Answering My Main Inquiry Question – Capstone Post #5

After a lot of researching, I finally got the answer to my main inquiry question which was, “What is a cochlear implant, and how does it work?”

To get the answer, I looked at a lot of articles, websites, books, videos, a site visit and an interview. The things that helped out the most though were the site visit and the interview. Dr. William Shapiro answered my questions very clearly and well and so did Tara.

One of the things that I learned which I though was pretty interesting was that in the 60’s and early 70’s there were single channel cochlear implants. There was one electrode in the cochlea and every time you spoke to the patient, that electrode would be stimulated and it would stimulate the auditory nerve.

During the research process I printed out the articles that I was reading online so I could underline the important parts that helped me out a lot. After underlining I would take the important information and put it into my research journal. In my research journal, I would make graphic organizers to organize my information, like charts, venn diagrams, lists, etc.

To organize my information I also used a few note sheets. Everyone in my class had to do at least one note sheet for each sub question that they have. Basically, what the note sheet made you do was pick an important part of a resource that you’re using and then make it into your own words. Then, you’d have to write an idea that you grew from the source. That made me used to changing important information into my own words.

To keep track of my resources I made a document in google drive for links that led to websites, articles, and videos. I also made a list of the books that I used.

I thought that answering my main inquiry question was NOT easy. It took a lot of hard work and it takes time. You can’t just rush through the research phase because you have to make sure that the information that you gather is true. You also have to make sure that you gather enough information to answer your questions in a way that makes sense.

Site Visit – Capstone Post #4

For my site visit, I went to observe a speech and auditory therapy session at Listening Partners. People that get cochlear implants need this kind of therapy after the surgery. If they are very young and don’t know how to speak yet, they need the speech therapy because they need to hear a word more times to learn it. And even if they already know how to speak when they get it, they still need the auditory therapy to teach their brain how to hear with the implant.

Before the session started, I asked Tara Gallagher, a therapist, a few questions and I learned a lot from her. Then I watched her work with a four year old girl who has cochlear implants in both of her ears.

First they worked on her speech by playing “Go Fish”with cards that had pictures on them. Go Fish is a card game in which each player, taking turns, asks an opponent for a particular card and is told to “go fish” from the deck (grab another card), if the opponent doesn’t have the card you asked for. The person who ends up with the least cards wins. The girl did great.

Afterwards, Tara worked on her listening skills. She asked the girl to complete certain tasks on a worksheet following two and three step directions like, “can you please color the bear that’s about to jump, green?” It’s not as easy as it sounds but the girl did great again!

I really enjoyed observing this therapy session and I thought that it was very interesting. I really learned a lot!

Interview – Capstone Post #3

This Saturday I had my interview at my house with Dr. William Shapiro who is the Supervisor of Audiology at the NYU Cochlear Implant Center. It was very exciting!

He taught me a lot. I asked him questions that related to my main inquiry question. Some of the questions that I asked him were very similar to my sub questions. He answered them really well. For the interview, he brought a very old cochlear implant and some new ones so I could see the differences between them. He also brought some diagrams of the ear so I could understand how people hear normally and how people hear with a cochlear implant.

One of the things that he talked about that really interested me was the process after getting implanted. One of the things that are needed to make a patient very successful in hearing is that the implant needs to be constantly programmed. He inspired me to know more about programming the implant, which is called MAPping.

Overall I really liked the interview and I learned a lot. It was very useful. Now I have a lot of new information that I can write down in my journal. I can’t wait until I have my site visit!

Choosing a Main Inquiry Question and Sub Questions – Capstone Post #2

My class has just picked their main inquiry question and sub questions for their project!

After we had our topics ready we started thinking about our main inquiry question. We “pre-searched” (by pre-searching I mean learning a bit about our topic) on our topics to try and come up with ideas for our question. Once we had some ideas on what could be our question, we narrowed down to questions that we had in mind to the ones that really interested us. Finally I chose “What is a cochlear implant, and how does it work?” I chose that question because a lot of people don’t know what cochlear implants are. Most of my audience probably won’t know what they are. What I thought was challenging about choosing a main inquiry question was that I knew that I’d have to do a lot of research on this question. I really needed to chose a question that interested me because if it didn’t interest me, then everything about capstone would be boring. I learned that when I have to chose a question to research on for a project, it has to be one that gives you a lot of information.

After we chose our main inquiry question, my class “pre-searched” some more to come up with possible sub questions. We need to have five sub questions for the project and those sub questions needed to be related to our main inquiry question. After we had about nine sub questions in mind, we started to chose the ones that most interested us. I chose the five that interested me the most out of the ten that I had in mind. It was pretty challenging to choose these questions because, like I said before, these questions really needed to interest me. It was also hard to come up with sub questions because those questions needed to be ones that your sure can be answered by either a person, website, book, database, etc.

Choosing a Topic – Capstone Post #1

We just started Capstone! I am so excited. These past two weeks I have been thinking about what topic I wanted to do for my Capstone project. My class filled out an inquiry packet that helped us get good ideas on what we might want to do. Then we started narrowing down to some topics that really interested us.

A topic that really interests me is cochlear implants. It’s an incredible device that lets people who are deaf hear. Cochlear implants interest me because my brother was born deaf, and if it weren’t for that device, my brother would have been very different. He would have to do sign language and he would only be able to communicate with a limited amount of people who know sign language. I think that this device is amazing and it really makes an impact in deaf people’s lives.

I hope that I will learn a lot about cochlear implants through this process. I also hope that my final presentation will be amazing and that my audience will learn a LOT. I realized that by educating people about cochlear implants, I am helping people who have them because if people know what they are, the less different they will feel when they come across someone with cochlear implants. They’ll just treat them like anybody else. Which would make another impact on deaf people’s lives.