In this brief overview of John Medina’s new book “Brain Rules”, John discusses a couple of myths regarding brain function and learning. One fact that I found interesting, because I have always heard and read otherwise, is that in his opinion male and female brains are the same. I wonder how the people who feel that schools are failing boys in particular would think about what he said. If what he says is accurate then perhaps we need to look for other reasons why boys are not achieving at the same rate as girls.
Helpful resource for digital storytelling
Lately I’ve been taking an online algebra class as one of my last endorsements for VA state licensure. I’ve never been a strong math student so it has been very difficult to teach myself the concepts at home. I’ve been using youtube lessons to help me through the course. As a visual learner I have found these lessons to be very helpful.
This particular video explains how to work through polynomial equations. The video is a clip from yourteacher.com. This website provides full length math lessons on demand. Some of the lessons can be viewed on youtube for free, but the site sells access to the rest of the lessons should you need them.
Ray Kurzweil appeared on the Bill Maher show recently to discuss where technology is headed. In this clip Ray discusses the availability of technology and how it transitions from only being used by the elite to being used by the general masses in a period of time. You can find more information about Kurzweils new book at the following site:
Chapter 8 Media Literacy June 24, 2011
“While more young people have access to the Internet and other media than any generation in history, they do not necessarily possess the ethics, the intellectual skills, or the predisposition to critically analyze and evaluate their relationship with these technologies or the information they encounter. Good hand/eye co-ordination and the ability to multitask are not substitutes for critical thinking.” ~ David Considine.
I would have to say this sums up my feelings of Chapter 8. I completely agree that teachers must be educated in different forms of media. Teachers must be “media literate” in order to properly prepare their students for the future workforce. Further I agree that teachers must not only be able to use and teach with different types of media, they must also incorporate proper uses of media into their instruction. Students need to know how to discern quality information from false information. On the other hand teachers need to make sure that they are using media in a meaningful way so that it supplements and supports the curriculum as it’s own entity without overshadowing content. Slapping together a photo story or a power point just to include media will not provide students with the hands on “real life application” learning experience that research shows is best for students.
Additional instruction to teach media literacy would be nearly impossible to include with the demands that testing currently places on teachers. This vital instruction must be interwoven into the fabric of the curriculum so that it is taught alongside the content that standardized testing requires.
On another note, as I was reading this chapter it occurred to me that it is interesting that Heidi Hayes Jacobs chose to allow her book to be printed at all. Should it not have come in all forms of media EXCEPT for the “dying art” that she speaks of (print media)?
Chromebook June 19, 2011
Chromebooks are now available for purchase through Amazon and Bestbuy starting around $350. I saw a brief clip about the Chromebook on the news today and the newscasters were discussing whether or not people were ready to have everything out in the internet instead of on their computer. I wondered this about myself. I’m not sure I’m ready yet to make that leap of faith! As I learn more about google tools and how they work the idea does become pretty enticing. The price is also amazing. Lastly not having to deal with all the extra stuff (applications and programs I don’t use, viruses, etc.) that bogs computers down would be nice too. I guess we will see if and how long it takes to catch on!