Thinking in Black and White

The human brain seems to mostly operate using a default either/or operational system. Our experience of the world often seems to come to us in a way which requires choosing between two mutually exclusive options. This expresses itself in what philosophers call dichotomies. Dichotomies are so pervasive and embedded that we navigate through them in an entirely subconscious way. So much so that we may even fall into the trap of accepting that when it comes to making choices, whether ...

How to learn with zero effort

  The brain's capacity is unlimited, if only you use it correctly (Credit: Getty Images) What is the easiest way to learn? David Robson meets a group of scientists and memory champions competing to find techniques that make facts stick... fast. As exam season is upon us and the Grade 12 exams are soon to begin, I thought you might be interested in "how to learn with zero effort". I was recently reading an article at BBC that discussed such a topic. The article discusses ways ...

Believing and Learning

We are used to coming across the phrase “seeing is believing” on a pretty regular basis. It is assumed to mean that the most important basis for taking anything to be true is to have a direct experience of it. However, is there something to be said for a positive role for belief as a precursor to understanding and learning? Here I do not mean belief in the purely propositional sense, belief that; but belief in, a commitment to the ...

Two heads are better than one

In a recent post my colleague Barbara Stefanics highlighted collaborative learning in a studying-for-exams situation.  About the same time, I read Stephen Down's presentation on Cooperation and Collaboration, which lead me to explore the similarities and differences of cooperation and collaboration in a classroom setting, and how technology might support the two. The  terms cooperation and collaboration are often used rather loosely in the classroom to describe some sort of group work.  Downes summarises the terms this way his presentation: When collaborating, people ...

Engage your brain…use it or lose it!

Here at OSC, we have been finding out some fascinating realities about the teenage brain; how it works, why it makes us act the way we do, and how we can better understand it. Read more for amazing facts and tips to ensure your brain is fully engaged during studying.   Together with research from Dr Frances E Jensen of Harvard Medical School and Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore of UCL, our IB Consultant, Rosanna Montalbano, has found out that: The adolescent brain has enormous ...

Moral Machines and Happy Humans

We're used to robots - we read about them, see them at the cinema, in art, graffiti, learn about them in science and technology class, we build them, and our lives are full of them. The other day this video, "Humans Need Not Apply" from CGP Grey,  came up in my YouTube subscription: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU The script for this video is at http://www.cgpgrey.com/blog/humans-need-not-apply, and links to all the technology mentioned is on the "About" tab on the YouTube page. Watching the video, I was struck by the very broad ...

Education for Tomorrow

One reads a lot about robots these days, and also about "21st century education", "learning for tomorrow", etc. (If you doubt me, do a search on these terms).  But how far away is "tomorrow" -  a "time that is to come"? The other day this video, "Humans Need Not Apply" from CGP Grey,  came up in my YouTube subscription: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU The script for this video is at http://www.cgpgrey.com/blog/humans-need-not-apply, and links to all the technology mentioned is on the "About" tab on the YouTube page. Watching ...

What’s in a MOOC?

What is a MOOC? This video from Dave Cormier will explain:   eW3gMGqcZQc   As with so many things, when looking for a good beginning introduction, I come to Wikipedia for a basic definition of  MOOC: "A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC; /muːk/) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the webIn addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education ...

Beyond Bookmarks with Flipboard

In my last post, we explored social bookmarking with Diigo as a way to collect and share Internet resources.  In this post, we're going to take  a step further, and look at "curating" with Flipboard. Curation Let's start with the idea of  curation. “The term curation in the past commonly referred to museum and library professionals. It has since been applied to interaction with social media including compiling digital images, web links and movie files.” (link)  When you curate content, you offer ...

“A tool kit for projects”

The arc of any project lends itself to close analysis. From the first step planning stage, through active experiential learning, then a culminating event or production, and, finally a reflection, the role of the teacher as mentor and facilitator is crucial. At each of these stages, CAS advisers and coordinators have special opportunities to witness and assist deep learning and they often need the right ‘tools’ and strategies to do so. The George Lucas Educational Foundation's edutopia has a tool kit that sets out ...