Making the Grade Ben Milam Audio System

    Keeping their noses to the  learning grindstone can be a difficult goal when student's ears are not tuned in to what the teachers are saying.
    As Eddie Randle found out at Ben Milam Elementary ,students and teachers are more tuned in to each other than ever before.
    Ben Milam Elementary  Principal Jesse Thomas is always looking and listening for  ways to boost student achievement,and it led to one very sound improvement...a better audio system in the classrooms.
"Basically the speakers are placed in the ceiling so that they cover the whole classroom," said Principal Thomas.
    Having this new audio system is beneficial for all students.
    Thomas says studies show after using the system grades cam improve  30 percent.
    But its not only students who benefiting from  these surround sound classrooms.
    Teachers are also reaping the benefits.

"The speakers work wonderful, we can be on one side of the room and the kids on the other side of the room can hear us talking," said first grade teacher Stacy Watson.
    The teacher wears a hands free microphone that allows them to interact with the students throughout each lesson.
    And the kids also get a wireless mic to pass around during discussions.

"We don't have to raise our voices, they can hear us perfectly. The kids loving using the mics they have so much fun with it, it really helps them stay engaged with their learning," Watson said.

"They saw the dramatic improvement it showed in student engagement, and being able to put the focus on instructions instead of having to redirect or talk above their classroom," said Thomas.

    Teachers say this new system is all about the students.
    Students are hearing more,  and missing fewer items in each lesson,  so there is less repetition, and
    The students move through the lessons faster, and can then go on to the next part.

"You see the engagement factor go up. If they're reading it out of a text book and reading a speech word for word there's a different engagement factor when your able to put that onto an audio system and amplify that speech throughout the whole room,"added Thomas.
    Eddie Randle, KFDX 3 NEWS.
    By the end of the semester Thomas says 18 classrooms  will have the new audio system.
    And he hopes to have them in all home rooms by the end of the Spring semester.

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