- Disabilities & the Disabled
It's Learning: Echo Smart Pen Way
It's Learning: For The Creative Yet Memory Impaired
A little background on myself: I'm a creative, hard working, and intelligent young man who often ran into trouble growing up in school and through college when it came to academics. Although I would often come into examinations being an A+ student, I would soon fail the entire course due to disastrous exam grades, even despite pulling all nighters and many times studying up to ten hours a given day.
The results were a college degree was denied in my life. An economic and social consequence that I still feel to this day ten years later, but for the first time ever, I'm showing some seeds of economic progress. It's still difficult due to the discrimination I face daily by not having a degree, and I'm still working numerous jobs well below my capabilities.
Later in life, I took a neural psych. examination, and it was determined that I fell into the 2nd percentile for working memory, yet well above average in everything else. In fact, I scored in the upper 90th percentiles for writing, math, short-term memory and long-term memory.
People are often confused by the term working memory, and mix it with other memory impairments. Basically, there are three types of memory:
- Working memory
- Short-term memory
- Long-term memory
Working memory is the process we undertake for temporarily storing and managing information. For example, a person who remembers a phone number and then quickly writes it down, or immediately reciting a sequence of numbers backwards. This type of memory skill set is imperative for academics. It's the ability, which allows a person to write, hear the teacher/professor, and have their mind cleared from all distractions at the same time. Think of working memory as opening a "memory portal." Once you've created the portal, you can then decide to discard the memory, keep it as a short term memory, or come to the understanding that the memory is important for life. Someone with a working memory impairment, such as me, will have difficulty creating such "portals" in what many would consider an appropriate length of time. Remembering people's names is almost impossible for me unless they're my closest friends.
Short-term memory is our ability to memorize, what is often secondary information, for short periods during our life span. Remembering what you ate yesterday is a good example of short term memory. It is not to be confused with working memory, which works in the immediate.
Long-term memory is a process for permanently storing, managing, and retrieving information for later use. Items of information stored as long-term memory may be available for a lifetime. An example would be reminiscing over a wonderful romantic relationship you may have had/may currently be having, or having general experienced competency in your profession of choice due to the constant build up of muscle memory.
The New Echo Smart Pen
Throughout many of my hubs, I will be specializing on technology that can help the disabled and people with learning difficulties. Today I’m featuring The New Echo Smart Pen, from Livescribe.
The New Echo Smart Pen is an assistive device that I recently discovered that could greatly help me overcome the pitfalls of my working memory impairment. This is a "smart pen" technology that captures handwriting on transactional documents, such as waybills, forms, invoices, and any other document with variable data. I would recommend the device to anyone who knows a brilliant person suffering due to memory lapses. The ability to quickly review and play over notes you have to jot down is invaluable, especially in an era that emphasizes mostly linear thinking and regurgitation, whether it is in the classroom or the boardroom.
This pen will hopefully allow your child, friends, family members, yourself, etc., to overcome obstacles they encounter in the linear world, thus allowing them to move past the initial entry level barriers, where hopefully they can work their way up into positions that are more appropriate and appreciative of their creative, entrepreneurial, conceptual and nonlinear talents.
-Donovan D. Westhaver