One of the biggest projects the district took on over the summer was the installation of projectors in all classrooms, and we are excited to announce that this project is almost entirely complete! We know that this is a huge help for teachers throughout the district in showing Discovery Streaming, Maps 101, Envision Math and more on the big screen so students can actually see it! But…this did create a new problem…can they hear it?

Sound has now become an issue for many teachers.  The speakers in the projector are not powerful enough to handle an area the size of our classrooms.  To help alleviate this problem the district has speaker bars available  to install on all teacher workstations that can drastically  improve the audio in your room! In order to get the full benefit of the speakers though, we have a few tips that we wanted to share with you.

Tip #1: Make sure you have a speaker bar!

Seems like a no-brainer, right? But if you didn’t know you should have a speaker bar, you probably didn’t know to look for one! If you don’t have one on your teacher work station contact the Help Desk at ext. 0220 or to request one. A work order will be put in and your new speaker bar will soon be installed!

Tip#2: Make sure it is plugged in and on!

The functionality of this device is pretty simple. You probably want to make sure that it appears to be plugged in and that it can be turned on. If it is on you will see a blue light in the center of the speaker bar. If you do not see a light, there is an on/off/volume dial located on the right-hand side…simply twist it clockwise to turn it on.

Tip #3: Check the volume – on the bar AND the computer!

Once you are sure the speaker bar is turned on, check the volume.  There are multiple places you need to check to ensure that your volume is properly adjusted. 

On the bar: As you twist the dial, the volume will go up or down. Set it about midway to start and adjust as you see fit.

On the computer: The volume on the computer is most easily checked in the system tray located at the bottom right of your screen.  Click on the speaker icon and adjust the volume accordingly. You rarely want the master volume on the computer to be above ¾ of the way to full volume. This can often cause distortion.

In the program: There is usually a volume control located in any type of program that you use to play music or video.  Check the volume level and adjust those as well.  Here is an example from Windows Media Player:

You may find it easiest to keep the volume set at a certain level on the computer and then adjust the volume on the speaker bar only.  This way you are dealing with one button instead of many.

Tip #4: Point it in the right direction!

The last tip is directionality.  Make sure your speaker bar is directed toward your audience.  In most cases the computer, and corresponding monitor/speaker, that is being used is located in the corner of a room.  Make sure you are turning the monitor and speaker to face your students.  Also be sure that there are no large objects between the speaker and your students that would block the sound.

Help! I still can’t hear!

If none of these tips help you get to the volume levels you are looking for, your CITS may be able to help you with some additional tips or advice for sound reinforcement for your room!