Oberlin Learning

Many sounds heard at Oberlin pertain to the modern era and have evolved over the course of the college’s history. Being an educational institute, there are many sounds related to learning at Oberlin, which are produced in different academic environments by different kinds of people carrying out different activities. The recorded sounds have been placed into three separate categories: technology, environment and apparatus. Each of these plays an important role in modern day education.

The apparatus used for learning has been changing ever since the beginning of humankind. The book, the pencil and the backpack are items every student uses daily. The flipping of the pages of a book, the sound of a pencil writing and the packing and zipping of a backpack are common sounds that can be found all around Oberlin’s campus. Learning in Oberlin is the most important attribute that Oberlin has since it is in the Oberlin motto “Learning and Labor.” These sounds, while recorded at Oberlin, are heard in all places of learning. These sounds define what it means to be a student universally. The utensils of learning will be ever changing but the legacy of knowledge that Oberlin offers will forever remain the same.

It has also always been important to be updated on the latest technology and, here at Oberlin, most people are able to keep up with the times. Technology has evolved to allow us to work faster and more efficiently and now with computers and projectors there is almost no need to take notes in class with a pen and paper anymore so the sound of a pencil writing has been replaced with the sound of typing on a computer. We have exchanged quiet sounds for more efficient technology but the sounds also provide a good purpose. The whirr of the projector screen lowering and the clicking of the classroom touchpad indicate that a class should now start to quiet down instead of talking. This is just one of many examples of how new technology has allowed us to more efficiently learn and conduct a class.  

Academic environments play a vital role in education worldwide. There is an unsaid, yet well understood rule of respect as well as discipline in areas designated to studying and learning. There are also many distinctive sounds which are related to a specific settings such as the sounds of students talking or professors and teachers lecturing their students. On the other hand, areas such as libraries or study rooms are extremely silent with only the sounds of pen on paper or typing on a keyboard echoing throughout the room. Classrooms may or may not be quiet depending on the nature of the class and the apparatus and furniture available in the room.

The following sounds are universal in all learning environments. Apparatus, environment and technology make up most of the sounds associated with learning but do not encompass the vast majority of the property that is sound.