Posts tagged news
Posts tagged news
Increasingly activists are becoming filmmakers because video is the modern essay - traveling further than pamphlets by Patrick Henry, showing people in action fighting for freedom - or, in this case, free education in Chile, tends to cause change. Fascinating read and case study.
"Roberto’s son Pablo, born and raised in the UK, has worked on several documentaries on Latin America. He produced the documentary ‘Inside the Revolution: A Journey Into the Heart of Venezuela’, released in August 2009 by Alborada Films, and ‘The Colombia Connection’, released in November 2012. He has covered Latin America for various media outlets, including Al Jazeera English, the Guardian and the BBC."
You can accomplish what you need to do this year. Maybe you should plan your year differently. Here are my 10 secrets that I use to be more productive and get more done posted over on the Edutopia blog. Hope it helps.
Search for “brain training” on the Web. You’ll find online exercises, games, software, even apps, all designed to prepare your brain to do better on any number of tasks. Do they work? University of Oregon psychologists say, yes, but “there’s a catch.”
The catch, according to Elliot T. Berkman, a professor in the Department of Psychology and lead author on a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, is that training for a particular task does heighten performance, but that advantage doesn’t necessarily carry over to a new challenge.
The training provided in the study caused a proactive shift in inhibitory control. However, it is not clear if the improvement attained extends to other kinds of executive function such as working memory, because the team’s sole focus was on inhibitory control, said Berkman, who directs the psychology department’s Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab.
"With training, the brain activity became linked to specific cues that predicted when inhibitory control might be needed," he said. "This result is important because it explains how brain training improves performance on a given task — and also why the performance boost doesn’t generalize beyond that task."
Sixty participants (27 male, 33 females and ranging from 18 to 30 years old) took part in a three-phase study. Change in their brain activity was monitored with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Half of the subjects were in the experimental group that was trained with a task that models inhibitory control — one kind of self-control — as a race between a “go” process and a “stop” process. A faster stop process indicates more efficient inhibitory control.
In each of a series of trials, participants were given a “go” signal — an arrow pointing left or right. Subjects pressed a key corresponding to the direction of the arrow as quickly as possible, launching the go process. However, on 25 percent of the trials, a beep sounded after the arrow appeared, signaling participants to withhold their button press, launching the stop process.
Participants practiced either the stop-signal task or a control task that didn’t affect inhibitory control every other day for three weeks. Performance improved more in the training group than in the control group.
Neural activity was monitored using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which captures changes in blood oxygen levels, during a stop-signal task. MRI work was done in the UO’s Robert and Beverly Lewis Center for Neuroimaging. Activity in the inferior frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate cortex — brain regions that regulate inhibitory control — decreased during inhibitory control but increased immediately before it in the training group more than in the control group.
The fMRI results identified three regions of the brain of the trained subjects that showed changes during the task, prompting the researchers to theorize that emotional regulation may have been improved by reducing distress and frustration during the trials. Overall, the size of the training effect is small. A challenge for future research, they concluded, will be to identify protocols that might generate greater positive and lasting effects.”Researchers at the University of Oregon are using tools and technologies to shed new light on important mechanisms of cognitive functioning such as executive control,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. “This revealing study on brain training by Dr. Berkman and his team furthers our understanding of inhibitory control and may lead to the design of better prevention tools to promote mental health.”
Very interesting for those using “brain training apps” like me. We have a lot to learn about these apps.
"Spies with surveillance agencies in the United States and United Kingdom may have spent time undercover as orcs and blood elves, infiltrating video games like "World of Warcraft" in a hunt for terrorists "hiding in plain sight" online."
I find this very believable for this reason. I had a student in Teen Second life several years a go and he came across a “meeting” of sorts that was obviously something very strange. When he tried to interact with the players they had a way to throw him out and port him other places. It was obviously some sort of strange thing happening. I have no doubt that games are just another way to have “secret” meetings for those who want to hide. That said, it would be hard to tell the difference between those gaming and those doing other things as the games themselves have people plotting and planning so I’m thinking the language used would be hard to separate the real world from the game itself, which, in some ways makes it the perfect way to hide in plain sight.
The WAI from the W3C continues. If you wish to have input on web accessiblity guidelines, you have until December 16. This is very important and many educators are some of the best with these issues. I hope some of our proficient accessibility experts have already reviewed or will review and comment.
"For Review: User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0 Last Call Working Draft
Calling all developers of browsers, media players, and web applications — and anyone interested in web accessibility: Now is the time for you to review UAAG 2.0 — we published the Last Call Working Draft today. UAAG defines how browsers and other “user agents” should support accessibility for people with disabilities and work with assistive technologies. It is introduced in the UAAG Overview. Please send comments by 16 December 2013”
Nominations are open for 20 to Watch for technology until Wednesday, December 18th.
Fascinating article on design thinking and an attempt to catalog all of the schools using design thinking. I do predict that STEM, design thinking, and creativity are going to become increasingly valued by parents and many who are disenfranchised with a testing environment that is rapidly driving everyone involved to the edge - particularly the students.
"Mapping a global movement. A global movement is unfolding, and in response to the overwhelming interest around design thinking in schools, IDEO and the d.school have created a new directory — Design Thinking in Schools — to highlight the network of institutions that are at the forefront of this movement.
The directory, launched in mid-October, already features a wide range of programs and resources. There’s a mix of learning environments, from charter and district public schools to museums and summer camps. The programs are diverse, including after school “lab” environments and schools that use design thinking as the basis for subject-matter courses. “
These heartbreaking words from a teacher in the UK. As the world tries to improve education by the numbers, the world has forgotten kids aren’t numbers. They are precious, individual and unique and deserve education systems that celebrate and encourage that. OK, teachers, it is time to man the media - you are the media now! Are you fed up yet? It might not be you right now, but if you don’t speak, it will be, wherever you teach, such stories impact us all and the profession we care for so much.
"As a teacher, I vowed that I would work hard to nurture my students, to make each and every student feel valued and for them to know that they have a voice, and a place in the world.
However the last two years have made me feel like that insecure 14-year-old again: I have lost my confidence because of the overly-rigid current education system. We are constantly being told we are not good enough and that we are not doing enough: enough intervention, enough rigorous marking, enough sustained and rapid progress.
What excited me the most about becoming a teacher was discovering the hidden talents and sparks of genius in my students. However, it breaks my heart to say this, but I feel that I no longer have time, nor am I encouraged to make these discoveries.
We are so caught up with data and so many progress checks that we don’t give our students the time to shine. I wonder what would happen if the greats of the world like Einstein, Gaudi, Picasso and Martin Luther King were to attend school in 2013, would they be able to cultivate their talents and thrive?”
I’m a huge fan of the American School of Bombay and visionary +Shabbi Luthra - this article on +Edutopia captures so much about this amazing school that uses laptops at a very young age in ways that empower students to learn, create, and share. Shabbi is passionate about bringing the best to her school but also shares expects that what is brought and discussed there will be used. Such a great school - it is well worth attending +ASB Un-Plugged when they host it just to see what they are doing. It is hard to find a better school anywhere in the world.
Dawn Casey-Rowe hits a tough topic that is the number one complaint that teachers have. I had her on my show not too long a go and she speaks from a tough situation with lots of blocks and bans but gets it done anyway. If your complaint is blocks and bans, then take time to read this post to focus on what you CAN do. Dawn is offering a set of PD blog posts that you’ll want to dig into.
"This week, we’re going to discuss the white elephant in the room.
Many teachers struggle to bring students the type of tech experience they would like because of systemic blocks and bans, or worse, feel embarrassed as students have more access to tech than teachers do. This is the issue that brought me to the tech world myself. Students continually asked the hard questions about why they couldn’t utilize technology such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and why phones were confiscated when students were using them for educational purposes. I wanted to improve my classroom experience and give my students more, but budget was a concern.
Tech access is a problem in many schools. There are legitimate reasons–the desire of administrators to protect students from the darker side of the internet, fear of the unknown, lack of wireless capacity and budget difficulties which cause insufficient numbers of computers or the inability to upgrade existing tech. Some educational leaders have overcome these hurdles, but others are still working to get to that space.”