The importance of Distance Learning Headsets
As someone whohasusedmanykindsof listeningdevicesforlearning,distance learningheadsetsare a
vital part of any distance learningprogram.Fora successfull program, youmusthave all the qualities
that I lookforin a learningdevice:audioclarity,auditoryacuity,andpersonalconnectivity.
of classesovermanyyears,Iknowthe importance of good sound.Loudspeakerswithgoodsoundcan
make an instructor'svoice clearerandmore comfortable tolistento.Inaddition,headsetsshould
provide aclear soundthroughoutthe room, includingnearthe backor inthe corner of the room.
Acuity:The abilitytosee,hear,andunderstandwhatisbeingsaidisveryimportant.The same istrue of
a studentwhohas hadsome trainingonaudioskills.Fora studentwhohastakena course inmusicor
communication,he orshe shouldbe able tohearthe syllabusclearlyandalsotounderstandthathe or
she needstounderstandthe message.A poorunderstandingof whatisbeingsaidcan leadtoconfusion
Personal Connectivity:Insome cases,Ihave foundthat I have a friendwhoisan excellentinstructor,in
part because she knowshowtouse her headsetmicrophone wellandthatshe knowswhatvoices
shouldbe heardina classroom.Manyteachersappreciate thiskindof supportwhenthe student's
teachermightnot be the bestinstructor.Inthiscase, the teacherand studentwill have abetter
understandingof the materials.Andthiscanbe good forboth the studentandthe teacher.
Othertimes,however,the instructional benefitisfarmore limitedbythe availabilityof educational
technologyinthe classroom.Inthiscase, distance learningheadsetcan work well.These daysthere are
several companiesthatmake these kindsof headsets,sobe sure to geta specialistcompanytoguide
you.While it'strue that some are designedforthe publicaswell asfor private home use,theycanalso
be usedina publicsettingorina classroom.
The type of technologythatisneededisimportanttoconsiderforpeoplewhowanttobe able to send
and receive audiovisual materialssuchasPowerPointpresentations,movies,andpodcastswithease
and confidence.Of course,the internetisone of the leadingvenuesforthe deliveryof these kindsof
Withthe ease of sendingaudioandvideo,the benefitsof these devicesare greatforspeakerswhoneed
to speakand forthose whoneedtohear the strongervoices.Youdon't have to be trained asa speech
therapisttouse these typesof headsets.The teachingapproachtoeachlessoncanbe adjustedtosuit
the needsof the student.
If you are teachingaclass of students,youwill alsofindthatyoucan getbetterresultsfromthemif you
have personal,private conversationswithyourstudents.Youcan use the listeningportionof the device
to make sure that the studentsunderstandthe pointsthatyouwantto make and to gettheiropinions
so that youcan adjustyour approachaccordingly.
In addition,youcanuse the headsetstoenhance the role of the instructorand to make the classroom
more interactive.The studentscanaskquestionsasyoutalkabouttheiranswersandyoucan move on
to the nextquestion.The instructorcanlistenandbe heardwithoutthe studentsneedingtoraise their
handsor turn around.
One of the mostpractical benefitsof thistechnologyisthatthe studentsare alsolearningatthe same
time.Forexample,if the teacherwantstoshow a slide of adigital clockthat changeshands,the
studentscanbe showninthisslide whiletheyare wearingheadsets,whichenablesthemtolistentothe
clock withoutneedingtotake itoutof theirpocket.
Anothercommonuse isfor speakersthatare linkedtothe internet.Forexample, youcoulduse the
headsetsforlearningremotelyforthe presenterorthe assistant.The presentationscanbe printedout
and giventothe audience forfurtherdiscussionwithouthavingtohandoutprintedmaterials.
By usingheadsetsforlearningremotely,teacherscansave moneyonequipmentandalsoavoidthe risk
of studentsremovingthe headsetsbeforethe event.Whichcanbe a safetyhazard.