Beth Brady and Susan Stibal, co-founders of Hear to Learn, on how audio technology can improve student learning.


Desk chairs squeak. Radiators rattle. Vents hum. Classrooms are noisy–and it’s only getting worse. Many “open concept” schools don’t even have walls to contain noise between rooms. It’s no wonder research shows that kids not seated in the front row miss 30 to 50 percent of what their teachers say.

Other factors can put kids even further behind. Maybe our student sits in the back, speaks English as a second language, has ear infections, or struggles with attention deficits.

As moms who understand hearing issues – Susan’s child hears with cochlear implants, and Beth is a speech pathologist – we knew this was a huge problem being overlooked every day.

When we learned about the benefits of classroom audio systems, we realized every classroom in our community needed the technology.

So we partnered with Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska on a pilot project called Hear to Learn. After convincing our superintendent and raising the needed funds from our community, we installed 139 classroom audio systems in every room of five elementary schools.

(Next page: Testimonials of this new audio technology)