Making Learning Visible: Doodling Helps Memories Stick

like-wish-wonderDoes doodling mean students are not paying attention? Well, it’s time to change your mind.

Instructional coaches Shelley Paul and Jill Gough had heard that doodling while taking notes could help improve attention, memory and learning. They tried doodling while on a 2-day conference. The experience convinced them “that something powerful happens when auditory learning is transposed into images.”

The practice of doodling is backed by neuroscience research. When ideas and concepts are encapsulated in an image, the brain remembers related information associated with that image.

Do you still think doodling is a waste of time? Read more about the practice of doodling here.

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Yes, Your Opinion Can Be Wrong

opinion-thinkstockWe posted an article a while back about the awful science of the comment section and how arguing on the internet could often stir our emotions in unproductive ways.

There’s a common conception that an opinion cannot be wrong. When a person believes his opinion is right without merit, he has a misconception. Sadly, the internet is full of this. In an ideal world, an opinion is actually part of a healthy communication process. When opinions are shared, ideas are exchanged as well. So instead of working hard to get your opinion heard, take some time to get your opinion informed.

Read more about qualifying your opinions from this post from the Houston Press.

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Making the Shift

WonderGuest Post: Craig Gastauer

Throughout my 20+ years of teaching, I have struggled to help ALL students learn deeply. Sure, a large number succeed but I cannot allow myself to be satisfied with that. Some students succeeded because they learned (and learned very well) how to play the game of school. Some succeeded because of hard work. Yet others slipped through the cracks, and, with shame, I must admit that I allowed it. Regardless of the group, I need to do a better job. Learning in my classroom must not happen on accident or happen because students are good at the game. I must help them learn to shift their learning process:

  • From studying content out of context to engaging them in an examination of issues, identifying problems, brainstorming potential solutions, and acting on their thoug...
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A 15-year-old girl might have made HIV tests as easy as pregnancy tests

Nicole TiceaNicole Ticea’s HIV test invention is a long way from widespread use, but it’s a start.

HIV testing is necessary, but it can be embarrassing, it’s hard, and it takes a while for results … and in some places, it’s expensive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of all Americans age 13 and older who are living with HIV (1,201,100), an estimated 160,300, or 13%, don’t even know they have HIV. It is a youth issue.

HIV testing usually requires expensive lab equipment and time to process the test. But Nicole used a new method called isothermal nucleic acid amplification, which means that tests can be done anywhere — potentially, even in remote locations around the world — and quickly...

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More U.S. Children Are Living In Poverty Than During The Great Recession

poverty_childA startling report on child welfare revealed that more U.S. children are living in poverty than before the Great Recession. According to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, more than one in five American children, about 22%, were living in poverty in 2013.

The report covers 16 different measures, delving into economic well-being, health care, education and family and community issues. The southern states struggle in the Kids Count rankings for overall child well-being, with issues including economic standing and education.

Find out what drives these increasing poverty rates here.

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Little Red Riding Hood, Reimagined in Beautiful Laser-Cut Illustrations

littleredridinghoodIn her exquisite take on Little Red Riding Hood (public library), German illustrator and graphic designer Sybille Schenker blends the beauty of delicate papercraft with the Grimms’ original starkness of sensibility to produce something unusual and utterly beguiling — something partway between Kevin Stanton’s die-cut illustrations for Romeo and Juliet and Andrea Dezsö’s gorgeous black-and-white illustrations of the Grimm tales, yet something wholly original.

Check out the illustrations here.

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18308722580_b76b4a9aa0_zGuest Post: Parag Joshi — Lead Teacher of Truth Academy @Manchester High School, Manchester, CT

The charge of the anthropologist to “make the strange familiar and the familiar strange” always struck me as profoundly important in loosening up the often rigid fibers of truth.  In human culture, we seem to truth in suitcases of ideas.  The best TED talks unpack these ideas in a way such that the audience is left with a changed world.  Producing a TEDx conference at Manchester High School was a “big goal” that I hoped would make our forays into truth more meaningful by creating a challenging, authentic, and exciting experience that could be shared with our community.

This is a culminating performance as part of “The Truth Academy” — one of six personalized learning academies at...

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Data-free Messaging App Jott becomes popular with US teens

jott teenTexting remains the most popular communications method among US teens and many are now turning to Jott. If you haven’t heard of Jott, go ask a teenager.

Jott, a messaging app that works without a data plan or WiFi connection, has become increasingly popular  among junior high and high school students. Co-founder Jared Allgood revealed that the app is adding 15,000-20,000 user per day.

So how does it work? Teens who don’t have smartphones or a data plan can now message each other using their iPods and iPads. It has to be on a closed network within a 100-foot area within school limits. Additional features of the app include disappearing messages and screenshot detection similar to Snapchat. Know more about Jott here.


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School Gardens Help Kids Learn Better But Why Aren’t They Everywhere?

school gardenGarden-based learning is a proven teaching strategy that supplements learning through school gardens. This encourages kids to learn from programs, projects and activities that has a personal meaning to them and at the same time allows them to reconnect with nature. But with the growing demands in teachers’ time and lack of financial support, not every school can implement this strategy.

Jane Hirschi discussed both the challenges and possibilities of garden-based learning in her book, Ripe for Change. Hirschi is also the founding director of CitySprouts, an initiative based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that seeks to establish gardens as learning tools in public schools nationwide...

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The Teenage Brain: Spock Vs. Captain Kirk

Spock_KirkA teen’s body grows through radical changes during puberty. What parents do not notice are the complex but vital changes that are taking place in the brain. Ever wonder what’s going on in a teenager’s head?

This story from nprED takes us into a closer look at how a teenager’s brain respond to decisions and influences. It discussed that while a teenagers always gets a bad reputation for making impulsive behavior, they actually know the right decision from the beginning. But when their peers are present, things get a little different.

To find out what happens, click here.


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