Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools
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Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools
Stories of success for at risk learners in the nation's schools
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Frontline's Fast Times at West Philly High; students have built hybrid cars that won national competitions.

Frontline's Fast Times at West Philly High; students have built hybrid cars that won national competitions. | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

GPB (blog)Frontline's Fast Times at West Philly High is Teacher's TriumphGPB (blog)Through this after school program he created, at risk students have built hybrid cars that have won national competitions.

 

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Thank you @cdcowen for STATS: What is fMRI? Neuroscience or neurobabble?

Thank you @cdcowen for STATS: What is fMRI? Neuroscience or neurobabble? | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

What is fMRI? Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging was developed as recently as the 1990s, when Seiji Ogawa and a team at Bell Laboratories experimented with mouse brains. The basic idea is that there are small differences in the local magnetic fields among different regions of the brain, depending on the activity (and, specifically, the resulting oxygen level) of those regions.

The method to measure these differences is a stroke of genius. It relies on the basic principal that hydrogen nuclei behave differently when there is a lot of oxygen around, compared to when there is not. Blood transports oxygen according to the need of specific regions in the brain. Hydrogen can be found abundantly in water molecules throughout the brain. FMRI measures differences in blood oxygenation levels in different regions of the brain by observing the reaction of hydrogen nuclei under certain physical conditions described below. Conclusions about brain activity itself are interpretations of these differing oxygen levels.

The mechanism for fMRI is as follows. A large magnetic field is exerted on the brain, resulting in an alignment among the protons in the hydrogen nuclei. After the large magnet aligns the protons, a radio frequency (RF) signal is sent from the machine to knock the hydrogen protons out of alignment (they are then said to be “phased”). When the RF signal is terminated, the protons then return to their aligned state (known as “dephasing”), emitting energy in the form of their own RF signals as they settle. This process occurs over time, and when the magnetic field is inhomogeneous, that is, containing irregularities, the signal is weaker, as nearby hydrogen atoms emit signals that cancel each other out. In contrast, a more homogenous, or uniform, magnetic field results in a stronger signal. The presence of hemoglobin without attached oxygen (also called deoxyhemoglobin) results in a more inhomogeneous magnetic field, and therefore a weaker signal.

The important point here is that fMRI does not directly measure neural activity; it measures oxygen levels that occur a few seconds after nearby neurons fire. All neural activity is inferred based on a statistical analysis of a series of measurements over time of the blood oxygen levels. In a typical fMRI scientific experiment, a person lies in the scanner while observing visual images, performing a small movement like finger-tapping, or receiving other kinds of stimuli. The fMRI machine meanwhile captures the RF signals sent from the brain. Data analysis involves looking for regions of brain activity that correlate with the stimulus. In some studies, the resulting statistical analyses of the brain scans are compared against scans of the same people not doing these tasks. For other studies, the scans of different people are compared – for example, one might compare the brain scans of people with autism against those without autism, checking for observable anatomical differences, or compare the scans of people making food choices while tired or not tired to see which brain regions may be involved with those choices.

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Petition to Grant Accommodations to Students with Dyslexia:Yale Center For Dyslexia & Creativity:

We're asking that Congress require that testing agencies grant accommodations for dyslexic students so that high stakes tests assess ability and not disability, and students are allowed to go forward and succeed in life. High stakes tests must be reliable, valid and accessible to dyslexic children and adults. Without accommodations, highly capable, intelligent students are being denied the opportunity to show what they can achieve and contribute to society.

Through change.org, we have created a petition for you to sign and show your support. Please click the box below or click here to sign the petition on change.org.

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Higher Education's Monopoly on Credibility Is Ending | Business | TIME.com

Higher Education's Monopoly on Credibility Is Ending | Business | TIME.com | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

The times they are a changin’, and in this essay, I’d like to suggest they are changing in a way that has massive implications for education: sources of credibility—once the domain of expensive degrees–are becoming democratized, decentralized, and diversified.

In the past, there was pretty much one way to gain credibility: get some letters after your name, from as fancy an institution as possible.

Now, in 2012, I’ve seen dozens of young people who don’t even have college degrees use the following tools as sources of credibility in the business world:

A track record of having started one or two successful businesses, even if they were small.
Industry-related blogs with well-written, lively, detailed posts, which receive many comments and tweets/likes/shares per post.
An impressive About page on a well-designed personal website
Large, legitimate, real followings on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media networks.
Clearly, any discussion of higher education needs to distinguish between two basic and distinct concepts: learning, on the one hand, versus credibility about having learned.

Learning is and always has been available all around us, at every age and life stage, often inexpensively or even for free.

Read more: http://business.time.com/2012/07/12/the-glorious-end-of-higher-educations-monopoly-on-credibility/#ixzz20kMdhr5n


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Teachers Guide: Use of iPad in education Educational Technology & Mobile Learning

Teachers Guide: Use of iPad in education Educational Technology & Mobile Learning | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
Here is a list of some of the reasons why we should consider using iPads in education:

iPads are capable of providing enhanced ebooks featuring images, video and audio.
Students are using a wide range of different smartphones and are already acquainted with touch screen technology
According to Neilson Survey," 35 % of tablet owners said they used their desktop computers less often or not at all now, and 32% of laptop users said the same. Most tellingly, more than 75% of tablet owners said they used their tablet for tasks they once used their desktop or laptop for."
iPads ( and almost all tablets ) fits in with students lifestyles. Their light weight, portability, ease of use make them much easier to take and use in the classroom than a laptop or a netbook.
iPad's responsive and smooth scrolling touchscreen made it ideal for reading content in the classroom.
No more heavy textbooks. Gone are the days when you would carry a hefty backpack full of books, the light weight iPad is a great alternative with its integrated etextbooks all in one place.
iPad provides a limitless amount of information through wireless technology. Students can have a free access to tons of reference apps for facts, questions, statistics, articles, dictionaries, data and many more.Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: Teachers Guide on The Use of iPad in education http://t.co/ilvCFmeC...


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Novelist Richard Ford joins Lateline - ABC News: discusses his career, dyslexia & release of his 7th novel.

Novelist Richard Ford joins Lateline - ABC News: discusses his career, dyslexia & release of his 7th novel. | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Award-winning writer Richard Ford discusses his career, dyslexia and the release of his seventh novel.

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New Dyslexia Documentary: Embracing Dyslexia

New Dyslexia Documentary: Embracing Dyslexia | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Dyslexia awareness is on the rise. A new grassroots movie on the topic is in production and is looking for funds. Dyslexia remediation company Dynaread cofunds this movie and is encouraging businesses to do the same. Producer Luis Macias is looking to raise a total of $24,000 funds prior to his June 19 deadline. His film aims to educate teachers and administrators on the topic and will be distributed free of charge when released in Janaury 2013.

 

Whereas the US Government’s formal figure on literacy is 99%, each and every High School teacher in the nation knows better.

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Cleveland gets 'A' for school reform effort, but challenges remain

Cleveland gets 'A' for school reform effort, but challenges remain | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
The Republican governor of Ohio, the Democratic mayor of Cleveland and the local teachers union have united to overhaul how teachers are hired, fired and paid, a rare example of cooperation in education that some critics warn could still face challenges in the implementation,” The Journal says of the overhaul. The measure “will allow the district to link teachers' pay, in part, to student test scores, and to lay off teachers based on performance instead of seniority,” the newspaper notes.

The Journal says the Cleveland deal “marks a departure from the bitter animosity over school funding and treatment of teachers that has divided many U.S. cities, though the local teachers union found itself facing a united front of the mayor, Cleveland's business community and the governor.”

Sarah Yatsko, a research analyst at the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington, a research group, tells The Journal that the Cleveland transformation plan is a "dramatic" overhaul that "puts Cleveland in stark relief," compared to other cities across the nation.

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Blog: iOS6 and special needs students

Blog: iOS6 and special needs students | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Apple is releasing a new operating system (iOS6) in the fall. It comes with some exciting additions for students with developmental disabilities under the Guided Access feature.

With the new iOS you will be able to disable the home button. That will allow teachers to set up an app for a student and not have to worry about them getting out of it. It will also ensure that when a student is making a choice of apps that they won't be able to just pop in and out of different apps without spending time first.

The other exciting change that is coming with the new operating system is the ability to restrict where the screen is touch sensitive. In my classroom that means that I will be able to isolate the small area where an iPhone app has been magnified for the iPad screen so that when they touch that space nothing will happen. It will also make it possible to restrict some areas on a screen that would allow a student to go back to a menu or an additional feature.


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Strategies for Summer Reading for Children with Dyslexia | Education.com

Strategies for Summer Reading for Children with Dyslexia | Education.com | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
The summer can be an ideal time to help a child with Dyslexia make significant academic gains. This article includes information on fun and educational summer reading strategies.

Here are some summer strategies to help your child with dyslexia remember what they learned in school and see that reading can be useful and enjoyable:

Give them material that motivates them to read, even though they might find it hard to do. Try comic books, directions for interesting projects, and mystery stories. Have them read information on possible activities as you plan your summer vacation. Let them decide what they want to read.
Support them as they read. Read their book aloud to them, help them decode, and make it easy for them to get the meaning. Even if a question is asked again and again or if you feel irritated, act happy that they asked. Show them that reading is a way to find out what they need to know, or even to entertain themselves.
Give them easy reading. Summer is supposed to be relaxed. Let them succeed and get absorbed in the book.
When you read with them, make it your goal to enjoy the book together. You don't have to make them read perfectly! Avoid too much correction. In school next year, the teacher will help them improve their skills.
Let younger children "pretend" to read. Read the story aloud together. Let them follow your voice. Have them look at the words as you point to them, even if they aren't actually reading. When they say the wrong word, say the word correctly and cheerfully while pointing to the word.

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What if You Flipped Your Faculty Meetings? - The Tempered Radical

What if You Flipped Your Faculty Meetings? - The Tempered Radical | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
Dear Principals, I've got a professional challenge for you: I want you to flip every faculty meeting during the 2012-2013 school year. Doing so would be a breeze, I bet. 

 

What's beautiful about flipping your faculty meetings is you are modeling an instructional practice that you'd like to see spreading in your classrooms. Flipping empowers students, giving them ownership over the direction of their learning -- and that feels good whether you're 12 or 27.

My bet is that teachers will enjoy your faculty meetings WAY more when the keys to the conversation are turned over to them. More importantly, my bet is that teachers will be WAY less intimidated by the notion of flipping the classroom when they see that even their curmudgeonly old bossman can pull it off.

I also like that flipped faculty meetings become places where cross-departmental and grade level conversations can actually happen.

The truth is that most schools are incredibly isolated places simply because there's no time for meeting with people beyond your core learning teams. If dude isn't in the room next to mine, the chances I'm going to hunt him down for a deep and meaningful conversation when I've got three thousand papers to grade is about zero.


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2012 Harvard/Dyslexia Foundation Conference to be held Oct. 12

2012 Harvard/Dyslexia Foundation Conference to be held Oct. 12 | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
On Friday, October 12, 2012, Brehm Preparatory School, one of the nation’s leading schools for children with learning disabilities, will host the 2012 Harvard Medical School/Dyslexia Foundation Conference.

The videoconference will take place from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Brehm Preparatory School Student Activities Center. It is geared towards teachers, professionals, administrators, parents, and others who want to hear the latest information on practical application and scientific foundations on literacy, reading and dyslexia. This conference is eligible for ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) CEUs (0.6) and Illinois State Board of Education CPDUs (7.0). Forms will be available on-site.

The Dyslexia Foundation is sponsoring this yearly event. The title of this year’s conference is “Executive Function – Making Connections in Children for Children.” Topics covered will include:

The latest advances in brain research that helps us understand Executive Function in children to help explain differences with oral language and reading
The latest research in identifying Executive Function in public school children
How the face of Executive Function changes as children advance through school
Common sense strategies and interventions for the school environment

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Kansas State Student overcomes challenges with dyslexia to excell in art - K-State Collegian

Kansas State Student overcomes challenges with dyslexia to excell in art - K-State Collegian | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
Student overcomes challenges with dyslexia to excell in artK-State CollegianThe National Center for Learning Disabilities defines dyslexia as a “language processing disorder” which can “hinder reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes even...
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Becoming user friendly to those with learning differences: Patent awarded on Hopkins Measure Mat II®

Becoming user friendly to those with learning differences: Patent awarded on  Hopkins Measure Mat II® | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Hopkins Medical Products a patent [8,151,478] on its portable infantometer. The Hopkins Measure Mat II® infant measuring device has an infant measuring system that incorporates both color coded and symbol references to promote accuracy and reduce user interpretation error. The patented "general measuring system" was designed to aid caregivers who may have colorblindness, dyslexia or dyscalculia. The color and symbol based measuring system is simple and minimizes confusion ensuring a quick and accurate measurement of supine length.

According to recent studies, up to 8% of the male population in the United States suffers from a form of color vision confusion or 'colorblindness', while up to 2% of females in the US also have the same condition. Studies on dyslexia also indicate that 10-15% of the world population have some form of dyslexia.

"I've had close experience with both conditions," said Philip M. Kenney, President and CEO of Hopkins Medical Products. "A caregiver with one or both of these conditions could have difficulty using the products available to them. We wanted to design a better product that was more accurate, and provided a quick and easy measurement. We believe the Hopkins Measure Mat II® will help them perform better and in turn provide better care in the field. No other product on the market has combined level of accuracy, mobility and ease of use than the Hopkins Measure Mat II ®. Our measuring system is accurate to the 1/8th of an inch. The color and symbol based measuring system provides added clarity for the user."

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On the differences between literacies, skills and competencies

On the differences between literacies, skills and competencies | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
The differences between literacies, skills and competencies shouldn’t merely be glossed over and ignored. These differences are important.

 

Literacies

Literacy is the ability to read and write. Traditionally, this has meant the ability to read and write using paper as the mediating technology. However, we now have many and varied technologies requiring us to ‘read’ and ‘write’ in different ways. As a result we need multiple literacies.

Because literacy depends upon context and particular mediating technologies there is, to my mind, no one literacy to ‘rule them all’. Literacy is a condition, not a threshold.

Skills

A skill is a controlled activity (such as a physical action) that an individual has learned to perform. There are general skills (often called transferable skills) as well as domain-specific skills.

Skills are subject to objective thresholds. So, for example, badges awarded by Scouting organisations signify the reaching of a pre-determined level of skill in a particular field.

Competencies

A competence is a collection of skills for a pre-defined purpose. Often the individual with the bundle of skills being observed or assessed has not defined the criteria by which he or she is deemed to be ‘competent’.

Competencies have the semblance of objectivity but are dependent upon subjective judgements by another human being (or beings) who observe knowledge, skills and behaviours.

 

Read more,

http://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2012/07/12/on-the-important-differences-between-literacies-skills-and-competencies/#.UAKMPo5aRjs

 


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Packers assistant coach Joe Whitt takes on dyslexia - JSOnline

Packers assistant coach Joe Whitt takes on dyslexia - JSOnline | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
The night before Joe Whitt Jr. was supposed to get up in front of every Southeastern Conference football and basketball coach and athletic director to give a speech as the student advisory representative, he pulled out his notes.

Reading them, the old anxieties came back.

So he made a bold choice: He would memorize the speech. And toss the notes.

The next day, he got up in front of all those famous, powerful people and hit a home run. He delivered on the key topics, spoke with confidence and authority and was congratulated by the SEC's biggest names for a job well done.

But what they didn't know - what most people didn't know, what even he didn't know for a long time - was that he had to memorize that speech. He was dyslexic, and reading that speech might have just garbled the whole thing up.

"It's a curse. But it's a gift at the same time," said Whitt. "You just have to not be afraid to get help. And then you can flourish from there."

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Unique method for accessing student work on iPads?

Unique method for accessing student work on iPads? | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

"There is an awful lot of hot air blown about accessing student work from “class sets” of iPads, via email, WebDAV, Dropbox etc etc. A little known and cool method is this… We all know that we can share via iTunes over USB to any Mac/PC with a recent version of iTunes.

Well would you believe the same thing works without a cable and it doesn’t have to be the Mac/PC that manages the devices. It means that any teacher can access all the students files on a device that has been “Saved to iTunes”. You can even pick up the work, mark it and hand it back to the iPad whilst the iPad is still being used by the kids (unbeknown to the user!)."


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Class-Action "Right to Read" Lawsuit | ACLU of Michigan | Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself

Class-Action "Right to Read" Lawsuit | ACLU of Michigan | Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a class-action lawsuit today in state court on behalf of eight students who represent nearly 1,000 children attending K-12 public schools in Highland Park, Mich.

This groundbreaking lawsuit names the state of Michigan, its agencies charged with overseeing public education and the Highland Park School District for failing to take effective steps to ensure that students are reading at grade level as set forth by state law and Constitution.

“This is a first-of-its-kind lawsuit asserting a child’s fundamental right to read. The capacity to learn is deeply rooted in the ability to achieve literacy. A child who cannot read will be disenfranchised in our society and economy for a lifetime,” said Kary L. Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan. “Highland Park students want to be educated. However, their hopes and dreams for a future are being destroyed by an ineffective system that does not adequately prepare them for life beyond school.”

Less than 10 percent of the district’s students in grades third through eighth are proficient in reading and math, based on Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) scores. By 11th grade, students do not fare any better, with less than 10 percent of students scoring proficient in reading or math on the Michigan Merit Exam (MME).

An independent evaluation to assess the reading proficiency of the plaintiffs found that students were reading between four and eight grades below their current grade level. The organization also cited serious academic deficiencies caused by a documented lack of books, outdated materials, filthy classrooms and bathrooms.

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'My three dyslexic sons and music':chosen to play in the National Schools Symphony Orchestra.

'My three dyslexic sons and music':chosen to play in the National Schools Symphony Orchestra. | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Three brothers with dyslexia have overcome their struggles with reading music to be chosen to play in the National Schools Symphony Orchestra.

"I shudder to think what it would have been like without music," says Sasha Baldwin, mother to three teenage sons who are all dyslexic.

Luke, 17, plays the violin and guitar. Patrick, 15, plays the piano, organ and trumpet while Robert, 14, is a gifted French horn player. They all sing too.

Yet at primary school they struggled from early on as dyslexia manifested itself in different ways in each of them.

"Luke had difficulties learning how to read, Patrick had problems with short-term memory and couldn't remember instructions from school or telephone numbers and Robert had real problems with personal organisation and retaining information, as well as reading," Sasha says.

The North Yorkshire school they attended recognised their learning difficulties and enlisted the help of educational psychologists to support them.

But Sasha, who now lives in Perthshire, realised that music could provide a valuable outlet for their development and she encouraged the boys to start learning the piano aged five.

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Siena School for students with learning differences in DC Purchases New Building

Siena School for students with learning differences in DC  Purchases New Building | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

The Siena School ("Siena") purchased the Boys and Girls Club building at 1300 Forest Glen Road in Silver Spring, completing a two-year process. This past April, the school was granted a Special Exception to operate at the site, with the support of surrounding neighborhood associations. Siena is excited to remain in the same community where it was founded, and to continue work with local businesses and community groups through student internships, volunteer work and special projects. This past Spring, the entire school worked with Friends of Sligo Creek to pull invasive weeds and its students have volunteered at the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, as well as working with many area businesses and organizations.

The new property will provide Siena with a gym, playing field, playground and space to expand beyond its current enrollment of 80 students in grades 4-12. The school's Special Exception allows it to gradually increase enrollment up to 225 students over three phases of growth.

"I am so pleased that the Siena School has found a permanent home in Montgomery County," said Councilmember Valerie Ervin, who chairs the Council's Education Committee. "I have toured the school and visited with their students and it is clear that this program offers nurturing, creative learning opportunities so students not only reach their educational goals but also excel in life."

"We are tremendously excited to be able to establish a permanent home here in Silver Spring," said Erik Heyer, Founder of The Siena School.

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Harvard EdCast: Roland Barth, A Man of Principals | Harvard Graduate School of Education

Harvard EdCast: Roland Barth, A Man of Principals | Harvard Graduate School of Education | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Founded in 1981, The Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education provides aspiring and experienced school leaders from across the country and around the world with exemplary professional development to meet personal and professional challenges.

In this edition of the EdCast, Roland Barth, Ed.M.’62, Ed.D.’70, founder of The Principals’ Center, reflects on the unique and evolving position of school leader.

Read more: http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news-impact/2012/06/harvard-edcast-a-man-of-principals/#ixzz20P9Q65Bg

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Marcel Just: Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for pioneering in psycholinguistic research,

Marcel Just: Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for pioneering in psycholinguistic research, | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Just, the D.O. Hebb Professor of Psychology within Carnegie Mellon's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and director of the university's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, will receive the award at the society's annual meeting in Montreal, July 10-12. On Wednesday, July 11, Just, a Montreal native, will give a keynote lecture on "Changing Brains for Changing Times." In the talk, he will discuss how brain capabilities have been changed as a result of cultural, educational, work-habit and epigenetic influences and how these brain-imaging findings foreshadow possibilities for shaping the brains of the future.

"Marcel Just is enormously deserving of this award," said John Lehoczky, dean of the Dietrich College. "It underscores the value that his research has had to cognitive science and psycholinguistics and its impact on important societal issues such as autism and dyslexia. I expect that he will continue to have a major impact on these fields for many years to come."

A pioneer in psycholinguistic research, Just has consistently used cutting-edge technologies to understand reading comprehension in healthy individuals as well as individuals with autism and dyslexia and forms of brain damage. He originated the use of eye-tracking in studying reading research and was one of the first scientists to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural basis of reading comprehension.

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Ten Skills for the Future Workforce

Ten Skills for the Future Workforce | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

Sense-making, social intelligence, novel & adaptive thinking, cross-cultural competency, computational thinking, new-media literacy, transdisciplarity, design mindset, cognitive load management, virtual collaboration. These are the 10 skills needed for the future workforce. For a full report, see the work done by Apollo Research Institute (formerly the University of Phoenix Research Institute) looking at the Skills Needed by 2020. A summary of the report and detailed findings about each of the skills are also available.

 

 


Via Marcia Conner, David Hain, donhornsby, Professor Jill Jameson, Gust MEES, Carolyn D Cowen
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Guillermo Pérez's curator insight, July 13, 2017 10:12 AM
Las nuevas destrezas laborales requeridas
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, July 25, 2017 7:47 AM
Ten Skills for the Future Workforce
Susanna Lavialle's curator insight, November 3, 2017 4:22 PM
Cool stuff. Nice to see other than technical skills, working often with high techs or engineering companies who tend to put too much focus on technical stuff. Many of these really appeal to me - but do not yet provide real job opportunities. Probably just need to be patient then...
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The Myth of Learning Styles: What do we know from research and what do we believe?

The Myth of Learning Styles: What do we know from research and what do we believe? | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

....some general assertions of learning-styles proponents have nearly universal consensus, based on a wealth of evidence. We begin by acknowledging the truth of these claims in order to differentiate them from other ones without support.


The first claim is this: Learners are different from each other, these differences affect their performance, and teachers should take these differences into account. This is true and recognized by educators and cognitive scientists alike. While many of those scientists seek to discover general principles of learning, we all acknowledge that there are differences among students. Understanding these differences and applying that understanding in the classroom can improve everyone's education.
We can find further agreement on some of the differences that matter for learning. First, whether we call it talent, ability, or intelligence, people vary in their capacity to learn different areas of content. One of the authors (Riener) has fraternal twin sons, and despite having most of the same experiences, one has learned to read earlier and the other is a better basketball player. This is clearly due to genetic differences in talent rather than a bizarre experiment in which the parents decided that one would be a basketball player and the other a professor. With educators under 6 feet tall for both parents and grandparents, they are both probably doomed to proceed to graduate school rather than to the NBA.
Second, and often intertwined with ability, students differ in their interests. If a student loves the piano, or basketball, or chess, or the biology of frogs, that student will no doubt learn material related to that subject faster than another one who does not share that fascination. We all agree that interest and attention are preconditions of learning and vary from student to student, depending on the subject.
Third, students differ in their background knowledge, and that difference influences their learning. This is obviously true in the sense that a large vocabulary allows one to read a wider variety of books. And it is further true in fields such as history: One can't hope to learn much about the causes and consequences of the American Civil War without knowing facts about the growth and separation of the colonies, the history of economic differences between the North and the South, political facts about our three branches of government, etc. But background knowledge is also quite important in things we think of as skills. For example, learning basic math facts is critical to the acquisition of later math skills.
Finally, some students have specific learning disabilities, and these affect their learning in specific ways. For example, there is considerable research on dyslexia and the strategies for addressing it. These strategies of course differ from those appropriate for those students on the autistic spectrum or those with hearing difficulties. In each of these cases, a specific difference in the student calls for individual diagnosis and attention.


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Linda Alexander's comment, July 9, 2012 8:29 AM
While many valid points were certainly made, the article doesn't bust any myths. Foremost, too many folks are capitalizing on learning style books and programs that are not grounded in scientific evidence and may actually harm the way we "think about thinking" and classroom learning. We need to move beyond popular psychology, left and right brain divisions, and attempts to number specific learning styles; theories and programs not thoroughly vetted by evidenced-based research or the cognitive sciences. The brain is far more complex, holistic and malleable than generally believed today. The continual efforts to divide and conquer brain functionality limits the way we view human intelligence, creativity and sparking individual potential. Nonetheless, most of us readily admit we've generally advanced in our thinking with kudos to some of the early learning styles and multiple intelligence myth busters. Moreover, we continue to learn more about processing skills, learning and intelligence in ways that will open doors for children and serve positive purposes in classrooms....
Ken Morrison's comment, July 14, 2012 8:45 PM
HI Mr. Dempsey.
Thank you for the many rescoops. It looks like you have a few great Scoop.it sites started. Best of luck to you. I will return to your sites in the future. I like what I see.
Scooped by Lou Salza
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Dyslexia Behind bars - Report by Jackie Hewitt-Main

Dyslexia Behind bars - Report by Jackie Hewitt-Main | Students with dyslexia & ADHD in independent and public schools | Scoop.it

She has pioneered a cost-effective approach to help prisoners learn to read and write and there are clear signs that it could lead to a dramatic drop in re-offending rates.

 

Terry had been in and out of prison more than 40 times and was self-harming. He was totally frustrated with his inability to read and write and the fact that this was holding him back in a world where jobs, benefits and many social activities require good literacy skills.

He was assessed using Lexion software, a Swedish program which tests for a whole battery of skills and then provides carefully targeted exercises to build knowledge and confidence. He has made great progress and is now one of the prison mentors.

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