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23/03/21

4 Benefits of Acoustics in Education

by Keith Bezzina

Workspaces

We prioritise the person who will spend most of their waking hours within spaces we provide.

As in-person schooling might be happening more infrequently now, it’s the perfect time to ensure that all your classrooms are in the best shape to foster a good learning environment. One of the things that is often overlooked in the construction of schools is the importance of good acoustics.

Background noise

It’s not just people talking that’s the problem! Background noise can also come from outside, such as cars going past on the road and students walking in the corridors. Add in electronics such as air-conditioners, and your classroom is going to be noisy even if everyone else is perfectly silent.

Most classrooms are also built to carry sound, with hard surfaces such as blackboards, gypsum walls, and windows reflecting the sound back into the room. This means that a teacher’s voice will carry well, however it also means that any sound that happens is amplified by a thousand fold, creating a cacophony of noise that hits all at once, and becomes unintelligible and just loud.

The problem of noise

A lot of noise will not let students focus, and this could impact their development in reading, language, and spelling. Furthermore, students who aren’t focused on their lessons are bored – and bored students act out. In addition, students who suffer from auditory processing issues or ADHD will struggle to maintain a quiet disposition in a very loud classroom. Furthermore, good acoustics allow teachers to be heard without needing to shout, and helps the teacher maintain their vocals long after the day is done. Over 50% of teachers suffer from vocal damage in the long-run because they shout to make themselves heard.

The benefits of good acoustics

  1. Lower stress
    By reducing reverberation and echoing by up to 75%, this creates a classroom environment that does not rebound sound back onto the students. In return, this lowers both teacher’s stress – as they do not have to be shout to be heard – and student stress – as they can clearly listen and understand their tutur.

  2. Better understanding of information
    Focusing on a single task for a long time is something that humans struggle with; even more so when there’s noise. By improving classroom acoustics with sound absorbing products, students will understand more clearly and retain information for longer.

  3. Better aesthetics
    Acoustic solutions can come in a lot of shapes, colours, and textures, and can help liven up a classroom in a way that is appealing to both students and teachers. As they would both spend a lot of time in their classroom during the day, having a vibrant environment to learn in can help keep both students and their teacher happy.

  4. Longer lasting
    Students are hard on surfaces, and the constant wear and tear of daily use will impact a school’s presentation. Good acoustic panelling is normally built to last, and can remain looking good for up to 10-15 years, reducing the need for constant upkeep and maintenance.

It’s easy to write off a good acoustic setting as something that’s unnecessary, however the data shows otherwise. Excessive noise is damaging to both student understanding and the tutor’s general health. By reducing the sound level, it makes it easier to teach, it reduces the risk of teachers burning out, and also reduces the risk of students misbehaving out of boredom.

We partner with some of the top acoustic manufacturers in the industry, such as Rockfon, Atena, Frezza, Forbo Flooring Systems, Slalom and Skema, and we’ll be happy to put over 10 years of experience in acoustic supply to work to help you find a perfect solution for your environment.

Get in touch!