"For the past ten years, Richard Mayer and his colleagues at the University of California at Santa Barbara have conducted a series of controlled experiments on how to best use audio, text, and graphics to optimize learning in multimedia. Six media element principles can be defined based on Mayer’s work. What follows is a summary of these principles along with supporting examples, psychological rationale, and research."
Via Dennis T OConnor
“ Google is a fascinating company. Its name, for example, is derived from "Googol", which refers to the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. The things that you didn't know about Google. One of the larges...”
Via Cendrine Marrouat - www.socialmediaslant.com
`As I somewhat overtly stated in the last post, I now reside as an Ed Tech at Westlake HS. While I am still acclimating to the size of the campus and getting to know the staff and students, I did have a chance to drop in on a few classrooms piloting a mobile-friendly seating solution. Interested in gleaning initial findings from both the teachers and the students, I gathered a bit of anecdotal and pictorial data. The complete article can be found on the Eanes WHS WIFI blog but I will share a few of the highlights here.``
Via John Evans
Commercial companies have claimed for years that computer games can make the user smarter, but have been criticized for failing to show that improved skills in the game translate into better performance in daily life. Now a study published this week in Nature convincingly shows that if a game is tailored to a precise cognitive deficit, in this case multitasking in older people, it can indeed be effective. Led by neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley of the University of California, San Francisco, the study found that a game called NeuroRacer can help older people to improve their capacity to multitask — and the effect seems to carry over to tasks in everyday life and is still there after six months. The study also shows how patterns of brain activity change as those cognitive skills improve. NeuroRacer is a three-dimensional video game in which players steer a car along a winding, hilly road with their left thumb, while keeping an eye out for signs that randomly pop up. If the sign is a particular shape and colour, players have to shoot it down using a finger on their right hand. This multitasking exercise, says Gazzaley, draws on a mix of cognitive skills just as real life does — such as attention focusing, task switching and working memory (the ability to temporarily hold multiple pieces of information in the mind). Gazzaley and his colleagues first recruited around 30 participants for each of six decades of life, from the 20s to the 70s, and confirmed that multitasking skills as measured by the game deteriorated linearly with age. They then recruited 46 participants aged 60–85 and put them through a 4-week training period with a version of NeuroRacer that increased in difficulty as the player improved. After training, subjects had improved so much that they achieved higher scores than untrained 20-year-olds, and the skill remained six months later without practice. The scientists also conducted a battery of cognitive tests on the participants before and after training. Certain cognitive abilities that were not specifically targeted by the game improved and remained improved — such as working memory and sustained attention. Both skills are important for daily tasks, from reading a newspaper to cooking a meal. That is significant, says Gazzaley. “NeuroRacer doesn’t demand too much of those particular abilities — so it appears that the multitasking challenge may put pressure on the entire cognitive control system, raising the level of all of its components.” The team also recorded brain activity using electroencephalography while participants played NeuroRacer. As their skills increased, so did activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is associated with cognitive control, in a manner that correlated with improvements in sustained-attention tasks. Activity also increased in a neural network linking the prefrontal cortex with the back of the brain. But Gazzaley’s study confirms that cognitive function can be improved — if you design training methods properly, says Klingberg, who is a consultant for Cogmed, a company he founded in 1999 to market computer-based training methods, particularly for people with attention-deficit disorders. Last year, Gazzaley also co-founded a company, called Akili, for which he is an adviser. It is developing a commercial product similar to NeuroRacer, which remains a research tool, and will seek approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to market it as a therapeutic agent. A ‘games’ approach might also help people with particular cognitive deficits, such as depression or schizophrenia, adds Daphne Bavelier, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, who develops computer games to improve brain function and who also advises Akili. Gazzaley cautions against over-hyping: “Video games shouldn’t now be seen as a guaranteed panacea.” But Linsey, for her part, is happy with what the game did for her and about her own contribution. “It’s been exciting to discover the older brain can learn — and I’m glad my own brain helped make the discovery.”
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
“ Are you interested in improving your eLearning? These 5 techniques will help you leverage the power of Mind Maps and encourage you to utilize online Mind Maps in particular. Follow these tips to transform your eLearning using online Mind Maps.”
“We don’t want to teach them stuff,” he says. “We want them to find solutions on problems, because we don’t know the problem in the future. So we are creating students able to learn by themselves.”
Via Nik Peachey
“ Buffer announced on Thursday that it had reached a milestone: 1 million users! Created by Joel Gascoigne and Leo Widrich, the scheduling app for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ launched on...”
Via Cendrine Marrouat - www.socialmediaslant.com
"Everyone likes free stuff, which is why starting today we’re making Quickoffice available for free, for everyone. With Quickoffice, you can edit Microsoft® Office documents across your devices, giving you the freedom to work with anyone no matter what hardware or software they’re using. Quickoffice also integrates seamlessly withGoogle Drive storage so you can safely access your files from anywhere. And while the easiest thing to do is simply convert your old files to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, Quickoffice gives you another way to work with people who haven’t gone Google yet."
Via John Evans
From Robin Good's insight: "EdShelf is a free web service which allows you to curate, review, rate and organize your favorite educational apps as well as to find and discover the ideal ones for your kids or for the next class you need to teach. Ed apps can be organized into collections which can be further filtered thanks to tags and categories. You can search for tools as well as browse curated categories, most recent additions and popular ones..." Read full Robin Good's insight below. More info: https://edshelf.com FAQ: https://edshelf.com/faq
Via Robin Good, Giuseppe Mauriello
Did you know that six in ten (60 percent) of Twitter users access the micro-blogging social network via their mobile phones? What if I told you that there were more than 10 million Facebook apps? Perhaps you’d be interested to learn that more than 16 billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram, that 69 percent of Pinterest users are female and that social media generates more than double the leads of trade shows, telemarketing or direct mail? This infographic from Digital Insights presents 45 amazing social media facts, figures and statistics.