For Architects - Applications
Effective teaching and learning spaces need optimum acoustic value to facilitate learning.
Acoustic value, hearing access and speech intelligibility are very different entities and each entity has an individual impact on learning outcomes. Learning spaces must support the needs of all who teach and learn in them including those who find learning difficult.
Understanding how to achieve optimum speech intelligibility in the learning space adds value to the learning and provides the reassurance to teachers, parents and students that these spaces will enhance learning outcomes in an engaging and interactive way.
Hearing Access- refers to the addition of technologies to a space that support the needs of hearing impaired people. These technologies include Hearing Aid Induction Loops, Radio Frequency hearing assistance systems. Word of Mouth Technology are specialists in the design and installation of these technologies. AS1428.5 Is the standard called upon for these technologies, certain spaces are required to have this access in order to be accessible to members of the public, and to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.
Acoustic value- refers to the ability of the space to soften and absorb sound. Good Acoustic Value includes spaces that dampen reverberation in the presence of noise. This assists acoustic access to speech but does not improve speech intelligibility.
Speech Intelligibility- The ability to maintain acoustic access to the spoken word with a high degree of clarity in the presence of peripheral and background noise. Clarity without over amplification is what is required to achieve this. Soundfield Technology improves speech intelligibility by lifting the voice of the person speaking out of the background noise without over amplification. It is very different to Public address systems that blast sound into space.
Soundfield Systems are an emerging technology in mainstream education facilitating the pedagogical shift into community learning spaces by ensuring speech intelligibility will be maintained, nobody's words will get lost in the space.
Approximately 23% of the population has an Auditory Processing Disorder. This is an inability to understand and interpret speech in the presence of peripheral and background noise.
Children innately have immature auditory processing skills and cannot replace the blanks of missed information in noisy environments. This directly impacts learning outcomes.
There is growing concern for educators who suffer teacher vocal fatigue and stress due to teaching in spaces with poor acoustic value. Teachers fear as they raise their voices to be heard independent learners in adjoining spaces will become distracted.
Word of Mouth Technology work closely with architects to customise sound field solutions in community learning spaces. We do this by in the placing soundfield systems in explicit teaching zones. These are areas within the open space where students can gather to feed back, present and teachers can deliver the instruction pivotal to inquiry based independent learning.
Soundfield technology is not a substitue for best practice and design. Soundfield Technology facilitates best teaching practice and enhances design fuctionality ensuring the teaching and learning evironment supports the needs of all whom occupy that space.
Using Soundfield Systems in Learning Spaces as a solution for hearing augmentation
Word of Mouth Technology can assist with design, supply, installation and training of all Hearing Augmentation solutions for learning spaces including Hearing Aid Induction Loops, FM systems, Infrared Systems and Soundfield Systems
Specification Sheets for Front Row Soundfield systems