Digital Classroom Tools: Good Audio (3 of 9)

Good video starts with good audio

Telephone

It may seem counter intuitive, but good audio is the starting point to good video.  We have all likely played the “telephone” game in which the teacher shares a secret phrase with a member of the class and that student tells another, who tells another, and so on.  The rules are you can only tell the person once and you have to whisper it so no one else in the class can hear. The purpose of the game is to illustrate how the message gets changed and deformed by poor communication and multiple iteration.  While the game inevitably ends with a comedic message that changed “There are two days until thanksgiving day break” into “the banana in two pieces is in the refrigerator counter”.

The problem students face in the game is that the communicator is limited by volume and a method of communication (whispering) that in my experience students rarely use.  The listener likewise is also straining to adapt to the volume while also attempting to use a close listening skill that (again in my experience) they rarely use.  

New skills

When educators transition to using video there are a number of skills that need to be practiced and mastered to effectively communicate. This challenge is amplified when the change is implemented abruptly as it has been in the past eight months.  Teacher and “teacher voices” now need to be adapted and modulated to communicate effectively in a medium that may be new and very different.  Audio is just the first of these adaptations we will discuss.

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