by Erin Pender | November 22, 2022
Our Teacher Feature series highlights how special education teachers and professionals have each implemented FrenalyticsEDU into their classrooms. This edition features Jennifer Gemski, ATP (Assistive Technology Professional) at the Campus School at Boston College.
Jen Gemski began working at the Campus School at Boston College in the fall of 2020 as an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), introducing a variety of technology into classrooms. The Campus School serves students with extensive support and medical needs between the ages of three and twenty-two, and has six classrooms with three to six students per class.
Joining the Campus School in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jen experienced the challenges of providing remote therapies to students. Those challenges included tracking progress and maintaining communication among team members. Gemski said, “It’s always better to be in person.” Jen discovered FrenalyticsEDU and realized it could help address these challenges:
As far as Frenalytics, I see the benefit as allowing therapists to share information amongst the students’ entire team, including therapists, family members, and educators. Capturing progress data and comprehension questions for our students, especially those who are non-verbal, is especially powerful.”
Gemski sees Frenalytics as an effective way to capture data, especially with the students in which the Campus School serves. Jen is currently trialing classroom integration with FrenalyticsEDU, our personalized learning software designed with teachers, for teachers in special education environments.
Since many of her students are nonverbal, it is important to be able to collect accurate data about student comprehension as well as information about their personal preferences. Additionally, since all of the students have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), it is essential to look at what is working, and to easily track each student’s progress.
Gemski also emphasized that Frenalytics is unique because of how it can be customized:
I also think Frenalytics is unique because because at the Campus School, we use a customized, multi-sensory approach. Most of the other cognitive applications or software applications in this space don’t have that flexibility.”
The Campus School uses other innovative technology programs, including Camera Mouse, a mouse replacement program for computers developed at Boston College. Gemski was elated to discover that Frenalytics is compatible with this technology.
With FrenalyticsEDU, the comprehension and assessment questions that are part of teachers’ lessons can be entered directly into the software, allowing students to review what they have learned. Additionally, the data collected by Frenalytics allows teachers and other special education professionals to track students’ progress:
I’m excited to capture meaningful data throughout our student’s school day.”
If a student clicks the right answer, was it an involuntary movement, or intentional? Consistency and repetition is key; by using Frenalytics to repeat questions, Gemski and other staff members can review the data collected and identify patterns indicating a student’s progress:
We can make comparisons… Everybody keeps their own notes and their own data… with Frenalytics we share data and have the ability to share responses and to view everyone’s data at once.”
Additionally, Gemski explained that being able to display pictures and sounds into Frenalytics alongside answer options is so important for the students whom she serves:
Our students benefit from a multi-sensory approach… sight, sound, touch, smell, feelings, presence.”
This multi-sensory approach can also help educators and other professionals to customize students’ therapy sessions or classroom sessions. For example, Gemski said that if a student shows a clear and repeated preference for Taylor Swift, different professionals throughout the day can offer her songs to that student as a leisure choice.
Gemski’s experiences with Frenalytics and her vision for how it can be useful across classrooms at the Campus School demonstrate the ways in which FrenalyticsEDU can be a useful tool for students, teachers, and other educational professionals across the country – and around the world.
Here at Frenalytics, our goal is to provide meaningful educational opportunities to students of all abilities, all while making learning fun & engaging.