Polaris Beginner Mode

Are you an educator trying to figure out the best braille device for your student? You aren’t alone! One of the more common questions we get is “when to choose which device”. While the answer depends on many factors that are unique to you and your student, there are a few things we have seen that that other teachers are doing that seem to work. We are going to cover some of that here, along with discussing why the Polaris is a great choice for your beginner student. 

Some Common Themes – Pre-Braille Learners

As we interact with teachers from across the US and Canada, we find some common themes when choosing a braille device for a beginning student. In general, we find that pre-braille learners are using many off-the-shelf solutions to understand general braille comprehension and other basic skills. A good example is using a muffin tin to teach braille awareness and sensory exploration.  Of course there are dedicated devices, like the Taptilo, designed specifically for early braille learning as well. 

The general theme for pre-braille learners we have found is to use something inexpensive to teach these basic braille skills and move toward dedicated devices as the student’s skills increase. 

Progressing Braille Comprehension

Once your student has a good understanding a basic braille concepts, it’s generally a good idea to move towards a refreshable braille device. The reason for this is that there are few alternatives to providing braille to a student and these alternatives are generally not optimal for a braille student. For example, embossing braille for a student is costly, requires more time compared to providing an electronic document, and provides no method to teach typing skills. 

In general, many teachers recommend moving academic braille students to a refreshable braille device starting around 3rd or 4th grade, but there are children as young as 4 using refreshable braille. 

Braille Display vs Notetaker

Another choice teachers often have to make is the choice between a braille display and a notetaker. Once again, there are many factors that go into this choice, but there are still some common themes. First, if your student will be taking math then a notetaker is the best way to create and provide math content to your student. Current notetakers, like provide the ability to read and write math in UEB and Nemeth, while other options are extremely limited.

In general, beginning braille learners tend to do well with braille notetakers. Notetakers are designed to be flexible, and can be used for the basics like reading and writing, up to more advanced uses such as mathematics. One of the great benefits of notetakers like the BrailleSense Polaris and the BrailleSense 6 is that you can change what is available to your student to match her skillset.

Polaris for Beginners

What makes the BrailleSense Polaris a great choice for beginner students is that it can handle the learning needs for those younger students and can grow to match your student’s needs. Using our Menu Manager you can hide applications that your student won’t be using, making the learning of a new device less intimidating and givin you control over what your student has access to. In addition, you can use our function lock to restrict access to the Menu Manager, making it so only those with the password able to change what’s available to your student.

Your students can have access to things like our Word Processor, Email, Google Drive, Web Browser, and so much more. All of the basic applications your student will need are there, available at your control.

Another great reason to choose the BrailleSense Polaris is that your students can access and complete math assignments in both UEB and Nemeth. There is simply no better way to create, deliver, and complete math assignments, no matter what level your braille student is at.

Finally, a major reason to choose the Polaris for your beginning students is the price. With the release of the BrailleSense 6 notetaker, we have reduced the price of the BrailleSense Polaris to just $3995.  At that price, there is absolutely no better value for your early braille students.

Want to learn more?

If it sounds like the BrailleSense Polaris is a good choice for your student and you want to learn more, we offer free virtual demonstrations where we can show you the Polaris and answer questions specific to you. You can request a virtual demonstration, or request a quote, by sending an email to sales@hims-inc.com.