With the pervasive nature of technology, and the benefit it can provide to the learning process, many K-12 schools are either allowing personal laptops to be used in classes or providing them to students. Many teens also carry some personal data device on them, so the idea of getting them some kind of earphones isn't unrealistic. However, to maximize their usefulness in a school setting, it's a good idea to take a few precautions of your own before you lay your money down.
Check with the School
Regardless of the role technology plays at your child's school, it's a good idea to find out what rules are in place regarding personal technology and listening devices. Find out whether or not your child will need their own earphones in class, and what recommendations the school makes regarding them. It's also a good idea to find out what restrictions exist, too, such as whether or not earbuds, headsets or other listening devices can be used outside of class time.
Virtually all electronic devices manufactured today use a standard jack for left and right audio, but specialized jacks do exist. USB, 2.5mm and 3.5mm are the most common, so it's a good idea to ask your child's school which is recommended. This will help narrow your choices down and ensure that the device you choose will actually serve the needs of the curriculum.
Characteristics to Look For
When choosing from different earphones, it's a good idea to look for certain characteristics which will ensure better quality audio and greater durability. Beginning with the cord, look for models that use a single cord rather than two separate ones, as this improves the stability of the wires within them and reduces the risk of breakage. Check the base at each end of the cord, too, and make sure it's thick enough to hold up, but flexible enough that it's not wearing out the wires it's meant to protect.
Avoid models that are too bulky or clunky for use in class, and anything that looks more like earmuffs than earphones. Earbuds offer great portability, but make sure you're setting ground rules with your child so that they know when it's okay to use them outside of classes. Make sure the ear pieces of any model you choose are padded to provide comfort during use and avoid irritation around or in the ears.
There are a lot of reasons for your teen to have some kind of personal listening device, so make sure the one you choose is going to hold up, serve its purpose, and falls within the school's guidelines. You'll avoid hardship both from the school by checking the rules and from your child by getting them something that will take some abuse. Click here for more information about school earbuds.
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