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Bionic Hearing Comes to the US Military

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In this 3 minute and 30 second video (posted June 30, 2016), Mary Roach, author of some of my favorite books, like Grunt, Bonk, and Stiff, reports that the Veterans Administration spends one billion dollars annually on hearing loss treatment.

After covering hearing in the Intro Psych sensation chapter, but before showing this video, ask students to consider why there is so much hearing loss in the military (for example, there are lots of things that go boom). Now ask students for some possible solutions. Students may say better ear protection. Better ear protection would block out the sudden loud sounds, but ask students if someone out on patrol might want to also hear softer sounds, like what their fellow patrol-mates are saying.

Now, show students this short video.

Video Link : 1633

Roach notes that it’s likely that this technology will be available to civilians. Ask students who else might benefit from this technology.

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About the Author
Sue Frantz has taught psychology in community colleges since 1992, and has been at Highline College in the Seattle area since 2001. She has served on several APA boards and committees, and was proud to serve the members of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as their 2018 president. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. She received in 2016 the highest award for the teaching of psychology--the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award . She presents nationally and internationally on the topics of educational technology and the pedagogy of psychology. She is co-author with Doug Bernstein and Steve Chew of Teaching Psychology: A Step-by-Step Guide, 3rd ed.