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Understanding How the Brain Thinks

Understanding How the Brain Thinks
Understanding How the Brain Works For 21st century success, now more than ever, students will need a skill set far beyond the current mandated standards that are evaluated on standardized tests. The qualifications for success in today's ever-changing world will demand the ability to think critically, communicate clearly, use continually changing technology, be culturally aware and adaptive, and possess the judgment and open-mindedness to make complex decisions based on accurate analysis of information. For students to be best prepared for the opportunities and challenges awaiting them, they need to develop their highest thinking skills -- the brain's executive functions. Factory Model of Education Prepares for "Assembly Line" Jobs Automation and computerization are exceeding human ability for doing repetitive tasks and calculations, but the educational model has not changed. The High Costs of Maintaining the Factory Model Executive Function = Critical Thinking Climb high. Related:  Critical ThinkingInstructional DesignWhat is Contemporary Learning?

College Readiness: Reading Critically We have a generation of students that are trained to automatically trust the textbook, or for that matter, trust anything that is written. Today, many students don't know how to read things with a grain of salt. So how do we go about fixing this? Well, first we have to get them to read, then get them to read critically. Mem Fox's book, Reading Magic, states that the love of reading has to start young. Parents and teachers have to read at least 1000 books to children to prepare them to read on their own. Dr. Today, Mike Rose is a professor at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Between the Lines Reading has to be synonymous to thinking. With all of that creative learning juice flowing in student's brains while they read, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. We should teach students to identify concepts while they read and then judge which of them is a key concept. Have you heard of the residue of thinking? Going Digital

An Overview of How to Design Instruction Using Critical Thinking Concepts The Logic of Instructional Design Instructional design involves two deeply interrelated parts: structures and tactics. In this article we focus on structures. Tactics involve the "how": How am I going to teach so as to make the structures work? Five Important Structural Determinations That Set the Stage for Everything Else We suggest that for every course you teach, there are five defining dimensions you should carefully think through. your concept of the course, the general plan for implementing that concept, the requirements the students must meet, the grading policies in the course (when applicable), and performance profiles (that correlate with the grade levels). The students, in other words, should know from the beginning what in general is going to be happening in the course, how they are going to be assessed, and what they should be striving to achieve. Studies have indicated that, on average, 90% of the decisions made about instruction are a result of the textbook chosen.

What Is Design Thinking? How might we engage students more deeply in reading? -- Karen, learning specialist How might we create a classroom space that is more centered around the needs and interests of the students? -- Michael, second-grade teacher How might we create a more collaborative culture for teachers at our school? -- Patrick, third-grade teacher How might we connect more with our neighborhood community? How might we create a district-wide approach to curriculum that engages the 21st century learner? As educators, we are designing every single day -- whether it's finding new ways to teach content more effectively, using our classroom space differently, developing new approaches to connecting with parents, or creating new solutions for our schools. Wherever they fall on the spectrum of scale -- the challenges facing educators today are real, complex, and varied. Design Thinking is one of them. Design Thinking is a process and a mindset It's human-centered It's collaborative It's experimental It's optimistic

George Siemens's blog: Ideas, collaboration, and innovation It's always difficult to assess the trajectory and depth of change when you're in the middle of it. I wonder if people in the industrial revolution, American/French revolutions - or even in the long, steady progress of the scientific revolution - were aware of what they were witnessing. Revolutions look so neatly packaged and defined, i.e. "the industrial revolution started with the development of..." when seen in reverse. In contrast, revolutions are experienced chronologically. Since the early 1990's, I've heard a fair bit of hype around how the internet (and then the web, then web 2.0, now social media, and tomorrow "big data") would impact society and businesses. It is this stage - where new technologies change practice and changed practices in turn alter organizational structure - that fascinates me. This past week, I was at the Social Business Forum in Milan, presenting on Analytics in Learning and Knowledge (

Improving Executive Function: Teaching Challenges and Opportunities (Part 3 of 7) The High Cost of Over-Packed Curriculum Standards For 21st century success, students will need skill sets far beyond those that are mandated in the densely packed standards -- and that's evaluated on bubble tests. In the near future, success will depend on accelerated rates of information acquisition. We are painfully aware that the educational model has not changed to accommodate the exponentially increasing amount of information pertinent to students. The factory model of education still in place was designed for producing assembly line workers to do assigned, repetitive tasks correctly. The human brain does have the equipment for the new critical skill sets needed in the future, but it cannot activate these tools without guided experiences. Executive Functions for Current and Future Opportunities What my field of neurology has called "executive functions" for over 100 years, are the highest cognitive processes -- they are sometimes called higher order thinking or critical thinking.

Training Teachers to Teach Critical Thinking Kellan McNulty: Prior to coming to Kipp, I tried to do a fishbowl discussion and it failed. And I had the kind of vague idea of how to do it, but I didn't have the specific tools. When I got to Kipp last year, we had a really good professional development on Socratic seminars that really showed me kind of the little tricks that made it work. Katie Kirkpatrick: I think the hardest thing for teachers in adopting a critical thinking model is that it requires them to kinda step back and let the students do all the work. Kellan McNulty: Another thing that I started doing at Kipp is using like very specific structures to push students to critical thought. So if you wanna do this in your classroom, like it's really important that you actually seat them in a way that's conducive and you maybe sit down yourself, or you even take yourself outta the discussion, 'cause if you're just standing up there normally, like they might not be able to have a discussion like you want.

JOLT - Journal of Online Learning and Teaching Zvi Goldman Post University Waterbury, CT 06723 USA Introduction and Challenge Student engagement with instructor and peers in online education, specifically over multiple discussion group sessions, is a critical factor that contributes to student learning, satisfaction, course success, and retention (Bedi 2008; Bocchi, Eastman, & Swift, 2004; Mandernach, Dailey-Hebert, & Donnelli-Sallee, 2007). Valuable and productive online discussions are not serendipitous; they need to be carefully designed and developed, communicated to students in order to convey expectations, and launched and managed (Chen, Wang, & Hung, 2009; Wang & Chen, 2008). In many institutions the phases of designing and developing (selection of topics and delivery structures) and setting expectations (communication of requirements to students and instructors) are implemented by course designers and/or full time faculty members responsible for this task. Literature Review Approach and Solution a. Figure 1.

Students Evolve from Consumers to Critics and Creators Critical-thinking skills -- and fluency in multimedia production -- are integral to media literacy. Running Time: 8 min. For many students, what happens in the traditional American classroom is boring. Small wonder, when you compare such relatively inanimate stuff as pencil-and-paper-bound reading, writing, and math drills to the media mix of mind-bending imagery and hair-raising sound that consumes most of their waking hours outside school. A recent study, "Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds," found that students in grades 3-12 spend an average of six hours and twenty-one minutes plugged in to some type of media each day. For this digital generation, electronic media is increasingly seductive, influential, and pervasive, yet most schools treat the written word as the only means of communication worthy of study. Credit: Edutopia One place kids live is the multiplex, where they indulge in popcorn and eye candy. Credit: The Jacob Burns Film Center

Social media & learning – note taking on steroids With all this talk about social media and learning, we may be missing the essential benefit, which is simple note taking and the sharing of those notes. Social media is notes on steroids. I’m a note taker, whether it’s at talks, conferences, in margins of books or thoughts captured in my notebook. On top of this I write the equivalent of notes on Twitter, Facebook and longer blog posts. It’s a lifelong habit. I’m therefore astonished, when giving keynotes and talks at learning conferences, to see learning professionals sit there and NOT take notes and worse have no means to take notes. In addition, articles on ‘learning how to learn’ or ‘metacognition’ often disappoint me, as they seem vague and lack the sort of direct advice that really does lead to a dramatic increase in retention. Why take notes? 1. Studies on note taking (with control groups and reversal of note takers and non note takers to eliminate differences) show overwhelmingly that not taking increases memory/retention. 2. 3.

Grant to Support Reasoning Program at West Dallas Middle School - News Center Sept. 6, 2013 Dr. Jacquelyn Gamino directs the Center for BrainHealth’s Adolescent Reasoning Initiative, which has trained more than 15,000 teens across the country. A $250,000 grant will help a Center for BrainHealth project to improve advanced reasoning skills at a West Dallas middle school. The Communities Foundation of Texas gift will provide research-based high performance brain training for students, teachers, leadership and parents at Thomas A. “The brain’s frontal networks are undergoing extensive changes during adolescence, making middle school an optimal time to train innovative thinking and reasoning skills,” said Dr. Edison is located in the 11th-poorest ZIP code in the nation. Dr. The Center for BrainHealth’s brain training program called SMART (Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training) has yielded measurable improvements in middle school students of all socioeconomic levels. “We have seen the SMART program transform classrooms across the country,” said Dr.

Understanding How the Brain Thinks Judy Willis(@judywillis on Twitter) is an authority on brain research as it relates to learning. She is a regular blogger at Edutopia. You can also find her online at RADteach. For 21st century success, now more than ever, students will need a skill set far beyond the current mandated standards that are evaluated on standardized tests. The qualifications for success in today's ever-changing world will demand the ability to think critically, communicate clearly, use continually changing technology, be culturally aware and adaptive, and possess the judgment and open-mindedness to make complex decisions based on accurate analysis of information. The most rewarding jobs of this century will be those that cannot be done by computers. For students to be best prepared for the opportunities and challenges awaiting them, they need to develop their highest thinking skills -- the brain's executive functions. See the entire series below Part One: Understanding How the Brain Thinks More coming soon

JOLT - Journal of Online Learning and Teaching Suzanne Young University of Wyoming Laramie, WY 82071 USA Mary Alice Bruce University of Wyoming Laramie, WY 82071 USA Introduction With more than 25% of the total number of students in higher education receiving instruction online and ever increasing online student numbers projected (Allen & Seaman, 2010), educators continue to identify factors that may enhance meaningful online learning. To facilitate positive outcomes, instructors must move beyond content oriented online delivery and create a supportive learning environment that is sensitive to student needs (Herbert, 2007; Mandernach, 2009). Classroom community and student engagement are closely related to one another. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine the correlates of student engagement and classroom community in online courses. Theoretical Framework Method The online students were invited to complete the survey near the end of each semester. Results Discussion

Critical Thinking Pathways Critical thinking is trendy these days. With 6.3 million hits resulting from a Google search -- six times "Bloom's Taxonomy" -- its importance is undeniable. Worldwide, critical thinking (CT) is integrated into finger-painting lessons, units on Swiss immigrants, discussions of Cinderella, and the Common Core State Standards. Definitions abound. "Seeing both sides of an issue." -- Daniel Willingham "An ability to use reason to move beyond the acquisition of facts to uncover deep meaning." -- Robert Weissberg "A reflective and reasonable thought process embodying depth, accuracy, and astute judgment to determine the merit of a decision, an object, or a theory." -- Huda Umar Alwehaibi "Self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way." -- Linda Elder Jarno M. Meanwhile, watch out for CT posers. "How is that critical thinking?" "It really gets students thinking about the dangers of rickshaws," he said. Critical Thinking