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Hardware Thread, Headphones & separate microphone in Technical; I thought I'd ask if anyone else has tried this on a separate topic as I was wondering if anyone ...
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    contink's Avatar
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    Headphones & separate microphone

    I thought I'd ask if anyone else has tried this on a separate topic as I was wondering if anyone had tried using microphones that were mounted on the keyboard/screen and separate from the headphones as a way of reducing the likelihood of damage from absent minded chewing, etc...

    I'm trying out a little research to see just how feasible this is with a labtec microphone.
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/48077

    ... chances are it's going to be difficult to manage with the proximity of other children interfering with the recording but I'll give it a go and compare it to some of the other options.


    Anyway, anyone else had a thorough play/testing-session and got anything useful to add?

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    Headphones and microphones

    I give up with headphones and microphones. I order seperately so either one can be swapped out. We have tried most set ups and they still get abused.

    Haven't tried microphones that are permantley fixed so you will have to let us know how you get on with them.

    I would see that anything fixed would still be seen as a movable object in childrens eyes, albeit a little more difficult to move initially!

    I just think it's one of those things and to expect replacing them every few months.

    Alex

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexknight View Post
    I give up with headphones and microphones. I order seperately so either one can be swapped out. We have tried most set ups and they still get abused.

    Haven't tried microphones that are permantley fixed so you will have to let us know how you get on with them.
    I will, don't worry there

    I would see that anything fixed would still be seen as a movable object in childrens eyes, albeit a little more difficult to move initially!

    I just think it's one of those things and to expect replacing them every few months.
    Well, the mic I've sourced and linked to above is a "stick on" version which could go on either the keyboard or screen and I'd be looking to tidy up the wires.

    We're quite lucky in that all of the kids at my schools are generally well behaved with most damage to things like microphones and the like are down to things like absent minded chewing (because it's in the right place), walking away with the headphones still on (simply because they forgot they were on) or stuff getting tangled up completely. Likewise we get kids trying to swap over sets to get a working one and stretching wires so the internal wire snaps, etc...

    Anyway, I have the stem mic's and a few others still to try out and the key factor is going to be ambient noise levels and lesson planning to ensure the systems work as well as they can (eg: groups of 3 children spaced around lab using the mic's one at a time so there's a "quiet" area around each).

    We'll see...

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    eean's Avatar
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    I've went for the 'get cheep replace more often' strategy a few years back and they've lasted about 3 years - probably need replacing now.
    Things that have helped are:
    1. Cable tieing them to the computer so they can not be removed (even if they ARE apparently broken)
    2. Getting large hooks from wilcos. You need to screw them onto the monitor otherwise they'll fall off. One on each side. (That's the easy bit) Then train the staff to get the kids to hang them up. (That's the hard bit!).
    I also hang the mics on the wall out of the way.

    The size adjustments are the bits that break. They don't need to be adjustable though for primary. So just use gaffa tape to tape them up before they even break.
    The fluffy ear bits also fall off - but tough.
    Try and find ones that dont have a volume control (so many staff don't understand that they won't work if they're turned down!). I have a little util that runs on the logon script to set the computer volume on logon.

    Not ideal, but the least worst way I've found!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eean View Post
    1. Cable tieing them to the computer so they can not be removed (even if they ARE apparently broken)
    The problem I tend to get with this is that the kids break other headphones by trying to "stretch" the wires and connectors to their PC. T'is a matter of training but more the teachers to be aware of and curtail such activity than anything.

    2. Getting large hooks from wilcos. You need to screw them onto the monitor otherwise they'll fall off. One on each side. (That's the easy bit) Then train the staff to get the kids to hang them up. (That's the hard bit!).
    I also hang the mics on the wall out of the way.
    Bit loath to modify a screen that way but I get the idea

    The size adjustments are the bits that break. They don't need to be adjustable though for primary. So just use gaffa tape to tape them up before they even break.
    Actually only had that with one type of headphone.. more often than not it's the mic's or wires being chewed.

    Try and find ones that dont have a volume control (so many staff don't understand that they won't work if they're turned down!).
    LOL.. too true...

    I have a little util that runs on the logon script to set the computer volume on logon.
    You got a copy of that?

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