How Your Brain Understands What Your Ear Hears
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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

How Your Brain Understands What Your Ear Hears

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Teacher's Guide

Using the Web Site

The How Your Brain Understands What Your Ear Hears Web site is a tool, like an overhead projector or a textbook, that can help you organize your use of the module, engage student interest in learning, and orchestrate and individualize instruction. The Web site features sound clips, video clips, and animations that complement three of the module lessons.

Hardware/Software Requirements

The Web site can be accessed from Apple Macintosh and IBM-compatible personal computers. Links to download the Macromedia Flash and QuickTime Player plug-ins are provided on the Web site main page. The minimum hardware and software requirements for using the Web site are listed in the table below.

To access the Web site, type the following URL into your browser: http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/hearing/teacher.

Minimum Hardware/Software Requirements for Using the Web Site
CPU/Processor (PC Intel, Mac) Pentium 333 MHz, Power PC or faster
Operating system (DOS/Windows, Mac OS) Windows 95/98/2000 or Mac OS 7
System memory (RAM) 64 MB or more
Screen display 800 x 600, 16 bit (65K colors)
Browser Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or
Netscape Communicator 4.75 and higher
Browser settings JavaScript enabled
Free hard drive space 10 MB
Connection speed 56 kbps
Plug-ins Macromedia Flash Player (version 6 and higher)
and QuickTime Player (version 5 and higher)
Audio Sound card with speakers

Getting the Most out of the Web Site

Before you use the Web site, or any other piece of instructional software in your classroom, it may be valuable to identify some of the benefits you expect the software to provide. Well-designed instructional multimedia software can

The ideal use of the Web site requires one computer for each student team. However, if you have only one computer available in the classroom, you can still use the Web site (for example, by using a suitable device for projecting the screen image, or by rotating student teams through the computer station). If you do not have the facilities for using the Web site with your students, the print-based alternatives are provided for those lessons.

Collaborative Groups

Many of the activities in the lessons are designed to be completed by teams of students working together. Although individual students working alone can complete these activities, this strategy will not stimulate the types of student-student interactions that are part of active, collaborative, inquiry-based learning. Therefore, we recommend that you organize collaborative teams of two to four students each, depending on the number of computers available. Students in groups larger than this will have difficulty organizing the student-computer interactions equitably, which can lead to one or two students’ assuming the primary responsibility for the computer-based work. Although this type of arrangement can be efficient, it means that some students will not have the opportunity to experience the in-depth discovery and analysis that the Web site was designed to stimulate.

We recommend that you keep your students in the same collaborative teams for all the activities in the lessons. This will allow each team to develop a shared experience with the Web site and with the ideas and issues that the activities present. A shared experience also will enhance your students’ perceptions of the lessons as a conceptual whole.

If your student-to-computer ratio is greater than four students to one computer, then you will need to change the way you teach the module from the instructions in the lessons. For example, if you have only one computer available, you may want students to complete the Web-based work over an extended time period. You can do this in several ways. The most practical way is to use your computer as a center along with several other centers at which students complete other activities. In this approach, students rotate through the computer center, eventually completing the Web-based work that you have assigned.

A second way to structure the lessons if you have only one computer available is to use a projection system to display the desktop screen for the whole class to view. Giving selected students in the class the opportunity to manipulate the Web activities in response to suggestions from the class can give students some of the same autonomy in their learning they would have gained from working in small teams.

Web Activities for Students with Disabilities

The Office of Science Education (OSE) is committed to providing access to the Curriculum Supplement Series for individuals with disabilities, including members of the public and federal employees. To meet this commitment, we will comply with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 508 requires that individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking these materials will have access to and use of information and data that are comparable to those provided to members of the public who are not individuals with disabilities. The online versions of this series have been prepared to comply with Section 508.

If you use assistive technology (such as a Braille reader or a screen reader) and the format of any material on our Web sites interferes with your ability to access the information, please let us know. To enable us to respond in a manner most helpful to you, please indicate the nature of your accessibility problem, the format in which you would prefer to receive the material, the Web address of the requested material, and your contact information.

Contact us at

Curriculum Supplement Series
Office of Science Education
National Institutes of Health
6100 Executive Blvd., Suite 3E01 MSC 7520
Bethesda, MD 20892-7520
scied@mail.nih.gov

How Your Brain Understands What Your Ear Hears 508-Compliant Web Activities
Lesson,
activity
For students with hearing impairment For students with sight impairment
Lesson 1
Activity 1: What Did You Say?

Students may click on the closed-captioning icon to view the captioning for Tracks 1–6.

closed-captioning icon

The closed-captioning icon is located in the top left corner of the activity, within the rounded gray rectangle. The text appears below the track listing and animation.

There is a text description within the activity that is read by screen readers. It describes the format of the activity and indicates what software is required for optimal performance.

Tracks 1–6 are accessible via the keyboard. When using a screen reader, Track 4 includes a descriptive narration.

Lesson 3
Activity 2: Pitch Me a Curve

Students may click on the closed-captioning icon to view the captioning for the Introduction and Filtered Sound sections.

closed-captioning icon

The closed-captioning icon is located in the top left corner of the activity, within the rounded gray rectangle. The text appears below the animation.

Throughout the activity, an oscilloscope provides a visual representation of the sounds that occur.

There is a text description within the activity that is read by screen readers. It describes the format of the activity and indicates what software is required for optimal performance.

The Introduction screen includes a text description of the oscilloscope tracings.

When using a screen reader, the hearing-response graph begins with an audio description and instructions for the activity. Students may navigate between pitches with the Tab key and increase/decrease the loudness with the +/– keys.

When using a screen reader, the Filtered Sound section begins with an audio description and instructions for the activity. The audio describes the differences between each track. Students may navigate to the three track buttons using the Tab key.

Supervision is recommended.

Lesson 4
Activity 1: The Mysterious Black Box

Introduction, Animation, Sequencing Activity

Students may click on the closed-captioning icon to view the captioning for the Introduction and Animation sections. The final animation at the end of the Sequencing Activity also has captioning available.

closed-captioning icon

The icon is located in the top left corner of the activity, within the rounded gray rectangle. The text appears below the animations.

There is a text description within the activity that is read by screen readers. It describes the different sections of the activity and indicates what software is required for optimal performance.

When using a screen reader, the Introduction includes a descriptive narration that explains the animation. A second descriptive narration explains the Black Box Animation.

When using a screen reader, students will encounter an accessible version of the Sequencing Activity. This includes text instructions and audio feedback during the game. Students are instructed to complete the sequence by putting the components of the hearing pathway in their correct order. Once they have placed the components in order, they can review and test the sequence.

Once the Sequencing Activity has been completed successfully, students move on to the final animation. A descriptive narration explains the animation of the hearing pathway.

Supervision is recommended.

Lesson 5
Activity 1: How Small Is a Hair Cell?
No special considerations are required. An equivalent description of the video has been provided. It is located directly beneath the video and is accessible via a screen reader.

Next: Information about Hearing

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