Searching for "brain learning"

prime the brain for learning

Activities That Prime the Brain for Learning

Brain breaks and focused attention practices help students feel relaxed and alert and ready to learn.

BRAIN BREAKS

FOCUSED ATTENTION PRACTICES

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more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mindfulness

How Technology Wires the Learning Brain

How Technology Wires the Learning Brain

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/02/how-technology-wires-the-learning-brain/

“It’s a matter of finding balance,” he said. “Upgrade the technology skills of older ‘digital immigrants,’ and help young kids improve social skills.”

On one hand, we’re trained not to think deeply about subjects when we text quick snippets, Tweet short thoughts,
On the other hand, technology trains the brain to be nimble and to process new ideas quickly. We become more open to new ideas, and communicate more freely and frequently.

 

personalized learning in the digital age

If This Is the End of Average, What Comes Next?

By Daniel T. Willingham     Jun 11, 2018

Todd Rose, the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has emerged as a central intellectual figure behind the movement. In particular, his 2016 book, “The End of Average,” is seen as an important justification for and guide to the personalization of learning.

what Rose argues against. He holds that our culture is obsessed with measuring and finding averages—averages of human ability and averages of the human body. Sometimes the average is held to be the ideal.

The jaggedness principle means that many of the attributes we care about are multi-faceted, not of a whole. For example, human ability is not one thing, so it doesn’t make sense to talk about someone as “smart” or “dumb.” That’s unidimensional. Someone might be very good with numbers, very bad with words, about average in using space, and gifted in using of visual imagery.

Since the 1930s, psychologists have debated whether intelligence is best characterized as one thing or many.

But most psychologists stopped playing this game in the 1990s. The resolution came through the work of John Carroll, who developed a third model in which abilities form a hierarchy. We can think of abilities as separate, but nested in higher-order abilities. Hence, there is a general, all-purpose intelligence, and it influences other abilities, so they are correlated. But the abilities nested within general intelligence are independent, so the correlations are modest. Thus, Rose’s jaggedness principle is certainly not new to psychology, and it’s incomplete.

The second (Context Principle) of Rose’s principles holds that personality traits don’t exist, and there’s a similar problem with this claim: Rose describes a concept with limited predictive power as having none at all. The most commonly accepted theory holds that personality can be described by variation on five dimensions

Rose’s third principle (pathways principle) suggests that there are multiple ways to reach a goal like walking or reading, and that there is not a fixed set of stages through which each of us passes.

Rose thinks students should earn credentials, not diplomas. In other words, a school would not certify that you’re “educated in computer science” but that you have specific knowledge and skills—that you can program games on handheld devices, for example. He think grades should be replaced by testaments of competency (my note: badges); the school affirms that you’ve mastered the skills and knowledge, period. Finally, Rose argues that students should have more flexibility in choosing their educational pathways.

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more on personalized learning in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=personalized+learning

deep learning revolution

Sejnowski, T. J. (2018). The Deep Learning Revolution. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

How deep learning―from Google Translate to driverless cars to personal cognitive assistants―is changing our lives and transforming every sector of the economy.

The deep learning revolution has brought us driverless cars, the greatly improved Google Translate, fluent conversations with Siri and Alexa, and enormous profits from automated trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Deep learning networks can play poker better than professional poker players and defeat a world champion at Go. In this book, Terry Sejnowski explains how deep learning went from being an arcane academic field to a disruptive technology in the information economy.

Sejnowski played an important role in the founding of deep learning, as one of a small group of researchers in the 1980s who challenged the prevailing logic-and-symbol based version of AI. The new version of AI Sejnowski and others developed, which became deep learning, is fueled instead by data. Deep networks learn from data in the same way that babies experience the world, starting with fresh eyes and gradually acquiring the skills needed to navigate novel environments. Learning algorithms extract information from raw data; information can be used to create knowledge; knowledge underlies understanding; understanding leads to wisdom. Someday a driverless car will know the road better than you do and drive with more skill; a deep learning network will diagnose your illness; a personal cognitive assistant will augment your puny human brain. It took nature many millions of years to evolve human intelligence; AI is on a trajectory measured in decades. Sejnowski prepares us for a deep learning future.

A pioneering scientist explains ‘deep learning’

Artificial intelligence meets human intelligence

neural networks

Buzzwords like “deep learning” and “neural networks” are everywhere, but so much of the popular understanding is misguided, says Terrence Sejnowski, a computational neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Sejnowski, a pioneer in the study of learning algorithms, is the author of The Deep Learning Revolution (out next week from MIT Press). He argues that the hype about killer AI or robots making us obsolete ignores exciting possibilities happening in the fields of computer science and neuroscience, and what can happen when artificial intelligence meets human intelligence.

Machine learning is a very large field and goes way back. Originally, people were calling it “pattern recognition,” but the algorithms became much broader and much more sophisticated mathematically. Within machine learning are neural networks inspired by the brain, and then deep learning. Deep learning algorithms have a particular architecture with many layers that flow through the network. So basically, deep learning is one part of machine learning and machine learning is one part of AI.

December 2012 at the NIPS meeting, which is the biggest AI conference. There, [computer scientist] Geoff Hinton and two of his graduate students showed you could take a very large dataset called ImageNet, with 10,000 categories and 10 million images, and reduce the classification error by 20 percent using deep learning.Traditionally on that dataset, error decreases by less than 1 percent in one year. In one year, 20 years of research was bypassed. That really opened the floodgates.

The inspiration for deep learning really comes from neuroscience.

AlphaGo, the program that beat the Go champion included not just a model of the cortex, but also a model of a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which is important for making a sequence of decisions to meet a goal. There’s an algorithm there called temporal differences, developed back in the ‘80s by Richard Sutton, that, when coupled with deep learning, is capable of very sophisticated plays that no human has ever seen before.

there’s a convergence occurring between AI and human intelligence. As we learn more and more about how the brain works, that’s going to reflect back in AI. But at the same time, they’re actually creating a whole theory of learning that can be applied to understanding the brain and allowing us to analyze the thousands of neurons and how their activities are coming out. So there’s this feedback loop between neuroscience and AI

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deep learning revolution
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=deep+learning

sound and the brain

What Types of Sound Experiences Enable Children to Learn Best?

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/46824/what-types-of-sound-experiences-enable-children-to-learn-best
At Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Lab, Kraus and colleagues measure how the brain responds when various sounds enter the ear. They’ve found that the brain reacts to sound in microseconds, and that brain waves closely resemble the sound waves.
Making sense of sound is one of the most “computationally complex” functions of the brain, Kraus said, which explains why so many language and other disorders, including autism, reveal themselves in the way the brain processes sound. The way the brain responds to the “ingredients” of sound—pitching, timing and timbre—is a window into brain health and learning ability.

practical suggestions for creating space “activities that promote sound-to-meaning development,” whether at home or in school:
Reduce noise. Chronic background noise is associated with several auditory and learning problems: it contributes to “neural noise,” wherein brain neurons fire spontaneously in the absence of sound; it reduces the brain’s sensitivity to sound; and it slows auditory growth.
Read aloud. Even before kids are able to read themselves, hearing stories told by others develops vocabulary and builds working memory; to understand how a story unfolds, listeners, need to remember what was said before.
Encourage children to play a musical instrument. “There is an explicit link between making music and strengthening language skills, so that keeping music education at the center of curricula can pay big dividends for children’s cognitive, emotional, and educational health.Two years of music instruction in elementary and even secondary school can trigger biological changes in how the brain processes sound, which in turn affects language development.
Listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Well-told stories can draw kids in and build attention skills and working memory. The number and quality of these recordings has exploded in recent years, making it that much easier to find a good fit for individuals and classes.
Support learning a second language. Growing up in a bilingual environment causes a child’s brain to manage two languages at once.
Avoid white noise machines. In an effort to soothe children to sleep, some parents set up sound machines in bedrooms. These devices, which emit “meaningless sound,” as Kraus put it, can interfere with how the brain develops sound-processing circuitry.
Use the spread of technology to your advantage. Rather than bemoan the constant bleeping and chirping of everyday life, much of it the result of technological advances, welcome the new sound opportunities these developments provide. Technologies that shrink the globalized world enable second-language learning.

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More on the brain in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=brain

new brain cells

(thank you Mike Pickle: https://www.facebook.com/groups/190982954245635/permalink/2110516852292226/)

Mysterious new brain cell found in people

“rosehip neurons,” were found in the uppermost layer of the cortex, which is home to many different types of neurons that inhibit the activity of other neurons.

the set of genes expressed in these inhibitory rosehip neurons doesn’t closely match any previously identified cell in the mouse, suggesting they have no analog in the rodent often used as a model for humans,

The locations of their points of contact on other neurons suggest they’re in a powerful position to put the brakes on other incoming, excitatory signals—by which complex circuits of neurons activate one another throughout the brain.

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more on learning and the brain in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=brain+learning

how to student learning

How Can We Amplify Student Learning? The ANSWER from Cognitive Psychology

By: 

We know now from rigorous testing in cognitive psychology that learning styles are really learning preferences that do not correlate with achievement (An et al., 2017).
https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/how-can-we-amplify-student-learning-the-answer-from-cognitive-psychology/

An, Donggun, and Martha Carr. “Learning styles theory fails to explain learning and achievement: Recommendations for alternative approaches.” Personality and Individual Differences 116 (2017): 410-416.

To assist time-strapped instructional faculty and staff, we offer a consolidated summary of key cognitive science principles, in the form of an easy-to-remember acronym: ANSWER.

Attention: Learning requires memory, and memory requires focused attention. Multitasking is a myth, and even the more scientifically-accurate term “task-switching” yields errors compared to focused attention. The brain is quite adept at filtering out dozens of simultaneous stimuli, as it does every second of wakefulness. Attention is a required ingredient for learning. This has ramifications for syllabus policies on the use of electronic devices for note-taking, which have been shown to be irresistible and therefore lead to distraction and lower scores (Ravizza, Uitvlugt, and Fenn). Even when students are not distracted, laptops are used primarily for dictation, which does little for long-term memory; writing by hand does more to stimulate attention and build neural networks than typing (Mueller and Oppenheimer).

Novelty: variety into lesson plans, activities, and opportunities for practice, instructors amplify potential learning for their students. Further, the use of metaphors in teaching enhances transfer, hemispheric integration, and retention, so using picture prompts and images can further solidify student learning (Sousa).

Spacing: Sometimes called “distributed practice,”the spacing effect refers to the jump in performance when students study a subject and then practice with gaps of time, ideally over one or more nights (sleep helps with memory consolidation), as compared to studying all at once, as if cramming the night before a test. Cramming, or massed practice, is successful for temporary test performance, since information is loaded into working memory. But the practices that work well for short-term memory do not work well for long-term memory. The spacing effect is particularly effective when combined with interleaving, the intentional practice of mixing in older learning tasks/skills with the new ones (Roedeiger, et al.). An ideal example of this would be regular quizzes in the semester that are cumulative (think “tiny final exams”).

Why: Memory is associative; when new memories are formed, neurons wire together (and later fire together), so the context can lead to the information, and vice versa. A teaching strategy of comprised of questions to guide lesson plans (perhaps even beginning with mystery) can pique student interest and learning potential.  If you use PowerPoint, Haiku Deck, or Prezi, do your slides consist primarily of answers or questions?

Emotions: Short-term memories are stored in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain associated with emotions; the same area where we consolidate short-term into long-term memories overnight.
As instructors, we create the conditions in which students will motivate themselves (Ryan & Deci, 2000) by infusing our interactions with the positive emptions of curiosity, discovery, and fun. Simple gamification (quizzes with immediate feedback, for instance) can help.

Repetition: The creation of a new memory really means the formation of synapses across neurons and new neural pathways. These pathways and bridges degrade over time unless the synapse fires again. Consider the days before smartphones, when the way to remember a phone number was to repeat it several times mentally. Repetition, in all its forms, enables more effective recall later. This is why quizzing, practice testing, flashcards, and instructor-driven questioning and challenges are so effective.

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more on learning styles in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=learning+styles

more on multitasking in this blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=multitasking

for and against the use of technology in the classroom
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/04/03/use-of-laptops-in-the-classroom/

on spaced learning in this blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/03/28/digital-learning/

definitions online learning

Online learning here is used as a blanket term for all related terms:

  • HyFlex courses – hybrid + flexible
    “hybrid synchronous” or “blended synchronous” courses

    • Definition:
      The HyFlex model gives students the choice to attend class in person or via synchronous remote stream and to make that choice on a daily basis. In other words, unlike online and hybrid models which typically have a fixed course structure for the entire semester, the HyFlex model does not require students to make a choice at the beginning of term and then stick with it whether their choice works for them or not; rather students are able to make different choices each day depending on what works best for them on that day (hence the format is “flexible”) (Miller and Baham, 2018, to be published in the Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Teaching Statistics).
    • Definition from Horizon Report, HIgher Ed edition, 2014. p. 10 integration of Online Hybrid and Collaborative Learning
    • Definition from U of Arizona (https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/itet/article/view/16464/16485)
      Beatty (2010) defines HyFlex courses to be those that “enable a flexible participation policy for students whereby students may choose to attend face-to-face synchronous class sessions or complete course learning activities online without physically attending class”
  • Online courses
    • Definition
      Goette, W. F., Delello, J. A., Schmitt, A. L., Sullivan, J. R., & Rangel, A. (2017). Comparing Delivery Approaches to Teaching Abnormal Psychology: Investigating Student Perceptions and Learning Outcomes. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 16(3), 336–352. https://doi.org/10.1177/1475725717716624
      p.2.Online classes are a form of distance learning available completely over the Internet with no F2F interaction between an instructor and students (Helms, 2014).
    • https://www.oswego.edu/human-resources/section-6-instructional-policies-and-procedures
      An online class is a class that is offered 100% through the Internet. Asynchronous courses require no time in a classroom. All assignments, exams, and communication are delivered using a learning management system (LMS). At Oswego, the campus is transitioning from ANGEL  to Blackboard, which will be completed by the Fall 2015 semester.  Fully online courses may also be synchronous. Synchronous online courses require student participation at a specified time using audio/visual software such as Blackboard Collaborate along with the LMS.
    • Web-enhanced courses

Web enhanced learning occurs in a traditional face-to-face (f2f) course when the instructor incorporates web resources into the design and delivery of the course to support student learning. The key difference between Web Enhanced Learning versus other forms of e-learning (online or hybrid courses) is that the internet is used to supplement and support the instruction occurring in the classroom rather than replace it.  Web Enhanced Learning may include activities such as: accessing course materials, submitting assignments, participating in discussions, taking quizzes and exams, and/or accessing grades and feedback.”

  • Blended/Hybrid Learning
    • Definition

Goette, W. F., Delello, J. A., Schmitt, A. L., Sullivan, J. R., & Rangel, A. (2017). Comparing Delivery Approaches to Teaching Abnormal Psychology: Investigating Student Perceptions and Learning Outcomes. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 16(3), 336–352. https://doi.org/10.1177/1475725717716624
p.3.

Helms (2014) described blended education as incorporating both online and F2F character- istics into a single course. This definition captures an important confound to comparing course administration formats because otherwise traditional F2F courses may also incorp- orate aspects of online curriculum. Blended learning may thus encompass F2F classes in which any course content is available online (e.g., recorded lectures or PowerPoints) as well as more traditionally blended courses. Helms recommended the use of ‘‘blended’’ over ‘‘hybrid’’ because these courses combine different but complementary approaches rather than layer opposing methods and formats.

Blended learning can merge the relative strengths of F2F and online education within a flexible course delivery format. As such, this delivery form has a similar potential of online courses to reduce the cost of administration (Bowen et al., 2014) while addressing concerns of quality and achievement gaps that may come from online education. Advantages of blended courses include: convenience and efficiency for the student; promotion of active learning; more effective use of classroom space; and increased class time to spend on higher- level learning activities such as cooperative learning, working with case studies, and discuss- ing big picture concepts and ideas (Ahmed, 2010; Al-Qahtani & Higgins, 2013; Lewis & Harrison, 2012).

Although many definitions of hybrid and blended learning exist, there is a convergence upon three key points: (1) Web-based learning activities are introduced to complement face-to-face work; (2) “seat time” is reduced, though not eliminated altogether; (3) the Web-based and face-to-face components of the course are designed to interact pedagogically to take advantage of the best features of each.
The amount of in class time varies in hybrids from school to school. Some require more than 50% must be in class, others say more than 50% must be online. Others indicate that 20% – 80% must be in class (or online). There is consensus that generally the time is split 50-50, but it depends on the best pedagogy for what the instructor wants to achieve.

Backchannel and CRS (or Audience Response Systems):
https://journals.uair.arizona.

More information:

Blended Synchronous Learning project (http://blendsync.org/)

https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/itet/article/view/16464/16485

https://www.binghamton.edu/academics/provost/faculty-staff-handbook/handbook-vii.html

VII.A.3. Distance Learning Courses
Distance learning courses are indicated in the schedule of classes on BU Brain with an Instructional Method of Online Asynchronous (OA), Online Synchronous (OS), Online Combined (OC), or Online Hybrid (OH). Online Asynchronous courses are those in which the instruction is recorded/stored and then accessed by the students at another time. Online Synchronous courses are those in which students are at locations remote from the instructor and viewing the instruction as it occurs. Online Combined courses are those in which there is a combination of asynchronous and synchronous instruction that occurs over the length of the course. Online Hybrid courses are those in which there is both in-person and online (asynchronous and/or synchronous) instruction that occurs over the length of the course.

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