Catchbox Tossable Microphone for Classroom Discussion


The Catchbox is a soft foam throw-able microphone that can help amplify student and instructor voices and be a fun teaching tool to increase discussion and interactive participation activities in medium to large classroom spaces. There are Catchboxes set up in various classrooms that are connected through the room's sound system.


Catchbox with a Bowdoin Logo B, receiver, and instructor lapel microphone set up in Sills 205 classroom.
Equipment included in a Catchbox Plus Kit.

Video: What is Catchbox? (2:01 minutes)

Equipment Highlights

  • Active Automute - Automute senses the motion of the Catchbox and temporarily switches off the audio when the device is thrown.
  • Light & soft - Catchbox is made of foam, making it light for its size as well as durable. All the hard electronic components are inside, ensuring that dropping and throwing the device won’t damage the device or the person catching.
  • Magnetic locking - A  magnetic mechanism ensures the microphone locks securely into the soft outer cover and won't come out during use. 


The Catchbox is a fun way to make an event or classroom more engaging but here are a few tips to avoid injuries or damage. Before using the Catchbox in a class explain what the Catchbox is, how it works, and how you expect o use it in class. An example might be: “This is a Catchbox, we will use it during in-class discussion. It’s lightweight (10 ounces) and has a speaker at the top. When the Catchbox is thrown to you, speak into the microphone at the top so everyone can hear you. When prompted, you’ll toss the Catchbox to one of your classmates so they can share an idea.” 

  • Make sure that the center microphone is securely locked inside the foam cover before using. 
  • Avoid throwing long or hard passes, short underhanded passes are safer.
  • Consider situations where there are glasses, fragile items, liquids, like in a laboratory environment or computer lab. 
  • Avoid swinging or throwing the device from its handle.
  • Make eye-contact with the person you are throwing the Catchbox so no-one is caught off-guard.

Speaking Into the Catchbox

  • To use the Catchbox, simply speak into the foam cap located on top of the product. 
  • Let students or the audience know to hold the microphone about eight inches from their mouth when speaking for the clearest sound and to not block their face.
  • Using the Catchbox near speakers can cause audio feedback.

Classroom Activity and Engagement Ideas

  • General class-wide discussion of a case or a problem
  • Have students report back to the class from group work, or Think-Pair-Share activities.
  • Ask a series of smaller questions and have students pass it down a row or around the room so everyone gets a chance.
  • Toss to students who may not always be the ones who get a chance to answer.
  • Share how you used the Catchbox in your class!

Questions and Contacts

Interested in using a Catchbox in your classroom, talking with someone about it more, or want a tutorial or demonstration of how the Catchbox works? 

Contact Juli Haugen, Digital Accessibility Specialist in Academic Technology, IT or use one of the following online forms:

  1. Request form to use a Catchbox in a Classroom (Not all classrooms have the technology to use a Catchbox)

  2. Request a classroom orientation to use a Catchbox that already exists in a Classroom

  3. Submit a digital accessibility request



Article ID: 136323
Sun 1/23/22 7:22 PM
Mon 3/28/22 1:21 PM

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