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Harvard scientists invent the synaptic transistor that learns while it computes

Harvard scientists invent the synaptic transistor that learns while it computes | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

It doesn't take a Watson to realize that even the world's best supercomputers are staggeringly inefficient and energy-intensive machines.

 

Our brains have upwards of 86 billion neurons, connected by synapses that not only complete myriad logic circuits; they continuously adapt to stimuli, strengthening some connections while weakening others. We call that process learning, and it enables the kind of rapid, highly efficient computational processes that put Siri and Blue Gene to shame.

 

Materials scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have now created a new type of transistor that mimics the behavior of a synapse. The novel device simultaneously modulates the flow of information in a circuit and physically adapts to changing signals.

 

Exploiting unusual properties in modern materials, the synaptic transistor could mark the beginning of a new kind of artificial intelligence: one embedded not in smart algorithms but in the very architecture of a computer.

 

“There’s extraordinary interest in building energy-efficient electronics these days,” says principal investigator Shriram Ramanathan, associate professor of materials science at Harvard SEAS.

 

“Historically, people have been focused on speed, but with speed comes the penalty of power dissipation. With electronics becoming more and more powerful and ubiquitous, you could have a huge impact by cutting down the amount of energy they consume.”

 

The human mind, for all its phenomenal computing power, runs on roughly 20 Watts of energy (less than a household light bulb), so it offers a natural model for engineers.

 

“The transistor we’ve demonstrated is really an analog to the synapse in our brains,” says co-lead author Jian Shi, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS. “Each time a neuron initiates an action and another neuron reacts, the synapse between them increases the strength of its connection. And the faster the neurons spike each time, the stronger the synaptic connection. Essentially, it memorizes the action between the neurons.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley | Video on TED.com

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

 

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence

 

 

Miloš Bajčetić's insight:

“The real role of leadership in education … is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a climate of possibility.”

 

Great Talk!

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Tatiana Kuzmina's curator insight, September 7, 2013 2:58 PM

Worth watching..

Laurent Picard's curator insight, January 22, 2014 12:22 PM

Une vidéo trés intéressante (et amusante) où Ken Robinson parle du système éducatif américain. Mais ses propos s'appliquent aussi au notre...

Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Learning with MOOCs
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This Is The Future Of College

This Is The Future Of College | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
One dominant fear among academics is that online education will completely replace the physical campus and the professor. This is unlikely, at least in the short term. Students still see value in being exposed to new people and new ideas, and creating a network of valuable connections. But they won’t attend for four years. Introductory 101 courses can be covered quickly (and affordably) by massive open online classes (MOOCs) or bootcamps.

Via Peter Mellow
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from the plastic brain
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Long-Term Memories Are Maintained by Prion-Like Proteins

Long-Term Memories Are Maintained by Prion-Like Proteins | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Research from Eric Kandel’s lab has uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time.

 

"Memories are stored for the long-term with the help of prion-like proteins called CPEB. CPEB prions aggregate and maintain synapses that recorded the memory [“spines” in the bottom image]. When CPEB prions are not present or are inactivated, the synapses collapse and the memory fades [see upper image]."


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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Learning and Teaching in an Online Environment
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Will the University of Adelaide's lecture phase-out be a flop?

Will the University of Adelaide's lecture phase-out be a flop? | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
The University of Adelaide is planning to completely phase out lectures. Is this change good for learning?

Via Peter Mellow
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U of Phoenix: Losing hundreds of millions of dollars on adaptive-learning LMS bet -

U of Phoenix: Losing hundreds of millions of dollars on adaptive-learning LMS bet - | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
It would be interesting to read (or write) a post mortem on this project some day.

Two and a half years ago I wrote a post describing the University of Phoenix investment of a billion dollars on new IT infrastructure, including hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a new, adaptive-learning LMS. In another post I described a ridiculous patent awarded to Apollo Group, parent company of U of Phoenix, that claimed ownership of adaptive activity streams. Beyond the patent, Apollo Group also purchased Carnegie Learning for $75 million as part of this effort.

And that’s all going away, as described by this morning’s Chronicle article on the company planning to go down to just 150,000 students (from a high of 460,000 several years ago).

And after spending years and untold millions on developing its own digital course platform that it said would revolutionize online learning, Mr. Cappelli said the university would drop its proprietary learning systems in favor of commercially available products. Many Apollo watchers had long expected that it would try to license its system to other colleges, but that never came to pass.
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Personal Learning Graphs (PLeG)

Personal Learning Graphs (PLeG) | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Personalized and adaptive learning has been described as the so-called holy grail of education. The idea is not new, though its technological instantiation is getting increased attention. In a well-funded education system, personalized instruction happens when guided by a teacher as each students strengths and weaknesses and knowledge gaps are known. However, when classrooms start to exceed 20+ students, some type of mediating agent is needed in order to address knowledge gaps as it becomes impossible for a teacher to be aware of what is happening with each learner. So, while the human educator is the original (and best) personalized learning system, the current funding constraints and other resource challenges have raised the need for alternative approaches to make sure that each learner is receiving support reflective of her needs.

Many of the personalized learning systems now available begin with an articulation of the knowledge space – i.e. what the learner needs to know. What the learner knows is somewhat peripheral and is only a focal point after the learner has started interacting with content. Additionally, the data that is built around learner profiles is owned by either the educational institution or the software company. This isn’t a good idea. Learners should own the representation of what they know.

Last year, I posted on personalized learner knowledge graphs. Since then, I’ve been working with several colleagues to refine and develop this idea. Embedded below is a summary of our recent thinking on what this would look like in practice. Personal Learning Graph (PLeG – pronounced ‘pledge’ (acronyms are hard)) is intended as a response to how work and life are changing due to technology and the importance of individuals owning their own learning representation.
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Digital Pedagogy, Critical Pedagogy, Hybrid Pedagogy, #digped
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Social Media, Service, and the Perils of Scholarly Affect

Social Media, Service, and the Perils of Scholarly Affect | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Scholarship, even in its digital form, is still narrowly considered. We are conditioned to accept old rigor in new clothing.

Via Hybrid Pedagogy
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Quality assurance of eLearning
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Twin policies risk a rebirth of dual system, warn sector figures

Twin policies risk a rebirth of dual system, warn sector figures | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Universities face having to navigate two quality frameworks as Jo Johnson makes teaching excellence framework a priority amid Hefce reforms

 

Introducing a teaching excellence framework alongside a new quality assurance method may create a dual system of quality checks and audits, senior sector figures have warned.

 

In his first major policy speech as universities and science minister, Jo Johnson said that his priority is to “make sure students get the teaching they deserve…by introducing the teaching excellence framework we promised in our manifesto”.

 

...

 

However, it remains unclear how plans for the TEF will fit with proposed changes to the quality assurance landscape unveiled by the Higher Education Funding Council for England on 29 June.

 

Under these proposals, universities will no longer face regular institutional reviews from the Quality Assurance Agency every six years – with governing bodies instead required to vouch for academic standards, while Hefce monitors trends in student outcomes, such as student satisfaction scores.


Via Harvey Mellar
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Virtual Debate: 7 Advantages of Online Discussions

Virtual Debate: 7 Advantages of Online Discussions | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
The ideas “online” and “discussion” seems an oxymoron to many, that engagement in discussion can occur with participants removed in time and place.

How to facilitate such discussions is confusing to many teachers, and online discussion threads and chatrooms may be seen as a poor substitute for the “real” thing, an evil necessity of the online class. However, although there are some barriers such as its more decontextualized nature, in comparison to face-to-face discussion, there are advantages that are unique to the online discussion that can be built on by the instructor while the drawbacks are minimized.
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Effective Education
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Why are so many turning away from teaching? Big win for reformers!

Why are so many turning away from teaching?  Big win for reformers! | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
(District of Columbia) In what may prove to be another national socioeconomic trend with roots in California, education planners in a number of states are looking with alarm at the sudden drop of college students entering the teaching profession.

Via Mel Riddile, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
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Mel Riddile's curator insight, July 1, 5:38 PM

Reformist mantras regarding...

  1. "failing schools"
  2. 'fire our way to Finland'
  3. ABC (AnyBody Can) Teach
  4. an end to teacher tenure


...have achieved their desired outcomes--fewer college students see becoming a teacher as a viable career path.

Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Learning with MOOCs
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Who studies MOOCs? Interdisciplinarity in MOOC research and its changes over time

Who studies MOOCs? Interdisciplinarity in MOOC research and its changes over time | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Abstract:

The complexity of digital and online education is becoming increasingly evident in the context of research into networked learning/participation. Interdisciplinary research is often proposed as a way to address complex scientific problems and enable researchers to bring novel perspectives into a field other than their own. The degree to which research on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is interdisciplinary is unknown. We apply descriptive and inferential statistics to bibliometric data to investigate interdisciplinarity in MOOC research. Results show that MOOC research published in 2013-2015 was (a) mostly conducted by researchers affiliated with Education and Computer Science disciplines, (b) far from monolithic, (c) had a greater representation of authors from Computer Science than in the past, and (d) showed a trend toward being more interdisciplinary than MOOC research published in 2008-2012. Our results also suggest that empirical research on xMOOCs may be more interdisciplinary than research on cMOOCs. Greater interdisciplinarity in xMOOC research could reflect the burgeoning interest in the field, the general familiarity with the xMOOC pedagogical model, and the hype experienced by xMOOCs. Greater interdisciplinarity in the field may also provide researchers with rich opportunities to improve our understanding and practice of digital and online learning.


Via Kim Flintoff, Peter Mellow
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ECO Project EU's curator insight, July 2, 9:59 AM

xMOOC research shows more interdisciplinarity than cMOOC's. What do you make of it?

Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Quality assurance of eLearning
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7th Annual Conference on Quality Assurance in Online Learning | Quality Matters

7th Annual Conference on Quality Assurance in Online Learning | Quality Matters | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Conference Dates: November 1-4, 2015

Early Bird Registration: through August 7, 2015

Location: San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, 101 Bowie Street, San Antonio,

 

The 7th Annual QM Conference features inspired discussions and the sharing of best practices. The QM community collaborates to shape education's future. This conference is a place to learn, connect, and share. Together, we are continuously improving experiences for learners.

Here's a sneak peek at what's in store for this year's event. We'll add presentation sessions, pre-conference workshops, and other information here in the months leading up to the conference; please check back for updates. You can also sign up for e-mail communications related to the conference.


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Hand-picked Resources to Help You Become an Instructional Designer

Hand-picked Resources to Help You Become an Instructional Designer | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
With the coming of the Internet, gathering information on almost everything under the sun has become easier than ever before. Just type a few words and Google will throw up tons of information. For instance, there seems to be as many web pages on instructional designing strategies and Photoshop tutorials as there are eLearning designers.

But there's a catch. You still have to click open the websites, scroll through them, and read up pages of text to fish out information that is relevant to your needs. It is easy to get lost in the minefield of information that the Internet is. What is scarier is that not all websites house authentic information. So how can you find what you are searching for quickly and easily? How do you make sure that you learn instructional designing theories and skills only from authentic sources?

We have put together a list of Web resources to help you get hold of the most comprehensive and authentic sources of information on eLearning and instructional design. Here they are:
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Practical Guidance from MOOC Research: Student Diversity

Practical Guidance from MOOC Research: Student Diversity | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
One of the signature findings of MOOC research is the tremendous diversity of MOOC learners. How can we serve them best?

Via Peter Mellow
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from the plastic brain
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Cortisol Reinforces Traumatic Memories

Cortisol Reinforces Traumatic Memories | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
According to a new study, cortisol strengthens traumatic memories, both when the memory is formed and when it is reconsolidated.

 

"It had been shown that the stress hormone cortisol has a strengthening impact on the consolidation of memories, i.e. the several-hour process in the course of which a memory is formed immediately after the experience. Image is for illustrative purposes only. Image credit: Ben Mills."


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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from the plastic brain
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Neurones involved in everyday memories identified

Neurones involved in everyday memories identified | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

With a little help from Clint Eastwood, Jennifer Aniston and Josh Brolin -- or at least photos of them -- scientists have gained a new understanding of how memories of everyday events are formed in the brain.


Individual neurones in a region called the medial temporal lobe play a central role in swiftly forming these memories, they report in the journal Neuron.


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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Learning and Teaching in an Online Environment
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Are lectures a good way to learn?

Are lectures a good way to learn? | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Imagine a future where university enrolment paperwork is accompanied by the statement:

 

Warning: lectures may stunt your academic performance and increase risk of failure.

 

Researchers from the United States have just published an exhaustive review and their findings support that warning. They read every available research study comparing traditional lectures with active learning in science, engineering and mathematics. Traditional lecture-based courses are correlated with significantly poorer performance in terms of failure rates and marks.

 

The study’s authors boldly compare our new awareness of the harm done by lectures to the harms of smoking. Their article – they claim – is the equivalent of the 1964 Surgeon-General’s report that led to legislated warnings about smoking in the United States. The renowned physics education researcher Eric Mazur has described continuing with lectures in the face of this new evidence as “almost unethical”.

This paper is so important because it combines 225 individual research studies through a technique called meta-analysis. So although individual studies published over the past 70 years may have occasionally found lectures to be better, we now know that the collective evidence is in support of active approaches.

 

 


Via Peter Mellow
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Indulge Your Online Learners with Gamification

Indulge Your Online Learners with Gamification | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Gamification is an interesting concept put forward by Nick Pelling in the year 2002. So what does Gamification mean? It can be defined in simple terms as the use of machines and the feel of a simple game in order to inspire positive changes in people. It helps awaken the same human instincts that generally inspire the feeling of competition in sports and other such fun activities. The general elements included are the desire for recognition, competition, status, achievement, and altruism.

A simple example of Gamification can be that of Volkswagen. A lottery radar speed camera was installed in their machines which penalized drivers who exceeded speed limits and also awarded a lottery ticket to those who respected the speed limits. The prize for the lottery was funded by the penalised drivers. This resulted in positive changes in drivers and they started to respect speed limits. When changed into a simple game, more people felt inclined to control their speeds.
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Infographic: Most Teachers Don't Feel Prepared to Use Technology in Classrooms

Infographic: Most Teachers Don't Feel Prepared to Use Technology in Classrooms | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Although 90 percent of teachers believe that technology in the classroom is important to student success, 60 percent of teachers feel they are inadequately prepared to use technology in classrooms, according to research released today by Samsung Electronics America and GfK.

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5 Excellent YouTube Channels for Science Videos

5 Excellent YouTube Channels for Science Videos | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
In response to some requests asking about online science video sources, we have compiled here some of the best YouTube channels we uncovered from our archive. The channels feature a treasure trove of educational videos covering various scientific phenomena. The content is student friendly and you will definitely find things to incorporate in your classroom teaching.
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from The future of medicine and health
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Stress Makes Your Brain Stronger: Try Fasting

Stress Makes Your Brain Stronger: Try Fasting | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Mark Mattson is a scientist at the National Institute of Aging and a professor at Johns Hopkins Medical who is also has been a practitioner of caloric restriction and intermittent fasting. In the July issue, he explains in his article “What Doesn’t Kill You…” how low-level exposure to toxic chemicals in plants may provide some of the same mild stresses on brain cells as do fasting and caloric restriction—stresses that actually help protect neurons. In a TED talk, he also explains the benefits of fasting on the brain:

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Top 5 Adult Learning Principles

Top 5 Adult Learning Principles | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
In theory, adult learners seem somewhat rebellious: we don’t like being told what to do, we want to do things in our own time, and it better be worth it or we’re not interested! But it’s not because we’ve all reached rock-star status, it’s got to do with the way adults are hardwired to approach education. Thank goodness for adult learning principles that provide insight into how to please mature learners who know what they want.
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MIT Researchers Develop Model To Predict MOOC Dropouts - Campus Technology

MIT Researchers Develop Model To Predict MOOC Dropouts - Campus Technology | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a model that aims to predict when students will drop out of a MOOC.

Via SusanBat
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Edtech and assessment
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Universities must prove they are excellent at teaching, minister says

Universities must prove they are excellent at teaching, minister says | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
An national audit of the teaching offered at universities will provide more information to future students and help drive up standards

Via Julie Tardy
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Effective Education
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[PDF] Social Learning and the Future of Work

[PDF] Social Learning and the Future of Work | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

In study after study, corporate education experts have found that between 70 to 90 percent of all workplace learning happens informally — from knowledge sharing and mentorship among project team members to casual break-room chats. Moreover, in an ongoing informal survey of thousands of participants worldwide, the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies consistently finds that respondents value informal workplace learning experiences far more than they do corporate training and eLearning, with 87 percent identifying social knowledge sharing among team members to be “essential” and only 37 percent perceiving formal company training to be similarly vital.


Via Edumorfosis, Alma Vega, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Teaching in Higher Education
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Piazza • Ask. Answer. Explore. Whenever.

Piazza • Ask. Answer. Explore. Whenever. | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
With Piazza, easily answer questions, manage course materials, and track student participation. It'll save you time, and your students will love using it. It's free, and easy to get started.

Via Rosemary Tyrrell
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Rosemary Tyrrell's curator insight, July 1, 12:59 AM

Integrates with all major learning management systems. FERPA compliant.