Tasia Pena Hopes to Improve Attention Skills With Use of EEG Headsets

tasiaMind power…the idea of controlling things with your mind is simply fascinating. Tasia Pena and her students are in the beginning phase of trying out the phenomenon! She recently received full funding for two NueroSky Mindwave mobile headsets and two Bluetooth connectors thanks to a successful Donors Choose post. These headsets are capable of reading brainwaves and then transforming scientific fiction into reality.  Pena admits she was very excited about the potential of becoming a JEDI herself!  She exclaims, “I have personally tried them and there is no other words to describe them but… REALLY cool!”  Pena wondered if a technological tool like this could help her students with ADD/ADHD strengthen their ability to focus within the classroom.

The project was initiated by a book study. Pena and her deep-play group studied The Game Believes in You by Greg Toppo. The book concentrates on various ways to nurture student learning through digital play.  The study group began to evaluate tools that could possibly be used in the classroom. Pena was particularly interested in game-based learning.  The book mentioned a game called Throw Trucks with your Mind which requires a one-of-a-kind technology headset that monitors brainwaves.  The creator of the game himself, Lat Ware, suffered from ADHD.  He created the game where trucks can actually be lifted into the air if the participant is calm. If the focus level is extremely high, the participant can actually throw the trucks.  Pena decided to post a Donors Choose project immediately after reading the book.  Successful funding came quick.

Pena adds, “The Donors Choose Project was flash funded by Google two days after it was posted online.  It all happened so quickly, as I thought no one would believe in a unique project as this one.”

Pena plans to introduce the headsets during an after school gaming club that begins on November 30th.  She is also excited about incorporating them during her Makerspace Fridays. She adds, “My own goal during the after school club is that while the students create, code, and play games,  I can create a game to use with the EEG headsets.  NeuroSky does have resources on their website for developers to create apps.  I have never coded before, so I plan on doing a lot of reading and watching videos to help.  And asking my own students!”  Her students are super excited about using them!  Great things are happening at Falconer Elementary School!  Keep up the mind-blowing work!