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Noam Chomsky on the Purpose of Education

Noam Chomsky on the Purpose of Education
by Maria Popova On the value of cultivating the capacity to seek the significant. In this talk based on his presentation at the Learning Without Frontiers conference in January, philosopher, linguist, and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky — easily one of our time’s sharpest thinkers — discusses the purpose of education. Despite the slow pace and the cheesy AfterEffects animated typography, the video is a treasure trove of insight on everything from the role of technology to the pitfalls of policy. On the industrialization of education, echoing Sir Ken Robinson’s admonition about its effects on creativity: There have been many measures taken to try to turn the educational system towards more control, more indoctrination, more vocational training, imposing a debt, which traps students and young people into a life of conformity… That’s the exact opposite of [what] traditionally comes out of The Enlightenment. On technology: Technology is basically neutral. On the whimsy of inquiry: ↬ @openculture Related:  Ed Reformeyalrosenthal

Thinking Aloud — A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us. How to ‘Gamify’ Your Class Website – ProfHacker - Blogs [This is a guest post by Anastasia Salter, Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Baltimore in the school of Information Arts and Technologies. Her academic work focuses on storytelling in new media; she also writes the Future Fragments column for CinCity. Follow her on Twitter at MsAnastasia.--@jbj] When Jason B. Achievements and leveling in games are inherently social, as they offer bragging rights and a way to compare progress to others. I decided to search for a compromise. Your options for this vary with your choice of content system: Drupal has a group devoted to adding game features, but most of these are in early beta. BuddyPress — The foundation of a social class site, BuddyPress builds on the WordPress system so that it acts more like Facebook or Ning. I don’t know yet if making these sorts of changes to a class site will fundamentally transform my outcomes. Are these rankings changing how students act, even when they know the points are not by any means a “grade”?

7 Characteristics Of Future Learning Reading, in terms of scale and diversity, is different than it used to be. Thinking, in terms of context and application, is also different. It makes since that learning is also changing–becoming more entrepreneurial than directly didactic. That is, more learner-centered and controlled than teacher-and-report-card controlled. The presentation below by Steven Wheeler explores some of the shifts occurring in our digital age. Architecture of Participation: 7 Characteristics of Future Learning Also interesting was the “architecture of participation,” supercharged by social media and characterized by: CollaboratingTaggingVotingNetworkingUser-Generated ContentToolsSharing Social factors are coming to dominate learners’ interaction with text and other media, making a kind of communal constructivism perhaps the single-most fundamental trend in “future learning.” Communal Constructivism for a larger learning community…(and) wider disciplinary arenas.”

Cranial Nerves Can't remember the names of the cranial nerves? Here is a handy-dandy mnemonic for you: On Old Olympus Towering Top AFamous Vocal German Viewed Some Hops. The bold letters stand for: olfactory, optic, oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal, abducens, facial, vestibulocochlear, glossopharyngeal, vagus, spinal accessory, hypoglossal. Still can't remember the cranial nerves? מבחן: איזה צד של המוח שלכם דומיננטי יותר, הימני או השמאלי? | הפטריה הביטו היטב על סרטון הרקדנית המסתובבת הבא. האם הרקדנית מסתובבת בכיוון השעות או שמא מסתובבת נגד כיוון השעון? תתפלאו, אבל מספר בני אדם שונים שיסתכלו על התמונה הזאת, יענו תשובות שונות. מבחן אינטרנטי קצר ופשוט שיקח לכם שלושים שניות מהחיים, מתיימר לקבוע אלו מבין חלקי המוח שלכם, הימני או השמאלי הוא זה ששולט אצלכם. את האשליה האופטית הנהדרת "מבחן הרקדנית", אשליה מאוד מוכרת ברשת, יצר האמן היפני נובויוקי קאיאהרה, והיא מצליחה לתעתע במוח שלנו בזכות העובדה שהצללית בה אנחנו צופים מכילה מידע דו מימדי בלבד ולא מאפשרת למוח לקבוע בוודאות באיזה כיוון מסתובבת הרקדנית. בשורה התחתונה, אנחנו לא מבינים גדולים במדעי המוח, אבל אנחנו יכולים לשער כי גם המבחן אותו ביצעתם למעלה הוא למעשה קשקוש מוחלט, ונוצר רק בשביל הכיף, ובשביל שכותבים כמוני ייאלצו לבזבז דקות ארוכות מסמנם ברשת בחיפוש אחר מחקרים ותשובות מעמיקות בהקשר הזה. אז המטרה הושגה, החכמתי מעט, ואני מניח שגם אתם (ממש מעט), ובכל זאת, רק בשביל הכיף, גם אתם מוזמנים לבצע את המבחן, ולבחון את אשליית הרקדנית על אנשים אחרים. הרשמו לקבלת עדכון יומי על הסיפורים החדשים שלנו

Intense prep for law school admission test alters brain structure Intensive preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) actually changes the microscopic structure of the brain, physically bolstering the connections between areas of the brain important for reasoning, according to neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley. The brain’s white matter, shown above, contains the connections between neurons. The white matter regions highlighted in green or blue showed changes after intense preparation for the LSAT, suggesting improved interconnections among reasoning areas of the brain. (Bunge lab image.) The results suggest that training people in reasoning skills – the main focus of LSAT prep courses – can reinforce the brain’s circuits involved in thinking and reasoning and could even up people’s IQ scores. “The fact that performance on the LSAT can be improved with practice is not new. John D. “I think this is an exciting discovery,” he said. Harnessing brain’s spatial areas improves deductive reasoning

10 Ways to Teach Innovation Getty By Thom Markham One overriding challenge is now coming to the fore in public consciousness: We need to reinvent just about everything. Whether scientific advances, technology breakthroughs, new political and economic structures, environmental solutions, or an updated code of ethics for 21st century life, everything is in flux—and everything demands innovative, out of the box thinking. The burden of reinvention, of course, falls on today’s generation of students. This is hardly the case, as we know. Move from projects to Project Based Learning. Teach concepts, not facts. Distinguish concepts from critical information. Make skills as important as knowledge. Form teams, not groups. Use thinking tools. Use creativity tools. Reward discovery. Make reflection part of the lesson. Be innovative yourself. Related

Future of learning: obsolescence of knowledge, return to real teaching The future of learning is far more than new devices, digital content and online classrooms. It means potentially rewritten relationships between students and information, teachers and instruction, and schools and society. In a short documentary released Tuesday, telecom giant Ericsson pulls together observations from leading voices in education technology and entrepreneurship to give a high-level snapshot of what the future of education could look like and how technology is leading it there. The 20-minute film, called the Future of Learning, which is part of the company’s ongoing Networked Society project, is particularly timely given the momentum behind online education platforms like Khan Academy and Coursera, adaptive learning technology from Knewton and the transition to digital textbooks. It includes commentary from Knewton founder and CEO Jose Ferreira and Coursera cofounder Daphne Koller explaining how their startups are shaping the new world of education.

Wonders of Math - The Game of Life What is the Game of Life? by Paul Callahan Rules of the Game of Life Life is played on a grid of square cells--like a chess board but extending infinitely in every direction. A cell can be live or dead. A live cell is shown by putting a marker on its square. A dead cell is shown by leaving the square empty. To apply one step of the rules, we count the number of live neighbors for each cell. A dead cell with exactly three live neighbors becomes a live cell (birth). Note: The number of live neighbors is always based on the cells before the rule was applied. In Life, as in nature, we observe many fascinating phenomena. The rules described above are all that's needed to discover anything there is to know about Life, and we'll see that this includes a great deal. Life Patterns A good way to get started in Life is to try out different patterns and see what happens. The R-pentomino is the first pattern Conway found that defied his attempts to simulate by hand. How Complex Can Life Get?

Project Shapeshifter The Serpent of Success: 5 ½ Timeless Commencement Speeches by Maria Popova The great and terrible truth of clichés, why success is a dangerous bedfellow, and how disappointment paves the way for originality. It’s that time of year again, the time when cultural icons and luminaries of various stripes flock to podiums around the world to impart their wisdom on a fresh crop of graduating seniors hungry to take on the world. After last year’s omnibus of timeless commencement addresses by J. K. Rowling (“Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is something on which to pride yourself. Across them runs a common thread of what seems to be as much a critical message, the message, for the young as it is an essential lifelong reminder for all: No social convention of success should lure you away from or could be a substitute for finding your purpose and doing what you love. It is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your own head (may be happening right now).

Why Google doesn’t care about hiring top college graduates - Quartz On Dec. 4, Italians went to the polls to decide on a reform referendum that would redefine the power of local governments and reduce the power of the senate. With a high turnout, my countryman rejected the reform. In the press, the voters’ decision was described as an Italian Brexit, and a triumph of populism. Beppe Grillo and his Five Star Movement, arguably Europe’s largest populist party, celebrated with Matteo Salvini, leader of the xenophobic Northern League; Marine Le Pen sent congratulations via Twitter, claiming that Italians’ had disavowed not just their prime minister, but the entire European Union. What had actually happened, however, was more nuanced. And yet, the disappointment amongst liberals—the majority of whom had supported the reforms—was palpable. On Facebook, my heavily “blue feed” shared news and commentary that unanimously condemned the victory of the “no” camp. Misguided, misinformed people like, me apparently. There were exceptions, of course. But it is not.