The Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice — from the-learning-agency-lab.com by Alisa Cook and Ulrich Boser; with thanks to Learning Now TV for this resource
Six Research-Based Teaching Practices Are Put Into Practice

Excerpt:

For the nation’s education system, though, the bigger question is: How do we best educate our children so that they learn better, and learn how to learn, in addition to learning what to learn? Additionally, and arguably just as challenging, is: How do we translate this body of research into classroom practice effectively?

Enter the “Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice.” The goal of the project is to get the science of learning into the hands of teaching professionals as well as to parents, school leaders, and students.

 

Technology for HyFlex Classrooms: Major Considerations — from hyflexlearning.org by Brian Beatty

Excerpts:

This post describes four aspects of classroom technology that are very important to address when developing a HyFlex approach that can be effective at scale.

The classroom technology needs can be organized into four areas:

  1. two-way audio stream (connection),
  2. incoming video presentation of remote learners
  3. outgoing video presentation of classroom and learners
  4. interactive technology to support interaction, engagement, and formative assessment

Also re: hyflex teaching — where some students are physically present and some are coming into the class remotely– see:

Part I – Motivating Learners by Building Efficacy (Confidence) through Scaffolding and Support— from hyflexlearning.org by Jeanne Samuel

Excerpts:

HyFlex delivery may be new to many learners. Therefore, it is important to provide them with the supports they need to be successful. Regardless of the delivery mode, learners are motivated by success and by instructor presence. In part one of this topic post, we will write about how instructor support and feedback (a form of guidance) can motivate learners and build learner confidence.

PART II- Feedback for Improving Student Success and Satisfaction — from hyflexlearning.org by Jeanne Samuel

Excerpt:

In part 1 of this post, we focused on how feedback and support promote learner confidence. Learner confidence can lead to improved learner retention, progression, and success regardless of the class delivery mode. In part 2, we focus on feedback strategies.

 

From DSC:
For the last few years, I’ve been thinking that we need to make learning science-related information more accessible to students, teachers, professors, trainers, and employees — no matter what level they are at.

One idea on how to do this — besides putting posters up in the hallways, libraries, classrooms, conference rooms, cafeterias, etc. — is that we could put a How best to study/learn link in all of the global navigation bars and/or course navigation bars out there in organizations’ course management systems and learning management systems. Learners of all ages could have 24 x 7 x 365, easy, instant access as to how to be more productive as they study and learn about new things.

For example, they could select that link in their CMS/LMS to access information on:

  • Retrieval practice
  • Spacing
  • Interleaving
  • Metacognition
  • Elaboration
  • The Growth Mindset
  • Accessibility-related tools / assistive technologies
  • Links to further resources re: learning science and learning theories

What do you think? If we started this in K12, kept it up in higher ed and vocational programs, and took the idea into the corporate world, valuable information could be relayed and absorbed. This is the kind of information that is highly beneficial these days — as all of us need to be lifelong learners now.

 

Also from Eva Keiffenheim (on Medium.com, on Twitter), see:

What Most People Get Dangerously Wrong About Building a Second Brain
And how to fix it.

Also relevant/see:

Analysis: 6 Brain-Based Learning Strategies and Study Skills That Help Teens Learn — from the74million.org by Hank Pellissier

Excerpt:

Teens zoning out during Euclidean geometry or citing TikTok influencers in an expository paper doesn’t always mean they are bored or lazy, argues neurologist and teacher Judy Willis, co-author of Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from Neuroscience and the Classroom. “The demands on students are squishing their natural curiosity and joy of learning,” Willis says.

Brain scientists suggest that students absorb information best if they work in what’s known as the flow state. This mindset is reached when their consciousness is fully “in the zone,” entirely focused on activities they find so pleasurable that time flies and all distractions disappear. Try these brain-based learning strategies and study skills that can help teens enter this open state of more productive and enjoyable learning.

 

The Future Trends Forum Topics page — from forum.futureofeducation.us by Bryan Alexander

Excerpt:

The Future Trends Forum has explored higher education in depth and breadth. Over six years of regular live conversations we have addressed many aspects of academia.

On this page you’ll find a list of our topics.  Consider it a kind of table of contents, or, better yet, an index to the Forum’s themes.

Also see:

Since we launched in early February, 2016, the Forum has successfully published three hundred videos to YouTube.  Week after week, month by month, over more than six years we’ve held great conversations, then shared them with the world, free of charge.

 

I Analyzed 13 TED Talks on Improving Your Memory — Here’s the Quintessence — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keiffenheim
How you can make the most out of your brain.

Excerpt:

In her talk, brain researcher and professor Lara Boyds explains what science currently knows about neuroplasticity. In essence, your brain can change in three ways.

Change 1 — Increase chemical signalling
Your brain works by sending chemicals signals from cell to cell, so-called neurons. This transfer triggers actions and reactions. To support learning your brain can increase the concentration of these signals between your neurons. Chemical signalling is related to your short-term memory.

Change 2 — Alter the physical structure
During learning, the connections between neurons change. In the first change, your brain’s structure stays the same. Here, your brain’s physical structure changes — which takes more time. That’s why altering the physical structure influences your long-term memory.

For example, research shows that London taxi cab drivers who actually have to memorize a map of London to get their taxicab license have larger brain regions devoted to spatial or mapping memories.

Change 3 — Alter brain function
This one is crucial (and will also be mentioned in the following talks). When you use a brain region, it becomes more and more accessible. Whenever you access a specific memory, it becomes easier and easier to use again.

But Boyd’s talk doesn’t stop here. She further explores what limits or facilitates neuroplasticity. She researches how people can recover from brain damages such as a stroke and developed therapies that prime or prepare the brain to learn — including simulation, exercise and robotics.

Her research is also helpful for healthy brains — here are the two most important lessons:

The primary driver of change in your brain is your behaviour.

There is no one size fits all approach to learning.

 


From DSC:
This is so important. It’s the underlying cognitive science/psychology involved in the posting I recently created that was entitled, “What are the ramifications of having cognitive “highways in our minds?” It occurs to me that patience, grace, forgiveness, work, new habits, and more are required here.


 

 

If learning is easy, it's here today and gone tomorrow...like footprints in the sand on a beach

Excerpt:

While studying I misjudged the depth of my knowledge. I confused familiarity with knowing.

When you passively consume information like reading books or watching courses and things start to make sense we often tell ourselves: “Oh, easy. I understand this. Got it.”

But it’s wrong to think you can access something from your memory if you can recognize it.

 

Contrasting Cases: A Simple Strategy for Deep Understanding — from cultofpedagogy.com by Sarah Levine

Excerpt:

Contrasting cases is a valuable tool for any cognitive work—in any subject area—that involves going beyond surface traits and considering deeper connecting principles, or reflecting on specific features of a thing.

In my field of study, literary interpretation, using contrasting cases is especially useful to help students enrich their reading experiences and build interpretations of many kinds of texts, including fiction, poetry, or political speech. But you can use this approach in any subject where you’re studying rhetorically powerful texts, like advertisements, headlines, art, primary historical documents, and film.

 

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Questions that provoke critical thinking: <a href=”https://t.co/AgSkJbOXO7″>https://t.co/AgSkJbOXO7</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/instructionaldesign?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#instructionaldesign</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/instructionaldesigners?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#instructionaldesigners</a></p>&mdash; Instructional Design Lady (@instructlady) <a href=”https://twitter.com/instructlady/status/1504664266661679104?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>March 18, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

 

A group of workers are shown paving a new highway in this image.

From DSC:
What are the cognitive “highways” within our minds?

I’ve been thinking a lot about highways recently. Not because it’s construction season (quite yet) here in Michigan (USA), but because I’ve been reflecting upon how many of us build cognitive highways within our minds. The highways that I’m referring to are our well-trodden routes of thinking that we quickly default/resort to. Such well-trodden pathways in our minds get built over time…as we build our habits and/or our ways of thinking about things. Sometimes these routes get built without our even recognizing that new construction zones are already in place.

Those involved with cognitive psychology will connect instantly with what I’m saying here. Those who have studied memory, retrieval practice, how people learn, etc. will know what I’m referring to. 

But instead of a teaching and learning related origin, I got to thinking about this topic due to some recent faith-based conversations instead. These conversations revolved around such questions as:

  • What makes our old selves different from our new selves? (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • What does it mean to be transformed by the “renewing of our minds?” (Romans 12:2)
  • When a Christian says, “Keep your eyes on Christ” — what does that really mean and look like (practically speaking)?

For me, at least a part of the answers to those questions has to do with what’s occupying my thought life. I don’t know what it means to keep my eyes on Christ, as I can’t see Him. But I do understand what it means to keep my thoughts on what Christ said and/or did…or on the kinds of things that Philippians 4:8 suggests that we think about. No wonder that we often hear the encouragement to be in the Word…as I think that new cognitive highways get created in our minds as we read the Bible. That is, we begin to look at things differently. We take on different perspectives.

The ramifications of this idea are huge:

  • We can’t replace an old highway by ourselves. It takes others to help us out…to teach us new ways of thinking.
  • We sometimes have to unlearn some things. It took time to learn our original perspective on those things, and it will likely be a process for new learning to occur and replace the former way of thinking about those topics.
  • This idea relates to addictions as well. It takes time for addicts to build up their habits/cravings…and it takes time to replace those habits/cravings with more positive ones. One — or one’s family, partner/significant other, and friends — should not expect instant change. Change takes time, and therefore patience and grace are required. This goes for the teachers/faculty members, coaches, principals, pastors, policemen/women, judges, etc. that a person may interact with as well over time. (Hmmm…come to think of it, it sounds like some other relationships may be involved here at times also. Certainly, God knows that He needs to be patient with us — often, He has no choice. Our spouses know this as well and we know that about them too.)
  • Christians, who also struggle with addictions and go to the hospital er…the church rather, take time to change their thoughts, habits, and perspectives. Just as the rebuilding of a physical highway takes time, so it takes time to build new highways (patterns of thinking and responses) in our minds. So the former/old highways may still be around for a while yet, but the new ones are being built and getting stronger every day.
  • Sometimes we need to re-route certain thoughts. Or I suppose another way to think about this is to use the metaphor of “changing the tapes” being played in our minds. Like old cassette tapes, we need to reject some tapes/messages and insert some new ones.

What are the cognitive highways within your own mind? How can you be patient with others (that you want to see change occur within) inside of your own life?

Anyway, thanks for reading this posting. May you and yours be blessed on this day. Have a great week and weekend!


Addendum on 3/31/22…also relevant, see:

I Analyzed 13 TED Talks on Improving Your Memory— Here’s the Quintessence — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keiffenheim
How you can make the most out of your brain.

Excerpt:

In her talk, brain researcher and professor Lara Boyds explains what science currently knows about neuroplasticity. In essence, your brain can change in three ways.

Change 1 — Increase chemical signalling
Your brain works by sending chemicals signals from cell to cell, so-called neurons. This transfer triggers actions and reactions. To support learning your brain can increase the concentration of these signals between your neurons. Chemical signalling is related to your short-term memory.

Change 2 — Alter the physical structure
During learning, the connections between neurons change. In the first change, your brain’s structure stays the same. Here, your brain’s physical structure changes?—?which takes more time. That’s why altering the physical structure influences your long-term memory.

For example, research shows that London taxi cab drivers who actually have to memorize a map of London to get their taxicab license have larger brain regions devoted to spatial or mapping memories.

Change 3 — Alter brain function
This one is crucial (and will also be mentioned in the following talks). When you use a brain region, it becomes more and more accessible. Whenever you access a specific memory, it becomes easier and easier to use again.

But Boyd’s talk doesn’t stop here. She further explores what limits or facilitates neuroplasticity. She researches how people can recover from brain damages such as a stroke and developed therapies that prime or prepare the brain to learn?—?including simulation, exercise and robotics.

Her research is also helpful for healthy brains?—?here are the two most important lessons:

The primary driver of change in your brain is your behaviour.

There is no one size fits all approach to learning.

 


 

10 ways to improve students’ long-term learning — from ditchthattextbook.com

Research has a lot to say about improving students’ long-term memory. Here are 10 ideas you can use in class.

Also relevant/see:

Busting The Myth of Learning Styles — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
The idea that different students have different learning styles pervades education, but cognitive scientists say there is no evidence learning styles exist.

 

Sticky learning: Digital brain dumps with Flipgrid and Socrative — from ditchthattextbook.com

Excerpt:

Retrieval practice is powerful. It can be an easy practice to incorporate in class. Plus, there are some great digital tools that are made for this kind of practice.

In this post, you’ll learn …

  • What a “brain dump” is and how to do it
  • How to do video brain dumps with Flipgrid
  • How to do text brain dumps with Socrative
  • Why you don’t need tech to do brain dumps
  • Where you can find more info and research behind brain dumps
 

Is there a skills gap in learning design? — from neilmosley.com by Neil Mosley

Excerpt:

Another deficiency in higher education has also been the dearth of support there is for learning design. Roles such as Learning Designer or Instructional Designer have been relatively niche in UK higher education, they have tended to exist only in online or distance education settings.

This seems to be changing a little and there’s been more of these roles created over the past two years. Hopefully, as a result of growing recognition of the design and planning work that’s needed in higher education as the teaching and study experience grows in complexity.

Whilst broadly positive, this has thrown up another problem – the inconsistency and variability of skills amongst those that might refer to themselves as a Learning or Instructional Designer.

From DSC:
Though this is from the UK, these perspectives and the issues Neil raises are also very much present here in the United States. Neil raises some important questions, such as:

  • Aare the Learning Designers and/or Instructional Designers getting the training that they need?
  • What’s expected of them?
  • Are they utilized properly?
  • How do you scale their work?
  • How do you get professors and teachers to think of *designing* their learning experiences?

Addendum on 2/19/22:

And if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that this collective movement toward learning experience design will be essential to help striving students go on better, more productive, and personally meaningful educational journeys. Indeed, we must help spread the word that education is more than a collection of classes. It may include classes, but it is so much more. At its best, it is a carefully and thoughtfully crafted and curated family of experiences that can help striving students change their lives!  


 

A whole new world: Education meets the metaverse — from brookings.edu by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Jennifer M. Zosh, Helen Shwe Hadani, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kevin Clark, Chip Donohue, and Ellen Wartella

Excerpt:

The metaverse is upon us. Soon it will be as omnipresent as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook (now Meta). As technology advances to bring us new immersive and imaginary worlds, how we educate children and prepare teachers must also advance to meet these new opportunities. When education lags the digital leaps, the technology rather than educators defines what counts as educational opportunity. This is largely what happened with the introduction of “educational” apps designed to be used on smartphones and tablets meant for adults. Today, as the metaverse infrastructure is still under construction, researchers, educators, policymakers, and digital designers have a chance to lead the way rather than get caught in the undertow. To leverage the potential of the metaverse as a 3D, global, interconnected, immersive, and real-time online space, we need new ways to connect the physical world with augmented and virtual reality (VR) experiences.

In the end, we challenge those creating educational products for the metaverse to partner with educators and scientists to ensure that children experience real human social interaction as they navigate virtual spaces, children’s agency is supported as they explore these spaces, and there is a real eye to diversity in the representation and access to what is created.  

Also relevant/see:

The metaverse can provide a whole new opportunity for education. Here’s what to consider — from fastcompany.com by Stephen Fromkin
The cofounder of Talespin looks at an existing immersive learning program that delivers results and says our next priority should be getting it into the hands of as many learners as possible through the metaverse.

 

To Become a Super Learner, Avoid These Common Mistakes — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keiffenheim

Excerpt:

Learning is a journey, not a destination. And to learn more effectively, here’s what you might want to keep in mind:

  • Use space repetition instead of mass learning.
  • Embed new facts into context.
  • Experiment with diverse learning methods.
  • Seek test situations and embrace mistakes.

Also from Eva:

 
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