This got me thinking about where students spend the majority of their time. For me, it pushes back on the traditional classroom model where desks are the central feature in the classroom for centering a students focus. Could students be given the opportunity to learn in the zone that brings the most value to their experience? This would take a classroom-wide executive function culture where students took ownership for behavior and learning goals.
New research shows that teenagers' brains aren't fully insulated, so the signals travel slowly when they need to make decisions. Neuroscientist Frances Jensen, who wrote The Teenage Brain, explains.
Barbara Hunter's insight:
This is the critical information that is a must for intermediate, jr. High, high school health curriculums. if drug and alcohol use affects memory and learning in such a profound way in a typically developing child, imagine the multiplied negative impact on a child with learning disabilities, executive dysfunction and/or ADHD....action required!
In his book Thinking Differently, David Flink, who has ADHD and dyslexia, explains why “just try harder” is a myth for kids with learning and attention issues.
Barbara Hunter's insight:
....and Yes, this was the least restrictive environment for David. I couldn't read this without thinking about my own 4th grade experience with Mrs. W, and the countless times, as an educator, consultant, and presenter, I heard the same words from teachers' mouths.
In defense, Ross Greene's notion, If we know better, we do better comes to mind. This book and blog ( among others), should be "must reads" for education student in universities, and teachers seeking to understand students who will learn if the methodologies are firmly in place, and administered with fidelity. Bottom line....WE MUST DO BETTER!
Parth Gandhi, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in the clinical assessment of adolescents and young adults, explained how Executive Function skills can determine if a young adult will be successfully independent.
Good information! We can't wait to see if EF skills are in place, parents and professionals must guide growth. By "guide growth" I mean, understand the processes of EF, assess strengths and challenges in children very young, as they are emerging, and engage in metacognitive, direct, and strategic support.
"During February, there was widespread media coverage of a forthcoming book by Julian Elliott and Elena Grigorenko called The Dyslexia Debate. I've seen an advance copy of the book, whose central message is to argue that the construct of dyslexia lacks coherence. Quite simply, dyslexia does not constitute a natural category, in terms of cognitive profile, neurobiology or genetics.
The authors' arguments are backed by a large body of research: people have tried over many years to find something distinctive about dyslexia, without success...."
"You’ll probably see a lot of things about beating procrastination, being more productive and focusing better floating around our site. Probably because I’m one of those folks who falls into the trap of LOOK AT ALL THE SHINY THINGS ON THE INTERNET! (This is me. I’m not ashamed, mainly because I know it isn’t just me!) Especially with all of the awesome digital tools available to use these days, distractions are numerous. Getting your students to be able to focus won’t only help you from ripping your hair out in the middle of your classroom, but it will help them in the long run, too.
The handy infographic below takes a look at a number of different ways to help you focus. Share them with your students – while many of them can’t be applied in the classroom, they can be applied at home for a homework workspace..."
"My research into the characteristics of great high schools and my experiences as a high school principal for twenty-six years suggests that there are 10 behaviors, taken as a whole and performed within the context of each school’s unique culture and circumstances, that separate the doers from the talkers..."
People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), some studies suggest, are more creative and more willing to take risks. Those traits are exactly what the field of engineering needs, say a team of researchers, but the traditional model of teaching is driving away potential pioneers in the ...
Barbara Hunter's insight:
We are often quick to educate students and adults on the adverse effect of ADHD/EF dysfunction without balancing the possibilities of strengths associated...Clearly, both are necessary to achieve goals and live a fulfilling life. More research needed.
"In any given classroom, there are invariably learners who simply don’t connect with what’s being taught. Lectures can be easy to tune out. A textbook can feel dense and boring to finish. Even a video can pose limitations for learners with sight or hearing difficulties. When these are the only options available, some learners are bound to fall behind without requesting special support, while others will surge ahead. Differentiation is one way to bridge this gap, and another is adapting the curriculum to suit all learners, instead of adjusting it to support the needs of each one."
While the Common Core State Standards look good in theory, as long as they are yoked to standardized assessments, we will not have students that are truly college and career ready. High stakes standardized tests conducted on computers, with essays graded by algorithm, actively work against the development of the traits that are necessary for college success.
A new study by MIT neuroscientists reveals how the brain achieves this type of focused attention on faces or other objects: A part of the prefrontal cortex known as the inferior frontal junction (IFJ) controls visual processing areas that are tuned to recognize a specific category of objects, the researchers report in the April 10 online edition of Science.
Scientists know much less about this type of attention, known as object-based attention, than spatial attention, which involves focusing on what’s happening in a particular location. However, the new findings suggest that these two types of attention have similar mechanisms involving related brain regions, says Robert Desimone, the Doris and Don Berkey Professor of Neuroscience, director of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and senior author of the paper.
“The interactions are surprisingly similar to those seen in spatial attention,” Desimone says. “It seems like it’s a parallel process involving different areas.”
Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.
Barbara Hunter's insight:
I couldn't watch this without thinking about about a recent conversation I had with an uninformed individual who still believes using text-to-speech and speech-to-text is cheating...EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE WITHOUT THE RAMIFICATIONS OF A DISABILITY! Join Me!
I am always interested in applications/extensions that can be "mainstreamed" into existing technology at little or no cost. This provides a seamless strategic environment for an accademic settng or the workplace.
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