A Humble Brag for Headphones & Headsets
Posted by MAXCases Admin on Aug 5, 2022

By teacher guest blogger Kathryn Rose

It’s not an exaggeration to say that educational professionals have been inundated with new technology over the past three years. And when I say inundated, I mean literally up to their elbows in computer cords and power banks at times. But what could anyone do?

It was essential.

During the first half of 2020, school could only continue if students had laptops and WiFi access. Parents needed carefully coordinated apps to make sure their students didn’t miss assignments or lectures. Everything needed to be connected and working for the basic functions of a school environment to hobble along.

We have some distance now. Schools and camps have been operating in person, albeit with different restrictions and rules at times, and the speedy influx of virtual and distance learning tools has left behind some clear victors. In fact, I believe there will be a time in the not-so-distant future where teachers will not be able to imagine doing their job without the technology that emerged during our greatest time of need.

While new and shiny toys abound, I would like to take a moment to appreciate one extremely useful gadget that is truly an unsung hero: headphones! (Are you wearing a pair right now? Mine are next to me because I just went for a run!)

Headphones are not just a thing of the past, nor will they be obsolete in the future. Yes, they seem simple. But just because a tool seems basic doesn’t mean that it’s not extremely useful. As educators begin their preparations for a new academic year, I would like to propose this: it may be time for your school to invest in durable headphones for your classroom.

Aren’t convinced? Let’s look at some facts.

Headphones can help students focus and pay attention. School environments are inherently noisy. If you work at a school, this fact is no surprise to you. It’s why most schools put kindergarteners on their own floor away from everybody else.

The right set of headphones can create a distraction-free environment whenever students need to concentrate on specific and self-directed work. As teachers well know, minimizing distractions and supporting focus can lead to an increase in academic and testing performances.

Moreso, quiet environments are absolutely essential for certain types of learners – especially students who struggle with attention-related goals. For all students, being able to count on reliably restful times ease them into daily routines and rhythms, helping them to create learning habits that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Headphones also have the unique capacity to engage the multiple intelligences that appear organically in a general education classroom. Verbal learners will certainly benefit but so will musical learners and visual learners. Students that need to move their bodies while learning new information can stretch while ingesting content. Headphones also offer the opportunity to include a wider variety of music into the curriculum, which is an incredibly effective strategy to employ when students need to focus on memorization of key facts or concepts.

But before you jump online to buy 30 headphone sets, please remember that not all headphones are created equal. In fact, some are actually headsets – those with a built-in boom mic. Here are some questions to ask before making a significant classroom purchase.

• Are my students going to need built-in microphones or will they just be listening to textbook materials? How will they interact with each other when the headphones are on?
• How durable do the headphones need to be?
• Do we need them to be adjustable to fit a range of users? Can younger students fit into them or break them easily? Will older students be able to clean them with ease?
• Are there built-in ways to protect my student’s ears with volume control?

I would be remiss to not mention an excellent MAXCases product with features that are ideal for most classrooms. Like all MAXCases products, the Extreme Headset is durable and ready to meet the demands of classroom use. Its adjustable earpieces have padded ear covers that are designed for extended listening and the fixed-position mic is created to be extremely durable. I personally like the braided cable as that is where most school headphones see the first signs of wear and tear. And everyone will appreciate that the earpads are non-porous and easy to clean and disinfect – no heebie-jeebies about spreading germs with this one!

So here’s to the humble headphone. This “basic” item stands the test of time because it consistently delivers results with minimal effort. Who doesn’t like that? As you consider your technological resources for this school year, don’t pass this one by because it seems too simple. When it comes to classroom achievement, every little bit can make a big difference!


About Kathryn Rose

Kathryn Rose is currently a virtual tutor and a museum resource teacher. She also freelances for businesses and startups in the education field. She has taught at her city’s botanic garden for 12 years and has been a Social Studies teacher in both private and public schools.

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