Content Mastery

Cami Bergman

Description of the Student and Area of Need

The student is a 10th grade boy who has a hearing impairment and has a Cochlear Implant in both ears. He is in all general education classes with his peers and has a study hall in the resource room. He significantly benefits from his Cochlear Implants in a quiet setting, but has difficulty hearing when any noise is present. Due to the number of students in his classes, the noise level makes it difficult for him to hear the teacher. He is very social and has many friends. He is involved in cross-country and wrestling at school.

Equipment Implemented to Support the Student

The student is supported by a Personal Frequency Modulation (FM) system. The FM system consists of a transmitter microphone used by the teacher and a receiver used by the student. The receiver connects to the student's implants and the sound spoken into the microphone by the teacher is transmitted directly to the student's hearing aids. This allows the student to hear the teacher in the classroom more accurately no matter where the teacher is standing, the amount of noise in the classroom, and even if the teacher is talking with his back to the class; for example while writing on the board. The student is able to hear and interpret content material, questions, and instructions with more ease.

The student also utilizes a Pulse Pen when taking notes during class. The pulse pen will record the teacher and any discussion taking place during class. The student can write key words as notes, which allows him to pay more attention to the teacher instead having his eyes on his paper taking notes. Then he can use his Pulse Pen to play back what was said during instruction. He can put his pen on key words in his notebook to skip to the part of instruction.

Rationale for Using the Technology with the Student

Although the student does benefit greatly from his implants, he has significant difficulty hearing when there is any noise present. This is not conducive for learning in the classroom environment. Therefore, the FM system is beneficial for the student to be able to hear the teacher in the classroom whether noise is present or not.

The YouTube video simulates what it is like to hear with hearing aids in the classroom with and without noise present. The video also simulates the difference between what it sounds like with and without using the FM system in the classroom setting.

Hearing Aid - FM Simulation

Process Used to Obtain the Technology

Assistive Technology Partnership/Education (ATP/Education) provides assistive technology services in the state of Nebraska for all children with a disability including their families, caregivers, teachers, service providers, etc... Part of the services provided by ATP/Education is an equipment loan pool which allows short-term loans of devices.

By working with ESU and ATP/Education the student is able to use an FM system and Pulse Pen, temporarily, through the loan pool until our school district is able to purchase one for him. The FM system is fitted specifically for the student by an audiologist.

Implementation of the Technology

The use of the FM system in the classroom is successful. The student shows greater participation, better understanding of material, and better grades in his classes since the support of the FM system and Pulse Pen has been implemented. The student's parents are very supportive of using the technology and has indicated that they can see a difference in his understanding of his homework at home. Although the student has indicated that he does not like to use the technology because he thinks it is embarrassing, we are in the process of taking the steps needed to ensure its use by his teachers is done as discreetly as possible to help the student feel more comfortable.