Month: February 2014

Photo's Can Enhance Learning

Photos can – encourage deeper thinking, create connections that were not understood before, spur imagination, start discussion, reinforce ideas, help with memory, and so much more.

Attention – What research suggests

I recently reversed roles from Instructor in my class to student when I had a speaker come in to talk for 1 hour. I was amazed/ashamed about how my attention wandered after several minutes of lecture. It is a topic that I am interested in, I like the person, she had slides (though over 1 hour only showed 4 of them) so why was I having such a hard time. After reflecting on this issue today I was reminded of the book by John Medina – Brain Rules #4 Attention. How it is important for the speaker to re-engage the participants every 9 minutes. This could be an activity, emotional connection, just something to give the brain, body, emotions a jolt to bring the focus back in. If you want to learn more visit http://www.brainrules.net/attention

Benefit of Visuals

Theories are challenging for most students to learn. There are 100’s of names some of them relevant and some distant to the topic that is being studied. In early childhood we talk about Maslow and Vygotsky right next to Darwin and Pavlov. These theories are pretty easy to remember for most students because they include visuals. But Erikson and Piaget normally do not have a visual but instead just a plethora of words to remember in the correct sequence. Having students create a visual that helps them remember basics of the theory is a great way to encourage deeper learning and not remembering for the test.
      

Too Many Words

As I progress through the semester my students become more comfortable. One of my course text has very few pictures and even those are in black and white. A recent comment from a ‘Y or Net Generation’ student brought it to my attention that it is difficult to understand concepts when they are only written in words. Which made me reflect on the learning differences between my parents generation and the current one. My parents lived on words, drawing from their experiences to create pictures in their minds. The current generation seems to be limited on their experiences in the world. Relying more on what we provide with visuals and action (short movies). Thus as an instructor I need to recognize this generations learning tools and adapt. For the rest of the semester I am going to test out a theory that by adding my own pictures/short videos to the online classroom I can help deepen their understanding of the text they are reading.

Vygotsky

With the idea that ‘self talk’ and ‘private speech’ is an important learning tool for students, why do we constantly tell students to be quiet. When you are in a business where problem solving is part of the daily activities there is chatter everywhere. Thus the issue – if colleges are helping students prepare for the work world, how is working in absolute silence getting them to their goal?

File:Madetostick-book.JPG Great book for anyone who teaches because it gives idea regarding how to help people remember. How to relate new knowledge in a way that makes it relevant for the learner.

It is all Connected!

I have worked in Banking, Owned a child care, had my curriculum published, and now I am working with higher education. What I find most interesting is how much business could learn from education and how much education could learn from business. It reminds me of how we teach children in school. That each topic is separate from the other. “Put away your math we are now going to study science.” Yet everything is interdependent on the other. Every math teacher I know can read and write. All science instructors know history facts. Thus business and education should learn from each other because each has strategies that can help the other to succeed.