Interactive Whiteboard FAQs

Forget chalkboards or even whiteboards. Interactive whiteboards are here to stay as part of classroom technology in our schools, college, and universities. Not only do they serve as displays for information and videos, but they also let teachers and instructors send notes and lessons to mobile devices, interact with photos and videos, and allow students to interact with lessons. 

Interactive whiteboards are perfect for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. As such, look at our answers to frequently asked questions about interactive whiteboards in today’s blog.

Related Post: Why Classroom Technology in Cincinnati, OH, Is More Important Than Ever

What is an interactive whiteboard?

This classroom technology allows people to input information directly or through remote devices. It generally sits at the front of the classroom where all students can see it. 

What does an interactive whiteboard do?

Also known as a smartboard or electronic whiteboard, it can display images on a classroom board for everyone to see using a digital projector. Teachers and students can manipulate images shown on the screen, such as making them larger, smaller, or inverted by using a finger, stylus, or specially designed tool. 

Teachers and instructors can put lessons on the screen from a laptop, desktop, or mobile device. Then, they can move through the lesson in order while starting and stopping the instruction when needed to explain concepts or answer questions.

What is the difference between an interactive whiteboard and a smartboard?

A smart board is a computer screen projected onto a larger screen for everyone in the room to view. An interactive whiteboard is a large computer screen that allows people to move visuals and information around through touch or devices. Think of an interactive whiteboard as a digital chalkboard or a traditional whiteboard using markers.

Why does my classroom need an interactive whiteboard?

An interactive whiteboard offers a way for students to learn with the technology they’re already used to through the whiteboard’s technology that sends lessons to their laptops, mobile devices, or tablets. This allows students to take assignments home while providing a way for teachers to customize lessons for each individual student. 

How does an interactive whiteboard help students?

This classroom technology helps pupils in several ways, such as:

  • Supporting existing curricula with video, audio, and computer software to go along with traditional texts.
  • Customization for each student. For example, the teacher has a lesson about animals. Each student can choose an animal to do a report based on their favorite type of animal, from lions, tigers, and bears to fish, turtles, and frogs.
  • Accountability because teachers can monitor student performance by interacting with assignments, taking assessments, and reading text. This accountability goes up the food chain with test scores and reporting to the district.
  • Favors individuals who need one-on-one assistance in a communal setting. Interactive whiteboards provide a way for students to give one-on-one assistance to students while maintaining the communal aspect of learning.

Related Post: 5 Ways Classroom Technology Enhances Your Students’ Learning

Who can install interactive whiteboards and classroom technology in my school?

American Sound, with offices in Cincinnati, Louisville, Phoenix, and Indianapolis, can install classroom technology and interactive whiteboards at your school, district, lecture hall, or campus. 

Call (859) 261-9024 for more information on what our team can do for you.

Types of Wireless Portable Microphones for Classroom Voice Reinforcement

Classroom voice reinforcement can be a vital part of your classroom for many reasons. Your teachers can be heard over the din of the classroom. It can save their voices, particularly during the winter months when illnesses and sore throats are prevalent. Voice reinforcement can also improve learning within hybrid or in-person environments. 

Our professional sound system installers discuss the types of wireless portable microphones you might see on a classroom voice reinforcement system. When we say wireless, we’re talking about how they wirelessly connect to speakers throughout your classroom.

Lapel Microphones

When you think of wireless portable microphones, lapel microphones are probably the first thing you think about. They attach to a pocket on either side of a shirt or along the row of buttons somewhere in the middle of a button-down shirt. Position this type of wireless portable microphone about 6 to 8 inches below your neck for optimal effectiveness. The microphone plugs into a portable, battery-powered unit that transmits the signal to the speakers.

Over-the-Ear Microphones

Popular because of how lightweight and secure they are, over-the-ear microphones have a small yet comfortable plastic casing that fits behind your ear while a narrow wire holds a small microphone near your mouth. Much like a lapel microphone, it connects to a battery-powered unit about the size of a deck of cards. This unit transmits signals to the speakers in the classroom.

USB Microphones

Somewhat newer to the classroom voice reinforcement technology lineup, USB microphones are about the same size as two D-batteries placed back-to-back. Clip a USB microphone to your lapel or use a lanyard to hang it against your shirt like you would an ID badge or name tag. USB microphones don’t need a separate unit because the wireless transmitter is in the same equipment as the microphone itself rather than being connected to a separate unit for classroom voice reinforcement.

Select a Microphone to Fit Your Needs

These are the three main kinds of wireless portable microphones you’ll find with a classroom voice reinforcement system. While they each serve the same basic purpose, it’s important to select one that fits your needs and preferences. Wireless portable microphones are one of the best solutions for a classroom because they let the teacher maintain control over the volume versus a microphone on the table or in the ceiling where students’ voices might be heard.

Classroom Voice Reinforcement for Your School

Interested in classroom voice reinforcement for your school? 

Contact American Sound for more information, or call (859) 261-9024 in Cincinnati or (502) 694-3339 in Louisville. 

We’ll discuss your needs and options with you for a great classroom voice reinforcement system.

Hybrid Teaching Technology FAQs

American Sound helps teachers have more effective classroom settings and outcomes with classroom sound reinforcement systems as well as interactive classroom technology that helps your students engage with their lessons.

Hybrid teaching has made huge strides and headlines since the COVID-19 pandemic changed our modern world and how teachers handle their lesson plans and teaching methods.

Today, our team answers frequently asked questions about hybrid teaching technology.

What hybrid teaching technology does each classroom need?

Hybrid teaching involves in-person and remote learning. As such, you must set up your classroom for both types of teaching for maximum effectiveness.

  1. Computers. The teacher needs a desktop computer to manage everything effectively, while students should have laptops or tablets so they can follow along in their lessons.
  2. Video technology. In addition to cameras, there are devices called visualizers that allow teachers to show intricate details by magnifying a small object, such as a leaf, document, insect, image, or chart, and displaying the object on a screen in the classroom or on a student’s computer monitor. If you walk around as you teach, auto-tracking cameras are vital to this teaching model.
  3. A wearable microphone. A teacher should wear a portable microphone so students can hear every part of the lesson.
  4. Speakers. The microphone should connect to speakers in the classroom but also the remote learners. Everyone should be able to hear the teacher.
  5. Interactive displays in the classroom allow you to change what’s on the screen and send what’s on the display to students’ computers at home.
  6. Interactive control boxes let teachers to share screens through multiple sources, allowing students with computers to see the same information.
  7. Charging carts and cabinets. For in-classroom learners, you need a secure place to charge laptops and tablets. A cabinet or cart specifically designed for this purpose keeps everything safe and secure.

How is hybrid teaching technology set up?

Every classroom is different, and a professional sound system installation company can help you with your hybrid teaching technology setup. The exact configuration depends on the technology tools you have on hand, the size of the physical classroom, the shape of the room, and how many students you have.

Here is a basic way to set up your classroom tech:

  1. Install cameras so remote and in-person learners can see all materials on the board and in the classroom, and so they can see the teacher when needed.
  2. Arrange the cameras around the communication and collaborative technology tools, such as whiteboards and visualizers.
  3. Keep your physical classroom space flexible and moveable, depending on classroom activities. While a traditional setup can work for some lessons, when you teach other lessons, it might be more appropriate to have a circular arrangement where in-person learners form a circle around the teacher.

Why should my school invest in hybrid teaching technology?

Several good reasons to invest in this technology include:

  1. Fostering every kind of learning style: audial, visual, and hands-on.
  2. Offers collaborative learning.
  3. Teaches children how to use technology at a young age, which will help them later in life.
  4. Professional equipment works together to bring about the best learning outcomes.
  5. State-of-the-art equipment makes teaching easier and more effective.
  6. Modern equipment is upgradeable.
  7. New, professional equipment lasts for several years, allowing your school system to get the most out of your investment.

Who should I contact about professional hybrid teaching technology?

Contact American Sound for more information, or call (859) 261-9024 in Cincinnati or (502) 694-3339 in Louisville. 

We’ll discuss your needs and options with you.

5 Reasons for Classroom Sound Reinforcement You Might Not Know

There are many reasons to have a classroom sound reinforcement system. We want to give our children the best environment possible to learn, and much of this begins with hearing instructions given by a teacher. But did you know there are five critical reasons your children must hear well to learn? In today’s blog, we will explore these reasons. 

Related Post: Choosing the Right Classroom Sound Reinforcement System 

1. Students Hear Better

Research shows that a teacher’s voice should be 15 decibels above the rest of the classroom. Yet a busy room with many kids and distractions means it’s hard to hear the teacher. 

Students hear better with classroom sound reinforcement systems. Better hearing leads to better listening and improved learning outcomes.

2. Children Pay Attention

Children are used to hearing their parents at home as authoritative yet gentle voices. Students pay better attention in class when they hear their teacher’s voice better and more clearly through a classroom sound reinforcement system.

3. Increase On-Task Behaviors

Students increase on-task behaviors because students are able listen to people speaking clearly and effectively in the classroom. Again, students listen to authoritative voices and pay attention to adults. As teachers give instructions to finish classroom tasks, a classroom sound reinforcement system represents a vital part of that teaching paradigm.

4. Fewer Teacher Absences

Classroom sound reinforcement systems lead to fewer teacher absences. Why? Less vocal fatigue, which leads to less sickness. When there is less fatigue, a teacher’s immune system stays more robust because it isn’t trying to repair vocal cords while fighting off a cold or seasonal allergies.

5. Better Social Skills for Kids

Children become social from a very early age. They learn to respond to others from how they understand what is being said to them and how it’s being said. Every child in a class with a sound reinforcement system has a chance to develop better social skills with their teacher and peers because they simply hear better.

Related post: Tips and Tricks to Optimizing Your Classroom Sound Reinforcement

Classroom Sound Reinforcement by American Sound

Want more information about the systems we can install in your school? Contact American Sound or call (859) 261-9024 to learn more about the classroom sound reinforcement systems we install.

What Microphone Types Are Available for Hybrid Classrooms?

When choosing a microphone for hybrid classrooms, teachers have to consider a variety of factors, such as cost, convenience, comfort, and most importantly, audio quality. To help you sift through the options, here are some details about the different types of microphones available for teachers in today’s blog from American Sound.

Related Post: Three Main Considerations for Choosing a Classroom Sound Reinforcement System

1. Wearable microphones

Wearable, hands-free presenter mics are ideal for live or pre-recorded lectures. They feature clip-on mics so instructors can have their hands free while teaching and also move around the classroom easily. 

Generally speaking, there are two types of wearable mics:

  • Battery-operated wearable mics. These types of microphones require teachers to carry a battery pack while they navigate around the classroom. They also have to recharge the batteries every so often. 
  • Cordless battery-free wearable mics. If instructors prefer a wire-free and battery-free option, many wearable mics can deliver on those promises. These types of wearable mics usually include a USB base station and charger that has a built-in receiver. They typically provide a range of 65 feet or more, ensuring clear communication as the instructor moves around the classroom.

2. Speakerphone microphones

Speakerphone mics are another great option for instructors who are teaching primarily online. A portable speakerphone is ideal for interactive hybrid classrooms and can help ensure a collaborative experience. Some speakerphones also utilize a special sound technology that eliminates background noise outside a specific range. This is a great solution to ensure that students can hear the instructor’s voice over any other distracting classroom sounds like papers rustling or side conversations.

3. Wireless portable microphones for students

Wireless portable microphones improve remote learning by encouraging student discussion and interaction in hybrid classrooms. Instead of struggling through the clunky logistics of muting and unmuting speakers via your video conferencing platform, classroom participants can pass around a wireless portable microphone to easily discuss topics and contribute to the conversation. Many of these portable microphones easily integrate with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video teaching platforms for a smooth and superior hybrid teaching experience.

4. Plug-and-play microphones

There are many different brands and types of plug-and-play microphones available, but essentially, they just plug directly into your laptop via USB and instantly provide clear and accurate audio recordings (with no additional driver installation). Many of these microphones also come with an adjustable desktop stand so instructors can position the microphone as needed. Compatibility varies depending on the brand, but many plug-and-play mics are compatible with Mac OS, Windows, tablets, and other mobile devices, which make them very practical for travel and use in the classroom or at home.

Related Post: How an Investment in Classroom Sound Reinforcement Pays Off in the Long Run

Need Equipment Installation for Hybrid Classrooms?

Contact American Sound for help. We offer professional installation of audio equipment for hybrid classrooms to ensure that instructors and students have the best learning environment available during these challenging times. Call (859) 261-9024 today for more details.

Advice for Using Microphones for Hybrid Teaching as Part of Classroom Technology

Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Your Classroom Sound Reinforcement System

If your room has a classroom sound reinforcement system, you already know the basics of how it works. The team at American Sound teaches you how to use the system. However, it may need some fine-tuning after a while. 

Speakers and microphones are excellent additions to your room as part of a sound reinforcement system, but there are other considerations to think about as well. Today’s blog from American Sound offers tips on how to optimize your investment and give you and your students the best possible learning and hearing environment. 

Related Post: Choosing the Right Classroom Sound Reinforcement System 

Having a Great System

The speakers are installed and your wireless microphone is working. It seems like the students are hearing better. They are engaging more throughout the day and test scores are improving. Not to mention your voice isn’t strained at the end of the day. All of these are excellent benefits to a good system. However, there are small things you can do to complement the system, ensuring an even greater quality of hearing. 

Reducing Ambient Noise 

While the sound inside the classroom has improved, there may be external factors that can impact your students. This can include the sounds from traffic in the hallway, such as loud voices, footsteps, slamming lockers, and doors. These can all be distractions from focused listening. The same can be said for outdoor traffic like cars, horns, sirens, and pedestrian movement. There are ways to decrease these noises, allowing your classroom sound reinforcement system to work to optimum capacity. 

Sealing doors. Sealing large spaces between floor and door can dramatically reduce incoming noise. By installing a bottom door seal or bottom door stopper, it can reduce outside noise and stop drafts as well. If there are windows in the door, seal them with caulk to also reduce hallway noises. 

Soundproof fabrics. You have a few options to block external sound. Purchasing soundproof or noise-reducing sheets or curtains over windows can absorb and filter noises from outside coming into the classroom. These items can also be placed over doors. 

These items can be found at many home improvement stores or online. 

Reducing Lost Sound in High Ceilings 

Sound travels. We know this. But in large rooms, it has to travel further. When this happens, it becomes lost in the “dead spaces” of a room or ceiling. The further it has to go before it comes into contact with a hard space, the more reverberation the sound has. The more reverberation, the more distorted the sound becomes. This results in poor hearing. When 75 percent of a student’s day is from listening, it’s vital that the distance sound travels is as short and direct as possible. American Sound will show you how to optimize the classroom sound reinforcement system by placing the speakers properly 

Many classrooms have high ceilings, particularly in larger rooms or older buildings. This is great for offering feelings of space, but it can make speaking and hearing difficult, even with a good microphone and speaker system. 

Acoustic ceiling panels. Installing acoustic panels is a great way to give sound a hard space to bounce off of and travel back down to the ear. These panels are made from various materials like polyester fibers, fabrics, and foam that are hard enough to bounce sound and soft enough to absorb ambient noises. Many companies now make these out of recycled materials, reducing your carbon footprint. 

Room dividers. Room dividers are another way to stop sound from travelling into parts of a room where it doesn’t need to go. Like the acoustic panels, room dividers can be purchased in a variety of sizes, styles and materials. Strategically placing these in the back of the room can increase the quality of hearing your students need. You can even place student’s artwork inside the panels to add color and showcase work. 

Area rugs. If you can’t afford to carpet the whole room, placing area rugs around your desk, in large play areas or in open spaces will stop noise from bouncing off the hard floor. 

Classroom Sound Reinforcement by American Sound

These are great additions to your new sound reinforcement that don’t cost much and create a huge value to you and your students. Contact American Sound or call (859) 261-9024 to learn more about the classroom sound reinforcement systems we install.

What About Classroom Sound Reinforcement for Outdoors?

American Sound understands that teachers need to be heard above the din of an indoor classroom setting. But what happens when you take the class outdoors? Today’s blog from American Sound talks about classroom sound reinforcement for outdoor spaces. 

Related Post: How to Make Classroom Sound Reinforcement Cool for Elementary Kids


Megaphones represent the most common method teachers use for outdoor classroom sound reinforcement. However, megaphones can distort voices, create feedback, and might scare kids too close to the device. Plus, communal megaphones can spread germs if the people using them are unmasked. Megaphones offer great range and volume.

Wearable Wireless Microphone Systems

Portable wireless microphone systems offer decent sound amplification. A teacher might wear a microphone and speaker at the same time. But this type of classroom sound reinforcement has a limited range as people need to be relatively close (50 feet or so) to hear the small portable speaker.

Portable Sound Reinforcement

A portable sound reinforcement system is the way to go when you take your class outdoors, whether it’s for recess, lunch, PE, or science class. American Sound can create a custom setup that allows you to sync your microphone with portable outdoor speakers that are robust enough for students to hear clearly. Our technicians will show you how to operate the system correctly and effectively for best results.

Related Post: How to Combine Hybrid Learning and Classroom Sound Reinforcement Technology

Classroom Sound by American Sound

Contact American Sound or call (859) 261-9024 to learn more about our classroom sound reinforcement solutions. Not only will we install each system, but we’ll train your teachers on how to use them.

Three Main Considerations for Choosing a Classroom Sound Reinforcement System

A classroom sound reinforcement system helps save your teachers’ voices, reduces the spread of germs, and enhances learning in your school. You’ll need to select the right system based on classroom size, acoustics, range, and the type of instruction. 

But there are other considerations to think about as well. Today’s blog from American Sound discusses three things to keep in mind when investing in a classroom sound reinforcement system.

Related Post: How to Make Classroom Sound Reinforcement Cool for Elementary Kids

1. Does it have enough power for everyone to hear the teacher?

The most important component of classroom sound reinforcement systems is the speaker set up. You’ll need speakers that can reach everyone in the classroom. Plus, technicians have to optimize the system to prevent feedback from the microphone, balance the decibel levels throughout the room, and eliminate echoes in the room.

2. How well does it reproduce sound?

Students must be able to hear the teacher intelligibly at all times. Not only does this foster learning, but it can help save a teacher’s voice. Being able to hear the teacher also comes in handy for emergency drills, weather emergencies, and other class announcements. 

The connections among the microphone and speakers need to be robust. Broken connections, lack of power to the microphone, and interruptions in the transmission all lead to lower volume and time spent troubleshooting instead of teaching. The team at American Sound will show you how to use the classroom sound reinforcement system and ensure the equipment operates properly.

3. Is the classroom sound reinforcement system easy to set up and move around?

You may choose to alter your classroom configuration from time to time to foster better learning. There might be instances where a classroom undergoes a renovation or the class size changes. 

All of these instances might present a situation where you want to move the speakers for the classroom sound reinforcement system. We’ll demonstrate how to do this easily and effectively for optimal sound in your classroom.

Related Post: How an Investment in Classroom Sound Reinforcement Pays Off in the Long Run

Classroom Sound Reinforcement by American Sound

Do your teachers need a little extra help in their classrooms? Contact American Sound or call (859) 261-9024 to learn more about the classroom sound reinforcement systems we install.

Choosing the Right Classroom Sound Reinforcement System

Your school system may benefit from classroom sound reinforcement, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools must adapt to new learning environments brought about by the spread of this infectious disease. Today’s blog from American Sound talks about choosing the right classroom sound reinforcement technology for your building or system.

Related Post: 5 Reasons Your Teachers Need Classroom Sound Reinforcement

Classroom Size

The classroom’s size is probably the most important factor in selecting the right classroom sound reinforcement system. There’s the physical classroom size: Is it a small room? Is it half of a gymnasium? Then there’s how many children are in the room. A small room with 30 children may need the same type of system as a larger room with 10 students. American Sound can determine the right type of classroom sound reinforcement for each individual room in your building.


Can the elements of your classroom sound reinforcement be moved around the room easily? For example, a wireless microphone is a must. Do you prefer a ceiling-mounted speaker or one with a portable speaker the teacher can carry? Ceiling-mounted speakers pack a greater sound punch compared to portable models, but those won’t work if the teacher needs to head outside for recess.


What’s the range of the system? Range includes the sensitivity of the microphone, such as how close or far away the microphone is from the teacher’s mouth. The range for classroom sound reinforcement technology also includes how far away someone can hear noises coming from the speaker. You want everyone in the room to hear what’s coming from the system, but not necessarily those in the hallway walking past the room.

Type of Instruction

A teacher lecturing on ordinary topics, such as math, science, or writing, needs a different classroom sound reinforcement system compared to a teacher working with musical instruments or singing. Those types of classrooms have different configurations and acoustics requirements, so you’ll need slightly different configurations for your sound systems.

Related Post: Why Classroom Technology in Cincinnati OH Is More Important Than Ever

Classroom Technology by American Sound

The pros at American Sound are experts in classroom sound reinforcement. We’d be happy to demonstrate how these systems work, and then we’ll discuss your options. Get in touch with American Sound or call (859) 261-9024 for more information on how we can help your school system, teachers, and students.