How to control noise in the classroom!

 
 
 
 


The problem
GabStopper to the rescue
Screenshot
Summary


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 




Stop incessant  talking in the classroom, cafeteria, and even at home.

The problem

It happens most every school day - an energetic group of youngsters invades the classroom to begin another day of studies.  After the morning's math lesson, they are given an assignment and asked to work quietly for a few minutes.  But at the back of the class, two talkative youngsters have other ideas and seem more interested in discussing their plans for recess.  The yakking spreads when others join the chatter session.  As the noise level increases, so does the teacher's frustration level.  Continual pleas for quiet are met only for the moment as the babble begins anew and the cycle repeats.

Even worse than the noisy classroom is the clamor that occurs each day at lunchtime.  Cafeteria gab is arguably the most difficult to control.  Students use this time not only for eating, but to release some pent-up energy.  While most educators can tolerate some talking during lunch periods, the dilemma is that students' voice levels seem to grow exponentially within a short time after sitting down to eat.

Cafeteria gab is arguably the most difficult to control.


And the problem is not confined to schools - it is also prevalent in libraries, auditoriums, play areas, and even in the home.  In fact, a large number of parents suffer similar frustrations when it comes to uncontrolled talking by their own children.



Help has arrived...

"But what can be done?", you ask.  Teachers and parents take heart!  There is an available software product that can help you win the battle of babble.  The GabStopper was initially released in 2004 and has been since re-introduced in 2007 with some new features.  In early 2010, a new version was released with additional features and enhanced graphics.  Since its inception, the application has received some glowing reviews from educators.

An audio monitoring and control aid, the GabStopper is a software tool designed to help young ones (and adults too) keep their voices down in the classroom, library, home, or any venue where noise can be a problem.  Using brightly colored graphics, the GabStopper provides easy feedback in the form of a standard traffic light.  Green indicates acceptable noise levels.  Yellow means warning and indicates increasing noise levels.  Red means alert and indicates sound levels are unacceptable.  Optional .wav sounds can be played on the computer when warning or alert levels are reached.

Using brightly colored graphics, the GabStopper provides easy feedback in the form of a standard traffic light


The GabStopper provides functions and features similar to  expensive electronic devices.  These devices also monitor noise levels, but are somewhat limited in their ability and are generally unable to filter incidental noises such as door-closures or book-drops.  To use the GabStopper, all you need is an available PC or laptop with sound card and a standard microphone. 

Currently available only for the Windows platform, the software should be eventually available for the Mac as well.  A screen-shot from the GabStopper is shown below:




One of the handy features of the GabStopper is the score bar which can be used as a reward incentive.  When voice levels are kept in the "green zone", the score gradually increases.  If voice levels increase and approach the yellow or red zones, the score decreases.  The GabStopper is most effective when used as a reward mechanism rather than a means of punishment. 

The GabStopper is most effective when used as a reward mechanism rather than a means of punishment.


What do users of the GabStopper say about the product?  Instructional technologist Jennifer H. reports, "The GabStopper saves me instructional time because the students come to the computer lab quiet and ready to work."

Sign language teacher Rob N. says, "By telling my students if they get a good score they can earn rewards (such as a classroom party every 2 weeks) then the students take it upon themselves to tell each other to stop talking. Peer pressure (combined with GabStopper) can be a wonderful thing."



Summary

Noise in the classroom has been a problem for a long time.  But there is help available in the form of a modestly priced software package called the GabStopper.  When used properly, teachers and parents alike will see immediate results.

For more information about the GabStopper including how to download a free demonstration copy, visit the web-site:

http://www.gabstopper.net