Brad Draken (DEN’s very own, Brad Fountain) did a virtual leap and came inworld tonight to present ‘Understanding Your Students’ iBrains’ to a full house.
You can see the slides of this evening’s workshop here.
In the past, our brain was exposed to television, social interactions, reading, and music; today, we have YouTube, iPods, Facebook, Twitter, cellphones, etc. Our students are used to ‘communication = instant gratification’. Students today are ‘trained’ to expect immediate gratification and feedback, yet we don’t offer that in schools; in fact, we’ve often heard the comment that our students have to ‘power down’ when they come to school. Our students want to create, engage, and interact.
Constant exposure to technology makes our brains continually evolve and create new pathways. This is especially the case among our students. As students create these new pathways we as teachers need to adapt to facilitate our students’ journey in learning.
A student’s brain begins as a simple computer with only a simple OS. As they learn new activities they create shortcuts, which when repeatedly used strengthens the ability to retrieve information more readily. For students multi-tasking creates new neural pathways; technology’s effect on the brain is that it alters those neural pathways. Our challenge: How can we use these tools in our lessons to take advantage of the neural pathways in our students’ brains to maximize their learning potential?
Some points to ponder:
1. 10 minute rule: You have 10 minutes to get a student’s attention, the next 10 minutes you need to do something to reconnect to re-engage those students.
2. Repetition is the key to retention.
3. We need to rethink the ‘mile wide, inch deep’ method of teaching.