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Final 10 days to submit nominations for the Global Teacher Prize 2018

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Please join us in cel­e­brat­ing teach­ers and the amaz­ing things they do to devel­op and refine our brains. Rec­og­nize the teach­ers who have changed your life, and the lives of oth­ers around you, by nom­i­nat­ing them for a Glob­al Teacher Prize HERE before Octo­ber 8th, 2017.

Descrip­tion: The Glob­al Teacher Prize is a US $1 mil­lion award pre­sent­ed annu­al­ly to an excep­tion­al teacher who has made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to their pro­fes­sion.  Read the rest of this entry »

Just in: Call for nominations and applications @ Global Teacher Prize 2018

global-teacher-prize—–

Please join me and the Glob­al Teacher Prize in cel­e­brat­ing teach­ers and the amaz­ing things they do. Rec­og­nize the teach­ers who have changed your life, and/ or the lives of oth­ers around you, by nom­i­nat­ing them for a Glob­al Teacher Prize HERE before Octo­ber 8th, 2017.

Descrip­tion: The Glob­al Teacher Prize is a US $1 mil­lion award pre­sent­ed annu­al­ly to an excep­tion­al teacher who has made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to their pro­fes­sion.  Read the rest of this entry »

Memory Problems? Perhaps you are Multi-tasking

Today’s kids are into mul­ti-task­ing. This is the gen­er­a­tion hooked on iPods, IM’ing, video games — not to men­tion TV! Many peo­ple in my gen­er­a­tion think it is won­der­ful that kids can do all these things simul­ta­ne­ous­ly and are impressed with their com­pe­tence.

Well, as a teacher of such kids when they reach col­lege, I am not impressed. Col­lege stu­dents these days have short atten­tion spans and have trou­ble con­cen­trat­ing. They got this way in sec­ondary school. I see this in the mid­dle-school out­reach pro­gram I help run. At this age kids are real­ly wrapped up in mul­ti-task­ing at the expense of focus.

Accord­ing to a Kaiser Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion study last year, school kids in all grades beyond the sec­ond grade com­mit­ted, on aver­age, more than six hours per day to TV or videos, music, video games, and com­put­ers. Almost one-third report­ed that “most of the time” they did their home­work while chat­ting on the phone, surf­ing the Web, send­ing instant mes­sages, watch­ing TV, or lis­ten­ing to music.

Kids think that this enter­tain­ment while study­ing helps their learn­ing. It prob­a­bly does make learn­ing less tedious, but it clear­ly makes learn­ing less effi­cient and less effec­tive. Mul­ti-task­ing vio­lates every­thing we know about how mem­o­ry works. Now we have objec­tive sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence that Read the rest of this entry »

The brain virtues of physical exercise

Dr. Adri­an Pre­da, our newest Expert Con­trib­u­tor, writes today the first in a series of thought-pro­vok­ing arti­cles,physical exercise for the brain chal­leng­ing us to think about phys­i­cal exer­cise as the best and most unap­pre­ci­at­ed form of “brain exer­cise”. A superb arti­cle.

And one thing is clear, he points out: “the brain real­ly likes it when it’s asked to be “active”. Pas­sive audi­ences, which are spoon fed infor­ma­tion, score less well when test­ed on reten­tion and under­stand­ing of the pre­sent­ed mate­r­i­al than audi­ences that were kept engaged through the process.”

So, will you write a com­ment below and con­tribute to an engag­ing con­ver­sa­tion? Thoughts? reac­tions? ques­tions?
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Don’t ignore plain old com­mon sense.

Brain Lessons Part 1

– By Adri­an Pre­da, M.D.

Let me start with a list of com­mon bias­es: expen­sive is bet­ter than cheap, free is of dubi­ous val­ue (why would then be free?), rare is like­ly to be valu­able, and while new is bet­ter than old, ancient is always best. Which explains a com­mon sce­nario that is reen­act­ed about twice a week in my office. It starts like this: a patient shows me a fan­cy look­ing bot­tle of the brain sup­ple­ment of the week: ancient roots with obscure names mixed togeth­er in anoth­er nov­el com­bi­na­tion which you can exclu­sive­ly find in that one and only store (rar­i­ty oblige!). And not to for­get: it ain’t cheap either! Of course, there it is, the per­fect the recipe for suc­cess: ancient yet new, rare and expen­sive. It got to be good! But is it, real­ly?

Read the rest of this entry »

Are Schools (Cognitively) Nutritive for Children’s Complex Thinking?

Today we host a very stim­u­lat­ing essay on the impor­tance of prob­lem-solv­ing and encour­ag­ing com­plex game-play­ing for children’s com­plete “cog­ni­tive nutri­tion”. Enjoy!

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Children’s Com­plex Think­ing

– By Tom O’Brien and Chris­tine Wal­lach

Pop over to your neigh­bor­hood school and vis­it some class­rooms. Is what’s hap­pen­ing cog­ni­tive­ly nutri­tive? That is, does it sat­is­fy present needs and pro­vide nour­ish­ment for the future health and devel­op­ment of children’s think­ing?

Or is it puni­tive, with lit­tle con­cern for present nour­ish­ment and future health and devel­op­ment?

The Genevan psy­chol­o­gist and researcher Her­mi­na Sin­clair said, Read the rest of this entry »

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