Review by Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013
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Teacher Sounds

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Fun sounds add excitement to lessons and classroom management

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Pre-K–12
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Pros: Multiple sounds lead to multiple uses in the classroom.

Cons: Requires external speakers to be loud enough for students to hear.

Bottom Line: Kids can learn to build their listening skills and find motivation as they interact in a classroom setting.

Teachers can use the sounds in any way they see fit. In a whole-class setting, they work as a way to motivate students, manage student behavior, and help students transition from one activity to another. When students work in small groups, they help remind students to stay on task. Rather than inserting sound effects into their slideshows or lectures, teachers can also use the app to spice things up a bit, playing a drum roll before important information, dinging the bell to mark off key points, or selecting the gasping or booing sounds when the lesson features particularly shocking or negative information.

When it comes to determining how to use the app, knowing your students is key. Not all students will respond positively to being booed or hearing a wrong answer buzzer when they answer a question incorrectly. While designed to be fun, many of the sounds could easily embarrass students when used in the wrong way or make light of what should be a more serious situation.

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Teacher Sounds fits the app's offerings perfectly. Teachers will find sounds they can use in the classroom to get students' attention, help with classroom management, and just bring an element of of fun to the classroom environment. Sounds range from game show-style sounds -- such as a drum roll, waiting music, a dinging bell, and a wrong answer buzzer -- to more serious sounds such as voices saying "please be seated" and "quiet please." Teachers can use the sound in whatever way they choose. The only advice the app gives is to plug the device into an external speaker to ensure students can hear the sounds.

While Teacher Sounds doesn't focus on academic skills, it still has academic value. Rather than calling out students for talking too loudly or getting out of their seats, teachers can add a humorous element to classroom management by using the app's "please be seated" and "quiet please" settings. A ringing bell and voice saying "dismissed" can help teachers make it clear when the lesson starts and when students can move on to the next activity or start packing up to head home. Some of the sillier sounds, such as the cheering, drum roll, and wrong answer buzzer can also make simple question-and-answer sessions or review games more interesting.

Overall Rating

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

Silly sounds help get kids' attention and make the learning environment a little more fun. Some sounds, such as the "please be seated" option, lack a little flair.

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

While it doesn't promote academic skills, sounds will motivate kids to learn, provide positive praise, and help with classroom management. However, not all sounds will be useful in every classroom.

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

It's easy enough to tap on the icons to play the sounds, but it could go further by providing suggestions regarding when to use the sounds in the classroom.


Common Sense Reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Wheatley D. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Warren Mott High School
Warren, United States
Basic Sounds for the Classroom, Not Worth the Price
I was not sure what to expect from this app, but since it wasn't free ($0.99), I figured it would be worth the small investment. [I generally lean towards free apps and am able to find some great quality content, plus students can then download them as well with no additional cost.] However, when I opened the app, I was immediately disappointed. For my dollar, I was given 12 sound effect buttons. That is all. I have more sounds than that built into my phone. ...
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