Classroom acoustics and it’s relationship to noise in the classroom. It’s important to know that noise in the classroom is not just distracting – it can severely impede learning especially when coupled with poor acoustics in the classroom.

Poor acoustics in the classroom can have a significantly negative impact on “Speech Intelligibility” – the ability to clearly hear and understand the speaker. Children must be able to hear and understand what is being said in order for learning to occur.

The impact of poor acoustics varies and is largely dependent on the age of the child. For younger children who do not have the vocabulary or the maturity to understand how a conversation should unfold, filling in the gaps can be next to impossible whilst noise in general can create much stress for children of all ages in a learning environment. For all inclusive schools an even greater emphasis on acoustic control is required, as special needs children require higher quality auditory environments.

To fulfill the role of learning environment, classrooms should have acoustic properties that allow at least 90% of all useful information leaving a talker’s mouth to reach the ear of listeners.

If a teacher is required to raise her voice in order to be heard, then it is safe to assume there is a noise issue. Fortunately,  noise from chatter  can to some degree be controlled through teaching techniques. Some teachers in primary years make use of a traffic light system as in indicator to students of noise levels.

Noise and Acoustics cannot be separated from each other and both need to be reviewed when assessing a classroom to determine best solution to improve either or both for better overall results.

ACOUSTIC RECOMMENDATIONS

AGE BACKGROUND NOISE
(Occupied)
AMBIENT NOISE
(Unoccupied)
REVERBERATION TIME
(Unoccupied)
6-7 years < 45 dBA < 28 dBA < 0.4s
8-9 years < 47 dBA < 35 dBA < 0.4s
10-11 years < 50 dBA < 39 dBA <0.4s
12+ years < 50 dBA < 40 dBA <0.4s

IDEAL SPEECH TRANSMISSION INDEX (STI) RECOMMENDATIONS

AGE GROUP STI
6-7 years <0.75
8-9 years <0.75
10-11 years <0.75
12+ years <0.75
Hearing/language Impaired <0.75

Slide on desk dividers have become very popular in recent years due to the fact that it simply slides on when you want to divide up the desk but can be taken off just as easily. As offices become flexible in design so too has the furniture.

Things to consider before placing an order for a slide on desk divider (also known as a biscuit divider)

The thickness

Mumble manufacture slide on dividers in 18mm thick and 24mm thick. The thickness of the divider provides the stability so there isn’t too much flop. Both the 18mm and 24mm are sufficiently stable so the choice between the 2 thicknesses will come down to look and budget.

The height

In general you can make the slide on divider as high as you like above desk height but we would not recommend over 700 high.  The reason being is that it can start to impact stability of the screen and make them appear to be to top heavy. Best practice would be to sit at desk with a ruler or tape measure to see how high you need it to be for your purpose. Maybe you need complete privacy from your neighbour next door or you still want to be able to peak over. ( In Covid – times , most people opt for more facial coverage)

The depth

The depth of the slide on divider is pretty much dependent on the depth of your desk. Whilst you could get away with a shorter divider , you don’t want it to be too long that it hangs over the back. Most desks range between 600 and 900mm deep.

Location of any beams or frames on the desk

This specification is probably the most important. Most workstation desks have a beam running between the legs to provide support for the top. In order to ensure the slide on divider actually slides on, the measurement between the edge of desk and beam needs to be determined and the slide on under side adjusted to ensure it does not hit the beam when slid onto the desk top.

On the odd occasion the desk may actually have a box frame in which case a slide on divider would not be suitable and you may want to opt for a on desk divider which needs to be drilled in.

Desk top thickness

To prevent a loose fit, the desk top thickness needs to be confirmed. In Australia most desks are a standard 25mm thick, however in the US desk top thicknesses vary greatly. If the slide on screen is cut to big, the screen will be loose it will flop to the side; if cut to small it may not slide on at all.

If you want an overhang

An often forgotten specification. If you want to create more of a nook type feel, be sure to advise us so that we can create more of an overhang at the front of the desk. In other words, you will have more privacy coverage along side your seat too and not just on the worktop.

At Mumble, we stock a set of standard and popular slid on desk dividers but we manufacture on a weekly basis many variations to suit customer needs. Check out our Slide on Desk Dividers

How quickly we have gone from collaboration to isolation

https://www.educationtoday.com.au/news-detail/Collaboration-while-distancing-4930

Covid – 19 turned some of us into instant homeschoolers overnight and not by choice. Homeschooling and working from home seemed at times simply impossible. We put together some tips gathered by fellow mums for recent article featured on Tutors Field.

Read the full article here: Home Schooling Tips when Home Schooling isn’t your choice

https://www.theeducatoronline.com/k12/news/how-classroom-acoustics-impact-learning-outcomes/259959

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoPfbBsY1Z0
Interview with Nadine about Classroom Acoustics at #Edutech