Education Can Change The World (5 Ways Tech) – Tae Yoo

Twenty years ago, Cisco recognized a shift toward a knowledge-based economy. We felt it was important that everyone have an opportunity to participate in this economy—and that education, combined with technology, would have the power to achieve that. From this, Cisco Networking Academy was born.

What began as an act of community turned into a global movement as schools, students, and teachers were inspired to harness the power of technology to provide the skills people and businesses need to thrive in the digital economy.

Today, we look back at how this IT-and-career-skills-building program has reached 7.8 million students in 180 countries since 1997 and highlight best practices and lessons we’ve learned along the way.

1. Adapt to technology trends and ensure programs are digital, flexible, hands on, and relevant.

Technology is transforming the nature of jobs and continuously evolving the needs of today’s employers. New technologies are connecting everything, intuitively adapting, and better protecting users and their data. Research from Gartner shows that 1.4 million full time employees will be needed to deliver application and business services for the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020, and education programs must prepare students for these changing needs.

Today, we provide students a more personalized and flexible education experience, as well as the opportunity to build deeper knowledge through collaboration and experiential learning. In addition to classroom-based, face-to-face instruction, we also offer a portion of our curricula directly to students for those who want to learn at their own pace.

From the start, students are encouraged to solve real-world problems on their own or in groups, just as they will in the workplace. For example, Cisco’s Packet Tracer, a network simulation and visualization tool, allows for student-directed, open-ended network building.

It facilitates the teaching and learning of complex technology concepts and promotes the development of essential career skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking, and creative problem solving. Additionally, hackathons and hands-on lab challenges allow students to create solutions together.

2. Continuously introduce new digital skills.

Changes in the technology landscape mean students need to continuously master new digital skills. Technical education programs today must include areas of study such as security, machine learning, and programming, and evolve as technology does.

We partner with in-house experts, governments, educational institutions, and employers, and use research to ensure our curricula portfolio remains relevant over the long term. Networking Academy builds a solid digital foundation through courses like Cybersecurity Training Essentials and Programming Essentials in C, and students can also acquire career-ready skills that prepare them for entry-level jobs in networking and cybersecurity.

We regularly develop new courses that cover big data, analytics, and device connectivity, some of the fastest-growing job areas. Our learning portfolio strategy, the material we create and teach, has recently been broadened to include cloud security, automation, and machine learning to better prepare our students for today’s digital workforce.

Additionally, Networking Academy builds the capacity of instructors through instructor training centers and ongoing professional development. Based on survey feedback, instructors said that their involvement with Networking Academy has helped them become better educators, broaden their careers, and develop professional relationships.

3. Build an inclusive program.

By leveraging both traditional and non-traditional education channels, education programs can reach a more diverse set of students. Current education cost models can be prohibitively expensive, and we must focus on programs that provide affordable and accessible education to all, regardless of socio-economic background, geographic location, gender, or life stage.

Networking Academy courses are offered at high schools, universities, and community colleges, and through partnerships with governments and ministries of education. We target individuals looking to launch their careers, re-skill, or find new jobs.

We reach traditionally underserved communities such as remote populations and people with diverse abilities. Over the past decade, more than 3,000 students with disabilities have benefited from Networking Academy courses.

4. Scale impact through public-private partnerships.

Effective and strategic public-private partnerships between business, government, and academia are critical in providing access to and support for instructors, reaching students at scale, and ensuring curricula is providing relevant skills for today’s workforce.

While educational partners can provide instructors, classrooms, lab equipment, and help attract students to the program, business partners can enhance the program with curricula, online assessments, a learning management system, hands-on labs and competitions, instructor professional development, and connections to job opportunities.

Networking Academy’s global reach depends on the 22,000 instructors at more than 10,400 educational institutions who deliver our curricula worldwide. Our partners are at the forefront of new teaching methods and resources, delivering not only technical training, but also the problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills students need to get a job or start a business.

Technology—specifically a cloud-scale platform—has been critical to achieving a wide reach as well. Using the latest technologies and architecture drives performance and provides a rich experience for students, instructors, and administrators.

5. Set students up for career success.

There is currently a mismatch between the skills employees have and the skills companies need. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.7 million people across the country are unemployed, though 5.8 million unfilled jobs were available.

Nearly half of U.S. employers can’t find qualified candidates, with many citing a lack of technical skills as a top reason. In the IT industry that number is worse, with 86 percent of hiring managers challenged to find people with the right skills. Connecting student to employers is a vital step in closing this gap.

Networking Academy provides students with a range of career support services—from webinars to career advice to career-pathway options. Cisco has a strong ecosystem of 60,000 global partners, and for the past 20 years our students have found jobs with many of them.

We recently began pilot testing a talent-matching engine to more easily connect students with partner employment opportunities. More than 70 percent of our students who complete advanced courses go on to obtain a new or better job, increased responsibilities, and/or higher pay.

Networking Academy not only equips students with digital skills, it empowers students to become global problem solvers. Our program is designed to enable students to innovate as technologists, think as entrepreneurs, and act as social change agents. They are prepared to help businesses grow and flourish, but also to start their own businesses or address pressing global challenges.

We hope that our students’ inspirational stories incite others to harness the power of technology and become global problem solvers.

If everyone who reads our articles, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

How To Transform Problem Solving – Cheryl Capozzoli

Technology has become vital to our day-to-day lives and critical in the K-12 classroom. In a tech-saturated market, parents of our students have raised questions about how artificial intelligence (AI) will impact their future careers.

Whether you believe AI has potential to meet or surpass human intelligence, it is imperative that we equip students with skills to match the nearing demands of the future workplace. Computational thinking (CT) is the latest skill set that addresses the demands of the future workplace.

CT enables us to analyze and process data algorithmically, and often visually. CT offers a process for problem-solving, where one develops a series of steps (an algorithm) to solve open-ended problems. Put simply, it’s a framework to approach problems like a computer would: by processing data in a well-defined series of steps.

Harrisburg School District implements a 5th “C”

By introducing our students and staff to CT as a thought process, we have been able to provide skills to more deeply engage in problem solving. Many standards identify the 4Cs of 21st-century skills—critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration—as the most vital skills needed for success today.

If educators and students begin using CT as a more systematic way of thinking about solving real-world problems, the better we can prepare our students for a future in computer science or STEM. At Harrisburg School District in Pennsylvania, we have taken initiative to teach the CT skill to our K-12 students. After all, computation is how the world around us operates.

Rallying staff, student, and parent support

With a clear, district wide goal in mind, we partnered with Discovery Education and Tata Consultancy Services to support our vision for equity in STEM. The Ignite My Future In School initiative is a five-year commitment to transform the way our students learn. We adapted the program’s curriculum, career vignettes, and teacher training in collaboration with staff, students, and parents. With an emphasis on equity, we designed an approach that demonstrates our dedication to all support systems that surround our students.

Before integrating CT into curriculum, we hosted a professional learning day with staff to introduce the nature of computational thinking and computer science. The day was dedicated to exploring methods to engage our students in deeper levels of thinking and learning across subjects. Following this, we invited parents to share our experiences in an open and friendly environment. We introduced parents to CT and shared resources and games to enforce concepts at home.

Exploring cross-curricular connections

The key to successfully integrating a CT program is to start simple. We’ve found that basic data sets are a great way to introduce CT concepts to students. Data.gov offers information collected by the U.S. government in nearly every topic imaginable. Find more free resources here.

Curriculum Connector activities assist our staff in creating engaging lessons and tasks in which students learn to use the seven key CT strategies. Students are required to collect, analyze, and decompose data so that they can better understand large amounts of information. This helps them to see the larger picture to create designs that solve complex problems.

Students are also encouraged to use models to design algorithmic computing methods to create a model or a simulation. For example, our eighth-grade students recently used CT to design a SMART tiny home to become comfortable with the “CT mindset.”

For educators looking to introduce CT concepts into curriculum, be prepared to make continuous changes to your lessons. Embrace the fact that CT is prone to change as technology changes. Leave room for adjustments in your curriculum from year to year.

Our 6th “C”: commitment

Computational thinking is a new way to process information within our school community, but we are excited to have embarked on this journey because we know that it is vital for our students to be successful thinkers, problem solvers, inventors, scientists, and divergent 21st-century leaders.

We want to empower students with the confidence that they are fully capable of approaching an unfamiliar problem independently and solving the challenges most important to them. Through our continued work and partnership, we will sustain our priority to provide a modern and equitable education to all students.

If everyone who reads our articles, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

 

7 Tips To Better Define Personalized Learning – Laura Ascione

personalized learning

Personalized learning is a pretty well-known term, but educators have different definitions for personalized learning, making for a sometimes-confusing approach to its implementation.

Now, a new report seeks to apply a common definition to personalized learning and outline best practices for educators to advocate for the practice in their districts.

The report comes from Education Elements and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and it defines personalized learning as “tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs, and interests—including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when, and where they learn—to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible.”

According to the report, the four core elements of personalized learning include:

  • Flexible content and tools: Instructional materials allow for differentiated path, pace, and performance tasks
  • Targeted instruction: Instruction aligns to specific student needs and learning goals
  • Student reflection and ownership: Ongoing student reflection promotes ownership of learning
  • Data driven decisions: Frequent data collection informs instructional decisions and groupings

The authors outline a handful of tips to help communicate ideas around personalized learning.

1. Focus on the future. The goal of personalized learning is to ensure that students will be adequately prepared with the knowledge and skills they need for college or career.

2. Highlight benefits to families, including the idea that personalized learning can give parents a deeper understanding of how their child is progressing and will improve opportunities for collaboration with teachers. It also can provide opportunities for increased interaction with teachers and peers, and can encourage higher levels of student engagement.

3. Highlight benefits to students. Students are encouraged to play a greater role—and be more invested—in their learning. Instruction will be tailored to a student’s strengths and interest to keep them more engaged in their learning. Students can learn at a flexible pace that’s right for them in order to ensure they have thoroughly learned the material.

4. Highlight benefits to teachers. Personalized learning will give teachers the flexibility and tools they need to meet the needs of each child.

5. For district leaders: Make sure the vision for personalizing learning is clear, that the “why” is commonly understood and that you develop messaging that makes sense for your entire community, not just those steeped in education jargon. Use words and phrases that work. Provide preferred messaging to your district staff and your principals so they don’t need to start from scratch. Communicate often with your teachers, families and community.

6. For school leaders: Talk about personalized learning whenever you can. Include examples in newsletters to highlight how it helps students, not the software you are using. Remember this is something most families want, so celebrate that you are doing it… or starting it. There is tremendous momentum behind this evolution in teaching and learning. Whenever possible, share those stories from your own school.

7. For teachers: Hang signs in your classrooms; talk about personalized learning on Back to School Nights and during parent conferences. Help your students understand why things are different. While you are among the best messengers, your students can be a huge asset because what they perceive and what they say really impacts what families think. Invite families into your classroom and show them how you are now better supporting their children

If everyone who reads our articles, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

Here’s How We Made Data Usable For Our Teachers – Martinrex Kedziora

In today’s digital classroom, teachers have access to more data than ever. With a few clicks, we can view detailed reports on student test scores, formative assessments, progress reports from self-paced software, attendance, and so much more. At times, the amount of data can feel overwhelming, especially when each data point only exists as an isolated channel, unrelated to the next.

I am not saying that multiple data measures are a bad thing; in fact, they can help us to differentiate instruction, personalize learning, and really meet each of our students where they are academically. As administrators, it is critical that we help our teachers collect the most meaningful data points by giving them the tools they need to quickly interpret figures to make informed decisions in their classroom.

In my district, Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) in California, our data showed that our students were really struggling in math. Our state test scores were low and, with the changing rigor of Common Core, parents were coming to me concerned that they were not able to help their child with assignments. I knew we had to do something outside the box—and quickly—to catch our struggling students and prevent them from falling further behind.

Step 1: Finding the right data
We knew that MVUSD’s math scores were low on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). For our students that were not meeting proficiency, the score alone did not show a clear picture of the specific skills they needed to master to catch back up to grade level. Our teachers needed a tool to pinpoint skill gaps for individual students so we could be more targeted in our interventions.

After much research, it was clear that we would benefit from administering benchmark assessments. Unlike traditional summative assessments like the CAASPP that simply determine content mastery, a good interim assessment allows educators to get a snapshot of what an individual student knows, is able to do, and is ready to learn next.

While there are many assessment options, we chose NWEA MAP Growth because it had the most research behind it. Our students take a computer-adaptive assessment a few times each year that adjusts to each student’s responses. Teachers get detailed reports that identify individual student needs and show projected proficiency through the school year and over multiple years. Administrators get higher-level reports that make it simple to do a temper-check several times throughout the year (instead of just at the end of the school year) and measure longitudinal growth.

Step 2: Connecting interventions to our data
Now that we were collecting the right data to isolate the instructional areas MVUSD students were ready to tackle, we needed to provide our teachers with additional resources to help them differentiate instruction. Teachers can use MAP data to identify common pain points to inform their lesson plans, but the granular data allows us to personalize learning even further. We know the specific topics students need to close skill gaps, but with an average class size of 24, it can be difficult to find the time for one-on-ones with each student.

As a district, we sought out the interventions that could take MAP growth data to the next level. I think the best example is the one-to-one online tutoring program we provide to students who scored a level 1 or level 2 on their math CAASPP.

We worked with FEV Tutor, who took individual students’ fall RIT scores (grade-level equivalences) to create personalized tutoring plans for each student. Depending on the school site, students worked one-on-one with their own professional tutor during the day or at an after-school program. All tutoring was online, and since it was one-to-one, students could work through the specific learning strands identified on their learning plan with the support of a live instructor.

Each online tutoring session concluded with an exit ticket. Teachers and administrators saw this data on a weekly basis, which allowed our teachers to see—in real time—how their students were progressing through their learning plans. If students were continuing to struggle, it was a warning that students would not likely reach their projected growth goals for the year and that we should explore additional interventions.

At the end of the tutoring program, the team at FEV Tutor did a full analysis to examine the impact. In academic year 2016-2017, MVUSD set a district-wide goal for 50 percent of all students to meet or exceed their fall to spring MAP Growth goals. We are pleased to share that 69 percent of FEV Tutor participants met or exceeded their fall to spring MAP Growth goals in math, compared to 17 percent of students who were identified for tutoring but did not participate.

Step 3: Connecting data points
MAP Growth is a great sign of students working their way toward proficiency; however, it is important to match this data into overall student performance. To try and get a clearer picture of the impact online tutoring had on student achievement, MVUSD’s department of accountability and assessment worked with FEV Tutor to examine the impact that online tutoring had on the CAASPP.

We saw that students who participated in FEV tutoring grew by an average of +26 scale score points from the spring 2016 CAASPP to the spring 2017 CAASPP, compared to +22 points for non-FEV Tutor participants. By taking a deeper dive into the data we found that, across the district, students who participated in 10 or more tutoring sessions had the highest rate of performance-level movement.

For students that took 10 or more sessions, the percentage who scored a level 3 (standard met) or level 4 (standard exceeded) grew by 15 percentage points from the spring 2016 to spring 2017 CAASPP. The percentage of students who scored a level 2 (standard nearly met) grew by 13 percentage points. This 13-percent increase is specifically significant at MVUSD because most students who participated in the FEV tutoring program scored a level 1 (standard not met) on the 2016 CAASPP.

If everyone who reads our articles, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

Top 5 TED-Ed Lessons On Creativity – Ellen Ullman

“Do schools kill creativity?” asks Sir Ken Robinson in the most-viewed TED Talk of all time (more than 51 million!). In the video, Robinson challenges schools to promote and inspire creativity, but it’s difficult to know where to start, and some teachers aren’t sure if it’s possible.

“I don’t think creativity can be taught,” says Rayna Freedman, a fifth-grade teacher at Jordan/Jackson Elementary School in Mansfield, Massachusetts. “It’s an experience that inspires students to think beyond their potential and see things differently. It’s about giving them tools and choice to complete tasks and let them fly.”

Other educators disagree.

“Everyone is creative in their own way,” says Nicholas Provenzano, makerspace director at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan and blogger at The Nerdy Teacher. “Too many people view creativity as a connection to the arts. The idea that creative students are the ones that can draw or effectively use glitter glue is nuts. Some students are super creative when it comes to solving problems or creating games during recess. Some are amazing storytellers.”

Doug Johnson, a former classroom teacher who now serves as technology director for Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Schools in Minnesota, agrees: “One of the biggest myths is that creativity only belongs in the arts. We may think of creativity as a nice extra, but a lot of us have to be creative on a daily basis.”

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Johnson asks: “Do I want a creative dentist? I’d rather have someone who follows best practices and isn’t experimenting on my mouth, but I do want a creative problem solver who will use nontraditional methods when the traditional ones don’t work.”

How to inspire creativity

Johnson recommends several things teachers can do to encourage creativity, such as asking for multiple possible answers to questions or giving points for “design” on assignments, in his blog post “Myths of creativity” and in his book Teaching Outside the Lines: Developing Creativity in Every Learner.

For Provenzano, creativity is about giving students a time and place to be creative. “I am always an advocate of teachers modeling what they want to see from their students,” he says. “Teachers cannot give students multiple-choice tests and worksheets all year and then wonder why their students are not more creative.”

If you’re looking for more ideas and resources, here are the 5 most popular TED-Ed Lessons on teaching and assessing creativity.

1. The power of creative constraints
Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or … does it? if you’re like most people you’d probably be paralyzed by this task. Why? Brandon Rodriguez explains how creative constraints actually help drive discovery and innovation.

2. Why should you listen to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons?”
Light, bright, and cheerful, “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi is some of the most familiar of all early 18th-century music, featured in numerous films and television commercials. But what is its significance, and why does it sound that way? Betsy Schwarm uncovers the underlying narrative of this musical masterpiece.

3. Music and math: The genius of Beethoven
How is it that Beethoven, who is celebrated as one of the most significant composers of all time, wrote many of his most beloved songs while going deaf? The answer lies in the math behind his music. Natalya St. Clair employs the “Moonlight Sonata” to illustrate the way Beethoven was able to convey emotion and creativity using the certainty of mathematics.

4. How playing an instrument benefits your brain
When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.

5. Can robots be creative?
People have been grappling with the question of artificial creativity— alongside the question of artificial intelligence—for over 170 years. For instance, could we program machines to create high-quality original music? And if we do, is it the machine or the programmer that exhibits creativity? Gil Weinberg investigates this creative conundrum

If everyone who reads our articles, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

 

New Technologies Allow You to Do Business (and Compete) From Anywhere – Amarillo

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Everyone knows just how much of an impact technology has had on global business, but if there’s one segment that has benefited the most from technological innovation it’s entrepreneurs. With mobile phones, cloud computing, do-it-yourself accounting software and ubiquitous connectivity, business owners can now create successful companies quickly and from anywhere.

However, with so much technology out there, it can be hard to know what programs and tools are essential for getting a company off the ground and growing. There are some must-haves, though, including these five types of tech.

Super-Size Your Storage

In today’s world, most budding businesses need far more storage than their computers can provide. Things like high-resolutions photos, data-heavy PowerPoints and an endless stream of documents will max out CPU storage in no time. Fortunately, cloud-based companies like Dropbox, Box, Apple and Google offer several terabytes of data for a reasonable monthly cost.

These programs also make collaboration easier as you can quickly share files and folders with contractors and employees. Thanks to these storage sites that many small companies can create a global workforce from the start.

Keep Up With Collaboration

Whether you’re in an office or have a remote workforce located in different cities, being able to collaborate and connect with staffers quickly is a must. Over the last few years, sites like Slack, Basecamp, Trello and others have revolutionized the way small business employees interact with one another.

Forget e-mail–you can now send messages to individuals or teams in an instant, you can work together, in real-time, on complex projects, and you can even build camaraderie by creating “channels” dedicated to more social communication. Messages and files are also easily searchable, making it difficult to lose something important.

Crunch The Numbers

As excited you may be about your brilliant idea, you still need to run a business. That means keeping receipts, adding up bills, doing taxes and other more mundane work. While it may still be a good idea to have an accountant nearby, technology can, and should, take care of most of this work.

Quicken, the classic accounting software, is still popular for tax work, but other programs like Wave Accounting, Xero and Zoho Books come with a variety of features like invoicing, payroll, bill payments and other mission critical applications and fall well within the budgets of most small businesses.

Show Your Face

Instant messaging and email only goes so far. In many cases, you still want to see clients or employees face-to-face–maybe you have to walk them through a presentation or just want to catch up. That’s why having a good video program is critical for small businesses today.

You’ll want to find software that allows you hold meetings with multiple participants, share files with people on a call and you may want to be able to record conferences for future viewing. Google Hangouts, Skype for Business, Zoom.us and GoToMeeting are just some of the popular video conferencing sites to choose from. While it may not be quite as good as a face-to-face meeting, it saves a fortune in travel costs and wear and tear.

Set Up A Store

There was once a time when creating a consumer-focused e-commerce website was a painstaking process. Now, though, sites like Shopify and Tictail let even the smallest companies create sleek websites with all the e-commerce fixings. Companies like these have been a boon to entrepreneurs-

They let users create online shops in snap and take a variety of payment options, such as credit card and PayPal, so that every potential customer can buy what you’re selling. It only takes a few hours to get a store up and running and turn your company into a potentially global business.

While there are plenty of other useful technologies out there–security software, customer relationship management programs and so on–incorporate these five tools into your budding business and you could find yourself ahead of the competition in no time.

If everyone who reads our articles, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5 you can donate us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

The Question Game: A Playful Way To Teach Critical Thinking – Sophie Wrobel

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Big idea: Teaching kids to ask smart questions on their own

A four-year-old asks on average about 400 questions per day, and an adult hardly asks any. Our school system is structured around rewards for regurgitating the right answer, and not asking smart questions – in fact, it discourages asking questions. With the result that as we grow older, we stop asking questions.

Yet asking good questions is essential to find and develop solutions, and an important skill in innovation, strategy, and leadership. So why do we stop asking questions – and more importantly, why don’t we train each other, and our future leaders, to ask the right questions starting from early on?

In A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, Warren Berger suggests that there are three main questions which help in problem solving: Why questions, What If questions, and How questions.

Regardless of the question, the question needs to be phrased openly and positively in order to achieve positive results – a closed or negative question only raises bad feelings against each other.

  • Why questions help to find the root of a problem
  • What If questions open up the floor for creative solutions
  • How questions focus on developing practical solutions

So, perhaps, this lesson can be adapted to help trigger young children to start solve problems early too and stop accepting whatever the kindergarten teacher says to be fact? And perhaps, continue to keep up these inquiring and probing abilities later on in life?

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The Question Game focuses on teaching children a kind of thinking which is particularly useful in creative problem-solving–a focused approach to get from a problem to the most effective solution. It is most effective when combined with regular repetition, which solidifies the thought pattern, and with groups, which encourages contributory exploration of alternative responses and creativity.

Thinking strategy is just one of many qualities that are necessary for imparting charisma and leadership skills to the next generation. Many of us would claim that we don’t have the ‘natural gift’ that charismatic leaders like Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Ghandi had. However, charisma and leadership are qualities that, to a large extent, can be cultivated and trained.

With soft skills becoming more important in today’s job market, cultivating these skills early on can provide children with an additional edge in becoming effective, active citizens in our society. These skills can be broadly grouped into four logical skills and four emotional skills:

  • Logical skills: risk-taking, thinking strategy, creativity, and negotiation.
  • Emotional skills: persuasion, emotional connection, body language, and dealing with vulnerability.

Of these eight skills, the Question Game focuses on thinking strategy and creativity, and aims to solidify the critical thinking thought pattern from an early age onwards.

Introducing The Question Game

Preparation: print out the figure in the illustration, cut it out and glue the tabs together to form a cube.

  1. One simple idea is to pick up your favorite illustrated fairy tale book–the kind of book you’d read a two-year-old for bedtime stories. (This also works with most fictional works; the natural ‘break point‘ for questions is at the end of a plot development or paragraph for older audiences.)
  2. On each page, roll the cube and answer the question together. I’ll bet you’d be surprised by what turns Little Red Riding Hood can take. And more importantly after a while you and your child will both start asking these questions reflexively.

Evaluating Learning Progress

My personal experience introducing the game to my two children (aged Pre-K) is a gradual acceptance of the game and associated learning goals:

  1. Initial excitement: Rolling the cube puts the child in control and made a fun addition to reading their picture books; they couldn’t wait for their turn to roll the cube.
  2. Distress: The questions are hard, especially when they aren’t used to this sort of thinking pattern and are accustomed to the ’teacher knows everything’ thinking pattern. Here, my children often asked if we could read ‚without the cube‘, or ‚I don’t want to roll, but ___ can roll and answer the question.’
  3. Acceptance: As they start to recognize that there isn’t a single correct answer, and they begin to understand what each question is trying to achieve, they begin to enjoy the game and insist that we read ‘with the cube‘.
  4. Application: During more abstract conversations, discussions, or observing how the children go about solving day-to-day problems during play. Example: a particular lego construction doesn’t quite work, even though it was‚ built according to instructions‘–and the child goes about investigating what is wrong and fixing it himself. Another example: When they ask me questions and I give them answers that obviously don’t make sense, I get more pointed questions than just ‘why?‘ as a response.

If everyone who reads our articles, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

4 Stages Of Edtech Integration From A Student Perspective – Terry Heick

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Technology can be used in the learning process in a variety of ways. Some are supplementary, serving the original design of the classroom and usually automate some previously by-human task or process–grading multiple choice assessments, searching for a source of information, or sharing messages and other data across large groups.

But fully integrated and embedded in the learning process, technology can be transformative–and disruptive. Below the idea of technology in learning is framed in stages, from “on learning” and externally-directed, to “in learning,” and self-directed. This is not to imply that stage 1 is “bad” and that learners should always be given free-reign with powerful technology. The age of graduated release of responsibility model (show me, help me, let me), as always, holds true here as well.

Scaffolding the learning of anything unfamiliar–somehow–is a way of supporting the learner and setting them up for long-term independent success. How to use this framework isn’t cut-and-dry.

Should all learners begin a school year at stage 1 and move as far as they can towards stage 4? (Probably not.)

Can a planned learning experience be evaluated using this framework in mind? That is, understanding which stage the planned learning experience operates within and revising accordingly? (This sounds better.)

Can schools be designed differently with this approach in mind? From teacher professional development to funding and curriculum policies? (Hopefully, yes.)

And further, how can we begin to design learning so that it automatically scales to the available technology, the technical proficiency of that learner, and the personalized learning needs of the student? (Jackpot.)

The 4 Stages Of The Integration Of Technology In Learning

Stage 1: Learners are directed in their use of technology

Asynchronous access to information and peer networks. Some ability for learner to select platform, technology, or even content. Traditional classroom learning begins to be disrupted.

Stage 2: This stage is characterized by powerful access to information, networks, and communities, but is mostly unable to leverage that access without supporting frameworks or planning.

Learners are directed in their selection and constructivist use of technology in the learning process, traditionally to accomplish purely academic tasks that are fully accessible without the technology.

Stage 3: Mobile technology erodes traditional classroom. Truly mobile learners should disrupt non-flexible curriculum.

Mobile learning experiences are inherently unpredictable, requiring varied communication, critical thinking, and aggressive resourcefulness. Standards-based academic work struggles for gravity working against this stage of technology integration.

Stage 4: This final stage of technology implementation necessitates learners to consistently self-direct critical, core components of learning experiences.

Self-direction based on curiosity and play while supported by personalized learning algorithms and the connectivity of authentic networks characterizes this final stage of technology integration. Traditional classroom learning is fully disrupted.

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The Characteristics Of A Highly Effective Learning Environment

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For in-person professional development from TeachThought on how to create an effective learning environment in your classroom or school, contact us today.

Wherever we are, we’d all like to think our classrooms are “intellectually active” places. Progressive learning (like our 21st Century Model, for example) environments. Highly-effective and conducive to student-centered learning.

But what does that mean?

The reality is, there is no single answer because teaching and learning are awkward to consider as single events or individual “things.” This is all a bunch of rhetoric until we put on our white coats and study it under a microscope, at which point abstractions like curiosity, authenticity, self-knowledge, and affection will be hard to pin down.

So we put together one take on the characteristics of a highly effective classroom. They can act as a kind of criteria to measure your own against–see if you notice a pattern.

10 Characteristics Of A Highly Effective Learning Environment

1. The students ask the questions—good questions

This is not a feel-good implication, but really crucial for the whole learning process to work.

The role of curiosity has been studied (and perhaps under-studied and under-appreciated), but suffice to say that if a learner enters any learning activity with little to no natural curiosity, prospects for meaningful interaction with texts, media, and specific tasks are bleak. (Interested in how to kill learner curiosity in 12 easy steps?)

Many teachers force students (proverbial gun to head) to ask questions at the outset of units or lessons, often to no avail. Cliché questions that reflect little understanding of the content can discourage teachers from “allowing” them. But the fact remains—if students can’t ask great questions—even as young as elementary school—something, somewhere is unplugged.

2. Questions are valued over answers

Questions are more important than answers. So it makes sense that if good questions should lead the learning, there would be value placed on these questions. And that means adding currency whenever possible—grades (questions as assessment!), credit (give them points—they love points), creative curation (writing as a kind of graffiti on large post-it pages on the classroom walls), or simply praise and honest respect. See if you don’t notice a change.

3. Ideas come from a divergent sources

Ideas for lessons, reading, tests, and projects—the fiber of formal learning—should come from a variety of sources. If they all come from narrow slivers of resources, you’re at risk of being pulled way off in one direction (that may or may not be good). An alternative? Consider sources like professional and cultural mentors, the community, content experts outside of education, and even the students themselves. Huge shift in credibility.

And when these sources disagree with one another, use that as an endlessly “teachable moment,” because that’s what the real world is like.

4. A variety of learning models are used

Inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, direct instruction, peer-to-peer learning, school-to-school, eLearning, Mobile learning, the flipped classroom, and on and on—the possibilities are endless. Chances are, none are incredible enough to suit every bit of content, curriculum, and learner diversity in your classroom. A characteristic of a highly-effective classroom, then, is diversity here, which also has the side-effect of improving your long-term capacity as an educator.

5. Classroom learning “empties” into a connected community

In a highly-effective learning environment, learning doesn’t need to be radically repackaged to make sense in the “real world,” but starts and ends there.

As great as it sounds for learners to reflect on Shakespeare to better understand their Uncle Eddie—and they might—depending on that kind of radical transfer to happen entirely in the minds of the learners by design may not be the best idea. Plan on this kind of transfer from the beginning.

It has to leave the classroom because they do.

6. Learning is personalized by a variety of criteria

Personalized learning is likely the future, but for now the onus for routing students is almost entirely on the shoulders of the classroom teacher. This makes personalization—and even consistent differentiation—a challenge. One response is to personalize learning—to whatever extent you plan for—by a variety of criteria—not just assessment results or reading level, but interest, readiness-for-content, and others as well.

Then, as you adjust pace, entry points, and rigor accordingly, you’ll have a better chance of having uncovered what the learners truly “need”.

7. Assessment is persistent, authentic, transparent, and never punitive

Assessment is just an (often ham-fisted) attempt to get at what a learner understands. The more infrequent, clinical, murky, or threatening it is, the more you’re going to separate the “good students” from the “good thinkers.” And the “clinical” idea has less to do with the format of the test, and more to do with the tone and emotion of the classroom in general. Why are students being tested? What’s in it for them, and their future opportunities to improve?

And feedback is quick even when the “grading” may not be.

8. Criteria for success is balanced and transparent.

Students should not have to guess what “success” in a highly-effective classroom looks like. It should also not be entirely weighted on “participation,” assessment results, attitude, or other individual factors, but rather meaningfully melted into a cohesive framework that makes sense—not to you, your colleagues, or the expert book on your shelf, but the students themselves.

9. Learning habits are constantly modeled

Cognitive, meta-cognitive, and behavioral “good stuff” is constantly modeled. Curiosity, persistence, flexibility, priority, creativity, collaboration, revision, and even the classic Habits of Mind are all great places to start. So often what students learn from those around them is less directly didactic, and more indirect and observational.

Monkey see, monkey do.

10. There are constant opportunities for practice

Old thinking is revisited. Old errors are reflected on. Complex ideas are re-approached from new angles. Divergent concepts are contrasted. Bloom’s taxonomy is constantly traveled up and down, from the simple to the complex in an effort to maximize a student’s opportunities to learn—and demonstrate understanding—of content.

If everyone who reads our articles, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

102 Brain-Based Learning Resources For, Well, Brain-Based Teaching – Sara Bass

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Researchers in neuroscience, psychology and education are uncovering new information about how brains learn best at an unbelievable pace. We have more insight into the brain’s learning processes than at any other moment in history, and we are poised on the brink of a radical shift of how we think about education.

Researching the conditions that allow brains to learn most easily enables innovation and optimization for learners in formal and informal settings. There are countless applications for the findings of the new science of learning, including:

Deeper understanding of cognitive deficits and the unique circumstances that affect everyone’s learning capacity. More nuanced information about memory, cognition, and comprehension in various settings. Better understanding of motivation, metacognition, and what drives us to learn at all.

We are incredibly excited about all of the new knowledge being discovered by researchers examining the neurological and psychological underpinnings of learning and education systems, and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store.

The organizations, blogs, research labs, and brain-based learning providers below have diverse perspectives and an incredible range of information about the new science of learning, and we think every single one is worth checking out.

Cognitive Neuroscience & Learning Research

Cognitive neuroscience researchers are at the forefront of the new science of learning. Understanding the deep structures of the brain, how they react to sensory input, and how they store information is crucial for attaining a deeper understanding of how people learn.

MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences

MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences combines neuroscience, biology and psychology. They stud specific aspects of the brain and mind including learning and memory, neural and cognitive development, language and reasoning.

Stanford Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Laboratory

Under the direction of Dr. Vinod Menon, the SCSNL investigates human cognition and learning. Based out of Stanford, they use advanced brain imaging techniques such as MRI, DTI, and EEGas well as behavioral, genetic, neural network modeling, and computational methods in their research.

Staglin IMHRO Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

The Staglin IMHRO Center for Cognitive Neuroscience is UCLA’s research center for inquiries into the neural underpinnings and phenotypic conditions that correlate with cognitive anomalies. The center is currently studying the neural bases of creativity, social communication, autism, schizophrenia, memory mechanisms, and many other brain functions, disorders, and conditions.

University of Cambridge Centre for Neuroscience in Education

The main research goal of the Centre is to establish the basic parameters of brain development and understand cognitive skills critical for education. They aim to understand how the brain functions and changes during the development of reading, math, and other subjects.

Midwest Brain & Learning Institute

The Midwest Brain and Learning Institute provides brain compatible learning experiences by bringing educators together with nationally recognized researchers and presenters. They share the latest in neuroscience research and how it impacts the understanding of learning and teaching.

Grisolano Center for Neurodevelopment Blog

The Grisolano Center for Neurodevelopment is a pediatric neuropsychology practice dedicated to helping children overcome challenges in learning and development to create a better life for them today and for the future. Through Neurodevelopmental, Psychotherapy and Cognitive Training & Rehabilitation services, their team is dedicated to understanding the brain functions that affect a child’s behavior and learning abilities, and provide therapy services that help to overcome cognitive issues so the child can thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

The Center believes that knowledge is power and that is why Grisolano.com offers online resources for families, educators and legal professionals. Free downloads and checklists range from information and guides on Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Independent Educational Evaluations and Due Process Hearings.

Earli: Neuroscience and Education

The SIG brings together researchers from the fields of educational research, cognitive, and developmental psychology and neuroscience. A team of interdisciplinary people with training in each of these investigate human learning and development.

University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) Neurobiology Podcast: Neuroscientists Talk Shop

Neuroscientists Talk Shop is the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Neurobiology Podcast. They showcase the work and research of renowned neuroscientists and focus on their work in the field.

Gazzaley Lab

Research in the Gazzaley lab focuses on furthering the understanding of the neural mechanisms, alterations that occur in aging and neurological disease, and how one may intervene therapeutically. Their goal is to understand how a healthy brain functions and be aware of alterations that occur with normal aging and disease.

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field devoted to understanding how children’s minds change as they grow up. Their lab specializes in studying a region of the brain known as prefrontal cortex and the cognitive abilities that depend on it.

Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience

Established in 1970, the Salk Institute’s Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience is dedicated to the study language and cognition. Their research is designed to increase our understanding of genetically based disorders and cognitive abilities.

UW Educational Neuroscience Lab

Educational Neuroscience is an emerging field that integrates findings from neuroscience with those from education and cognitive science. Their research examines the neural underpinnings of cognitive processes that are relevant for education and the roles of educational experiences.

Brain, Learning, Animation, and Movement Lab

This animation and movement lab helps teach motor memory, motor control, and even encourages healing after a brain injury. They function as a part of the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

PSLC DataShop

DataShop is the world’s largest repository of learning interaction data. Some of their topics include how to improve student learning, detect motivation, and predict student performance.

Cognitive Development Center

The goal in the Cognitive Development Center is to understand thinking and how it changes with development. They work with infants and children to explore the development of memory, language, problem-solving, and flexibility.

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University

Since 1999, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience has served as the central focus at Duke University for research, education, and training in psychological and neuroscience. Their research focuses on perception, attention, memory, language, emotion, decision making, social interaction, morality, motor control, executive function, and the evolution and development of mental processes.

Project on the Decade of the Brain

The Decade of the Brain was a designation for 1990-1999 by U.S. president George H. W. Bush as part of a larger effort involving the Library of Congress and the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health “to enhance public awareness of the benefits to be derived from brain research”. The initiative was conducted through a variety of activities including publications and programs aimed at introducing Members of Congress, their staffs, and the general public to cutting-edge research on the brain and encouraging public dialog on the ethical, philosophical, and humanistic implications of these emerging discoveries.

Centre for Mind and Brain in Educational and Social Contexts (M-BESC)

The Centre for Mind and Brain in Educational and Social Contexts (M-BESC) aims to develop the understanding of learning and interaction in educational and social contexts by drawing upon, and extending, concepts and techniques situated in the study of mind and brain, and then interrelating this understanding with insights about human interaction and learning derived from other perspectives.
OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) – Brain and Learning

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. They work with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. They also measure productivity and global flows of trade and investment.

FMRIB Plasticity Group

The FMRIB Plasticity Group, associated with The University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division, is an integrative research group that uses advanced brain imaging techniques to monitor brain change. They also use training programs and brain stimulation to try to influence brain change.

Allen Institute for Brain Science

The vision of the Allen Institute is to decipher how information is coded and processed in the brain. They also work to accelerate the understanding of how the human brain works in health and disease.

UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

The ICN is an interdisciplinary research institute. Their group of scientists and doctors from many different disciplines study mental processes in the human brain, in health and disease, and in adults and children.

George Washington University Center for Applied Developmental Science and Neuroeducation

Situated within the nation’s Capital, The Center for Applied Developmental Science and Neuroeducation at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) seeks to develop scholar-leaders, increase research, encourage knowledge sharing, and contribute to local and national policy dialogue. GSEHD aims to be a hub for the application of research from the fields of neuroscience and health sciences to the education and development of children and youth with disabilities.

SEDL

SEDL is a private, nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination corporation based in Austin, Texas. Their mission is to solve significant problems facing educational systems and communities to ensure a quality education for all learners.

University of Washington Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences

The Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) is an interdisciplinary center dedicated to discovering the fundamental principles of human learning, with special emphasis on work that will enable all children from 0 to 5 to achieve their full potential.

Brain@work

Brain@Work is a research group focusing on the human brain and mind, specifically on neurocognition, learning and memory.

Arizona State University Learning Sciences Institute (LSI)

Arizona State University’s Learning Sciences Institute (LSI) focuses on the generation and dissemination of research on the core human enterprises of learning and education broadly defined. It aspires to be recognized as the leading creation place in the country where researchers, scholars, policy makers, and practitioners collaborate and

Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University

The Center for Integrative & Cognitive Neuroscience fosters mutual effort and serendipity among groups of investigators across the Vanderbilt University campus to push back the last great frontier in modern science. The Center sustains programs of research to help explain how normal and abnormal behavior and cognition arise from the function of the brain.

Action Potential

Action Potential is a forum operated by neuroscience editors at Nature for the entire neuroscience community. They discuss major new and exciting developments and research currently going on in the world of neuroscience.

Reberlab: Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning and Memory

Reberlab studies the cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory at Northwestern University. Some of their current projects include working memory training and perceptual-motor skill learning.

Thinking about Thinking: Cognitive neuroscience blog

This is a blog about the field of cognitive science and the study of thinking. Topics include computational science, cognitive development, and more.

Brannon Lab

The Brannon Lab studies the development and evolution of numerical cognition. Based out of Duke University, their research and findings are useful for parents, teachers, and others interested in the way we learn.

The Neuroeducation Institute

The Neuroeducation Institute is a two-day opportunity for educators to come together to enhance their teaching through discoveries about the brain and the learning process. They provide educators with knowledge about brain function, memory and learning to equip educators with usable knowledge and practical strategies for the classroom.

Science of Learning Strategic Research Theme (SoL-SRT)

Learning Sciences Researchers at the University of Hong Kong are building interdisciplinary research teams to construct multilevel models and theories of learning that build on the current understanding and methodologies of education and other sciences. They develop research and development programs to advance research, policy and practice related to learning that incorporate cutting edge ideas and techniques from neural physiological, functional, cognitive and socio-affective approaches to learning research.

NeuroEducation Across the Lifespan Laborator

The NeuroEducation Across the Lifespan Lab’s mission is to reveal the brain networks underlying music and the arts, explore the near- and far-transfer of the skills underlying music and art learning, and investigate the benefits of music and arts in education and treatment.

Kim Lab

Kim Lab, located at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Institute of Cognitive Science, is a research lab that works to investigate the cognitive and neural mechanisms that allow humans to understand language. They use neuroimaging and behavioral experimental techniques with the aims of advancing basic science and guiding treatments for disordered language and reading.

The Concepts, Actions and Objects Lab

Using a diverse set of methods to explore the cognitive and neural basis of conceptual domains, the Concepts, Actions and Objects lab group studies the origins and organization of conceptual knowledge.

Special Research Initiative for a Science of Learning

The ARC is a legal agency that advises the Australian government on research matters. Beginning in 2012, started funding a new research center to investigate the complex issues of the human learning process. The center helps bring together cross-disciplinary researchers ranging from neuroscience and cognitive development to pedagogy and educational technology.

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Engineering (CENCE)

Located at the University of California’s Irvine campus, CENCE is a multidisciplinary research center that aims to understand the relation between cognitive abilities and neural systems through brain imaging, brain mapping, computational modeling, informatics and engineering techniques.

Learning Sciences Research Institute

The Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI) was created in 2007 and is a collaboration between international, national, and UIC-based researchers to improve educational opportunities and environments for an array of learners.

University of California, San Diego, Center for Brain and Cognition

The Center for Brain and Cognition (CBC) at the University of California, San Diego, under the directorship of V.S. Ramachandran, conducts research on the neural basis of perception, cognition, language, attention and memory (also called cognitive neuroscience or behavioral neurology). An additional focus is on neuro-rehabilitation.

Academic Publications
For anyone who can understand dense, academic language, there are plenty of fascinating research papers and academic essays about neuroscience, cognitive studies, and the underpinnings of the biological systems that enable us to learn.

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Open Access Journal

This journal is for cognitive, affective and social developmental neuroscience. They publish theoretical and research papers on cognitive brain development.

Cognitive Neuroscience Blog

Psychology Press Cognitive Neuroscience Blog publishes news and updates about featured products and notable authors who work in the area of neuroscience. Some of their products include cognitive learning textbooks, research methods, development psychology books, and more.

Pedagogy and the Human Sciences

Pedagogy and the Human Sciences peer-reviewed interactive online journal is a peer-reviewed interactive online journal devoted to the study of teaching and learning in psychology and related fields. Their goal is to promote reflection upon what it means to teach and learn in psychology and related fields.

Cognitive Neuroscience Weekly

This blog is targeted to enthusiastic students, cognitive neuroscientists, and others interested in cognitive neuroscience and highlights some recently published findings of interest. It works to share important and inspiring findings about the brain-mind relationships.

ERIC: Teacher Perceptions of NeuroEducation: A Mixed Methods Survey of Teachers in the United States

This article summarizes teacher perceptions of NeuroEducation. A survey was given to educators about this new development in education and it revealed that educators feel overwhelmingly positive and teachers in the United States are quite enthusiastic about the potential of NeuroEducation,

Mind, Brain, and Education Journal

This online scholarly journal is a great resource for any educator interested in how the science of the mind can be brought into the classroom. Some of their issues and articles are available for free online.

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Published by the MIT Press, the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience is a peer-reviewed academic journal for scientific research on cognitive neuroscience and the interaction between brain and behavior. It aims for a cross-discipline approach, covering research in neuroscience, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, neurobiology, linguistics, computer science and philosophy.

Brain & Learning Blogs
Many researchers and others interested in learning and the brain share their findings or general thoughts on the science of learning through blogs. Some are casual and easy to understand, and some are more dense, but all are worth a look.

Brain PathWays Blog

The Brain PathWays Blog is advanced, practical neuroscience application for daily living. It combines 20 years of research and experience from Stephen Hager and Deanna Phelps, two authors and scientists who have been working in neuroscience for decades. Hager and Phelps have recently launched another website, Neuidentity, geared towards using their combined knowledge of the brain to help others succeed in work, education, and life.

Neuronet Learning Research Blog

NeuroNet is a research-based learning readiness program designed to help students develop fluency in essential reading, math, and handwriting skills. They focus on the concepts of practice, evaluation, and independence as key skills in learning.

Brain Rules

In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule and what scientists know for sure about how our brains work and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives.

The Science of Learning Blog

Scientific Learning applies proven research on how the brain learns to accelerate learning. Their blog focuses on research, educational skills, memory programs, brain development, and more.

Brainscape Blog

Brainscape is a web and mobile study platform that helps you learn things faster. Their blog also includes articles about managing stress, increasing memory, and more.

Brainblogger: Neuroscience

Brainblogger has a rich back catalogue of posts covering neuroscience and its implications for business, politics, and education. This is a great place to start for anyone looking for a casual read about neurscience in easily understood language.

Daniel Willingham: Science And Education Blog

Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. His research focuses on the brain, the basis of learning and memory application, as well as cognitive psychology and K-16 education.

R.A.D. by Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed.

This website features the insights, publications, and presentation schedules pertaining to parent and teacher strategies to ignite student learning. Dr. Judy Willis is a board-certified neurologist in Santa Barbara, California and combines her 15 years as a practicing adult and child neurologist with her teacher education training and years of classroom experience.
BrainFacts

BrainFacts is full of educator resources, brain basics, and information about diseases and disorders. It also offers accessible information about the function of neuroscience in society and how current research works to advance education and treatments.

NeuroEducation

Neuroeducation in Spokane applies both psychological and educational strategies to overcome these educational and learning challenges. Counselors stay informed of the latest developments in neuroscience and use this information to overcome the many, varied challenges to academic and personal progress.

The Whole Brain Blog

The Whole Brain Techniques focus on adult learners to improve productivity, creativity, teamwork, sales and other business results. Herrmann International solutions include facilitated classroom workshops, interactive online programming, on-the-job resources and a variety of tools and services designed to optimize individual, team and organizational effectiveness.

Brains: A Group Blog on Topics of Philosophy & The Science of Mind

This site serves a grouping point for various blogs about philosophy and the science of mind. It’s a great resource for anyone looking for a good variety of sources and information in the area of neuroscience.
Improve Your Learning and Memory.

This blog includes summaries of research reports that have practical application for everyday memory. It is written and maintained by a neuroscience researcher, author, and professor.

NeuroLogica Blog: Education

Dr. Novella is an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. The NeuroLogicaBlog covers news and issues in neuroscience, but also general science, scientific skepticism, philosophy of science, critical thinking, and the intersection of science with the media and society.

Organizations & Societies

Learning centers, neuroscience societies, and other organizations bring together the many, many people worldwide who have dedicated themselves to the advancement of the science of learning and all its facets.

Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. Their members promote public information and general education about the nature, results, and implications of their research.

British Neuroscience Association

The British Neuroscience Association is the largest UK organization representing all aspects of neuroscience from many channels including whole animal behavior to neuroscience applications in the clinic. They aim to promote neuroscience research and advise on issues in neuroscience.

The Neuroeducation Institute

The Neuroeducation Institute is a two-day opportunity for educators to come together to enhance their teaching through discoveries about the brain and the learning process. They provide educators with knowledge about brain function, memory and learning to equip educators with usable knowledge and practical strategies for the classroom.

Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center for Robust Learning (PSLC)

This center uses cognitive theory and computational modeling to identify the instructional conditions that cause excellent conditions for student learning. The researchers study learning by conducting in vivo experiments in math, science and language courses.

Brain Leaders and Learners

This site contains practical tactics for teachers derived from Neuro Discoveries written up by Dr. Ellen Weber. Some topics include how to decrease stress to increase learning as well as how things like play, reading, and discussions lead to increased learning and memory.

Centre for Educational Neuroscience

The Centre for Educational Neuroscience works to create resources and education for educators and scientists invested in brain education. They have seminars, conferences, textbooks, workshops and training for those interested in neuroscience methods for education.

American Society for Training & Development: Brain-Based Learning Resources

Brain-based learning theory focuses on creating an opportunity in which attainment, retention, recall, and use of information is maximized. This concept incorporates the latest research on the brain and encourages application of findings to training and educational learning environments.

Cognitive Science Society

The Cognitive Science Society, Inc. brings together researchers from many fields who hold a common goal: understanding the nature of the human mind. They promote scientific interchange among researchers in disciplines comprising the field of Cognitive Science, including Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Anthropology, Psychology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Education.
Learning & the Brain

Learning and the Brain provides educational conferences, symposiums and one-day professional development training seminars on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology and their potential applications to education. Teachers, school administrators, psychologists, and clinicians have been attending these conferences for more than a decade to hear from leading researchers.

Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)

The Cognitive Neuroscience Society is an international group of researchers devoted to “elucidating the biological underpinnings of mental processes.” The organization has a three-day annual conference to present a wide array of findings from neuroscientists all over the globe.

International Neuroethics Society

Neuroethics studies the social, legal, ethical and policy implications of advances in neuroscience. As more research is conducted on the brain, Neuroethics works to help the public understand the issues raised by this research and the powerful new tools being developed, including issues like privacy and safety.

Center for Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE)

IFE Center researchers represent a broad range of fields, including neurobiology, psychology, education, speech and hearing sciences, anthropology, and sociology and others. Their findings inform learning theories, influence educational practices, and affect technologies designed to enhance learning.

Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC)
The Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center brings together scientists and educators from many different institutions for the goal of understanding spatial learning and using that understanding to transform education. SILC participants include researchers from cognitive science, psychology, computer science, education, and neuroscience.

Brain, Neurosciences and Education

The mission of this organization is to promote an understanding of neuroscience research within the educational community. They encourage neuroscience research that has implications for educational practice and D85provide a forum for the issues and controversies within these fields.

International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES)

The mission of IMBES is to facilitate cross-cultural collaboration in biology, education and the cognitive and developmental sciences. They work to improve knowledge and create and develop resources for scientists, practitioners, public policy makers, and the public.

General Brain-based Learning Resources
Brain-based learning takes the knowledge we have now about how people learn, and integrates it into educational environments, both formal and informal, to start creating a new paradigm of how education is conducted. These types of resources, and many more, are available online, often for free, for anyone who is passionate about the science of learning.
iBioEducation

iBiology’s mission is to convey, in the form of open-access free videos, the excitement of modern biology and the process by which scientific discoveries are made. Their aim is to let you meet the leading scientists in biology, so that you can find out how they think about scientific questions and conduct their research, and can get a sense of their personalities, opinions and perspectives.

LearningRX Braintraining

LearningRx is a successful nationwide network of brain training centers. They focus on changing a student’s underlying ability to learn and read and train and strengthen cognitive skills.

Searching for the Mind: Neuronal Plasticity

Dr. Lieff is a specialist in the interface of psychiatry, neurology, and medicine. His blog focuses neuropsychiatry, neuroscience, psychopharmacology, geriatric psychiatry, and high technology in medicine.

TeachThought: Neuroscience

TeachThought is a great resource for teachers looking for information about common core, technology, and much more. They have a dedicated section to neuroscience and practical uses of how the science of learning can be applied in every classroom.

Midcourse Corrections: Neuroscience

This organization focuses on improving conferences, meetings, training and education. They have several dedicated articles about neuroscience and how understanding how the brain receives and translates information can improve learning.

eLearn Magazine: Neuroscience

eLearn Magazine is a source for information and perspective about education and technology. They offer teachers research, case studies, best practice tips, and other ideas for a successful classroom.

InformED: Neuroeducation: 25 Findings Over 25 Years

This site is full of useful articles on computer based learning. They also work to unearth the best study tips and trends in virtual education to collaborate with educators.

Brain Study

Dana is a PhD in Psychology from the University of Cambridge. Her blog focuses on the connection between brains and bodies, and other discoveries in psychology and brain science.

Brains.org

Dr. Kathie Nunley connects current psychological and neurological research to education. Her focus includes writing on the importance of sleep, play, and good nutrition for educational success.

Learning on the Move

This blog includes ways in which physical educators can purposefully plan lessons in order to capitalize on how the brain learns best. There are many resources for teachers to use with the brain compatible learning method.

Whole-Brain Living and Learning

Kathy Brown, M.Ed., is a Licensed Brain Gym Instructor and Consultant. Her most recent project has been the completion and launching of her book Educate Your Brain, through which she describes the basics of the Brain Gym program and how to create a healthy neural environment for learning.

BrightBrain Learning

BrightBrain Learning works to apply enthusiastic and sound teaching to not only make learning easier, but also enjoyable. They tutor students for the SAT, ACT, and other academic courses.

The Second Principle

This blog focuses on holistic learning and concepts like emotional and multiple intelligences and brain-based education. The goal is to help educators teach to a child’s strengths and benefit them as lifelong learners.

Neuroscience Education

This site contains everything you’ve ever wanted to know about neuroscience at the intersection of education. It includes brain quotes, milestones in neuroscience education, tips for increasing memory, brain facts, books about neuroscience and much more.

Brain-Targeted Teaching

Brain-Targeted Teaching designates six “brain targets” for the teaching and learning process and describes brain research that supports each stage. Things like learning evaluations and establishing a positive emotional climate are important in this process.

NIH Videocasting and Podcasting: Neuroscience Lectures

CIT broadcasts seminars, conferences and meetings to world-wide audiences over the Internet as a real-time streaming video. They have a collection of podcasts and lectures on neuroscience freely available in the archives.

Brain Fitness Strategies

Brain Fitness helps people achieve their educational goals through the latest advances in neuromuscular brain development and individualized coaching programs. They assist those with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, or memory problems and anyone else needing academic support.

Posit Science’s BrainHQ

BrainHQ is a place to exercise memory, attention, and more. It was built by a team of top neuroscientists, with exercises proven in dozens of published studies to create real and lasting improvements in brain function.

Jensen Learning’s Brainbased Learning Blog

Eric Jensen is a member of the prestigious invitation-only Society for Neuroscience and the New York Academy of Science. His blog is full of curriculum and other tools and resources for brain based teaching and learning.

Evidence Based Teacher Network

The Evidence Based Teacher Network (EBTN) is an independent network of teachers who wish to use evidence-based methods in classrooms and training. The aim of this website is simply to give teachers access to the evidence-based material already published and available.

ThInk

ThInk is a blog about the brain, written by expert columnists from across the field of neuroscience and beyond. Its aim is to explore neuroscience in research, medicine, art and everyday life.

Inside the Brain

Inside the Brain is written by Professor William T. (Billy) O’Connor, an internationally recognized leader in both research and education in neuroscience. Billy’s interests encompass all aspects of brain research, including nerve circuitry in neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. Other interests are the application of recent discoveries in neuroscience to more effective teaching and learning the brain science of learning.

Brain Power Initiative

The Brain Power Initiative is led by leading researchers, institutions and industry partners to create positive changes in early childhood development, education and lifelong learning. Their initiative works to translate the findings of neuroscience into the creation of media, education and programs that directly influence how the brain develops.

Big Ideas in Education: Neuro-Education

Deborah McCallum is an educator interested in neuro-education, technology, and learning. Some blog posts focus on how developments in neuroscience have improved outcomes for students with dyslexia, autism and other learning disabilities.

Talking about learning

This is a blog written by Alma Dzib Goodin. She uses the site as a sort of personal notebook where she shares her neurocognitive approach of learning from a theoretical and sometimes applied perspective, with the overall goal to improve learning.

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