Introducing Roger for Education Portfolio - Setting New Standards in Learning
AudiologyOnline: Thanks for your time again, Angela. In our last interview, you gave an overview of Phonak Sky V pediatric portfolio - readers can access that here. Today, can we discuss the new Roger for Education portfolio?
Angela Pelosi: Absolutely. As you know, for all children, especially those with hearing difficulties, it’s important to hear well in school for learning and social interaction. We all know that distance, background noise and reverberation are especially challenging for students with a hearing loss. Today’s modern classroom is a dynamic learning environment for peer-to-peer work and lectures, to activities that include various forms of multimedia. The innovative new Roger for Education portfolio fosters a dynamic learning environment where students and teachers are able to fully engage with each other through high performing, practical solutions that are easy to use.
AudiologyOnline: How can this portfolio additionally support a child’s learning in the classroom?
Angela: Classroom teaching styles are becoming increasingly more dynamic and interactive with estimates of up to 34% of the day involved in peer or group discussion activities (Feilner, Rich, & Jones, 2016). These learning scenarios are critical to inspiring participation for kids and teens who may not otherwise get involved. This portfolio supports learning by creating open dialogue between students and teachers while helping to develop and strengthen language and verbal skills.
Estimates indicate that group work and interactive lessons together comprise 34% of the day in a typical classroom (Feilner, Rich & Jones, 2016).
The new teacher microphone, the Roger Touchscreen Mic, features a fully automatic microphone system that adaptively changes between Lanyard mode (worn around the neck), Small Group mode and Pointing mode. The right microphone mode is automatically chosen based on the orientation of the device, making it easy for both parties to use. This new setting allows for optimal use in all classroom learning scenarios with minimal intervention on the part of students and teachers.
AudiologyOnline: Can you explain how the new Small Group mode feature works?
Angela: Sure. The Roger Touchscreen Mic can be clipped to a lanyard worn by the teacher for standard ‘frontal’ lectures but is also versatile enough to be placed on a table or desk to provide students with hearing loss access to peers’ voices during small group activities. When the Roger Touchscreen Mic is placed on a table between 2-5 students, the microphones will automatically orient to the student in the group who is talking. This ideal solution provides students with improved access to their peers, resulting in engaging classroom activities. In a recent study, 100% of children preferred listening to their peers using Small Group mode during classroom activities (Rich & Gigandet, 2016).
AudiologyOnline: How has usability been incorporated into the new Roger Touchscreen Mic?
The new user interface makes Roger Touchscreen Mic simple and intuitive to use in the classroom, and allows both teachers and students to easily know when the microphone is working and transmitting.
- Intuitive icons for quick access to Roger functions.
- Easy swipe technology to scroll through menu options and functions.
- Two separate indicator lights – one for on/off and the other to indicate when the device has been muted.
AudiologyOnline: What other devices form part of the Roger for Education portfolio?
Angela: In addition the to the main microphone, the portfolio includes a Roger Pass-around mic developed to enhance classroom discussions so that teachers and students are heard clearly. It’s designed for kids to easily hold and control, or place it in the stand in front of them. It enables the student(s) wearing Roger receivers to hear everyone’s comments via Roger while the rest of the class can hear comments through the soundfield. It is automatically activated by voice but it can also be configured for Push-to-Talk functionality.
Roger Pass-around mic.
We also have aRoger Multimedia Hub transmitter which can be connected to any multimedia device used in a classroom. When the Roger Multimedia Hub is used in a network, the new audio mixing feature allows a teacher’s voice to be heard simultaneously with an audio signal, truly improving a child’s ability to hear and engage during such activities.
Roger Multimedia Hub.
And finally, the portfolio includes a new Roger Charging Rack that allows up to 4 devices to be charged simultaneously without the need for additional cords or plugs.
Roger Charging Rack.
AudiologyOnline: Who can use the new Roger for Education technology?
Angela: Roger is compatible with almost every hearing instrument, cochlear implant and bone-anchored hearing device. It also allows multiple microphones and media devices to be connected, creating a network for multiple talkers and audio for full classroom interaction. The new Roger microphones are of course compatible with existing Roger receivers, Roger classroom microphones and soundfields.
AudiologyOnline: Anything else we should know about the new Roger for Education portfolio?
Angela: Yes, we just wanted to share the great news: Roger Touchscreen Mic was recognized for high design quality by Red Dot, one of the world’s largest and most distinguished design competitions, highlighting the increasing importance of product look and feel for Phonak users.
AudiologyOnline: Congratulations! Sounds like some great new solutions for the classroom.
For more information on Roger for Education and other Phonak Pediatric solutions, please visit www.phonakpro.com/pediatric or contact your Phonak Pediatric sales manager.
Feilner, M., Rich, S., & Jones, C. (2016, April). Automatic and directional for kids. Phonak Insight. Available from phonakpro.com
Rich, S., & Gigandet, X. (2016). Roger Touchscreen Mic Small Group mode. Phonak Insight. Available from phonakpro.com