Teachers have all sorts of strategies for managing classroom noise, and classroom noise monitor apps are one more item to add to your bag of tricks. They use the microphone on your computer to let kids know when their sound level is appropriate and when it’s just too much. The options shown here are all free and meant to be used with your classroom computer and projector.
Classroom Noise Monitor Apps Tips
- Talk about the app and how it works with your class in advance. Let them know what your expectations are and what the consequences of being too loud will be.
- Kids are naturally going to want to see what happens on the app if they’re too noisy. Give them a chance to do one good noise burst and get it out of their system at the beginning. (This is useful for calibrating the apps, anyway.)
- Try using a few different classroom noise monitor apps in rotation to keep kids interested. Otherwise, the app will just become part of the background in the classroom, and it won’t work if kids ignore it.
How it works: This simple meter shows noise level from green (good) to red (bad). The only setting you need to worry about is the microphone sensitivity.
Cool features: Calm Counter doesn’t have any fancy bells and whistles, and that can be a good thing. It’s extremely easy to use and the visual display makes it simple for kids to see when they’re being too noisy.
Use it: Head to the Calm Counter website, and the meter starts automatically. Adjust the microphone sensitivity as needed.
How it works: The louder the classroom, the higher the balls fly! The goal is to keep the balls hanging out at the bottom. When the noise level rises too high, the program will alert students with a “shh!” or loud beep—you choose.
Cool features: You can change the balls to bubbles, emojis, or even eyeballs! This is also the only free classroom noise monitor app that has an audible alarm when kids pass the noise threshold.
Use it: Visit the Bouncy Balls website and click Begin Bouncing on the home page. Then choose your settings and click the microphone icon in the top right corner to begin.
Classcraft Classroom Noise Monitor
How it works: A volume meter appears on the screen, changing to reflect the amount of noise in the classroom. If the noise crosses the max line, a pop-up on the screen states that you’ve been too loud. There’s no audible alert, only the visual warning.
Cool features: You can set a timer at the beginning if you like, turning this into a game to see if you can find the buried treasure without any noise violations.
Use it: Head to the Classcraft website and click Try It Now. Set the timer, or click the X button to skip it. Set your max volume and click Start.
Zero Noise Classroom by Google Chrome
How it works: You set a timer for this classroom noise monitor, and current sound levels appear in the background as it runs. Light shades indicate quiet, while darker gray means the classroom has gotten louder. When a red stripe displays, it means the noise has passed the maximum level (there’s no audible alert).
Cool features: Because this classroom noise monitor displays the “noise history” from start to finish, it’s a fun way to see just how often a class is passing the noisy threshold. Try it as a challenge: If a class can finish 30 minutes of group work without hitting the red a single time, they earn a prize.
Use it: Zero Noise Classroom is a Chrome extension, so you’ll need to use the Chrome browser. Click here to visit the Chrome web store and install the extension. Then click Launch app, choose your settings (hover over the icons for more information on each), and click the start arrow to begin.
Too Noisy Lite
How it works: The noise meter at the bottom is reflected in the color of the sky and the emoji above. It changes from happy blue sky to dark clouds as the noise increases.
Cool features: The free version of this classroom noise monitor app is simple and effective. If you’d like to activate more features, you can download the paid version on your phone or tablet. There’s also an online Pro version with plenty of extras for a monthly fee.
Use it: Register with EdTech Monster to receive free access to Too Noisy Lite. Once you’re signed in, the meter starts automatically. We recommend using the Calibrate button in the Microphone settings menu for best results.
Looking for more tips on classroom behavior management? Come chat with other teachers on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE Facebook group for advice.