8 Back-to-School Communication Tips
Make Hitting the Books Even Easier with These Helpful Tricks
It’s practically back-to-school time! Whether the students in your life are returning to class in person or online, keep these helpful tips in mind.
- Maximize lipreading. Hearing and lipreading work together to enhance communication, making clear sight lines between instructor and student all the more crucial. During virtual lessons, it’s important for the speaker to appear on camera so participants can see their lips.
- Curb background noise. Distracting sounds can make learning difficult. Noise-filtering hearing aids; windows and doors closed off to outside noise; and classrooms with carpet, sound-proofing wall panels, and other elements designed to optimize acoustics can be a big help.
- Activate captions, which can take a load off when viewing videos, watching online webinars, or otherwise following speech. Free phone-based apps — for example, technology company Google’s Live Transcribe — and web-based services are also available for real-time transcribing of speech.
- Lean into assistive listening devices. Those with hearing aids or cochlear implants may be able to wirelessly connect to options such as FM systems to send audio directly to their ears. Some venues even have audio looping systems that connect with T-coil settings on compatible hearing aids.
- Pair a compatible wireless microphone with the student’s hearing aid to enhance listening in one-on-one and group environments. The discreet, portable mic is easily moved from one flat surface to another and, depending on the model, could even be clipped onto clothing for convenience.
- Use the chat function — if available when using an online virtual platform — to help clarify any missed points or to ask a follow-up question. Some sessions might also be recorded for helpful playback later, so be sure to ask the instructor, who may need to initiate the recording option.
- Stream audio right to the hearing technology. Bluetooth hearing aids can receive audio directly from sources such as smartphones, computers, stereos, and more — depending on compatibility — and make it easy to personalize sound for specific listening and learning needs.
- Book a hearing checkup, because regular evaluations with our licensed hearing care professionals can catch potential problems early and help you and those you care about kick off back-to-school season with your best foot forward.
How’s Their Hearing?
Book regular hearing checkups for the students in your household — just as you would for their eyes and teeth — and recognize some of the signs of potential hearing loss:
- Trouble following lessons or instructions from teachers
- Ringing, buzzing, or other perceived noise (tinnitus) in the head or ears
- Struggling to understand people speaking through masks
- Frequent responses of “Huh?” or “What?”
- Complaints of earaches
- Turning up the television volume
- Failing grades or reports that your child doesn’t respond in class
- A gut feeling that something’s off with your loved one’s hearing
Improved hearing can play a big role in helping students of every age perform their best in class. So don’t wait. Schedule back-to-school hearing evaluations for the whole family today!