Brownlee
    Distance Learning Director
    South Central KS DLN
    Clearwater KS
    audrabrownlee@usd358.com
    ------------------------------
    Register now for ISTE20 Live!


  • 2.  RE: Microphones and Masks!

    PLN Leader
    Posted 08-12-2020 09:21
    Hi Audra!

    Our teachers have had a lot of success using the Q-Ball. It has helped immensely with voice amplification within the classroom as well as with student engagement! I know things are different now and there may not be a desire to toss the ball around to the students (though the Q-Ball does make washable covers), but if there is a need for that so that all voices can be amplified, the Q-Ball is a very engaging way to do that.

    With regard to the audio through Distance Learning, I used the Q-Ball all the time during virtual field trips and class-to-class collaborations and I have never had any complaints about echoing or anything. Audio is said to be very clear on the recipients' end. I would imagine it has to do with where the speaker is in relation to the microphone but that should be an easily manipulatable situation.

    Finally, the actual microphone can be removed from the Q-Ball and clipped to a shirt, or hand-held, etc. It's not as small and subtle as some lapel mics that I have seen, but it's been useful.

    ------------------------------
    Kristin Edwards
    Distance Learning Specialist
    CiTiBOCES
    kedwards@citiboces.org
    @CiTiKristin
    ------------------------------

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  • 3.  RE: Microphones and Masks!

    PLN Leader
    Posted 08-12-2020 09:44
    Thank you Kristin! I have seen the Qball but didn't think of it! I didn't realize that it had a speaker. I knew that it was a microphone. I will look into this!

    Thanks again!

    ------------------------------
    Audra Brownlee
    Distance Learning Director
    South Central KS DLN
    Clearwater KS
    audrabrownlee@usd358.com
    ------------------------------

    Register now for ISTE20 Live!


  • 4.  RE: Microphones and Masks!

    PLN Leader
    Posted 08-12-2020 10:12
    Edited by Kristin Edwards 08-12-2020 10:12
    My pleasure! As a point of clarification, it doesn't come with a speaker, but it does need one to amplify-- it comes with a receiver that would connect to whatever speaker options you have. I bring a small portable speaker but I have also connected the receiver to the authentic sound system that some of the classrooms already have in place :) I think the NEW Q-Ball might even be Bluetooth-capable...

    ------------------------------
    Kristin Edwards
    Distance Learning Specialist
    CiTiBOCES
    kedwards@citiboces.org
    @CiTiKristin
    ------------------------------

    Register now for ISTE20 Live!


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