Common Sense Review
Updated October 2013

Silent Light - Classroom Timer and Decibel Meter

Useful tool helps students keep noise levels down and stay on task
Common Sense Rating 4
  • Students see on-task time, points earned, and on-task behavior.
  • Teachers control point intervals and noise sensitivity.
  • Noise levels range from pin drop quiet to controlled chaos.
  • Students are notified immediately when they become too loud and are off-task.
  • Too much off-task time can result in lost points.
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.
Stacy Zeiger
Common Sense Reviewer
Homeschooling parent/instructor
Common Sense 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.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

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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What's It Like?

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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Is It Good For Learning?

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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See how teachers are using Silent Light - Classroom Timer and Decibel Meter