Noise disturbances within schools are a common problem across the globe. It can come from various sources, such as students talking, laughing, and moving around, as well as from outside factors such as traffic and construction. Excessive noise can disrupt learning and even lead to health problems for students and teachers alike.
Noise sensors can be a helpful tool for reducing noise levels in schools. They can be used to monitor noise levels in classrooms, hallways, and other areas of the school. When noise levels exceed a certain threshold, the sensor can send an alert to teachers or administrators. This allows them to take steps to reduce the noise, such as talking to students about being quieter, dispersing the students to break the pattern, or closing windows and doors to reduce noise infiltration.
Furthermore, noise sensors can serve as data-gathering tools, collecting information on noise levels over time. This data aids in identifying specific areas within the school where noise is a persistent problem and evaluating the efficacy of noise reduction strategies.
Recent data on noise levels in schools in Europe
A recent report released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) sheds light on the persistently high noise levels prevalent in European schools. Alarmingly, the report reveals that approximately 6.5 million children across Europe are exposed to noise levels within classrooms that exceed the recommended guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The report also found that noise levels in schools are particularly high in urban areas. In fact, over 90% of children in urban areas are exposed to noise levels in classrooms surpassing WHO's recommended guidelines. Additionally, the EEA report underscores the detrimental impact of noise pollution on children's learning and well-being, leading to concentration difficulties, and health issues such as hearing loss, headaches, and heightened stress levels.
Based on a 2022 study conducted by Ecophon in Sweden, France, and the Netherlands, students in these countries agree that the loudest areas within schools are the cafeterias, corridors, entrance halls, and gymnasiums. The issue of classroom noise persists in numerous schools, and even libraries can experience high levels of noise.
Noise in Schools is a Global Issue
A considerable number of children spend a significant portion of their daily lives within preschools and schools, environments frequently characterized by excessive noise. Even in some of the most advanced countries, a study by OECD called PISA in 2018 showed that the noise problem in schools is pretty big. About one in every three (15 years old) students in OECD countries said that their classes are often noisy and chaotic.
Percentage of students who said there is noise and chaos in almost every lesson.
How noise sensors can help schools in reducing noise levels and improve the learning environment.
Noise sensors can be a valuable tool for schools to reduce noise levels and improve the learning environment for everyone. Here are some specific examples of how noise sensors can be used:
In classrooms: Noise sensors can monitor noise levels in classrooms and send alerts to teachers when noise levels exceed a predefined threshold. This allows teachers to take steps to reduce the noise, such as talking to students about being quieter or moving the class to a different location. Alternatively, schools can also implement strategies such as playing calming music or providing students with other activities to do besides running and shouting.
In hallways and other common areas: Noise sensors are equally effective in monitoring noise in hallways and communal spaces. The data collected enables schools to identify problematic areas and implement noise-reduction measures, including the installation of soundproofing materials or providing alternative activities for students.
A Case Study: Netherlands' Implementation of Noise Sensors
A notable example of noise sensor implementation can be found in the Netherlands. Over 1,000 schools in the country have adopted noise sensors to monitor classroom noise levels. The collected data aids in identifying schools facing acute noise challenges. Subsequently, the government allocates funding to these schools for the implementation of noise reduction measures.
Here are some things that schools can do to reduce noise levels and improve the learning environment:
Install soundproofing materials in classrooms
Provide teachers with training on how to manage noise in the classroom
Raise awareness of the negative impacts of noise pollution on children's learning and health
Installation of noise sensors to monitor noise levels and identify areas where noise is a particular problem.
In conclusion, noise sensors present an affordable and straightforward solution for schools aiming to reduce noise levels and enhance the learning experience for both students and teachers. Their ease of implementation and cost-effectiveness make them a promising tool to significantly improve the educational environment.
When it comes to selecting the right noise sensor and ensuring seamless installation, Assimilatus is here to assist you. Our expertise in IoT-based smart sensor technology and installation services can help you create the perfect learning environment for your students and teachers.
Contact us today to get started!
European Environment Agency EEA Report 2019
Ecophon Research Summery on Impact of Noise in Schools
Ecophon Research on Sound Recovery in Schools, 2022
Author: Natasha Gupta