Archive | January, 2012

The Brain and Learning

15 Jan

Each brain is different and cannot be taught in the same method.  Everyone’s brain is unique and learns through different methods and techniques and processes this information differently.  The website Funderstanding discusses Renate and Geoffrey Caine’s learning theory in the article Brain-based Learning.  Centered around 12 core principles, brain-based learning views that the entire body is critical to learning and that emotions, perception, conscious and unconscious process all go hand in hand to yield proper learning.  There are three techniques associated with brain-based learning, all focusing on letting the student become one with the material, learning environments, take charge of their own education.  Based around a cognitive theory, brain-based learning is not a single theory but a more generalized name for dealing with the sequence of cognitive events (Ormrod, Schunk, & Gredler, 2009).  This article has since been added to in Brain/Mind Principles of Natural Learning, outlining further research on the topic.  Both articles provide teachers and instructors with a fine outline of what to consider when teaching and how the brain processes information.

Continuing on the topic of the relevance of researching the brain in learning and teaching, Virginia Berninger and Todd Richards of The Gale Group talk about the Brain and Learning and how it is specifically related to math, reading and writing.  Like Renate and Geoffrey Caine, this article centers around the concept that students differ significantly in which learning environment works best for them  and what makes is successful to each the best for the particular student.  It is also important for the instructor to understand how the brain works to create the environment that is optimal for the student (Ertmer & Newby, 1993).  Everyone is responsible for a student’s education and must be held accountable for failures and successes.  “Academic underachievement cannot be attributed only to teachers or only to students” (Berninger & Richards, 2002).  Though there is a lot of technical information on the reactions within the brain and the science involved in thinking and learning, the article is well written and provides a nice overview of each topic so that even the non-scientist can understand it.

References

Berninger, V. & Richards, T. (2009). Brain and learning.  [Blog Post].  Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/brain-and-learning/

Caine, G. & Caine, R. (n.d.). Brain/mind principles of natural learning. [Blog Post].  Retrieved from http://www.funderstanding.com/v2/educators/brainmind-principles-of-natural-learning/

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50–71.

On Purpose Associates. (n.d.). Brain-based learning. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://www.funderstanding.com/v2/educators/brain-based-learning/

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.

Useful Sites Abound

5 Jan

Being enrolled in an online class, I was looking for methods to apply this knowledge to my workplace.  The following is a quick review of three sites that I found packed with useful information.

At the Rapid E-Learning Blog, there are many time-saving tips on how to create electronic presentations and simple designs of courses you want to create.  Designed and presented by the Articulate Network, the author speaks simply and easily, allowing you to learn at your own pace.  Many resources are included for immediate success.  PowerPoint tips, graphic design, management, audio and video suggestions are all clickable resources.  This is a wonderful site for anyone who is looking to use the latest in technology for their teaching and provides the resources needed to improve.  Though teaching methods are covered, the main source of use for this blog are the tips and tricks that will make any electronic presentation that much better and more understandable.

The Instructional Design and Development blog is created by the Faculty Instructional Technology Services of DePaul University and has a long history on the web.  With archives going all the way back to 2007, every topic under the sun is covered.  Samples include digital living, discussing advances and trends in technology, video and audio, with unbiased view on the pros and cons of using do it yourself productions, as well as a pedagogy section for teachers.  The blog constantly updates any new conferences that may be useful to an instructional designer and provides links to the appropriate web sites.  The articles are very help full with a high discussion rate but there is so much information available, it is sometimes difficult to negotiate the blog to find exactly what you are looking to find.

Distance Educator was founded in 1995 by Dr. Farhad Saba as a common resource for distance education and electronic learning.  Their premise is to help provide information, articles and tools in a comprehensive manner.  There are links to various associations, publications, resources and solutions that are updated on a regular basis.  There are also numerous categories allowing the user to pinpoint exactly the information they are looking to retrieve.  Though the site strives to disseminate information in an unbiased manner, there is a section for editorials giving the authors a place to provide their own feedback to topics.

Up and Running

4 Jan

Please be patient while I set up the formatting of the blog. I am new to this. I promise things will get better.