If on occasion, you become concerned about how your child handles stressful learning situations, read this insightful article, Daydreaming is Good for You, and Other Things I Want Kids to Know About their Brains. The writer describes a range of brain capabilities, explaining how they can support young learners. Growing children need to understand how these basic neurological brain features can help them become stronger, confident, and more effective learners. Continue reading “What We Want Kids to Know About How the Brain Learns”
A Bit Less Facebook, a Bit More Writing & Piano Practice — I Feel More Relaxed
It’s been nearly four weeks since I wrote Digital Device Time Off, a post that described how one individual readjusted his extreme mobile phone habits, aiming to become less addicted to using his phone to fill every moment of the day.
After writing the post, I decided to keep track of my phone use, and lo and behold, I discovered that I have some of the same tendencies. So, I made a resolution to cut back a bit.
I decided to start with Facebook. I found that I opened Facebook many times each day, mostly because I received a notification or discovered something interesting to share with friends. But I also decided to start with Facebook because the company’s myriad privacy and data collecting problems sometimes make me want to completely wean myself off. Continue reading “A Bit Less Facebook, a Bit More Writing & Piano Practice — I Feel More Relaxed”
Digital Device Time Off
How much time do you spend on your phone? How much of that is necessary and how much is diversion? Do you pick up your phone when you suddenly have nothing to do? How about at a meal? Do you use your phone at the dinner table when conversation is supposed to be going on? How about in restaurants? These are all questions that I frequently ask myself.
New York Times tech reporter Kevin Roose addresses some of these questions in his article Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain. Of course, information about taking time off from digital devices is everywhere these days, usually focusing on privacy concerns and the habits that we develop using our mobile phones. But this article is different. Continue reading “Digital Device Time Off”
Babies: The Real World or a Tablet Screen?
A baby carrier with an iPad holder?
Don’t babies need to be looking around and figuring out things about all the people and things around them? You know, mommy, daddy, toy, cat, dog, book, noise, quiet. I watched my daughter observing and responding to the differences in colors, light, contrasts, and people — real people — practically from the day she was born. Babies may not be able to talk or even move for a long time after birth, but they can watch real life — and they work hard and learn a lot while they do all of that looking.
Seriously, do parents want a baby to stop figuring out and organizing the real world just to look at a screen — even for a short time?
Downstairs in my basement is an old-fashioned and wonderful Fisher-Price plastic barn and silo filled with people and animals. Two generations of babies and toddlers loved those toys, and now they’re waiting down there in a corner somewhere for the next child. The silo provided hours of interest for our daughter. Once she could sit up she started watching this bright red object. Inside were safe plastic animal toys for when she was learning to grab — but mostly she would knock the silo over or bang on it.
Continue reading “Babies: The Real World or a Tablet Screen?”
Multi-tasking May Be a Myth Says John Medina
In today’s always-connected world we feel proud of our ability to do several things at once, and many adults are even more amazed as they watch their children managing multiple tasks at the same time.
It turns out, however, that we may need to rearrange the way we work, reconsider our understanding of multi-tasking, and rethink how we supervise children when they are attending to learning activities. According to Professor John Medina, a respected molecular biologist and author of the 2008 book, Brain Rules, the brain cannot multitask efficiently. Multi-tasking during homework times may decrease a 21st Century student’s ability to learn efficiently.
Medina’s book, an entertaining read, discusses 12 important brain rules and devotes one chapter to multitasking. Addressing the widely accepted view that in the digital age we all multi-task effectively, Dr. Medina explains why the brain has trouble with multi-tasking and why this practice can cause difficulty for learners, workers, and especially for pre-teens and adolescents. Many entertaining video explanations of the 12 brain rules are posted on his website. Continue reading “Multi-tasking May Be a Myth Says John Medina”
Look Forward to Hearing Bill Gates and Dr. John Medina Present
I am attending a conference, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), in Seattle, WA and especially looking forward to hearing two speakers.
Bill Gates will present on Thursday morning, just a couple of days after India was declared a polio-free country. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with many other public health experts, worked hard to achieve this goal. Thought Gates will speak on education at NAIS, I hope he at least mentions this dramatic public health achievement.
I will also look forward to hearing how he believes schools should expand their visions on education.
Dr. John Medina, the author of Brain Rules, will also be speaking. Dr. Medina speaks fast and animatedly, and I’ve heard him speak two times. Here’s a MediaTechParenting post, Multitasking is a Myth, that I wrote some time ago after hearing Medina deliver a lecture and reading his book, Brain Rules.
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