Keynote: Dr. Todd Zakrajsek, University of North Carolina School of Medicine
“Teaching for Brain-based Learning”
Effective Online Engagement
Camille Brandt, Bemidji State University
student is a boxed term. but there are flavors; undergrad vs grad, what takeaways they are looking for, categories of students
ask for expectations, outcomes, and keep touching bases during class.
Grading Participation in an Online Course
Kerry Marrer, St. Cloud State University
Kate Mooney, St. Cloud State University
Kris Portz, St. Cloud State University
What’s a FIG? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!
Miki Huntington, Minneapolis Community and Technical College
COP Community of Practice. Stipends – may be or not. May be only a book.
topics: online learning, academic technologies etc
offering support: to one another in a collaborative environment. Commenting to each other notes.
Former Google Design Ethicist: Relying on Big Tech in Schools Is a ‘Race to the Bottom’
Common Sense Media recently partnered with the Center for Humane Technology, which supports the development of ethical technological tools, to lay out a fierce call for regulation and awareness about the health issues surrounding tech addiction.
Tristan Harris, a former ethicist at Google who founded the Center for Humane Technology
To support educators making such decisions, Common Sense Media is taking their “Truth about Tech” campaign to schools through an upgraded version of their current Digital Citizenship curriculum. The new updates will include more information on subjects such as:
- Creating a healthy media balance and digital wellness;
- Concerns about the rise of hate speech in schools, that go beyond talking about cyberbullying; and
- Fake news, media literacy and curating your own content
What Does ‘Tech Addiction’ Mean?
In a recent NPR report, writer Anya Kamenetz, notes that clinicians are debating whether technology overuse is best categorized as a bad habit, a symptom of other mental struggles (such as depression or anxiety) or as an addiction.
Dr. Jenny Radesky, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at the American Academy of Pediatrics, notes that though she’s seen solid evidence linking heavy media usage to problems with sleep and obesity, she hesitated to call the usage “addiction.”
Dr. Robert Lustig, an endocrinologist who studies hormones at the University of Southern California disagreed, noting that parents have to see the overuse of technology as an addiction.
When yoga becomes a respected part of the school day
Pushing for “whole-child education,” the Compassionate Schools Project focuses on mind and body wellness
a massive study of a “whole-child” education program called the Compassionate Schools Project, has several purposes.
Schools can’t focus only on academic content, she said, with students who don’t feel safe and calm in the classroom.
more about mindfulness in this IMS blog
Do critical thinking skills give graduates the edge?
It has long been claimed that critical thinking ability sets graduates apart. But are universities really preparing students for the modern workplace? David Matthews reports
what value is higher education supposed to add? And how is this different from what school or vocational education offer?
A further question is whether even the academic brand of critical thinking is being particularly well taught at university. According to Bryan Greetham, a philosopher and university researcher who has written several books on how students and professionals can improve their thinking, “We tend to want to do the simple thing – which is to teach students what to think, not how to think.”
This was most famously explored in the 2011 book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. The authors, American sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, found that 45 per cent of US undergraduates failed to significantly improve their critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills during their first two years at university. Other US-based studies have raised similar concerns. One from 2009, “Improving Students’ Evaluation of Informal Arguments”, published in the Journal of Experimental Education, warned that college and high school students have “difficulty evaluating arguments on the basis of their quality”.
But if universities don’t have the resources to offer intensive classes, could they weave the teaching of critical thinking skills into regular teaching? Britt thinks that academics can easily make time for quick “check-ins” during their lectures to ensure that their students understand what they’ve been told.
High school experience, of course, varies enormously by country. In France, studying philosophy – arguably the closest that traditional disciplines get to explicit critical thinking courses – is compulsory. In England, meanwhile, the critical thinking A level has recently been scrapped.
As well as calls for critical thinkers and smart thinkers, there are also frequent demands from politicians for more “entrepreneurial” university graduates – who, instead of joining graduate recruitment programmes at large employers, might start their own businesses.
Yes, Quitting Facebook May Make You Happier
Published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking and highlighted by the canny and pseudonymous Neuroskeptic, Danish researcher Morten Tromholt recruited 1,095 participants (by way of Facebook, naturally) and put them into two groups. One pledged to not sign onto the social network for a full week (87 percent made it) and a control group used the platform the same way as they always did.
more on mindfulness, contemplative practices, contemplative computing, disconnect in this IMS blog
How Mindfulness and Storytelling Help Kids Heal and Learn
How Mindfulness and Storytelling Help Kids Heal and Learn
In an attempt to offer more psychological support, they reached out to Grossman who is a teacher and co-founder of Mindful Schools. The definition of mindfulness, says Grossman, is to “pay attention, on purpose, to the present moment.”
more on mindfulness and storytelling in this IMS blog
with the hope that you keep that Facebook account, so you can view the video:
more on contemplative practices in this IMS blog
Research shows different activities have quite specific mental effects – here’s how moving your body could sharpen your ideas
Just 10 minutes of playful coordination skills, like bouncing two balls at the same time, improved the attention of a large group of German teenagers.
oga teaches the deliberate command of movement and breathing, with the aim of turning on the body’s “relaxation response”. Science increasingly backs this claim. For example, a 2010 study put participants through eight weeks of daily yoga and meditation practice. In parallel with self-reported stress-reduction, brain scans showed shrinkage of part of their amygdala, a deep-brain structure strongly implicated in processing stress, fear and anxiety.
Walking, either on a treadmill or around Stanford’s leafy campus, bolstered divergent thinking: the free-roaming, idea-generating component of creative thought. It didn’t help convergent thinking, though.
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog:
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“There is a long history of people worrying and complaining about new technologies and also putting them up on a pedestal as the answer…
As a society, I think we’re beginning to recognize this imbalance, and we’re in a position to ask questions like “How do we live a more balanced life in the fast world? How do we achieve adequate forms of slow practice?”
David Levy – See more at: http://tricycle.org/trikedaily/mindful-tech/#sthash.9iABezUN.dpuf
xiv. fast world and slow world practices. always-on lifestyle.
p. 3. our devices have vastly extended our attentional choices, but the human attentional capacity remains unchanged. how to make wise choices and figure out what constitutes a wise choice, so we can use our digital tools to their best advantage and to ours.
by paying attention how you use your cellphone, how you handle email, how you feel when you are on FB or Pinterest, or when you multitask, you will be able to see which aspects of your current online practices are working well and which aren’t. seeing these will clearly will allow you to make constructive changes.
premise: we function more effectively and more healthfully online when we are more attentive, relaxed, and emotionally balanced. Also stated as negative: we function less effectively and less healthfully online when we are distracted, physically uncomfortable, and emotionally upset. that happens often when we are online. Good news – we can do something about it.
P. 4 engage and strengthen two forms of attention : 1. the ability to stay focused on what you are doing at the moment. 2. self-observation / self-awareness
p. 24. each excercise follows the same six-part structure
step 1: perform primary practice (email, FB etc)
step 2: observe what are you doing and feelig, paying special atention to what is happening in your mind and body as you engage in your primary practicestep 3: log your observation, in written form
step 4: consolidate observations by summarizing
step 5: formulate personal guidelines based on consolidated observatins
step 6: share and discuss with others
p. 25-26. mindfulness: the ability to direct your attention where you want it to go – to have a choice. in a world, where we are surrounded by advertisements, sales pitches, the biggest, best, and brightest promised of happiness and fulfillment that money can buy, not to mention the clear constant information overload of emails, status updates, tweets, photo albums, Netflix queues, RSS feeds, playin whack-a-mole with phone notifications. I wish I could say that we, could get away, but i don’t think that as a society we can, or even that we should (this is where Turkle cannot help).
p. 27 two modes of attention
p. 27 one is like a flash light in a dark room: you see a chair; move to the left, you see something else.
p. 28 the other mode is to go beyond focusing on a single object, but opening up to the surrounding environment. like the same flash beam, but instead intense narrowed one, this is a diffused allowing to cover more, but with less visual acuity.
p. 29 both modes can exclude each other
p. 30 attentional shift, attentional choice
how to deploy our task focus (focused attention) to our self-awareness (open attention)
the brain has two different attentional systems: one is top-down and is under conscious control. the bottom-up system, an earlier evolutionary development, is completely automated. scanning the enthronement for potential threats, alerting us to them whether we want or not, since it is hard wired.
p. 31-32 interruption have two varieties: external ones: sounds, smells, movements, physical contact. internal interruptions are: hunger, mental activity (remembering late appointment).
we cannot turn alerting mechanisms, but we can minimize distractions.
we cannot turn everything off and eliminate all interruptions. what we can do is to notice them as they arise and make a decision how to proceed and face them – whether to respond in the moment or ignore them.
it is now clearly established that we can mainly focus on only one thing at the a time. thus we have the ability to prioritize and focus on only one task.
34. emotions and the stress response
p. 40 strengthening task focus
mindful breathing – optional
simplest and most widespread form of attention training uses the breath as the object of focus. when mind wanders, bring back focus on your in- and out-breath: focusing, opening (noticing) and choosing. focus on your breath, notice when you have strayed and choose to come back to the breath
p. 41 strengthening self-observation / awareness
p. 42 Exercise 1. Observing email
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
more on the contemplative practices, contemplative computing specifically in this IMS blog