Calling all school leaders on the go! And really, who isn’t on the go these days? Our modern world demands that we keep to an Olympian speed.
With that frenetic pace in mind, the editors of “School Leadership Briefing” have created a forum to discuss current ideas and trends in education—via audio interviews. (See iTunes for the app.)
Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Publisher, Michael Mantell – about guess what reader? Nic and my new book ”TechnoTeaching”! Michael’s vision is to make it possible for school leaders listen to people speak passionately about their work as they’re driving to work, exercising out on the treadmill, or, as in the case of one principal, while running through NYC’s Central Park. (Current articles include: the flipped classroom, hiring better teachers, and time management tips for the end of the school year.)
So—last week, Michael interviewed me, via Skype, and recorded my responses. Happily, he had sent me the questions beforehand, which I immediately shot to Nic with the subject line: HELP! (The questions touch on themes such as what it means to be a TechnoTeacher, integrating vs. using edtech, and closing the digital divide.) And Nic did, right away, being a fast-paced educator herself. So, when you listen to the interview, you will hear our combined thoughts. (I was channeling her, you see!)
Come join us on May 1st (2014). That is when the new issue of School Leadership Briefing comes out—with our interview about “TechnoTeaching.” Take a listen and let us know your thoughts!
Jules weighs in on gray matter after attending a conference in Boston last fall titled “Engaging 21st Century Minds.” Here are a few thoughts.
We are hearing about the brain more than ever today. Turns out that it’s an even more fascinating organ than we first imagined, before the age of PET scans, which essentially make the brain transparent.
So while it’s fun knowing about “the language pathway” and the link between Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, we always need to ask ourselves two key questions as good consumers of research: So what? And what does it mean?
Educators at Edutopia have been giving the matter of gray matter serious thought. In their report “Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning” they zero in on these practices:
1. Create a safe climate for learning.
2. Encourage a growth mind-set.
3. Emphasize feedback.
4. Get bodies and brains in gear.
5. Start early.
6. Embrace the power of novelty.
In it, the authors explain, for example, how powerful the amygdala is (the part of the brain that processes emotions) and how it can block learning if it feels threatened. You’ll learn more about Carol Dweck’s research showing that children who have a growth mind-set are willing to plunge in, make mistakes, and see feedback as something positive. These students understand that intelligence isn’t a fixed commodity, but can be cultivated through hard work. You’ll see how student evaluations can become a rich learning opportunities, how exercise enhances brainpower, why preschool is so important for developing a child’s 100 billion neurons during the first 2,000 days of life (!), and how to provide the brain with the novelty it craves.
Which of these six practices are you already using in your classroom? Or in your own life to keep your brain sharp? Let us know!
Here you go - to download a free PDF of the report please click on the button below.
Current research shows an explosion in the amount of time children in the US are spending in front of the TV and other “screens” on a typical day, 7 days a week. While in a 2004 young people, ages 8-18, spent an average of nearly 6.5 hours a day consuming media, in 2009 the level in creased by one hour and 17 minutes per day, with children and teens often using more than one form of media at a time according to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation Report[i] (not counting texting or talking on cell phones!).
What are children and adolescents doing in front of screens? Multitasking. The researchers, who studied over 2,000 young people across the US, point out that days of simply watching TV without other gadgets coming into play are long gone. Mobile phones and online media have proliferated over the years, with smart phones serving as a content delivery system. The upshot is that young people today have more opportunities to consume media than ever before, packing more experiences into the day—anytime, anywhere-- than we’d have thought possible a mere decade ago. More homes than ever have Internet access; more young people own their own cell phones than ever before.
Which groups of young people consume the most media? Two groups stand out. In terms of age categories, 11-14-year-olds (“tweens”) consume the most. In terms of demographics, Blacks and Hispanics showed higher levels of media use.
What are the implications for parents and educators? What types of conversations should we be having with young people about media (and multi-tasking)? What sorts of messages might they be receiving from video games and music? From TV content and movies? Let us know your thoughts on our social sites or post a comment below.
[i] Rideout, V.J., Foehr, U.G., and Roberts, D.F. (2010) Kaiser Family Foundation’s Report: “Executive Summary: Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18-Year-Olds.” http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf (Accessed September 10, 2012).
Dr. Julie M. Wood is co-author of TechnoTeaching - soon to be published by Harvard Educational Press.
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.