What if the hokey-cokey really is what it’s all about? Social networking & psychology of learning — from Donald Clark

Excerpt:

Psychology of learning in 5 words
What makes good learning practice? Well, I always think the psychology of learning can be summed up in three wordsless is more’. You could add another two ‘…and often’. There’s a number of established and well researched ways to improve memory and therefore learning:

From DSC:
My dad sent me this in an email — I’ll include it here as a graphic to insure that I get the layout correct:

 

ResearchFromCambridgeUniversity-PowerOfMind

 

Another excerpt from the email:

If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid, too.

Can you raed this? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

 

From DSC:
What amazed me about this was in the meta cognitive processes of my mind I sensed my mind struggling to make sense of the first couple words…but then, as I moved forward, my mind went back and filled in the gaps and moved forward with understanding what the words were saying.  Then it occurred to me how amazing the human mind is — glory to God!  Humans can pick up patterns much quicker than computers and algorithms. Not that algorithms can’t be tweaked over time, but humans are key in getting them headed in the right direction in the first place!

P.S. I also saw this type of thing at Jimmy Johns; but that’s even one step further outside the academic realm than even an email from someone’s dad!  But thanks Dad if you are reading this!  I found it to be an amazing exercise.   🙂

 

 

Mayer & Clark – 10 brilliant design rules for e-learning — from Donald Clark

Excerpt:

Richard Mayer and Ruth Clark are among the foremost researchers in the empirical testing of media and media mix hypotheses in online learning. Their e-Learning and the Science of Instruction (2003) covers seven design principles; multimedia, contiguity, modality, redundancy, coherence, personalisation, and practice opportunities. Clear explanations are given about the risks of ignoring these principles – with support from worked examples and case study challenges. It should be a compulsory text for online learning designers.

From DSC:
The other day, I mentioned how important it will be for institutions of higher education to increase the priority of experimentation. But, for a variety of reasons, I believe this is true for the K-12 world as well. Especially with the kindergarten/early elementary classroom in mind, I created the graphic below. Clicking on it will give you another example of the kind of experimentation that I’m talking about — whether that be in K-12 or in higher ed.

 

DanielChristianJan2013-ExperimentsInCustomizedLearningSpaces

 

From DSC:
I’m trying to address the students that are more easily distracted and, due to how their minds process information, have a harder time focusing on the task at hand.  In fact, at times, all of the external stimuli can be overwhelming. How can we provide a learning environment that’s more under the students’ control? i.e. How can we provide “volume knobs” on their auditory and visual channels?

Along these lines, I’m told that some theaters have sensory-friendly film showings — i.e. with different settings for the lights and sound than is typically offered.

Also see — with thanks going out to Ori Inbar (@comogard) for these:
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A relevant addendum on 1/10/12:

TryBeingMe-Jan2013

 

Driven to distraction: How to help wired students learn to focus — from eschoolnews.com by Larry Rosen

Excerpt:

A recent Pew Internet & American Life Project report surveyed 2,462 middle and high school Advanced Placement and national writing project teachers and concluded that: “Overwhelming majorities agree with the assertions that today’s digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans, and today’s students are too ‘plugged in’ and need more time away from their digital technologies.”

Two-thirds of the respondents agree with the notion that today’s digital technologies do more to distract students than to help them academically.

Mind you, we are talking about teachers who typically teach the best and brightest students and not those who we would generally think of as highly distractible.

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If attention can be visualized as a gate...is it getting harder to get through the gate?

 

From DSC:
If I’m an educator or a trainer and I can’t get through the gate (i.e. get someone’s attention), I have zero chance of getting a piece of information into someone’s short-term memory/working memory — and then ultimately into their long-term memory.

Also, from my own experience…
Especially in regards to information in a textual format, I know that I’ve grown increasingly impatient when someone doesn’t get to the point. When drinking (information) from the firehose, I seem to be almost forced into this type of situation/perspective.

 

“Mom! Check out what I did at school today!”

If you’re a parent, don’t you love to hear the excitement in your son’s or daughter’s voice when they bring home something from school that really peaked their interest? Their passions?

I woke up last night with several ideas and thoughts on how technology could help students become — and stay — engaged, while passing over more control and choice to the students in order for them to pursue their own interests and passions. The idea would enable students to efficiently gain some exposure to a variety of things to see if those things were interesting to them — perhaps opening a way for a future internship or, eventually, a career.

The device I pictured in my mind was the sort of device that I saw a while back out at Double Robotics and/or at Suitable Technologies:

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doublerobotics dot com -- wheels for your iPad

 

 

Remote presence system called Beam -- from Suitable Technologies - September 2012

 

The thoughts centered on implementing a growing network of such remote-controlled, mobile, videoconferencing-based sorts of devices, that were hooked up to voice translation engines.  Students could control such devices to pursue things that they wanted to know more about, such as:

  • Touring the Louvre in Paris
  • Being backstage at a Broadway musical or checking out a live performance of Macbeth
  • Watching a filming of a National Geographic Special in the Fiji Islands
  • Attending an IEEE International Conference in Taiwan
  • Attending an Educause Conference or a Sloan C event to get further knowledge about how to maximize your time studying online or within a hybrid environment
  • Touring The Exploratorium in San Francisco
  • Touring the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago
  • Being a fly on the wall during a Senate hearing/debate
  • Seeing how changes are made in the assembly lines at a Ford plant
  • Or perhaps, when a student wheels their device to a particular area — such as the front row of a conference, the signal automatically switches to the main speaker/event (keynote speakers, panel, etc. via machine-to-machine communications)
  • Inviting guest speakers into a class: pastors, authors, poets, composers, etc.
  • Work with local/virtual teams on how to heighten public awareness re: a project that deals with sustainability
  • Virtually head to another country to immerse themselves in another country’s language — and, vice versa, help them learn the students’ native languages

For accountability — as well as for setting aside intentional time to process the information — students would update their own blogs about what they experienced, heard, and saw.  They would need to include at least one image, along with the text they write about their experience.  Or perhaps a brief/edited piece of digital video or audio of some of the statements that they heard that really resonated with them, or that they had further questions on.  The default setting on such postings would be to be kept private, but if the teacher and the student felt that a posting could/should be made public, a quick setting could be checked to publish it out there for others to see/experience.

Real world. Engaging. Passing over more choice and control to the students so that they can pursue what they are passionate about.

 

 

 

 

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Also see:

 

From DSC:
I’m also reminded of what I’d like to see in a digital textbook — a series of “layers” that people — with various roles and perspectives on the content — could use to comment on and annotate an article:

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Students think they can multitask. Here’s proof they can’t. — from Faculty Focus by Maryellen Weimer

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Excerpt:

With easy access to all sorts of technology, students multitask. So do lots of us for that matter. But students are way too convinced that multitasking is a great way to work. They think they can do two or three tasks simultaneously and not compromise the quality of what they produce. Research says that about 5% of us multitask effectively. Proof of the negative effects of multitasking in learning environments is now coming from a variety of studies.

The question is, how do we get students to stop? We can tell them they shouldn’t. We can include policies that aim to prevent it and devote time and energy trying to implement them. I wonder if it isn’t smarter to confront students with the facts. Not admonitions, but concrete evidence that multitasking compromises their efforts to learn. The specifics are persuasive and here are some examples to share with students.

 

From DSC:
If you can’t beat ’em, join em! 🙂   I vote for having students use such devices in achieving the same learning outcomes/objectives that you normally would like the students to cover.  That is, to integrate the technologies that they are so engaged with — if possible.  But I like Maryellen’s thought about just confronting them with the facts — that if they choose to “multitask,” they will significantly reduce their ROI that they’re making in their education.

 

 

American Educator

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Example article:
Principles of Instruction — from American Educator by Barak Rosenshine
Research-based strategies that all teachers should know

Excerpt:

The following is a list of some of the instructional principles that have come from these three sources. These ideas will be described and discussed in this article:

  • Begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning.
  • Present new material in small steps with student practice after each step.
  • Ask a large number of questions and check the responses of all students.
  • Provide models.
  • Guide student practice.
  • Check for student understanding.
  • Obtain a high success rate.
  • Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks.
  • Require and monitor independent practice.
  • Engage students in weekly and monthly review.

 

What will improve a students memory? -- by Daniel Williamham

 

Excerpt:

How does the mind work—and especially how does it learn?  Teachers’ instructional decisions are based on a mix of theories learned in teacher education, trial and error, craft knowledge, and gut instinct.  Such gut knowledge often serves us well, but is there anything sturdier to rely on?  Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field of researchers from psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, and anthropology who seek to understand the mind. In this regular American Educator column, we consider findings from this field that are strong and clear enough to merit classroom application.

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