A typical classroom is awash in sounds: the hum of overhead projectors, computers or ventilation systems; the kickball game outside; the roar of an airplane overhead. Hard surfaces such as tile flooring and painted walls reflect noise, as well as words, creating interference. It can be even worse in "open" classrooms without walls.
Teachers and students could hear one another better if schools laid down carpet, installed sound-absorbing ceiling tiles or used other means to minimize noise from such sources as heating and ventilation systems, [Lois L. Thibault] said. The practice of putting old tennis balls on chair feet helps reduce noise as well.
Photo(s); 1. As [Tanner Baldwin] reads aloud to his third-grade class at Sparks Elementary School, the sound of his voice is carried throughout the classroom by a sound field amplification system. 2. Karen Ballard, a third-grade teacher at Sparks Elementary School, uses a headset for sound enhancement. The equipment was installed in all Sparks classrooms when the school was built.; Credit: 1. BARBARA HADDOCK TAYLOR : SUN PHOTOGRAPHER