Monthly Archives: August 2016

Brain Changes and Technology

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Had to share this book…

Susan Greenfield CBE is a Senior research Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford University with various roles as scientist, writer, broadcaster and cross bench member of the House of Lords.  In 2009 she engaged in a debate in the House of Lords on the regulation of websites , ‘particularly in regard to children’s well being and safety’ (Greenfield, S. (2014). Mind Change. London: Penguin Random House, preface xi.). She warns of:

  • over exposure to social media sites and the numbing of empathy associated with extended use, “if you hurt someone’s feelings but cannot see their reaction, you’ll lack sufficient cues to understand, apologise or take otherwise compensatory action”
  • “the computer screen threatening to out-compete real life
  • dissociation from the natural world with all its beauty, complexity and constant surprise”
  • “a new type of environment where taste, touch and smell are not stimulated”
  • “a world of ever present dangers such as cyber bullying, sexual grooming and violent gaming”
  • lightening speed dissemination of information that results in shallow learning and poorer working memories
  •  the loss of a private life and the true self being overtaken by the ideal self as presented on line
  • as cyber relationships take over a reduction in real friendships and increased loneliness
  • Digital Natives who ‘struggle to communicate face-to-face, and have shifted the development of romantic relationships online, with couples preferring to get to know each other first through the distance and safety of their smartphones”
  • a decline in deep meaningful relationships due to a lack of rehearsal of social skills
  • blurring of the line between gossip and fact and irreversible consequences to reputations
  • withdrawal from friends and family to feed gaming addictions
  • the correlation between screen time and attention problems, violent games and aggressive behaviour
  • poor comprehension due to the distractions of multitasking

What about the use of technology in the classroom???

So the greatest promise of digital devices lies not so much in the software and screen delivery themselves, but in there use in close connection with teachers‘ efforts” (Greenfield, p239).  We are the catalysts that will ensure the responsible integration of ICT into the next generation – a big responsibility….

8 Strategies to Teach Research Terminology

Robert Marzano suggests using these 8 Strategies when teaching a new concept.  We have used these strategies to demonstrate how to teach the meaning of a word commonly used in early research projects: compare.

1 A Clear Lesson Focus

State what you want the children to learn.   Share the learning intention by writing it on the board. For example: “We are learning the meaning of the word compare

2 Overt Instruction

Specifically teach what a word means by giving examples and non-examples. For example: Look at two pictures – a penguin and a seagull.  Discuss what is the same and different about these two animals.  List the features under the headings ‘Same/Different’.  Explain that when we look at what is the same or different about two items we are comparing.  

3 Engage Students with the Content

Link current learning to prior knowledge.  Recall what they have learned , have them write down their learnings and provide graphic organisers to reinforce their learning and recall.  For example: I am comparing …. and …., What I know about penguins…. What I know about seagulls…. 

4 Feedback to Students

Give immediate feedback about what is right and wrong and why.  As the students become involved in the the discussion use the words, “Yes good work Jasmine, you have told us how the penguin is the same as the seagull because they both have two feet.  You are comparing.” 

5 Provide Multiple Exposures

Use John Hattie’s idea of ‘rehearsal and review’ – go over the terms until remembered and regularly recall learnings. Continue to use the term ‘compare‘ throughout the coming weeks, rehearse it’s definition and ask for examples.

6 Apply Knowledge

Set research questions for the class using the terms they have learned. For example: Compare these pictures (provide a picture of a baby and a small child).  Provide a table to record the findings with ‘Same’ and ‘Different’ headings.

7 Cooperative Learning

Prepare carefully structured activities for small mixed ability groups.  Make the group’s success dependent on every student contributing to the activity.  Provide discussion prompts and questions to encourage conversations.  For example: What is the difference between …. and …. ? Compare.  Teach skills such as turn taking, valuing all contributions, recording and presenting findings.

8 Build Self Efficacy in your Students

Give genuine praise for achievements by referring to the students accomplishments; this builds self belief in or his/her ability to complete a task.  Give genuine praise for accomplishments, for example: “From what you have told me I can see that you really understand how to compare two things, well done”.  A child’s belief in their own ability can also be enhanced by encouraging them to share what they have learnt, for example:” Jasmine I heard you explaining to Peter what compare meant.  What did you say to him, can you tell us please?  This also allows the other children to listen to the explanation in ‘child speak’.

For more information on these strategies please see the link below

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