Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Monday, July 28, 2008

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Brain Rules Chpt . 2 Survival

The second of the 12 principles the John Medina shares in Brain Rules has to do with how our brains have evolved over time. Medina describes the different parts of the brain and what makes our brain different from other animals. Seems we evolved to survive by getting smarter, not bigger or stronger. Some of the ways that we have evolved to get smarter, have educational implications. Medina mentions that our brains function in two ways. Our brains are used to store a data base of information. Our brains also use that data base of information to make new connections and create and be innovative. This is something that makes us different from other animals. Medina encourages us to consider both functions of our brain when planning teaching. Students need a strong structured data base of knowledge, but they also need to manipulate that information and build, create and make connections. Another really important thing mentioned is the importance of relationships. One reason that we have been able to survive is because we have formed alliances. We do not learn alone. We need to learn collectively in a atmosphere of trust. Medina mentions the importance of building safe relationships with our students. I think that this brain rule would also apply to students learning how to work in groups and with partners. We all know that collaborative learning can be powerful. I think that this rule emphasizes the importance of giving students opportunities to work together and providing students with the skills needed to learn together. Pin It Now!

3 comments:

Nadine N said...

You made some really good connections in this summary of chapter 2 of Brain Rules. I came to similar conclusions. I think it's really important for teachers to assess prior knowledge when introducing a concept to ensure that students have a "hook to hang on". Also, it's important to remember that students will see this content again, somewhere, in some form, so they need to understand the content enough to have a place to file it away. In addition, teachers should take full advantage of relationships within the class and allow students to process the information in a social way. Students, with the help of others in the class as well as the teacher, can discuss the material and get others' viewpoint and gather greater understanding.

We as teachers in a network do this routinely with new tools and new ideas as we gather a greater understanding of how technology can enhance teaching and learning. We'll see this through the networkchallenge.

vanhookc said...
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vanhookc said...

Yes, and your comment "so they need to understand the content enough to have a place to file it away" would suggest that a teacher offering students creative learning exercises is providing quality time to truly question and understand the content. Conversely, teachers who simply lecture, focusing on rote learning, do students a great injustice.