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Review by Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2013

Silent Light - Classroom Timer and Decibel Meter

Useful tool helps students keep noise levels down and stay on task

Common Sense says
Teachers say (2 Reviews)
$avg_user_learning_rating
Grades
K-6 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: You can set noise levels to fit different tasks, choose how many points to award students, and choose at what intervals to award points.

Cons: Incentives are not built into the app.

Bottom Line: Silent Light offers tools and incentives to help students stay on task and keep their voices at an appropriate level.

While Silent Light works best when used with the whole class, it still has multiple uses within the classroom. For example, while working with one group of students, you may opt to use it to keep another group of students on task. It may also work for keeping the classroom quiet during independent work time or during an exam. Even when students are working in cooperative learning groups and the classroom is a little louder, it works to remind students to not go crazy with the noise and refocus those who are not on task.

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On the screen, students see a traffic light, a timer, and a description of the task or skill they should be working on. Behind the scenes, you set the timer and appropriate noise levels. As long as students are on task and keeping their voices at the appropriate levels, the light stays green. If the noise level ramps up, the light changes color until they bring it back down.

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It's easy for students to get off task and to let their voices get louder without even realizing that it happens. Silent Light helps make students more aware of what being on task looks and sounds like. With the objective on the screen, students will have a visual reminder of what they should be working on. By tying on-task behaviors to points and incentives, you can also reinforce those positive behaviors. If students get too loud or off task and see their points start to disappear, they will immediately connect the behavior with a negative consequence. When Silent Light is used with the whole class, on-task students will also encourage their off-task peers to get back on task and earn the class points.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Levels of engagement depend on the incentives teachers offer kids for staying on task. Teachers who work with kids to develop incentives may find they respond more to the app.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

Learning to focus, stay on task, and keep noise at an appropriate level are skills kids can transfer to other activities, other classrooms, and activities outside of school.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

Suggestions help teachers figure out how to incorporate Silent Light into their own classrooms and increase its effectiveness.


Common Sense Reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

Teacher Reviews

3
(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews)
Featured review by
Catherine B. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
3
An app to help create an environment conducive to learning.

This isn't a tool that builds deep levels of understanding or allows students to create or curate information. However, it serves teachers and kids in that it helps build an environment that is conducive to learning. It also allows student to learn how to self regulate (individually and as a group). It takes the argument of getting kids to quiet down and provides instantaneous feedback. This is a great app to add your bag of teaching tricks. Each time a colleague sees it, they want to know what it is and how they can get it. Well worth the cost of the app!

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