неділя, 6 жовтня 2013 р.

Infographic History of Distance Education

This infographic delves into the importance of distance education throughout history. StraighterLine is part of the education revolution.

StraighterLine is an innovator in bringing the cost of higher education down by offering general education classes for transfer credit. For more information goto StraighterLine.com.

неділя, 17 лютого 2013 р.

EVO 2013. Neuroscience in Education. Week 5

Here are a few video to sum up some of the ideas of using neuroscience in education

The Brain and Learning

How Is Our Brain Wired?

The Learning Brain

I guess this video can bring some inspiration to any relationships

Winnie - the - Pooh is really a cool guy!
“Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.
“I suppose,” said Pooh,
“that that’s why he never understands anything.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

The Science of learning
Interesting article that comprises the main ideas of how the brain works. These are the main points mentioned there:
1. Intrinsic motivation comes from the act of learning, learning is a motivating experience in itself,. When students experience success they will naturally feel intrinsically motivated. The role of the teacher is to find ways to help students have a suceccessful learning experience.
2. We learn by connecting the new to the old.We are always building on what has gone before.
3. In order to help the brain build more connections we need to repeat the information in a meaningful way and attach a positive emotion to it.
4. The STUDENT is in control. The teacher's role is to arrange conditions and challanges in ways that engage the learner. Teaching is about the students.
5. Learners must create ideas and evaluate their work in order to own it.
6. The fear region of the brain is the amygdala. When the amygdala senses danger, it sends signals to our body and will deprive it from learning. A positive and a safe environment will help students to feel more relaxed and thus pave the way for a rewarding learning experience.

EVO 2013. Neuroscience in Education. Week 4

One basic principle about the brain is that brains are wired differently.Every brain is different partly because our experiences wire our brains differently.What we do and learn in life physically changes what our brain looks like—it literally rewires it.The various regions of the brain develop at different rates in different people.
No two people’s brains store the same information in the same way in the same place.The single most important factor in learning is the existing networks of neurons in the learner’s brain.What do we call the existing neuronal networks? PRIOR KNOWLEDGE.Prior knowledge is physical. It builds as brains physically change and it is held in place by physical connections. We know that prior knowledge is the starting point for the formation of new knowledge, that is, no new knowledge is built from scratch.Prior knowledge is the beginning of new knowledge.From a brain perspective, this means that the existing neuronal networks are very important for new learning to take place.

How Does Students' Prior Knowledge Affect Their Learning

These are funny videos under the title "I'm Listening to My Students"

How Do You Learn Best?

What Makes It Easy for Your Brain to Learn?

Choice in Projects

Studying for Tests

What Makes It Hard for Your Brain to Learn at School?

субота, 2 лютого 2013 р.

EVO 2013. Neuroscience in Education. Week 3


The amazing color change trick shows how selective our attention is and the things we think we see can play tricks on us

According to James Zull, good thinking requires that we pay attention, but that is hard to do if someone (a teacher, a parent or a colleague) threatens us. We may have trouble paying attention to an abstract problem when our amygdala is sending danger signals to our logical brain. And the same is true of our pleasure centers.Logic and its pleasures can suddenly seem inconsequential when we feel attracted to somebody. The issue here is competition and the brain function is attention. Different sensory signals physically compete for attention in the brain, and those that are the strongest win out. It's a physical battle. We pay the most attention to the things that matter the most in our life. Can't we just discipline our brains to ignore distractions? We can achieve discipline when we feel that discipline is what we want the most. As teachers, we must attend to this battle for attention. We must find some way to encourage our learners to want to use their reason and guide their attention.

This is a very interesting video about the strategies how to maintain the attention in the class


"Memory is the glue that binds our mental life together and provides a sense of continuity in our lives. Memory is everything. Without it, we are nothing. We are who we are because of what we learn and what we remember.", says neuroscientist Eric Kandel, winner of the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking research on the physiology of the brain's storage of memories.

The many kinds of studies of human and animal memory have led scientists to conclude that no single brain center stores memory. It most likely is stored in distributed collections of cortical processing systems that are also involved in the perception, processing, and analysis of the material being learned. In short, each part of the brain most likely contributes differently to permanent memory storage.

Repeat to remember: Short-term memory
The brain has many types of memory systems. One type follows four stages of processing: encoding, storing, retrieving, and forgetting.
Information coming into your brain is immediately split into fragments that are sent to different regions of the cortex for storage.
Most of the events that predict whether something learned also will be remembered occur in the first few seconds of learning. The more elaborately we encode a memory during its initial moments, the stronger it will be. You can improve your chances of remembering something if you reproduce the environment in which you first put it into your brain.

Remember to repeat: Long-term memory
Most memories disappear within minutes, but those that survive the fragile period strengthen with time. Long-term memories are formed in a two-way conversation between the hippocampus and the cortex, until the hippocampus breaks the connection and the memory is fixed in the cortex— which can take years. Our brains give us only an approximate view of reality, because they mix new knowledge with past memories and store them together as one. The way to make long-term memory more reliable is to incorporate new information gradually and repeat it in timed intervals.

Sleep is vital for the consolidation and integration of memories during the formation process. Sleep is biological creativity. The difference in how the brain handles learned information before and after sleep is the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Learning involves 3 steps for memory formation – 1. encoding 2. consolidation and integration 3. recall. Sleep is vital for the 2nd stage. The last 2 hours of our sleep is most critical for consolidation and yet our sleep is often cut short. Sleep physically changes the geography of memories. After sleep the location in the brain of our learning has actually moved.

How Memory Works - with Dr. Antonio Damasio

Dr. Antonio Damasio is a renowned neuroscientist. His research focuses on the neurobiology of mind and behavior, with an emphasis on emotion, decision-making, memory, communication, and creativity. His research has helped describe the neurological origins of emotions and has shown how emotions affect cognition and decision-making.


Memory and Study Strategies Presentation

What was important for me and interesting this week is the emphasize on the significant but a bit tricky nature of our attention and memory. The teachers should be aware of it and try to involve the power of these two processes and lessen the tricky effects.

неділя, 20 січня 2013 р.

EVO 2013. Neuroscience in Education. Week 2

Tony's story shows how emotions can affect learning. They are cause and effect at the same time. Paying enough attention to developing emotional brain, that is creating a brain-friendly classroom helps form an effective learner.

I find this video quite educational and helpful in understanding the interconnection between emotions and learning

This presentation was recorded on December 10, 2007, at the CASEL Forum, an event in New York City that brought together seventy-five global leaders in education and related fields to raise awareness about social and emotional learning (SEL) and introduce important scientific findings related to SEL.
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson presents his research on how social and emotional learning can affect the brain.

This is my wordcloud presenting the main concepts of the emotional brain 

This is not the first time that I learn about brain-compatibility in the classroom. I am quite aware of the issues that can enhance the learning atmosphere. Of course, things are easier said than done, but I do believe that the learners should be challenged by the tasks that shape, change and develop their brain. I also think that there must be not just a brain-friendly classroom but a brain-friendly school. The students get confused when the requirements of different teachers contradict each other: in one classroom critical thinking is highly appreciated, but in the other memorization is the best achievement. In my context, these are mostly English teachers who bring innovations to school, the teachers of other subject are quite behind because they don't know a foreign language and can't catch up with the latest research. Besides, every change, even positive, takes time to happen.