null Genelec Reinforces Learning Experience In Finnish High School

Genelec Reinforces Learning Experience In Finnish High School

Finland is widely renowned for the quality of its education system, with consistently high rankings in the education index published by the United Nations.

Culturally, the approach to education is very different, which is combined with considerable investment in academic infrastructures themselves. The Lyseon Lukio, or upper high school, in Jyväskylä, some 250km north of Helsinki (and famous as the home of Rally Finland!) is a case in point.

As a key part of a major renovation of all their AV systems, the school complex has invested in a total of 116 loudspeakers from Genelec from their dedicated 4000 Series installation range supplied by Lyreco Oy, an official supplier for public education projects. System design and installation were shared between Edutaito Oy, a specialist AV integrator dedicated to the field of technology in education, and Tecline Oy, a full service AV integrator based in Jyväskylä. Tecline Oy was responsible for installing the AV systems in the lobby and larger spaces in the school building, whilst Edutaito handled all the classroom systems.

Every classroom, meeting room and teacher’s/principal’s office has its own pair of compact Genelec 4010A 2-way active speakers that work with the newly installed touchscreens and other interactive technology. With over 1000 students in the school, there were a lot of rooms to equip, meaning that a total of 102 4010A speakers were installed across the complex. The bigger rooms and in particular the music rooms, benefitted from the much larger 4040A speakers.

“Nowadays, a large proportion of learning material is web-based,” explains Edutaito’s Sebastian Räisänen. “There are a lot of videos, audio material, and music. The most important aspect is language teaching and learning, which means listening to a lot of recordings, making your own recordings and listening to the playback etc. As this is a high school where all the students are over 16, there are many different languages being taught to pretty high levels, hence the reason that all of the classrooms are equipped with an AV system that permits language learning in the best possible environment. Sometimes the sessions are even conducted in meeting rooms using Skype or Google Hangout sessions, so crystal clear audio is critical.”

“A clear voice is paramount for both teachers and pupils, and this is why we work with Genelec.”

So why Genelec speakers over any other brand? “Oh, lots of reasons!” says Räisänen with a smile. “Firstly, Genelec is made in Finland, which was an important point for the teachers and principals who were proud to support a Finnish brand - although I wouldn’t have recommended it if it wasn’t suitable for the job. Secondly, my own interest in the purity of vocal reproduction - the clarity and crystalline sound quality of Genelec speakers is perfect for this type of application where intelligibility of the spoken word is so important. You can’t learn a language properly if you can’t distinguish sounds clearly and hear what people are saying. We still come across brands who think that louder is better, that more bottom end will improve the sound – that may be true for student house parties, but it doesn’t work in the classroom. We can’t have students being deafened at the front whilst those at the back are straining to hear properly. A clear voice is paramount for both teachers and pupils, and this is why we work with Genelec.”

Indeed, Genelec and Edutaito have formed a development partnership in order to study the importance and effects of clear audio reproduction in educational establishments. The cooperation also works to produce space and product concepts for teaching institutions based on the requirements of the premises. “Working with Edutaito Oy, our aim is to develop room and product concepts and operating models targeted at educational institutions,” confirms Genelec’s Sami Mäkinen. “We look at what kind of products should be chosen for different purposes and spaces as well as ways to design and furnish rooms in order to have an equal listening experience wherever you are sat.”

“Genelec speakers are an ideal partner in enhanced interactive learning environments.”

In the specific case of Jyväskylä high school, about half of the classrooms had previously been equipped with interactive whiteboards with integrated speakers that were stripped out to make way for Genelec speakers and touch screens. The other half were using passive speakers with external amplifiers. “The teaching staff love the new, active Genelec systems with integrated amplification,” says Räisänen. “They find it much easier to use and it works every time. Also, the Genelecs – especially the 4010As – are extremely compact which helps with mobile use, and where they are fixed, they are virtually invisible. Finally, the build quality and reliability of Genelec speakers means that staff know that once the systems are installed, they will have zero problems. It might be twenty years before they even need a service! And that is the kind of peace of mind that the school is willing to pay for. For sure, it’s a significant investment upfront, but now the school has systems in every room that increases the comfort and ease of both teaching and learning. The teacher does not have to raise his voice, but everyone in the room can hear every syllable. The same goes for audio and video material – it doesn’t have to be played at high volumes, but everyone can still hear every detail regardless of where they are sitting. Genelec speakers are an ideal partner in enhanced interactive learning environments.”

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