A memory might seem like a permanent, precious essence carved deep into the circuits of the brain. But it is not. Instead, scientists are discovering that a memory changes every time you think about it.
"Every time you recall a memory, it becomes sensitive to disruption. Often that is used to incorporate new information into it." That's the blunt assessment from one of the world's leading experts on memory, Dr. Eric Kandel from Columbia University.
And that means our memories are not abstract snapshots stored forever in a bulging file in our mind, but rather, they're a collection of brain cells — neurons that undergo chemical changes every time they're engaged.
So when we think about something from the past, the memory is called up like a computer file, reviewed and revised in subtle ways, and then sent back to the brain's archives, now modified slightly, updated, and changed.
Retiree Walter R. Tschinkel is an entomologist and former professor of Biological Science at Florida State University. He recognizes ants as "some of nature's grand architects" and, curious to understand their self-created habitats, devised a clever (if cruel) way to do it: By pouring molten aluminum down into the hole.
Unsurprisingly, the ants die in the process. But after the aluminum cools and Tschinkel has completed a meticulous excavation, he unearths these wondrous, chandelier-esque shapes revealing the alien architectures of the colony.
Looking for a professional development opportunity? This Fall 2012 eNet Colorado is hosting a series of 5 webinars on spatial thinking. This promises to be a tremendous opportunity.
"The goal of Teaching Using Spatial Analysis 101 is to provide confidence, skills, and the spatial perspective necessary to foster spatial analysis in geography, earth and biological sciences, history, mathematics, computer science, and in other disciplines.
It will accomplish this through a series of hands-on activities where participants investigate a series of fascinating issues relevant to the 21st Century, including population, natural hazards, energy, water, current events, sustainable agriculture, and more. These activities will be supplemented by short readings and reflections that will build a community of educators focused on the value of investigating the world through a spatial perspective."
Suan Oxnevad has created "an interactive learning experience designed to provide students and teachers with opportunities to focus on digital citizenship while engaging in constructive play." This post demonstrates one way you might use ThingLink as a tool with your students.
The sad reality is that most schools still believe that they are “teaching with technology” because they have a computer lab where they teach students important skills like word processing and how to create Power Point presentations. This may have been a worthwhile skill to teach 15 years ago, but the fact that we haven’t adapted as technology has is a clear example of how slow schools are to respond to the changing needs of our students.
This link is a companion site to the book, "Mapping the Nation: History & Cartography in 19th Century America" by Susan Schulten. The author and publisher have made all of the images available digitally, and they are organized by chapter as well as chronologically. This a great resource to find some of the important maps that shaped America and help mold the manner in which we conceptualize America. Geography and history teachers alike will be able to draw on these materials. The chapters include:
The Graphic Foundations of American History Capturing the Past Through Maps Disease, Expansion & Rise of Environmental Mapping Slavery and the Origin of Statistical Cartography The Cartographic Consolidating of America
How and when do we teach sex education, personal safety to children who have autism and other mental disabilities who are before or at the age of puberty and who may displaying inappropriate behaviors in a public and/or a school setting etc.
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