My Favorite Microphones for Audio Recording in the Classroom - The Techie Teacher®

My Favorite Microphones for Audio Recording in the Classroom

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 / Leave a Comment

My Favorite Microphones for Audio Recording in the Classroom

My favorite microphones for audio recording in the classroom. These microphones will work on iPads, tablets, smartphones, Chromebooks, laptops, and desktops. Students will love these fun microphones to use with their digital projects!
Having students audio record in a classroom full of other children can be a challenge. Luckily, mobile devices have made it easier for students to move about and record their narration, singing, etc.. Katie from Midnight Music wrote THIS blog post on How to Record Students in a Noisy Classroom. Number 4 in her post mentions that using a microphone instead of the device's built in mic is more effective since an inbuilt mic is not directional. This means that it tends to pick up a lot of surrounding and background noise. I couldn't agree more!

Recently I stumbled upon some mini microphones on Amazon that I thought would be perfect for student use. To be honest, I really didn't purchase my first mini microphone for top notch audio recording. In my experience, when you give a child a microphone to use for recording they become 100x more engaged with the project at hand.  Let's take a look at some of my favorite microphones for a teacher's budget. *This post contains Amazon affiliate links*

Mini Microphones

Here are the mini mics I found on Amazon:


I posted the image below to my Facebook page and was SO excited about my new purchase.


A few people commented on this post to let me know that Five Below sells these mini microphones for $3.99 (yes, you read that correctly) and that I paid too much on Amazon ($14.99). I was so bummed! But then I found out that they weren't the same brand so I purchased another one from Five Below and did a little comparison. In the end, I was glad I went with the Amazon mini mic because it was of much better quality. However, they both worked equally well! Note: I'm not suggesting these microphones be used for quality sound recording in the classroom. They are TINY! This is more for getting students engaged and excited about the projects they are working on. Here is a Facebook Live I did comparing the two mics:


I used this mini microphone this past week with a child I have been tutoring. His eyes lit up as soon as I pulled it out of my bag. I knew he would be excited but I didn't know he would ask his mom if she could buy one so he could continue to practice his reading when Mrs. Smith was not around. (Insert mic drop emoji)

Retro "Old School" Telephone Microphones

I have worked with several teachers who have purchased what look like the "old school" handheld telephones that plug in and act as microphones for their students to use when recording in the classroom. A fourth grade teacher I used to work with in Virginia, Shannan Szakal, mentioned that she believes these mics help the kids block out some of the background noise in the classroom so they're more focused. This brings up another point about using microphones in the classroom. When a child holds an external microphone they know exactly where to aim their voice which also helps them maintain concentration.

They come in many pretty colors☺Kids LOVE these!

Lavalier Lapel Microphones

Another great investment for classroom technology projects is a lavalier lapel microphone. I use the one below whenever I do audio recordings or Facebook Lives. It works amazingly well and is pretty affordable. Of course this one isn't as exciting as a mini microphone or retro phone but if you are looking to really pick up a child's voice then this is the one I recommend. I have one in my traveling bag at all times.

 

Headset Microphones

When I was a classroom teacher (before all of these fancy microphones came out) I purchased several sets of these Logitech Headset microphones for students to use on our desktops. They are super cheap and work pretty well. Students love using these headsets. One little guy told me once that they made him feel like a pilot which was sooooo cool. Whatever gets a child excited about learning is an A+ in my book!

Portable Wireless Microphone

Wireless microphones are the latest craze but come with a pretty hefty price tag. However, this bluetooth wireless mic is more affordable, gets great reviews and works well. I'm going to do a FB Live about this one in a few days so make sure you are following my Facebook Page! What child wouldn't want to use the golden microphone?

 

Student Training

When allowing students to use an external microphone or headphones, it is always important to train them how to plug and unplug correctly from the device. I can't tell you how many iPads have been handed to me that have the audio plug broken off inside of the microphone/headphone port. Students will yank out the microphone/headphones by the cord, pulling it at an angle which results in breaking off the end of the plug. Teach them how to carefully hold the top of the plug and pull straight out nice and easily.

Recording Booths

Making a recording booth like this $40.00 one on Amazon is a great way to help students record in a noisy atmosphere. Blair Smith Teacher wrote THIS post about how you can make your own recording booth for your classroom. 


Fluency Practice

Using technology to record reading and oral expression is a great way for students to improve their fluency. Here is a FREE fluency self assessment students can fill out when they listen to their recording:
Students can use technology to record themselves reading and then use this FREE fluency self assessment as a reflection


What type of microphones do you like to use with your students? Let me know in the comments below!

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