Yearly Archives: 2017

Chocolate and Cocoa Help You Learn, Right?

What’s not to love? The photo shows a mug of cocoa, with an already-nibbled chocolate bar in the background. Even better, the headline alerts us that both the cocoa and the chocolate “enhance cognitive abilities and memory.” For once, this headline

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Memory Training That Really (Sort of) Works

Imagine yourself following a route that you know quite well: perhaps your morning commute. You take your car out of your garage; drive past the Dunkin’ Donuts, past the old movie theater, past the grocery store; you park in your

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Bold Moves for Schools: How We Create Remarkable Learning Environments by Heidi Hayes Jacob and Marie Hubley Alcock

Today’s learners have different needs than those of yesterday. Educators and policy makers, therefore, need to rethink optimal learning environments. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, founder and president of Curriculum Designers, and Marie Hubley Alcock, president of the education consulting company Learning

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Interrupting Skilled Students

Here’s a sentence that won’t surprise you: practice typically makes us more skilled at the activity we’re practicing. Here’s a sentence that might surprise you: practice makes us more vulnerable to mistakes after an interruption. So, for example, if my

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A Tale of Two Analyses

For researchers and research-readers alike, the data analysis portion of a study is many things: complex, exciting, frustrating, intriguing, and sometimes even befuddling. And, analytics are always on the move. With each new study, researchers are developing increasingly intricate and

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Dangerous Authenticity?

Here’s an odd question: is it ever a bad idea for teachers to be authentic? In a recent study, Johnson and LaBelle surveyed students to discover the teacher behaviors that struck them as “authentic.” By closely analyzing the students’ descriptions of

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Regions or Networks, Take 2

Just yesterday, I posted some thoughts about “thinking both-ily”; that is, understanding that brain processing happens in both regions and networks. Today, I found a Beebs video showing a remarkably detailed version of the neurons that make up brain networks.

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Brain Regions or Brain Networks?

Here’s an odd brain theory to start off your day: Let’s assume that particular regions of your brain produce particular mental abilities or habits. For instance, let’s say that this part of your brain right here is the generosity center of the brain. So,

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Video Games and Empathy

Do violent video games reduce empathy? If people spend lots of time pretending to beat up and shoot pretend people, will this experience reduce their empathy for human suffering? Will it make them more likely to really beat up and

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This is Your Chess on Ritalin

In movies and on television, chess skill symbolizes “pure intelligence.” Characters who can outwit others on the chessboard are–obviously–just smarter than everyone else. (On The West Wing, President Bartlet routinely schools his staff on the nuances of the game.) By

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