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Whole group, teacher-led instruction doesn’t work for all students. But with blended learning, adopted curriculum can offer differentiation, choice, and agency.
Think about the last time you used a recipe to cook a meal. Perhaps you were hosting friends for dinner and wanted to make lasagna for the first time. The recipe identifies the ingredients you need, the order in which you should combine them, and the time and temperature required to cook the dish to perfection. This guidance is useful when you’re learning to cook a dish—straightforward, easy to follow, and complete with photos, all of which inspire confidence.
But most people wouldn’t want to cook every meal using a recipe. At some point, directions become restrictive, limiting your creativity. Over time, you may want to make adjustments, removing garlic for a friend who is allergic or substituting mushrooms for meat if you’re cooking for a vegetarian. The freedom and flexibility to modify that recipe keeps cooking enjoyable.
The same is true for the adopted curriculum that many teachers use. At first, it’s helpful to have a clear path to implementation; however, as you gain confidence, you will want to be creative to ensure that you meet all students’ needs.
As a coach and professional learning facilitator, I work with teachers shifting from whole group, teacher-led instruction to student-centered instruction with blended learning models. Blended learning combines active, engaged learning online and offline to give students more control over the time, place, pace, and path of their learning. There are several models under the umbrella of blended learning: station rotation, whole group rotation, flipped classroom, and playlists, all of which position students at the center of their learning.
Adopted curriculum is often written for a whole group, teacher-led model; however, that isn’t the only way to use it. Teachers are architects of learning experiences. They deserve the flexibility and freedom to make the curriculum work for their students using various models, some of which we’ll explore below.
Station rotation frees the teacher to work with small groups, differentiating instruction, guiding discussion, and providing feedback.
This model comprises a series of learning experiences that students rotate through, including teacher-led, online, and offline stations. Teachers may struggle to conceptualize linear lessons in a circular rotation. I encourage them to ask: Which part of the lesson is most challenging for students and requires significant teacher support? Which activities benefit from variable time on task? Which activities will be enhanced from peer support?
The answer to question one will determine which activity the teacher might include in a teacher-led station. The answer to question two will determine which learning activities work best as self-paced tasks. The third will identify the learning activities that work best as small group or partner tasks.
AN ELA EXAMPLE
StudySync is an ELA curriculum that includes a library of digital texts paired with audio tracks, video models of various skills, a peer feedback tool, and automated scaffolds.
Let’s take a linear, whole group lesson from StudySync and reimagine it as a station rotation. I’ll use the eighth-grade First Read lesson for A Celebration of Grandfathers, by Rudolfo Anaya.
This StudySync lesson asks students to watch and discuss a video preview and build background knowledge; engage in reading activities; practice comprehension strategies; annotate and discuss the text; engage in grammar practice; and answer “think questions.”
If we reimagine the lesson as a station rotation, it might include a teacher-led station modeling a reading strategy using gradual release; an offline station for independent or paired grammar practice and self-assessment; an online or offline station where students make vocabulary predictions, read, and annotate the text; and an online station for collaborative research to build background.
Station rotation frees the teacher from the front of the room to work alongside students, allowing the teacher to make the lesson more accessible.
A MATH EXAMPLE
Math can be challenging to design because it is linear, with concepts building sequentially. Some students get content quickly, while others need more explanation and support. If we want learning to be equitable, with all students receiving the input they need to reach a particular output, we need to get creative.
During a recent blended learning training, a teacher was in tears. She knew her current approach wasn’t working for most students but wasn’t sure how to use blended learning with the Swun Math curriculum. Challenge accepted.
We brainstormed an approach that honored the basic methodology of Swun but incorporated stations to differentiate instruction.
Like most adopted curriculum, a Swun lesson has more than a teacher can cover in a class period: a problem of the day, vocabulary, the input model, structured guided practice, a final check for understanding, student practice, challenge problems, and an extension activity.
In a reimagined lesson, the teacher could allow for student control by beginning with the whole group using Problem of the Day and Vocabulary Building as warm-ups. Then, the teacher could use Swun’s Input Model to provide direct instruction introducing the day’s topic.
Instead of having the class move as a unit through the remaining lesson elements, since students require variable time on task, the teacher can transition them into skill-level groups. That frees the teacher to provide more support to the students in the lower-level group as they work on Final Check and move to Practice Problems.
Students in the midlevel group can watch the video of the input model if they need additional instruction while the teacher is working with the lower-level group. The teacher then transitions from the lower to the midlevel group to review and support work.
The high-level group will need less teacher time and complete more lesson elements. When they finish Challenge Problems, they can decide how to use their time. They might move on to the next video lesson, complete the extension activity, or grab a “student tutor” lanyard and assist other students. Not only do students in the high-level group move at a pace that works for them, but they can choose to serve as valuable resources in the classroom.
Designing Adopted Curriculum Facilitates Tailored Learning Experiences
The purpose of an adopted curriculum is to provide a high-quality, standards-aligned learning experience for all students, but a one-size-fits-all approach rarely meets everyone’s needs. Just as a traditional meat-filled lasagna won’t work for a dinner party that includes vegetarians, a teacher-led whole group lesson won’t meet the wide spectrum of needs, abilities, and interests in a classroom.
Teachers must bring their creativity and knowledge of their student population into their work, designing and facilitating tailored learning experiences. Blended learning provides transferable instructional models that teachers can use to modify their curriculum to ensure that learning is designed to meet the needs of all students.
You're reading Getting Creative With Adopted Curriculum
This article was published as a part of the
Data Science Blogathon
An electronic log of all bitcoin transactions is known as a blockchain. It keeps expanding when new blocks of recordings are uploaded to it as7 “finished” chunks. Each block includes transaction information, a timestamp, and a cryptographic hash of the one before it. Bitcoin nodes use the Blockchain to distinguish between valid Bitcoin transactions and attempts to spend previously spent currencies again.Why do we Need Blockchain Technology?
There are plenty of reasons. A blockchain is an essential tool for businesses and individuals. We need Blockchain because it is a distributed database to secure online
Source – techplanet.todayApplications of Blockchain Technology
There are many different applications of blockchain technology. Some of the most popular applications include:1. Cryptocurrencies:
Cryptocurrencies use digital or virtua
The earliest and best-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was developed in 2009. On decentralized exchanges, cryptocurrency is often exchanged, and Bitcoin may also use to purchase products and services.
Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular as their prices have fluctuated wildly. Some people see them as an investment opportunity, while others view them as a potential replacement for traditional fiat currencies.2. Smart Contracts:
Negotiating or fulfilling a contract can be digitally facilitated, verified, or enforced using a smart contract or a computer protocol. Without the involvement of other parties, smart contracts enable legitimate transactions. These transactions may be monitored and are final. Nick Szabo initially presented the idea of smart contracts in 1996.
A smart contract’s primary goals are to lower transaction costs and offer security superior to that provided by standard contract law. In an agreement, “if-then” assertions are made using smart contracts. For instance, “if X occurs, then Y occurs.”3. Supply Chain Management:
Blockchain in supply chain management is a hot topic in the logistics industry. Many logistics companies are exploring using Blockchain to improve their supply chain’s efficiency.
There are many potential benefits of using Blockchain in supply chain management. For example, We could use Blockchain to track the provenance of goods, from the raw materials to the finished product. It would help to ensure that goods are not counterfeit or otherwise compromised.
Another potential benefit is that Blockchain could streamline the process of tracking and tracing goods. It would reduce the need for manual interventions and make it easier to identify delays and bottlenecks in the supply chain. Ultimately, using Blockchain in supply chain management can improve the efficiency of the entire logistics industry.4. Voting Systems:
In the past, voting systems have been susceptible to fraud and manipulation, but blockchain technology has the potential to change that. By using a decentralised network and immutable ledger, Blockchain can create a secure voting system that is tamper-proof and transparent.
Blockchain-based voting systems can be used for various elections, from small local to national ones. In a blockchain-based voting system, each voter would have a unique digital identity that they would use to cast their vote. The vote would then be recorded on the blockchain ledger, which could not be altered or tampered with.
This type of system would provide several benefits over traditional voting systems:
It would be much more difficult to commit fraud or manipulate the results of an election.
The results would be transparent and available for anyone to view.
The system would be more secure, as it would be tough to hack or tamper with the Blockchain.5. Internet of Things(IoT):
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interconnected devices and sensors that collect and share data. Blockchain is a digital ledger that records and verifies transactions. When these two technologies are combined, they have the potential to create a more secure and efficient system for managing data.
One application of Blockchain in IoT is in the area of data security. IoT devices often collect sensitive data, such as personal information or medical records. This data is then stored on centralized servers, which are vulnerable to hacking. Blockchain provides a more secure way to keep this data, as it is distributed across a network of computers.
Another application of Blockchain in IoT is in the area of device management. IoT devices are often spread across a wide area, making tracking difficult. Blockchain can help to manage these devices by monitoring their location and status. We can then use this information to prevent theft or fraud.What Makes Blockchain so Unique?
Regarding Blockchain, a few key characteristics make this technology so unique and powerful. First, Blockchain is distributed. It means that the data is spread across a network of computers rather than being stored in a central location. It makes it much more secure, as it would be tough for someone to hack into the system and tamper with the data.
Fourth, Blockchain is efficient. It is because there is no need for intermediaries, such as banks, to be involved in transactions.Components of Blockchain Technology
The first component is the blockchain ledger. It is a distributed database that stores all the information about the transactions that have taken place on the network. This ledger is used to verify and validate transactions.
The second component is the blockchain network. It is a peer-to-peer network of computers that are running blockchain software. This network propagates the blockchain ledger and transactions throughout the system.
The third component is the blockchain mining process. It is how new transactions are added to the blockchain ledger. Miners are rewarded with cryptocurrency for their efforts.
These are just a few of the different components of Blockchain. Together, they create a secure and efficient system that is changing the way we do business.What is Blockchain Ledger? What are Centralized Systems?
A centralized system is one in which all components or subsystems are centralized in one location. All decision-making and processing occur in this central location. This type of system is often used in organizations or businesses where there is a need for central control or coordination.
There are many benefits to using a centralized system for your business. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can help to save you time and money. With all your data in one place, you can avoid the hassle and wasted time searching for it in multiple locations. Additionally, a centralized system can help you keep better track of your data, making it easier to find and use when needed. Another significant benefit of using a centralized system is improving communication and collaboration within your organization. Sharing information and working together on projects is more accessible when everyone uses the same system. It can lead to better decision-making and a more efficient workplace overall.
Finally, a centralized system can help to improve your security. By keeping all of your data in one place, you can more easily monitor and protect it. Additionally, if something does happen to your data, it will be easier to track down and recover.What is Distributed Systems? What is Blockchain Mining?
Blockchain mining is verifying and adding transactions to the public ledger. It is done by solving complex mathematical puzzles. In return for their work, miners are rewarded with newly minted Bitcoin.
The process of mining is essential to the security of the Bitcoin network. By verifying and adding transactions to the public ledger, miners help to prevent double-spending and fraud. They also ensure that the Bitcoin network remains decentralized. Mining is a competition. The first miner to solve the puzzle gets to add the following block of transactions to the public ledger and receives a reward in Bitcoin. The prize is 12.5 Bitcoin per block, but it will halve soon.
The competition to mine Bitcoin is getting more difficult as more people get involved. As the difficulty increases, so does the need for specialized hardware. Some miners have even used multiple computers to stay ahead of the competition.Components of a Block in Blockchain Ledger:
An electronic log of all bitcoin transactions is known as a blockchain. It keeps expanding as new recordings are added to “finished” blocks. Each block includes transaction information, a timestamp, and a cryptographic hash of the one before it. Bitcoin nodes use the Blockchain to distinguish between authentic Bitcoin transactions and efforts to spend previously spent currencies again.
4. Block Number: This is the number of the block in the Blockchain.Consensus Mechanism in Blockchain
A consensus mechanism is a set of rules used to determine how a blockchain network reaches consensus. It is typically done through a process of voting or similar means, and the rules are generally designed to protect the network from certain types of attacks.Proof of Work (PoW)
Regarding blockchain technology, “proof of work” is one of the most important concepts to understand. Proof of work is what allows a blockchain to be secure and trustless. In short, proof of work is a system that requires computers to “work” or solve complex mathematical problems to add new blocks of data to the Blockchain.
The work that these computers do is called “mining.” Miners are rewarded with cryptocurrency for their work. The more work they do (i.e., the more complex mathematical problems they solve), the more cryptocurrency they earn.
Proof of work is what makes Blockchain secure. It is challenging to tamper with data that is stored on a blockchain. A hacker must redo all the work done to change just one data block since the Blockchain created that block. It is nearly impossible, especially as the Blockchain grows more extensive and complex.Proof of Stake(PoS):
In a proof of stake system, new blocks are created based on the amount of stake that each participant has in the system. The more stake a participant has, the more likely they are to create a new block.
This system differs from a proof of work system, where new blocks are created based on each participant’s work. In a proof of work system, the more work participants have done, the more likely they are to create a new block.Proof of Elapsed Time(PoET):
Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) is a consensus algorithm used to achieve consensus in a permissioned blockchain network. It is an algorithm used to validate blocks in a blockchain and is a variation of the Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm. The main difference between PoET and PoS is that PoET uses a lottery-based selection process to choose the next validator, while PoS uses a staking process.
PoET was first proposed by Intel in 2023 and is designed to be used in permissioned blockchain networks, where all the nodes in the network are known and trusted. The PoET algorithm achieves consensus in a permissioned blockchain network by validating blocks in the Blockchain. The algorithm uses a lottery-based selection process to choose the next validator, which is different from the staking process used by PoS.Proof of Action(PoA):
In the blockchain world, “proof of action” refers to the process by which users can prove that they have taken a specific action. It could be as simple as purchasing a blockchain-based platform or more complex as voting in a decentralized autonomous organization.
Users must sign a message with their private key to prove they have taken action. The node will then broadcast this message to the network, where anyone can verify it. The proof of action concept is essential in the blockchain world, as it helps ensure that all users act in good faith. By requiring a user to sign a message before they can take action, it becomes much harder for someone to maliciously or accidentally take an action they shouldn’t.
So far, proof of action has been used in various ways on the Blockchain. For example, it has been used to help prevent double-spending attacks.
There are also many more consensus algorithms like Byzantine Fault Tolerance, Directed Acyclic Graphs, etc.Conclusion
The future of blockchain technology is shrouded in potential but fraught with uncertainty. But despite the challenges, the opportunities for blockchain technology are immense.
The potential for blockchain technology is often compared to that of the Internet in the early 1990s. Just as the Internet created a new platform for communication and commerce, Blockchain could create a new platform for value exchange and a new way for businesses to interact.
However, blockchain technology is still in its early stages and must address many challenges before it can reach its full potential.
Scalability is one of the biggest challenges facing blockchain technology. The current generation of blockchain platforms can only handle a limited number of transactions per second. It is a far cry from the millions of transactions that need to be processed on the Internet today.
3. After this, we discussed the Mechanism of this technology and the various Consensus Algorithms used in it, like PoW, PoS, PoET, etc.
It is all for today. I hope you have enjoyed the article. In the future, I will try to write articles on the basic implementation of Blockchain Technology.
Thanks for Reading😉
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A look at how high school English teachers can mix classic and contemporary texts to reflect the varied backgrounds and experiences of their students.
Secondary English curriculum is designed around themes that are universal to “the human experience”—love, good versus evil, revenge, perseverance, coming of age, identity, justice, power and corruption. But people experience these in life differently. It’s important to consider the individuals within the human experience and acknowledge the diversity in how students may face these themes in their lives.
Curriculum should mirror their experiences. Shifting focus to student-centered curriculum can help learners identify with common themes in literature and recognize that the human experience is not so universal when you dig deep into the lives of individuals. Themes transcend; experiences may not.
Traditional texts used within the secondary English classroom become less of a necessity when student identities are prioritized in the curriculum. There is debate on whether classic canonical texts should still be the main event of English classes in 2023 and beyond. If classrooms house only “class sets” of books written before this century, what realities do students learn about? Whose world are they exposed to?
It’s logical to integrate contemporary stories written from various perspectives by authors who may share commonalities with populations of students since they’re living in the same era. This presents more room for shared discourse and common references to culture and societal events.
Below are areas to take into account and strategies to initiate a process of reviewing English curriculum so that it’s student centered and includes a balance of classic and contemporary texts. Every context—classroom, school, community—is unique and requires its own process.
Agree upon the language to use when talking about the work: Think about the terms and ideas that need to be clarified, defined, and shared by the team designing the curriculum. When working with teams on this, the words change and diversity become important prior to discussing the details of the curriculum. Change isn’t easy. Teaching is personal, and for some, so is curriculum. When initiating a process of change, it doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is “wrong”; making changes to curriculum is an act of responsibility to the students we teach so that school is relevant.
It benefits the work if there’s also a shared understanding of the word diversity. When selecting diverse texts, we consider themes, topics, identities of characters and authors (race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, interests, family structure, abilities), genre, language, format, date of publication, and structure. If all members of a curriculum team share language and similar definitions, it creates a safe space for conversation and helps develop a commitment to new ideas together.
Create a student profile: Generate questions to think about the social, emotional, and academic attributes and habits of the students you teach. Here are some examples of reflection questions for grade-level teams to consider:
What do students think about?
How do students make personal connections to their learning?
What are the learning styles of our students?
What do students need in order to prepare for future grade-level work?
What are the potential pathways for students in the future?
What academic skills do students need to develop?
How do students learn to empathize with others?
How do students learn to explore multiple perspectives?
You can use the responses to these questions to evaluate the current curriculum and instructional methodologies to discover where revisions are needed.
Engage in reflections about the identities of stakeholders. Ask: Who are our students? and Who are the decision makers about curriculum? Using an identity lens reflection protocol helps educators to weigh the perspectives of those who design and those who experience the curriculum.
Aspects of identity to consider are language, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, cultural practices, community participation, family structures, abilities, interests and hobbies, and events that may have impacted populations. Think about how the identities of groups are similar and how they are different. What impact does the comparison have on decision-making about curriculum?
As the identities of students surface, explore designing curriculum around those identities and including text selections that serve as both mirrors and windows. Reading structures like independent reading and book clubs offer the opportunity for a variety of text options for students to choose from.
Ask students about what they want to read in school: When students are involved in decision-making, it empowers them to share their voices and may lead to deeper engagement with relevant texts to analyze and think about critically.
Ideas for soliciting feedback:
Engage students in a Socratic seminar.
Share a Google Form or a paper survey.
Post a reflection question on your learning management system.
Develop a reflection protocol after each unit of study where students share what was meaningful to them and what they would like to see revised, etc.
My colleagues and I have used these strategies in our process of reviewing curriculum and texts that students can access. Because each context is different, not all strategies may be needed in every process.
I typically begin new projects with defining terms to norm understandings and projections for the work and then match the review strategies to the goals of the project. For example, developing a student profile was a helpful pathway to high school curriculum review as my colleagues and I considered students’ trajectories beyond high school.
Engaging in an identity reflection propelled a project with a committee of elementary educators to diversify read-aloud experiences with new picture books. Soliciting feedback from students is a regular practice that my colleagues and I embrace in an effort to make reading and learning relevant.
It’s important for us, as educators, to know what students are thinking and what’s resonating so that we can be responsive designers of curriculum. When we consider who we teach, the why and the how of what we teach becomes clear.
Every blogger wants one thing more than anything: more traffic
In order to increase your traffic and keep growing, you need to get creative and you need to leverage a lot of different platforms and channels. There is a lot of competition when it comes to content, so in order to stand out and reach your audience, you don’t just need quality, but also a strong promotional strategy.
In my latest Quick Win for Smart Insights, I show you how you can build such a strategy by listing all of the main methods of promoting a blog. You’ll get to learn:
The top free ways of promoting your blog, such as social media strategies and how to maximise your traffic from social media, search engine optimisation tips, and other effective free tactics
The best blogging communities to share your posts in and increase your social shares
How to build your own blog promotion checklist to help you make sure you are leveraging every channel possible
But in this blog post, I’m going to share some creative ways of promoting your blog post, to help you mix up your promotional strategy and generate more traffic:Mix up your social updates
It’s not enough to share your blog posts just one or twice on your social media – you’ll lose a lot of potential traffic, as social media updates generally disappear very quickly from your followers’ newsfeeds.
To maximise your reach and generate more traffic, share your blog posts multiple times; for example:
Once every 1-2 days on Twitter
Once a week on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+
Use different text updates; for example, some of the ways you can mix things up is to use a quote from your blog post as the text update, an interesting fact, or a controversial statement (all taken from the blog post). Or, you can change the call to action; for example, “discover how to (…)”, “learn the best ways to (…)”, and so on.
Promote the blog post using different media: use fun GIFs or create social media images – you can use tools like Canva, Crello, and Pablo by Buffer to help – to attach when sharing your blog post. For example, you can add text over your image, like before (a quote from your blog, a fact, a statement, etc.)Answer questions on Quora
If you’re not sure how to use Quora, it’s a Q&A platform, where anyone can answer any question they want, and anyone can respond.
There are questions about any topic you can think of, from questions about personal lives to specific niche topics about any industry.
As you start building up your profile on Quora and responding to questions regularly, it will help you build up your blog and website traffic and your influence as a thought leader in your niche.
To get started, complete your profile; don’t forget to include a link to your blog and make sure to write a compelling bio, as it will be seen every time you answer something.
Then, start answering questions; use the search bar to find relevant questions and to find topics to subscribe to.
You can include relevant links in your answers, but try not to promote just yours – include other helpful resources and links, as the more value you offer, the better.
You should also try to respond to new questions regularly to build up your followers and your traffic: check Quora regularly to see if there are any new questions (so yours can be the first answer!) and try to respond to a new question every day, or every few days.Repurpose your content
Your content doesn’t have to be used just once and discarded. In fact, there are all kinds of ways that you can repurpose your content to reach a wider audience and drive more traffic back to your blog.
First, check your blog analytics: what are your most popular blog posts? Which generated the most traffic and engagement?
These posts are the perfect ones to reuse as they’ve already demonstrated they drive results.
Here are some of the best ways to repurpose your content to maximise your results:
Turn a top-performing how-to post into a Slideshare presentation; the ones on the front page get hundreds of thousands of views, so if you can create an awesome presentation with a compelling headline and that provides a lot of value to the reader, you have the potential to reach a whole new audience. Make sure to also add your logo and branding (use your brand colours) and to include a call to action to get people to visit your blog/website
Turn a fact-heavy blog post into an infographic: infographics are still popular and can help you generate more traffic – you just need interesting facts and statistics and a compelling design. To help you make your infographic, you can try tools like Canva or Visme; once done, share your infographic on social media and on your blog to promote it and drive more traffic.Create round-up posts
One of the ways that you can effectively boost your social media shares and traffic, is to write a round-up post; for example, it can be about:
The best bloggers in your niche
The top curated content from your industry – the articles that provide the most value to the reader
The top infographics/videos/blog posts/resources/etc. from your niche
These types of curated posts can actually provide a lot of value to the reader – especially a blog where you curate the best blog posts and resources in your niche – which is a big bonus. But the way you’re going to boost your shares is by reaching out to all of the bloggers and influencers you’ve mentioned in your post to let them know about it and, of course, so they can share it.
You can reach out via email or social media: just send them a short message letting them know about it and asking them to share it with their audience if they like the post.Conclusion
Blog promotion is no easy feat. In order to drive traffic to your blog, you need to promote your blog on multiple channels and on a regular basis. That means not only using all of the classic channels of blog promotion – like SEO, social media, and email marketing – but you also need to get creative and try different methods.
If you want to learn more about all the different ways that you can promote your blog and generate more traffic, check out my Quick Win, where you’ll get to learn every top blog promotion method and other lesser-known ways that you can leverage.
3 best Creative Sound Blaster headphone amplifiers
If you’re a pro gamer or an audio enthusiast, you probably have a nice audio setup at home. You probably also have some great quality headphones like some of the Creative Sound Blaster headphones but if you want to fully enjoy their quality sound, you will definitely an equally great headphone amplifier.
Creative have built their Sound Blaster line from the first PC boards to the latest high-end external amplifiers that raise the bar of sound quality for computers and audio systems all over the world.
We did thorough research through a lot of Creative Sound Blaster headphone amplifier options and we have compiled a shortlist of the best options available.What are the best Creative Sound Blaster headphone amplifiers?
Compact and portable – 59.2 Grams
120 dB signal to noise ratio (SNR) that supports up to 24-bit/ 192kHz
Built-in NFC technology
Built-in dual microphones
2x 3.5 mm stereo headphones jacks
This small, 2 ounces box is a huge powerhouse for audio. Creative Sound Blaster E5 comes with an SB-Axx1 multi-core processor to increase the depth and spatial width of the audio when you either listen to music, watch movies, or play games.
The processor also saves all your audio EQ settings in the device itself so you will be able to enjoy your personalized sound wherever you go. The gadget can be controlled through the Sound Blaster Central app available on multiple platforms.
The pairing with any Android smartphone is performed seamlessly through NFC technology but you can also achieve the same results with a Bluetooth 4.1-compatible device.
The Creative Sound Blaster E5 portable headphone amp is all about the extremely low impedance of 2.2 ohms that will enhance the audio experience whether you have some mainstream headphone or a high-end, expensive pair.
As for the wired connections, E5 has the regular USB port but also optical in and out connectors for maximum quality sound. The amp has a whopping 3200 mAh battery that can hold for 8 hours of usage even with the Bluetooth connectivity.
Creative Sound Blaster E5 is extremely portable and powerful, and that’s why it’s in the top spot of our list.
24-BIT 192 kHz high-res audio
100W stereo amplifier
Burr-Brown PCM1794 127dB digital-to-analog converter
Dolby Digital decoder
5.1 channel playback in high resolution
Not so easy to set up
The Sound Blaster X7 features the SB-Axx1 multi-core Digital Signal Processor (DSP), the same as Sound Blaster E5 and it is also capable of voice processing, audio restoration, proprietary effects processing, and it is also has a certified Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder.
Moreover, the X7 features a headphone stand that will save you money while also eliminating the potential cable clutter on your desk.
The second most important piece of technology inside X7 alongside the processor is the Burr-Brown PCM1794 127dB digital-to-analog converter (DAC). That means that when you connect it to a PC or a Mac, you will experience high-resolution audio playback of up to 24-bit 192 kHz.
And the cherry on top is the Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier chip capable of driving even high-end 600 ohms headphones for ultimate fidelity sound.
Hi-Res 130dB 32bit/384kHz gaming DAC
Xamp headphone amp
Dolby Digital 7.1 virtual surround sound
Sidetone/ speaker control for Xbox One, Nintendo and PS4
Slight problems with the software
Creative Sound BlasterX G6 is the ultimate gaming amplifier for gaming. A signifficant upgrade over the previous model, G5, Sound BlasterX G6 improves your audio tenfold compared to the one from your default motherboard audio or some regular USB Gaming DACs out there.
This amazing USB sound card works with gaming consoles like Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, PCs and laptops, and generates a virtual 7.1 32-bit/ 384kHz sound using a 130 dB USB Digital Audio Converter (DAC).
The Xamp discrete headphone amplifier offers very detailed audio for perfect localization of the sounds in any game. It also boasts Dolby Digital decoding, game-voice volume balancing, and other impressive sound enhancement technologies that you’re used to from Sound Blaster’s 30-year old legacy.
G6 features a wide array of connectivity options including optical, USB, and line-in so you will be covered will all kinds of sources.
As if the sound wasn’t accurate enough, this amp features a Scout Mode that enhances important in-game audio cues such as footsteps and weapon switching sounds so you can accurately pinpoint your opponents’ location before they can locate you.
We hope you liked our selection of the best Creative Sound Blaster headphone amplifiers.
To explore this idea further, don’t hesitate to check out some other useful buying guides surrounding the audio equipment subject,
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We were impressed with the Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones, for sound quality, comfort and wireless freedom. Once you tried Bluetooth headphones going back to wired models seems rather primitive. Sound quality is great and these headphones are comfortable to wear and don’t leak much noise to the outside world.
The Creative Hitz WP380 are a solid but lightweight set of headphones that allow for both wireless and wired listening. We review the Creative Hitz WP380 for sound quality, Bluetooth connectivity and comfort.
Wireless speakers and headphones are becoming increasingly popular now that Bluetooth technology has developed to cope with high-quality audio. See also: Best speakers for iPhone, Galaxy, Nexus and Best earbuds and headphones for iPhone, iPad, Android
Were moving on from the days of Apple’s iconic white iPod earbud cables. Getting rid of such headphone cables has more benefits than just not snagging yourself on door handles or having to untangle miles of strangely knotty cable – can anyone explain just how headphone cables do get in such tangles? Read: How to add Bluetooth to an iPod classic.
With Near Field Communication (NFC) technology all you need to do is tap your NFC-enabled smartphone or music player to a compatible speaker or headphone and you’re connected within seconds. Sadly Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod can’t yet handle tap-to-pair with speakers or other accessories such as the Creative Hitz WP380 wireless on-ear headphones. But NFC comes in just about every Android and Windows Phone, so Apple users are missing out for the time being.
That’s not to say that the £89.99 WP380 headphones won’t work with iPhones or iPods – it’s only the tap-to-pair NFC feature that is denied them until Apple wakes up to the benefits.
Instead you hold down one area of the headphones through power up and a few seconds more to start pairing the WP380 and your iPhone/iPod.
With Bluetooth headphones such as these you can share your audio with another headphone user – no walking oddly tethered by a cable lead.
Creative calls this ShareMe. Sharing an audio source might seem like a gimmick but think of the possibilities: listening to music, a podcast or audiobook together, or watching a movie with friend during a commute or long-haul flight.
Pairing two sets of compatible headphones isn’t as easy as tapping NFC devices but it’s a relatively simple matter of both users pressing some of the headphone buttons.Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones review: Sound quality
We were pleasantly surprised how good the Creative Hitz WP380 does sound. To be sure we gave the wireless headphones to our resident audio nut, Technical Editor Andrew Harrison, to test.
He was impressed that there’s none of the background hiss and crackle he has heard on many Bluetooth audio devices.
Connected by aptX (data reduction technology) to a MacBook, it’s close to having a regular wired connection.
The overall tone of the headphones are good – warm bass without being overblown, tight and controlled for the most part too; level midband, inoffensive treble if with a little metallic hint audible in classical strings, for instance.
There is a nice stereo spread between the ears, and usefully wide sound with good image focus.
In layman’s terms… the Creative Hitz WP380 is a pair of great-sounding wireless headphones.
The Creative Hitz WP380 headphones feature the Apt-X codec, which is a neat audio compression technology (codec) that optimizes audio streaming through Bluetooth in an attempt to transmit CD level audio quality wirelessly. Both the headphones and the device you’re streaming from have to support aptX. Just as with NFC Apple doesn’t yet support Apt-X with its mobile devices but plenty of Android smartphones do. Check out a list of Apt-X– compatible devices here.Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones review: Comfort
The headphones are a bit clampy on the head but are secure with it, and we found noise leakage to be mininmal – so you won’t annoy people near you with your music.
Andrew did detect some slight mechanical noise from the headband if he waggled his head or jaw, but we don’t think this is going to put many people off these quality headphones.
You control On/Off power, volume and Forward/Back track selection from the right ear pad.
There are no heavy batteries to constantly replace or weigh you down as charging is done through the supplied Micro USB cable. A nice touch is that the headphones come with a flat, tangle-free audio cable (2.5mm jack for the headphones and 3.5mm for the audio player) in case the battery power runs out.
Creative claims that you’ll get up to 12 hours of playback and talk time with a single charge.Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones review: Built-in mic
The headphones boats a built-in, HD-ready speech microphone with the ClearSpeech Engine that Creative claims actively suppresses external noises and digitally enhances speech clarity to keep conversations loud and clear.
Will iPhone 5 HD Voice work in the UK?Specs Creative Hitz WP380 wireless headphones: Specs
Weight 150g (5.3oz)
Main Features: Volume Control, aptX, Near Field Communication (NFC)
Driver Size: 34mm (1.33 inches) Neodymium magnet
Frequency Response 18Hz ~ 22kHz
Optional cable Length 1.2m / 3.9ft
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