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Improving Teacher's Work Experience with Classroom Soundproofing Materials

Teacher Appreciation Week classroom sound solutions

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we wanted to take the time to acknowledge the dedicated and impactful champions of our nation’s education.

Education is a foundational necessity to human growth and success. With so much on the line, educators and educational leaders are constantly trying to develop and employ new and effective ways of teaching and promoting academic success.

As sound solution experts, we’re particularly focused on classroom acoustics. It’s imperative that educators are able to convey their lessons in an environment that students of all ages are capable of hearing, focusing, and retaining information.

 

The sound quality in classrooms, lecture halls, and auditoriums matter.

In late 2014, the Wall Street Journal shared the results of a study that tested the effects of classroom soundproofing materials on students’ learning and understanding. The study, performed by Applied Acoustics, found that a classroom with effective, high-quality soundproofing, sound-absorbing materials will see positive changes in student learning.

     • 86% of students said they heard the teacher more clearly>

     • 66% of students said it was easier to concentrate on lessons

 

Overall, this study shows the positive changes acoustic tiles make in regards to echo, reverberation, and speech intelligibility. What it also does is bridge the gap between the effects of acoustic panels for classrooms on students and what they mean for teachers.1

A powerful 2012 survey conducted by the Danish National Research Centre for the Working Environment showed 23% of teachers working in schools with poor acoustics were considering leaving their jobs. The most commonly cited reason is the additional stress caused by excessive noise and reverberation in the classroom.

Additionally, teachers found themselves continuously straining their voices to be heard over the high noise volumes. Because of this, teachers would experience long- and short-term voice issues, such as hoarseness and lower vocal ranges. By simply including acoustic treatments into the design and layout of classrooms, schools can show the responsibility they take over their employee’s health and safety and student learning.2

 

Acoustic panels for classrooms are designed to absorb the noise bouncing off hard surfaces like desks and chalkboards. This reduces both the sound pressure in the classroom and the volume at which a teacher must speak at in order to be heard. This creates a more cognitive classroom for students and a less stressful work environment for educators.

 

 

Every noise issue is different. Audimute Acoustic Panels offers a range of classroom soundproofing materials in:

• Customizable sizes

Geometric shapes

• Various finishes, including image, fabric, and paint coatings to provide unique acoustic treatments for every application

 

 

We construct our panels from our signature eco-C-tex™ recycled material, the greenest sound absorption product on the market and safest alternative to competitor’s fiberglass fillers. Our panels are NRC rated for sound absorption capabilities and Class A fire rated for safety in commercial spaces.

We understand the positive change acoustic solution materials bring to a classroom.

 

Our Acoustic Specialists are here to answer any questions and offer personalized advice for your school or classroom today. Give us a call at (866)505-MUTE or fill out our free room analysis form.

 

From all of us at Audimute Acoustic Panels, thank you for all of your hard work at educating the minds of the future.

 

Resources:

1 The Wall Street Journal. “Boosting Students’ Learning With Soundproofing.” Accessed April 26, 2016. http://www.wsj.com/articles/boosting-students-learning-with-soundproofing-1418061926.

2 Nielsen, Mathias Hedegaard. ScienceNordic. “Poor classroom acoustics drive teachers away.” Accessed April 26, 2016. http://sciencenordic.com/poor-classroom-acoustics-drive-teachers-away.

 

 

The Effects of a Noisy Classroom

Noisy classroom sound solutions

A noisy classroom environment can limit the academic success of today’s students. Children are not as skilled as adults at staying focused when distractions of any kind ensure – especially sound distractions.

Children with normal hearing can miss as much as 1/3 of the words in a teacher’s message when they are listening in an environment with poor acoustics, according to ClassroomHearing.org.1 An even greater percentage of the teacher’s message is lost when a child already suffers from hearing difficulties and loss.

To remedy a noisy, distracting classroom, effective sound-absorbing acoustic treatments can benefit all children and promote a thriving learning environment for both student and teacher.

Why do classrooms have poor acoustics? 

The acoustical problems found inside classrooms happen because of the hard, reflective surfaces and problematic background noise. Classrooms use hard surfaces, like desks and chalk boards, because they are easy to clean and care for. These hard surfaces cause excessive reverberations which can muffle a teacher’s speech, preventing children from clearly comprehending a teacher’s message.

Background noise can also be distracting in the classroom. Noise traveling through doors and windows, either from the street or neighboring classrooms, can be very distracting for young students. In addition the outside noise, HVAC systems and other service elements within the classroom can create more unwanted noise.

Both students and teachers suffer in classroom environments with excessive noise and reverberation. Teachers are forced to speak louder in these environments to ensure that the noise is not interfering with their students’ learning skills. Teachers suffer from voice fatigue and children suffer from an unproductive learning environment.

Sound Solutions for ClassroomsNoisy classroom soundproofing

Classroom noise does not have to be something schools simply deal with. There are solutions, both big and small, that administrators can implement to reduce problematic classroom noise. Noise from reverberation is usually easy to fix; simply adding soft materials – like blankets and curtains – to the walls and ceilings will make a significant difference. For a reliable and effective acoustic solution, NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rated products, like Audimute’s acoustic panels, acoustic tiles, and acoustic clouds and baffles will provide consistent sound absorption in the classroom.

Doors and windows can either be replaced entirely or sealed off with a product like Audimute’s door seal kit. Sound travels through the air gaps that surround the doors and windows. To check for these gaps turn off the lights in the hallways and leave the classroom lights on, the gaps will be then be apparent.

Treating the noise from an HVAC system is slightly more problematic. HVAC units can either be enclosed or replaced entirely with a quieter system. The goal is to have an HVAC system that produces an optimum noise level, which is typically 35 dBA in a classroom.

Classroom noise can inhibit students’ academic success and create unnecessary stress for teachers. If you are an administrator dealing with classroom noise, we can help. Give our sound solution experts a call at 866-505-MUTE, or check our resource center for classroom acoustics for additional noise reduction tips.

Sound Absorption vs. Soundproofing

What’s the difference between sound absorption and soundproofing

 

When you realize you have a sound issue in your space, where do you start when seeking a solution?

Quickly searching for soundproofing solutions may seem to make complete sense. But solving an acoustical issue isn’t a one size fits all solution.

There are two-sides to the acoustic solutions story: the well-known soundproofing and the less-known, but effective, sound absorption.

 

So, what’s the difference?

 

Soundproofing

Soundproofing is the prevention of the passage of sound. Soundproofing products stop or block sound from leaving or entering a room.

Soundproofing materials and products are typically found inside walls, making soundproofing efforts inconvenient to accomplish once a structure is built. Different than sound absorption materials (as we will discuss next), soundproofing materials are typically dense and made to separate two sides of a wall.

 

Sound Absorption

Sound absorption is the process by which sound waves are taken in or soaked up by soft surfaces. Sound absorption materials absorb unwanted noise, like an echo, within a room.

The misconception that sound solutions are soundproof-based commonly occurs. But when fixing sound issues, blocking all sound is not always the best or desired solution.

Products like acoustic panels, tiles, clouds, and ceiling baffles are all effective sound absorption products that are designed to dampen reverberation and reduce reflected sound in a properly treated space.

Additionally, when researching an effective, accurate sound solution for your space, it’s important to know that products that block sound and products that absorb sound are subject to entirely different rating systems for efficacy.

Sound absorption products are given a NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rating, while sound blocking (or soundproofing) materials are given a STC (Sound Transmission Class).

While both acoustic products reduce unwanted sound, they accomplish sound reduction by different means, and are best suited to different applications.

Check out our video to see the difference between soundproofing and sound absorption.