Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Whisper Phones - Feedback Needed!!!

With a grant, I purchased a class set of whisper phones. I had noticed them in a teacher catalog, and I thought, at the time, that whoever created them was a genius. I had the old-fashioned kind made from PVC Pipe, but the Whisper Phones were far superior because the students wouldn't have to hold onto them and could read to themselves without disturbing anyone.

Old Style:

New Whisper Phones

At first I was delighted with the Whisper Phones. They each came in their own pouch, so I numbered them and put one in each student's seat sack. However, my enthusiasm quickly passed, as the students tried to use them. The Whisper Phones go around the back of the head, and the boom (where they talk through) is supposed to be in front of the kids' mouths. The problem is that the boom easily becomes detached from the holder as the kids adjust them to line up with their mouths or to sit more comfortably around their heads. The worst part is that the kids cannot reattach the boom to the holder themselves, and I have to say that I found it very difficult myself to get them to snap into place. I was spending so much time running around the room snapping booms back on, that it just became ridiculous. So, long story...but I boxed them up and put them away. Occasionally, I get them back out and try to rethink them. I have considered glueing the booms in place, but then the students wouldn't be able to adjust them to their varying head sizes. I tried to write the company, but they never responded to me. Every once in a while I check the site to see if they have made any design changes. I notice that they now have a hand-held version. I would be very interested to hear from any one else who has used these phones and how they have worked for you.

Check out Whisper Phones here:


  1. I use whisper phones made from PVC pipe... but our computer lab has whisper phones that the kids can use (and disinfect). They are the same ones that you have! My students primarily use them while taking the Scholastic Reading Inventory, and I've had similar experiences. They aren't very user friendly. I wish I could give you tips, but I hope that my lackluster experiences with them helps you know that you are not alone. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing...I really need to find a way to revamp them because at $8.00 a piece, they represent a $160.00 investment! That's too much to have them collecting dust!

  3. The Whisper Phones are awesome! I have used them with 23 + first graders and my phones are two years old. I trained them on how to put them on and take them off. The training is everyday for one week for 10-15 minutes a day and I use the workbook that you can buy to practice with them. You have to gradually incorporate them into the reading sessions. If they are popping off, then the child is pulling them apart as oppose to slipping them off. I reward them for good handling. I have had to replace only two during the two years. I don't like the PVC pipes because it isn't good posture for reading and writing. My students will use them up to an hour and during independent reading. They like them, but you do need to give them a break like any equipment. In fact, several of the IN kids use them to get them to stop yelling! They hear their voice and learn to regulate their own voice levels. This is a fantastic product!

  4. I've had my whisper phones for about 6 years now, and I wonder if they have improved them. The ones I have the boom seems to come off the head piece very easily. I guess I could give them a new try with my new class coming in.