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10 Brain Tips To Teach and Learn – Ideas for New Year Resolutions

My interest in the brain stems from wanting to better understand both how to make school more palatable for students, and professional development more meaningful for faculty. To that end, I began my Neurons Firing blog in April, 2007, have been doing a lot of reading, and been attending workshops and conferences, including Learning & the Brain.

If you agree that our brains are designed for learning, then as educators it is incumbent upon us to be looking for ways to maximize the learning process for each of our students, as well as for ourselves. Some of what follows is simply common sense, but I’ve learned that all of it has a scientific basis in our brains. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Brain Tips To Teach and Learn

My natural rhythms are in cycle with the school calendar. January 1st takes a back seat to my new year, which gets ushered in with the month of September when there is crispness in the air that gradually shakes off the slower, more relaxed pace of summer.Conveniently, my career in teaching meshes with my natural cyclical year. And as this year draws to a close, I am re-energized by the pace of summer, knowing that anything may pop in to my mind as I engage in activities not directly related to school. But before that happens, I’d like to reflect on this past year, in particular as it was my first year of blogging about the brain.

My interest in the brain stems from wanting to better understand both how to make school more palatable for students, and professional development more meaningful for faculty. To that end, I began my Neurons Firing blog in April, 2007, have been doing a lot of reading, and been attending workshops and conferences, including Learning & the Brain.

If you agree that our brains are designed for learning, then Read the rest of this entry »

Rethinking the Brain Fitness Business

Great article on the growing brain fitness field. Rethinking the Brain Business: Why a mental-fitness program may be the start of something big. Some quotes:

– “But Merzenich has loftier ambitions. He envisions his company as part of a new industry that will become a “mirror” of the drug industry. He wants to go far beyond simply sharpening memory and cognitive ability to tackle diseases as well. Instead of medications, he sees a business rooted in neuroscience that will use noninvasive computer exercises to rewire the brain, gradually training it back to mental health.”

– For now, Merzenich believes the emerging field of “brain health” is cluttered with bad science. He singled out Nintendo’s brain games as an example of a product that has no science to back up its claims. But he doesn’t expect that to last.

– “This field is undisciplined now and full of trash,” he says. “But it will mature and ultimately the snake oil will be cleaned up. It will grow like the fitness industry from almost nowhere. And it will become a part of everyday life.”

For help on how to evaluate the growing number of programs, check out our Brain Fitness Program evaluation checklist.

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