Learn Smarter Podcast — from learnsmarterpodcast.com

Learn Smarter Podcast educates, encourages and expands understanding for parents of students with different learning profiles through growing awareness of educational therapy, individualized strategies, community support, coaching, and educational content.

Learn Smarter Podcast educates, encourages and expands understanding for parents of students with different learning profiles through growing awareness of educational therapy, individualized strategies, community support, coaching, and educational content.

Somewhat along these lines…for some other resources related to the science of learning, see cogx.info’s research database:

Scientific Literature Supporting COGx Programs
COGx programs involve translation of research from over 500 scientific sources. The scientific literature below is a subset of the literature we have used and organized by subject area to facilitate access. In addition, we have worked directly with some of the authors of the scientific literature to help us translate and co-create our programs. Many of the scientific papers cited below were written by COGx Academic Partners.

Topics include:

    • Information Processing
    • Executive Function
    • Long-Term Memory
    • Metacognition
    • Emotions & Engagement
    • Cognitive Diversity

Also see:

USEFUL LEARNING WITH EFRAT FURST (S3E10)  — from edcircuit.com with Efrat Furst, Tom Sherrington, and Emma Turner

Bringing the science of learning to teachers

 


 

From DSC:
Let’s put together a nationwide campaign that would provide a website — or a series of websites if an agreement can’t be reached amongst the individual states — about learning how to learn. In business, there’s a “direct-to-consumer” approach. Well, we could provide a “direct-to-learner” approach — from cradle to grave. Seeing as how everyone is now required to be a lifelong learner, such a campaign would have enormous benefits to all of the United States. This campaign would be located in airports, subway stations, train stations, on billboards along major highways, in libraries, and in many more locations.

We could focus on things such as:

  • Quizzing yourself / retrieval practice
  • Spaced retrieval
  • Interleaving
  • Elaboration
  • Chunking
  • Cognitive load
  • Learning by doing (active learning)
  • Journaling
  • The growth mindset
  • Metacognition (thinking about one’s thinking)
  • Highlighting doesn’t equal learning
  • There is deeper learning in the struggle
  • …and more.

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more


NOTE:
The URL I’m using above doesn’t exist, at least not at the time of this posting.
But I’m proposing that it should exist.


A group of institutions, organizations, and individuals could contribute to this. For example The Learning Scientists, Daniel Willingham, Donald Clark, James Lang, Derek Bruff, The Learning Agency Lab, Robert Talbert, Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain, Eva Keffenheim, Benedict Carey, Ken Bain, and many others.

Perhaps there could be:

  • discussion forums to provide for social interaction/learning
  • scheduled/upcoming webinars
  • how to apply the latest evidence-based research in the classroom
  • link(s) to learning-related platforms and/or resources
 

From DSC:
For those seeking a doctorate in education: Here’s a potential topic for your doctoral thesis.

Homelessness is a huge issue. It’s a complex issue, with many layers, variables, and causes to it. I once heard Oprah Winfrey say that we are all one to two steps away from being homeless, and I agree with that.

But as I was passing a homeless person asking for money on the exit ramp from a local highway the other day, I wondered what place, if any, education played (or didn’t play) in people’s lives. Was/is there any common denominator or set of experiences with their education that we can look at? If so, can we use design thinking to get at some of those root issues? For examples:

  • Was school easy for them? Hard for them?
  • A source of joy for them? A source of pain for them?
  • Were they engaged or disengaged?
  • Were they able to pursue their interests and passions?

It might turn out that education had little to do with things. It could have been health issues, broken relationships, systemic issues, the loss of a job, addictions, intergenerational “chains,” or many other things. 

But it’s worth someone researching this. Such studies and interviews could turn up some helpful directions and steps to take for our future.

#homelessness #society #education #passions #participation
#research #educationreform #K12 #lifelonglearning

 

‘Press Play’ Isn’t a Teaching Strategy: Why Educators Need New Methods for Video — from edsurge.com by Reed Dickson

Excerpt:

As I prepared to teach my first educational videography course earlier this year, I found that we lacked a common vocabulary for talking about how we design learning with video in mind. Since then, I’ve been advancing the term “video paratext” to reflect the myriad ways that we design educational guidance, prompts, activities or interactive elements to surround or be included within a video.

I pulled the word “paratext” from the field of poetry translation because, personally, I love the “paratext” that precedes or follows a poem—or even interrupts it. At poetry readings in particular, I lean into the words that a poet shares before or after reading each poem. Paratext helps me connect with and make sense of the poem.

Likewise, I ask educators to consider how to help students connect with videos through various prompts and activities that surround, or are included within, the video.” Might such “paratext” inspire students to take a closer look at a video they’ve watched, the way I might want to reread a poem to see how it works or what it means?

Resources for Teachers of Psychology — from teachpsych.org; with thanks to Christine Renner for this resource

Excerpt:

The Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) curates and distributes teaching and advising materials to all teachers of psychology (e.g., 4-year instructors, 2-year instructors, and high-school teachers).  The resources available below are documents that can pertain to any aspect of teaching. (NOTE:  Syllabi have their own listings under Project Syllabus.)

Instructors have generously shared classroom activities, annotated bibliographies, film guides, lab manuals, advising aids, textbook compendiums, and much more. Notations indicate those that developed from Instructional Resource Awards.

Strategies for Teaching Quantitative Concepts Online — from facultyecommons.com

Excerpt:

Collaborative learning is particularly helpful in statistics education. Technology can facilitate and promote collaborative exploration and inquiry allowing students to generate their own knowledge of a concept or new method in a constructivist learning environment. Group interactions have an important role in questioning and critiquing individual perspectives in a mutually supportive fashion so that a clear understanding of statistical concepts energy and knowledge of statistical ideas develops. Research has shown that it is important to discuss the output and results with the students and require them to provide explanations and justifications for the conclusions they draw from the output and to be able to communicate their conclusions effectively.

Worksheet to WOW: 10 ways to upgrade your worksheet — from ditchthattextbook.com by Matt Miller

Excerpt:

Can we turn a worksheet into a “WOW” experience?

We’re about to find out! Here are 10 ways your classroom technology can help transform your worksheet to “WOW” …

Which Blended Learning Model Should I Use? — from catlintucker.com by Dr. Catlin Tucker

Excerpts:

I get this question all the time in coaching and training sessions! First, let’s be clear about the definition of blended learning.

Blended learning is the combination of active, engaged learning online with active, engaged learning offline to provide students with more control over the time, place, pace, and path of their learning.

This graphic shows the different rotation models

Creating Classroom Camaraderie to Promote Learning: 3 Strategies — from scholarlyteacher.com by Donna Downs

Key Statement: Intentionally developing a welcoming classroom environment increases student engagement and cultivates meaningful classroom relationships.

Keywords: engagement, motivation, relationship

Although researchers suggest flipped classrooms, engaging humor, and online polling, I have found taking a more personal approach to engagement to be successful, specifically the following three guidelines: show your human side, share your professional experiences and wisdom, and admit your mistakes.


Somewhat related:

How to Receive Feedback With a Growth Mindset — from neuroleadership.com by the NeuroLeadership Institute

Excerpt:

A growth mindset can help us view feedback as a good thing, which ultimately makes performance reviews more effective. After all, we want to learn, grow, and improve our skills. People with a fixed mindset view criticism as an attack on their self-worth. Growth mindset, by contrast, leaves room for the possibility that we all have blind spots — and that your manager may have valuable insights on how you can hone your skills. Feedback, in other words, isn’t personal. A manager may critique our performance, but a growth mindset helps keep us from tying our performance to our identity.


 

How can colleges better serve students with autism? — from by Laura Spitalniak
Professor Sarah Howorth says her program at the University of Maine helps bridge the gap between high school and college for students with autism.

Excerpts:

In 2019, Howorth led the pilot for the University of Maine’s Step Up to College, a program meant to model how colleges can effectively support students with autism spectrum disorder.

There are so many myths and misunderstandings out there about what a person with autism is like. Autism is not necessarily associated with cognitive impairment. I have a 16-year-old son who is on the autism spectrum. He is also very intelligent, and he’s definitely college bound. There’s a lot of kids out there like him on the autism spectrum.

Individuals on the spectrum bring a lot to communities, whether that be university campuses, or high schools or businesses. Oftentimes, we focus on the challenges they face, but I think they have many, many more strengths than challenges.

Look at things from a Universal Design for Learning perspective. The things that you offer for students with autism on college campuses, like peer mentors, will help all students.


Also relevant/see:

So what can we do to decrease the exclusion and bullying that leads to trauma? We need to create activities and spaces where autistic people can be their authentic selves and be accepted without having to mask to fit in. We need to eradicate the isolation that is so commonplace by creating supportive communities that are truly safe and inclusive.


 

Digest #166: Perfectionism in Education — from learningscientists.org by Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel

“Perfection is the opposite of done!” I came across this statement recently and it made me think about how perfectionism really affects one’s work and studying. Growing up, I always thought of perfectionism as a good thing, as something to aspire to. However, more recently I am questioning this thought. It adds unnecessary pressure that it difficult to live up to and sustain. I see that many issues that my students are experiencing can be traced back to perfectionism. To incredibly high goals and standards that are impossible to achieve and that makes your work not being “good enough” – when it actually is. The consequences of high perfectionism can be manifold and in today’s digest, I’d like to offer an overview of resources on perfectionism in education.

From DSC:
Somewhere along the lines, I heard that if an interviewer asks you to state a negative characteristic, choose something like perfectionism — to turn something that could be a negative into a positive. And back in my earlier days, I thought that made sense.

But I have to agree with Carolina here. The older I get, the more my empathy levels would rise if someone gave me that answer today. I’m a perfectionist and I can truly say that perfectionism is a joy-robber! It can destroy a good day. It can destroy a good mood. It can destroy joy. I don’t recommend it.

 

AI research is a dumpster fire and Google’s holding the matches — from thenextweb.com by Tristan Greene
Scientific endeavor is no match for corporate greed

Excerpts:

The world of AI research is in shambles. From the academics prioritizing easy-to-monetize schemes over breaking novel ground, to the Silicon Valley elite using the threat of job loss to encourage corporate-friendly hypotheses, the system is a broken mess.

And Google deserves a lion’s share of the blame.

Google, more than any other company, bears responsibility for the modern AI paradigm. That means we need to give big G full marks for bringing natural language processing and image recognition to the masses.

It also means we can credit Google with creating the researcher-eat-researcher environment that has some college students and their big-tech-partnered professors treating research papers as little more than bait for venture capitalists and corporate headhunters.

But the system’s set up to encourage the monetization of algorithms first, and to further the field second. In order for this to change, big tech and academia both need to commit to wholesale reform in how research is presented and reviewed.

Also relevant/see:

Every month Essentials publish an Industry Trend Report on AI in general and the following related topics:

  • AI Research
  • AI Applied Use Cases
  • AI Ethics
  • AI Robotics
  • AI Marketing
  • AI Cybersecurity
  • AI Healthcare

It’s never too early to get your AI ethics right — from protocol.com by Veronica Irwin
The Ethical AI Governance Group wants to give startups a framework for avoiding scandals and blunders while deploying new technology.

Excerpt:

To solve this problem, a group of consultants, venture capitalists and executives in AI created the Ethical AI Governance Group last September. In March, it went public, and published a survey-style “continuum” for investors to use in advising the startups in their portfolio.

The continuum conveys clear guidance for startups at various growth stages, recommending that startups have people in charge of AI governance and data privacy strategy, for example. EAIGG leadership argues that using the continuum will protect VC portfolios from value-destroying scandals.

 

Why gamified learning works so well for gifted children — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

The gamification of learning can be critical for gifted children in particular, who often struggle to stay focused, engaged, and challenged in a traditional educational environment. Gamification can be so effective in gifted education because the learner forgets they are “working” and instead feels they are “playing.” It allows the gifted brain to relax into the “flow” of learning, and more effectively use their intellect for problem solving and creativity.

Also see:

Synthesis dot com


Addendum on 4/27/22:

Homeschooling our gifted children: The power of artful questions — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Examples of artful questions for learning:

  • Why do you think that might have happened?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • What did you notice about that?
  • What would you suggest we do instead?
  • That’s a good point. How can you reconcile these two things?
  • Do you have an idea for how we could make this better?

From DSC:
Perhaps we should post those types of questions up on the walls of many board rooms and conference rooms around the nation…or have it be a slide in a presentation…or…

 

Momentum builds behind a way to lower the cost of college: A degree in three years — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Skepticism about the cost and duration of a higher education drives a need for speed

Excerpt:

A rare brand-new nonprofit university, NewU has a comparatively low $16,500-a-year price that’s locked in for a student’s entire education and majors with interchangeable requirements so students don’t fall behind if they switch.

But the feature that appears to be really winning over applicants is that NewU will offer bachelor’s degrees in three years instead of the customary four.

“We didn’t think the three-year bachelor’s degree was going to be the biggest draw,” said Stratsi Kulinski, president of the startup college. “But it has been, hands-down. Consumers are definitely ready for something different.”

 

Largest-Ever Collection of Brain Maps Charts How the Brain Changes Over a Lifetime — from singularityhub.com by Shelly Fan

Excerpts:

Our brains are unique snowflakes that change shape throughout our lives. Yet buried underneath individual differences is a common throughline, with the brain growing rapidly during childhood then slowly declining with age.

But that’s just a crude sketch of an average brain’s lifetime. What are we missing?

A team of international scientists just gave us the first answers with a remarkable project called BrainChart. In a tour de force study published last week in Nature, they combined almost 125,000 brain scans covering the entire human lifespan, from before birth to death. The youngest sample was 15 weeks after conception; the oldest, a centenarian.

Even at this massive scale, the charts are just the first edition. The entire work is open sourced (you can check it out here), published with tools that allow other contributors to match up their brain scan data to the charts.

“You could imagine them being used to help evaluate patients screened for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, for example, allowing doctors to spot signs of neurodegeneration by comparing how rapidly a patient’s brain volume has changed compared to their peers,” said Bethlehem.

 

The top 5 benefits of art programs for children — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Schools across the country are removing art programs and classes. Some do so due to a lack of funding; others just don’t believe it’s an essential subject for children. Unfortunately, many schools and learning institutes don’t realize the dangers of removing art. You wouldn’t question Math or English as core subjects, but many question the importance of art.

Art nurture’s a child’s inner creativity. So, what benefits does art bring to a child?

 

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.


 

 

 

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.

 


 

How Art Class Became a Rare Bright Spot for Students and Families During the Pandemic — from edsurge.com by Daniel Lempres

Excerpt:

When schools went remote two years ago, the National Art Education Association (NAEA) was quick to offer guidance on how best to reach students who have experienced trauma. They offered strategies for remote learning, as well as mental and emotional wellbeing.

Now more than ever, art educators must employ the tenets of social emotional learning, the NAEA says. In a recent report, the association recommended trauma-informed teaching strategies to promote mental health through self-expression—for their students’ sake and their own.

But with asynchronous lessons and virtual events, the amount of parental participation skyrocketed, she says.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian