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Resources on Learning and the Brain

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5 ways teachers can improve student learning based on current brain research The brain is an experience-dependent organ. From our very earliest days, the brain begins to map itself to our world as we experience it through our senses. The mapping is vague and fuzzy at first, like a blurred photograph or an un-tuned piano. However, the more we interact with the world, the more well-defined our brain maps become until they are fine-tuned and differentiated. Science: A New Map of the Human Brain Who hasn't heard that people are either left-brained or right-brained—either analytical and logical or artistic and intuitive, based on the relative "strengths" of the brain's two hemispheres? How often do we hear someone remark about thinking with one side or the other? A flourishing industry of books, videos and self-help programs has been built on this dichotomy. You can purportedly "diagnose" your brain, "motivate" one or both sides, indulge in "essence therapy" to "restore balance" and much more. Everyone from babies to elders supposedly can benefit.

Bring abstract concepts to life with AR expeditions Over the last three years, Google Expeditions has helped students go on virtual field trips to far-off places like Machu Picchu, the International Space Station and the Galapagos Islands. The more you look around those places in virtual reality (VR), the more you notice all the amazing things that are there. And while we’ve seen first hand how powerful a tool VR is for going places, we think augmented reality (AR) is the best way to learn more about the things you find there. Imagine walking around a life-sized African elephant in your classroom or putting a museum's worth of ancient Greek statues on your table. Last year at Google I/O we announced the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program, and over the last school year, one million students have used AR in their classrooms.

Retrieval Practice: A Teachers' Definition and Video Examples Retrieval Practice: Image via Oliver Caviglioli We’ve been reading up a lot on retrieval practice lately. Hopefully we’re not alone in that. From a cognitive science standpoint it’s absolutely central to improving learning. You might recall Daniel Willingham’s assertion about the importance of knowledge:

Rainbow Brain Map Reveals Grid-Like Pattern By Greg Miller, ScienceNOW To the unaided eye, the most striking feature of the human brain is its squiggly pattern of bumps and grooves. But within those curves is a latticework of nerve fibers that cross each other at roughly right angles (above), according to a study published March 30 in Science. iTEC Scenarios, Design and Prototyping A scenario is a narrative that is used in iTEC as a medium to understand challenges and opportunities of advanced learning practices in European schools. Here is a list of all Scenarios that were created by Future Lab in the context of iTEC. The list includes brief descriptions of each scenarios, and starts with the most recent project cycle. Clicking on the name of the scenarios provides more detailed descriptions. Teachers are warmly welcome to comment on the Scenarios!

Using Brain Breaks to Restore Students’ Focus Early in my teaching career, I was disturbed by a note left by the substitute teacher. She wrote that during the three days she was with my students, they were responsive during the first part of class, but that many of them became inattentive, distracted, and even disruptive after about 20 minutes of her instruction. When I asked the students what had happened, they were of one voice: “She didn’t give us our brain breaks.” What Are Brain Breaks? For students to learn at their highest potential, their brains need to send signals efficiently from the sensory receptors (what they hear, see, touch, read, imagine, and experience) to memory storage regions of the brain. The most detrimental disruptions to traffic along these information pathways are stress and overload.

Lateralization of Function in Cerebral Hemispheres Biology 202 1998 First Web Reports On Serendip Jonathan Ball One of the major goals of neuroscience is to be able to understand the relationships between the structures of the nervous system and a persons outward behavior. Often times it is difficult or unethical to directly study the nervous system during a behavior and indirect methods must be used instead. One example of such an indirect method is using a subjects preferred hand to predict which of the two Cerebral Hemispheres is dominant.

The Defining Characteristic Of Early 21st Century Learning The Only Thing You Need To Be A 21st Century Teacher by Terry Heick Contrary to what you’ve probably read, you don’t have to be engaging to be a great teacher—at least not in any charismatic and charming sense of the word. You can be relatively “boring” and lead students to outstanding academic progress, mainly by staying organized, being reflective, flexible, and in constant contact with an active and ambitious professional learning networking. Teaching differently requires work. A resourceful teacher with an internet connection is likely to encounter more professional development materials in a few days than many teachers saw in a lifetime two generations ago, which makes this an exciting time to be an educator. Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future - Wait But Why Note: If you want to print this post or read it offline, the PDF is probably the way to go. You can buy it here.And here’s a G-rated version of the post, appropriate for all ages. Last month, I got a phone call. Okay maybe that’s not exactly how it happened, and maybe those weren’t his exact words.

Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions Defining Inquiry Inquiry-based learning, rather than presenting a set of facts, uses student inquiries, questions, interests, and curiosities to drive learning. This level of student involvement makes the learning more relevant, encouraging students to develop their own agency and critical thinking skills. The Inspiration Wildwood was already using inquiry-based learning to some extent, but things took off for them when, in Principal Mary Beth Cunat's second year, the school put on an Inquiry Fair.