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BRAIN AND TEACHING - PART 1

BRAIN AND TEACHING - PART 1 | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it

 

When I’m hungry my brain gets angry. When I drink too much my brain gets groggy. When I’m not learning anything new, my brain gets restless. Over the last few months I’ve befriended my brain in a way I didn’t think it would be possible. Because of my interest in psychotherapy, I read The Mindful Brain. Because of my urge to look after my own brain, I read Making a Good Brain Great. And now I go full circle and delve into the connections between brain studies and education. I’ve just finished reading Ignite Student Learning by Dr. Judy Willis. I also travelled to beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, and joined teachers and school administrators from different parts of the world for a 4-day seminar on the links between learning and neurology applied to education.

 

The event, which was co-sponsored by Learning and the Brain, was led by Dr. Judy Willis herself. Judy has the “best of both worlds”, so to speak. She’s a neurologist who took a new turning point in her career, went back to university and got a degree in Teaching. She didn’t stop there. With her teaching license in hands, she got a job as a teacher and became a full-time primary school teacher! (I imagine she talked to her brain and they agreed it was high time they tried out some new synapses!)

 

I’ve learnt so much in these four days that I decided to share some of what we discussed in Santa Barbara with you. Initially and in preparation for a full-blown seminar, I’ll be writing a few editorials on facts about the brain and their classroom implications. Hopefully by doing so, we’ll be opening ourselves up to an exciting field that has a lot to contribute to education. If, like me, you’ve been trying to reform education and help it create new linchpins, this could be it. (Don’t say I didn’t warn
you.) Also, because, as brain specialists know: Neurons that wire together, fire together. So here's my selfish inner motive: By sharing my views with you via these editorials, I hope to be able to wire my neurons even more together.
(BTW, count that as lesson # 1.)

 

Lesson # 2

To understand how the brain works, we need to consider where it all starts. If you think you can talk directly to your student’s PFC (short for pre-frontal cortex as if you were saying: OK, time for a PFC-to-PFC talk.) you’ve got another thought coming. It all starts with the RAS filter (short for Reticular Activating System). The RAS is a primitive low brain structure that is programmed to select intake based on survival value for animals in unpredictable environments. Imagine this as being the entry door to your home - the threshold for knowledge. (Imagine you look through the peephole of your door and you don't like what you see. Do you open the door just the same?)

 

This primitive structure responds to threat by shutting down, or more accurately, activating the fight-flight-freeze response in our body. The interesting point for us, teachers, is it doesn't take too much for this system to be turned on. A student who's being teased by a classmate may feel threatened to the point of temporary unresponsiveness. The facts are simple, but the implications for the classroom are numerous. You can’t pre-determine what your students’ brain will allow in. Just know that information is more likely to be selected if there is no threat and (here goes a new piece of information) when the stimulus is novel.

 

So what you can effectively do is minimize the chances of your students feeling threatened by lowering the affective filter in the classroom environment. In other words, according to Judy Willis, Stephen Krashen was definitely right.One of our main challenges in the beginning of a lesson is to present information in such a novel way that the RAS will select this input over other competing stimuli. Yes, as a teacher you will be constantly competing for attention!

 

Time for a sy-napse (A term coined by Dr. Judy Willis: Your brain is beginning to switch off, I can feel it, so let’s give it a break.) Stop for a minute and share what you’ve just read with a fellow teacher if you are in the teachers’ room, or your partner or a friend, if you are outside school, or your neighbor, for that matter. Never mind who
you share it with, just do the sharing.

 

But before that, here’s a preview of what we’ll be talking about in my next post: How do we stimulate a brain? (Part of the answer lies in deciding why I included this question here.) Ask your brain WHY and sleep on the answer.

 

P.S.

Don’t blame me if you get bitten by the brain bugs. ;-)


Via Guilherme Pacheco, FEED THE TEACHER
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The History of the English Language: Infographic

The History of the English Language: Infographic | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
The English Language is icreasingly the language of Education and Business | The Brighton School of Business and Management
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Paula Silva's comment, March 4, 2014 6:51 AM
Will you check this scoop? Thank you so much. http://sco.lt/5okJ17
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Teach your kids media smarts during breaking news

Teach your kids media smarts during breaking news | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Don't believe everything you read — and other lessons for kids growing up with a 24/7 news cycle

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7 Τρόποι Για Μεταφορά Αρχείων Ανάμεσα σε Υπολογιστές και Κινητά | PCsteps.gr

7 Τρόποι Για Μεταφορά Αρχείων Ανάμεσα σε Υπολογιστές και Κινητά | PCsteps.gr | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Η μεταφορά αρχείων ανάμεσα σε δύο υπολογιστές, από PC σε κινητό, ή ανάμεσα σε δύο κινητά, δεν είναι αυτονόητη. Δείτε τις καλύτερες μεθόδους

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Rescooped by Evdokia Roka from Into the Driver's Seat
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7 Steps to Do Academic Research Using Digital Technologies

7 Steps to Do Academic Research Using Digital Technologies | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Research is a process. It is a continuum of stages that together make up a research plan. Below is a tentative sketch of what we think are the seven important steps of a research plan. For each of these stages we featured a short collection of web tools to help you carry it out. We have also created a poster capturing the steps and tools we covered here. You can download, share and use the poster the way you want as long as you use it for educational purposes.

Via Jim Lerman
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Awesomesauce! The rise of informal written language | OxfordWords blog

Awesomesauce! The rise of informal written language | OxfordWords blog | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
'Awesomesauce' - for when 'awesome' just doesn't quite cut it. Jeff Sherwood explores how our everyday lexicon evolves differently in writing and speech.

Via Michelle Maglitto
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30 creative ways to use Padlet for teachers and students

30 creative ways to use Padlet for teachers and students | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
30 creative ways to use Padlet for teachers and students

Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Jim Lerman
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Rosemary Tyrrell, Ed.D.'s curator insight, August 11, 1:07 PM
Love Padlet. Here are some great ways to incorporate it into your sessions. 
 
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2 Tools to Help You Learn Students’ Names – via Shelly Terrell


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NEW! Google Classroom: Individual Student View - Teacher Tech

NEW! Google Classroom: Individual Student View - Teacher Tech | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
View individual student work in Google Classroom. Click on the student's name on the Student's tab in Google Classroom to view the list.

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Open source Tools for Translators

Language translation and localization process with a high level of quality is possible by using computer assisted translation (CAT) tools.

Via Sergey Rybkin, Luciana Viter
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7 Reasons To Use Social Media In Your School (INFOGRAPHIC) | #ModernEDU

7 Reasons To Use Social Media In Your School (INFOGRAPHIC) | #ModernEDU | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it

One thing is for sure, social media is here to stay. Never before have people been able to connect, share, and learn from one another as we do now. I can only imagine what might be next! As a result, our students need skills to win at life in a digital world. The ability to use social media to support life goals and possibilities can be a game-changer. I know it has been very powerful for me in my professional life.

 

Learn more / En savoir plus / Mehr erfahren:

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?&tag=Social+Media

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/social-media-and-its-influence

 

 


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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, July 30, 1:26 PM

This social media infographic will help you understand social media advantages.

Rosemarri Klamn's curator insight, July 31, 7:56 AM

These are compelling reasons to practice social media in schools as it helps engage parents, the community, and the world.  Teaching digital citizenship is another key aspect of responsible use of social media for students and parents!

La French witch's curator insight, August 13, 9:24 PM
7 bonnes raisons d'utiliser les médias sociaux dans ses pratiques d'enseignement, pour une expérience d'apprentissage alliant l'engagement, le partage, le lien entre les acteurs de l'apprentissage, l'ouverture au monde et l'exploitation stratégique (après un tri sélectif) de tout ce que le numérique a de mieux à offrir à l’apprenant. Pour une expérience d'apprentissage stimulante, interactive et moderne, oui au multimédia dans l'enseignement ! 
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Word Up: The Must Dos of Vocabulary Instruction

Word Up: The Must Dos of Vocabulary Instruction | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Do you display words and use those words daily in class? Check out these five must dos for teaching vocabulary.
Via Arizona State University, Claire McLaughlin
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Arizona State University, Claire McLaughlin's curator insight, August 2, 11:11 AM
These five tips are so important and extremely useful when teaching new vocabulary to ESL/EFL students. The best part about them is they don't require special materials or technology (not that technology is bad-not everyone has access to it). They do take a conscious effort though..
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Microsoft Word now reads text aloud to help people with dyslexia

Microsoft Word now reads text aloud to help people with dyslexia | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Microsoft has been testing a number of text-to-speech features in Word over the years, but it’s finally found a solid way to implement the feature. In the latest Office 365 updates this month
Via Penny Wagner-Auchmuty
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6 Essential Google Scholar Tips for Teachers

6 Essential Google Scholar Tips for Teachers | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
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13 weird things only Brits have for dessert

13 weird things only Brits have for dessert | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Us Brits have some very peculiar ways of enjoying food, and this is apparent when it comes to dessert choices. After every meal we decide to indulge ourselves i
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14 Tools and Resources to Get Students to Create Instructional Videos – Teacher Reboot Camp

14 Tools and Resources to Get Students to Create Instructional Videos – Teacher Reboot Camp | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
“Animation offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world.” – Walt Disney Research indicates that one of the most effective ways students learn is by teaching others. In my new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions […]

Via Cindy Rudy
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Rescooped by Evdokia Roka from Learning Technology News
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6 Useful Resources for Exploiting the News in the English Language Classroom

6 Useful Resources for Exploiting the News in the English Language Classroom | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Whether it's fake news, real news, world news or just news to you, navigating and understanding the news in a second language can be a really useful way to gain some valuable and authentic insights into the culture of the language.

Via Nik Peachey
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Nik Peachey's curator insight, Today, 1:34 AM

Some useful resource sites with lots of ready made activities and lesson plans.

Ines Bieler's curator insight, Today, 12:15 PM

Some useful resource sites with lots of ready made activities and lesson plans.

Rescooped by Evdokia Roka from English Language articles 2016 and 2017
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The politics of accents | Macmillan Dictionary Blog

The politics of accents | Macmillan Dictionary Blog | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Our accents are an intimate part of who we are, central to how we express ourselves in speech. They can reveal things about our identity and background, such as

Via Michelle Maglitto
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15 Good YouTube Channels for Social Studies Teachers

15 Good YouTube Channels for Social Studies Teachers | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
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What is the origin of the pound sign ... | Oxford Dictionaries

What is the origin of the pound sign ... | Oxford Dictionaries | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Have you ever wondered where the pound (£) sign came from? Our video explains the origin, and it might be different to what you think.
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Collaborative Learning Platform for Teachers

Collaborative Learning Platform for Teachers | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it

Kiddom is the easiest way to plan, assess, and analyze learning. With Kiddom, teachers use one collaborative learning platform for assessment, curriculum development, messaging, and reports.


Via Nik Peachey, WebTeachers
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Nik Peachey's curator insight, July 31, 12:27 AM

Great learning platform.

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Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine

Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies & music, as well as 302 billion archived web pages.

Via Cindy Rudy
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Rescooped by Evdokia Roka from Educational Technology News
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10 ways Google is making Classroom and Forms easier for teachers this school year

10 ways Google is making Classroom and Forms easier for teachers this school year | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
This year, Google is sending teachers back to school with updates designed to help them do what they do best—teach.

Via EDTECH@UTRGV
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rodrick rajive lal's curator insight, August 3, 12:54 AM
Sure, Google is indeed doing a lot towards making classroom and forms easier for teachers in school this year!
 
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How to Use the Board Effectively in ELT

How to Use the Board Effectively in ELT | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
New teachers often struggle with their board work. This short guide should help you acquire the basic skills to use the board effectively in your ELT class.
Via Malachy Scullion
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Rescooped by Evdokia Roka from Learning Basic English, to Advanced Over 700 On-Line Lessons and Exercises Free
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12 English verb tenses with meanings and examples table

12 English verb tenses with meanings and examples table | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Learn the English verb tenses. 12 Verb tenses with meanings and examples table

Via Learning Basic English vocabulary and grammar
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The politics of pronunciation, What Do Our Accents Say About Us?, CrowdScience - BBC World Service

The politics of pronunciation, What Do Our Accents Say About Us?, CrowdScience - BBC World Service | TEFL & Ed Tech | Scoop.it
Why do we sound so different from each other – even when we speak the same language?
Via Marina N. Cantarutti
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