Today’s classroom looks vastly different than classrooms even a decade ago. Teachers today need to be aware of different impairments and the impact it has on the tools they will be using to aid all of their students ability to reach their full potential. Students with cognitive impairments bring with them a unique set of challenges for the student and teacher to both overcome. Cognitive impairments encompass a vast array of qualifiers which makes accommodating for the student seem more problematic than is the reality. So what qualifies as a cognitive impairment? Dove (2012) highlights “attention, memory, self-regulation, navigation, emotion recognition and management, planning, and sequencing activity” as some cognitive processes that provide hurdles for students with cognition deficiencies. However, as Katsioloudis and Jones (2013) note, other cognitive disabilities include traumatic brain injuries, autism, and learning disabilities among others.
With such a wide spectrum of cognitive impairments, the specific problems that students and teachers encounter are exponential. Students may be limited in their ability to make decisions, process information, retain information, and apply their intelligence in an academic setting (Katsioloudis & Jones, 2013). Without interventions, these impairments can limit the learning for affected students and for other students in the classroom that may also benefit from their point of view.
Incorporating technology in the classroom can be accomplished via any technology that is utilized to enable any student the opportunity to enhance or sustain the educational learning environment with any student necessitated by impairment (Guder, 2012). Dove (2013) categorizes devices as being task specific or multifunctional and further breaks them down by rating them as low, mid, or high-tech. Specific task options include the use of calculators, cameras, and global positioning systems (GPS), and multifunctional options include sticky notes, voice recorders, and Smartphones (Katsioloudis & Jones, 2013). Teachers can now creatively look beyond the pages of a special education resource catalogue and find solutions in any electronic or toy store (Bouck et. al, 2012a). By thinking outside of the box, teachers are able to repurpose products to better meet the requirements of their students.
Livescribe Pulse and Echo Smartpens
Taking notes in class no longer has to create undue stress to a student with a written expression learning disability or that of a student with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Livescribe Pulse and Echo Smartpens allow the user to take notes in specially created Livescribe notebooks while simultaneously creating an audio recording (Bouck et. al, 2012a). Notes can be matched up with the audio recording as often as the user wants/needs enabling the user more time to comprehend visually and or auditory. With a price point between $100-$200, this is an...