ASSETT @ Western Oregon University

ASSETT @ Western Oregon University -

Employing Sol Republic Decks in the Classroom

During Fall 2014, Sol Republic donated ten Decks to ASSETT. Since that time, the Decks have been out in the field and classroom with different K-12 teachers and WOU faculty. Marcus Wenzel was happy to share his report of how he has been using the Deck in his ED 270 course; ED 270 is a course where pre-service teachers learn how to employ technology in their future teaching and content areas.


Instructor Marcus Wenzel with a Deck.

This is from the email Marcus sent:

I approached integrating the speaker from a couple different perspectives. Here’s how my students used it in ED 270-

1. As an example of top-down technology integration where a generous benefactor might donate $$$ or hardware to a school before a specific learning need is identified (common at K-12). In this exercise, students were tasked to scour their learning standards to find out where a Bluetooth speaker might facilitate student achievement.

2. As an example of teacher-driven tech adoption- students had to identify research that supported the use of amplified acoustic systems in the classroom – here’s an example of a study that students located.

3. From a classroom application perspective, students collaboratively brainstormed how they might use the Sol Deck in a classroom. Here are some ideas that they came up with:
a. broadcasting songs/sing-a-longs during circle & learning times
b. audio books for emergent readers
c. timers for classroom activities
d. provide instructions during station activities
e. provide background ambient music during class work times
f. allow larger class to hear phone interviews
g. during active learning strategies & games (like musical chairs)
h. to play clips from famous speakers
i. to provide “audio field trips,” playing sounds of natural biomes (rainforests, aquatic, etc) or animals (“guess what animal makes this sound?”)
j. to play accurate period music during history class
k. to enhance internet browsing, Youtube clips, or other presentation platforms
l. used with a microphone for hearing impaired learners (build own classroom acoustical system)
m. to provide background sounds during historical role play
n. during foreign language learning for students to hear pronunciation, etc.
o. classroom management (“Can you hear the music? If you can’t, you are being too loud.”)
p. to play culturally appropriate music during geography class
q. to provide hidden messages (“Where is the teacher?”)
r. providing another medium for listening to podcasts, both acquired and student-produced
s. motivational tools- student incentive to choose music for the day