The creative power of an iPad in the classroom is limitless with its ability for students to show their learning in a multitude of creative ways that look professional. My students love nothing more than to share their knowledge in the form of an iMovie or by using a digital storytelling tool such as Tellagami or Chatterpix or narrating a keynote presentation. But the number one issue we have in the classroom is the background noise when we record these presentations. There is nothing worse than having a fantastic visual product that is let down by poor audio quality, but in a noisy school situation that is a difficult proposition to overcome. So this year we are using our own homemade iPad recording booths.
They are simple to make and extremely cost effective when compared to commercially available ones. I have constructed 5 of these booths at a cost of $12 per booth, and if you’re patient and a bargain hunter I am sure you could source the materials for even less than I paid for them.
I started with a Clever Cube 330 x 330 x 370mm with a Fabric Insert available from Bunnings Warehouse for $4.99. I chose this particular design as I liked the fact that it has handles for easy transportation and that it folds flat for easy storage when not in use. I must admit I also liked the bright colours. Any sort of cube, however, would work as long as it is slightly larger than 300 x 300 x 300mm.
Next, I found Studio Acoustic Sound Absorption Foam Panel Tiles measuring 300 x 300 x 50mm on eBay. I bought them for $2.25 per sheet and I required 4 sheets to complete my sound booth. I paid a higher price than necessary as I was impatient and wanted them then and there, so I bought from an Australian supplier, but there were cheaper options from overseas if I was willing to wait.
The foam then sits on the side walls, roof and back wall of the cube. It is not necessary to have the foam on the floor as that is where the iPad sits. The foam sits in there with no problem on my cubes so I haven’t bothered about using velcro to attach them to the walls of the cube as I like to pack them away when we are not using them, but if you were looking for them to be a bit more permanent you could easily glue or velcro them in.
The student then sits the iPad in the booth and records their audio without all the background noises of the classroom. In my opinion, it is the best $12 I have spent as now the students can now maximise the enormous creative potential of their iPads and produce high-quality end products that they are proud to share with anyone and everyone.