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Brain Basedyharris

Brain Basedyharris

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Published by Yvette Harris
This is a very good book about brain-based learning.
This is a very good book about brain-based learning.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Yvette Harris on Apr 08, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 Published Date: 2010By: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)http://www.ascd.org ASCD NO 110018 ISBN NO 978-1-4166-0918-6Also attached: Free online resource from ASCDDecember 2009/January 2010 | Volume 67 | Number 4Health and Learning How to Teach Students About the Brainby Judy Willis http://shop.ascd.org/infocon/  
Brain-based teaching
 Brain-based teaching in the digital age, is about the changing brain in response to the changesbrought about by the high-tech information age we live. Teachers must be experts on the organ
that they teach, the brain. This doesn’t mean they have to know a lot about brain biology. New
information about the brain can have a profound effect on the classroom if teachers are aware of it.At birth the brain weighs only about one pound and it contains an astronomical number of brain cells called neurons. A person is born with about 100 billion neutrons but they are so smallabout 30,000 of these will fit on the head of a pin. Over the last few years, scientists haverealized that the brain continuously goes through a process of cell regeneration calledneurogenesis.The brain was once thought to be unable to produce new neurons, but that has been provenfalse. This new discovery suggests the promising possibility of replacing neurons that have beendamaged or destroyed. Neurons are the cells that do the communicating in the brain. Eachneuron can communicate with many others; in fact, every neuron may have 100,000 connections.The neurons send messages to one another in a specific way to allow you to do all the things thatyou must get done. They take in information and cause the responses to that information.
The reticular activating system (RAS) is a busy filter. The RAS is the brain’s first filter 
located in the area of the brain associated with survival activities. It scans the outside world fordanger and determines which information is allowed to enter the brain. The brain is programmedto forget and the RAS filters out about 99 percent of the incoming information. This selectivityusually allows us to focus and keep our sanity. Brain research over the past 20 years indicatesnotable changes in this part of the brain.
This doesn’t surprise me and this helps me to understand the younger generations better, theyare so busy all the time it seems to me. They just don’t seem to have much peace inside of them,
at least those who have all the new tech toys. The RAS has changed because of overexposure.Because of the increase in the number and pace of messages, the RAS scans more quickly andexpects more information. You might, as a teacher, notice this when you are teaching tostudents, their engagement may be brief, as new stimuli are discovered by the RAS. Most
teachers are “performing” in the classroom or putting on a “dog and pony show” to get the
students attention.Digital dopamine refers to the brain releasing dopamine (feeling of pleasure) when studentswho love technology use their digital devices and activities. The brain also craves novelty,excitement, and innovation, it naturally turns to things that are new and different - technologyoffers much of this kind of stimulation. This same feeling of pleasure needs to be flowing whenthey are learning. Movement alone encourages the release of dopamine and this can be includedin some activities. Teachers can include both low-tech and high-tech activities in the lessons toencourage pleasurable experiences.Texting, emailing, and instant messaging call for a new kind of language and the morestudents are actively involved with the new technology the more their brains are changing. Thislanguage is an abbreviated form of verbal communication. Like the author, this new languageoriginally horrified me as a teacher and parent.Example:
R U reading this? If you are, TIA. If you aren’t, OMG! Get a life!
Brain-based teaching
 Are you reading this? If you are,
thanks in advance. If you aren’t, oh my gosh (god)! Get a life!
 The frontal lobes are the last to develop as the brain grows. They perform executive functionssuch as abstract thinking, future planning, and decision making. They also are involved in oursocial interactions. To the surprise of some researchers, playing video games does not activatethe frontal lobe. Even games that are more complex tend to stimulate the visual and motorfunctions in the brain, not the frontal lobes. Researchers have found that doing ordinary additionproblems activated many more brain areas, including the frontal lobe.
Student’s attention is affected by things like waiting for one of their friends to text them back,and they never text back, or “I wonder if my friend
saw me online?”
All these things may cause stress and affect the attention of the student. To only use computersin isolation without emotional warmth limits language development. The lack of physicalexercise affects brain growth and stimulation and there are more incidences of depression bystudents who live in a more isolated world.The author calls those who are new to texting, e-
mailing, instant messaging, and blogging “thedigital immigrants” versus “the digital natives”, those who have been rais
ed with technology.Social emotional intelligence is built through face-to-face encounters and is nearly impossible tolearn through digital technology. Webcams and Skype, for example, can provide some fact timebut body language and gestures are sometimes lost in these high-tech interactions. A lack of social skills can be a side-effect of too much time spent with technology.Net Gen students are not interested in storing information in their brains and they prefer to usetheir digital devices for storage. Many have fallen victim to this preference. You can programphone numbers into your phone and then you forget that phone number. The students know howquickly they can access information when they need it. The state assessments do not allow themto use their digital devices.Emotional memory is like a filing cabinet filled with files containing all sorts of experiences thatmade you happy or sad or experience any other feeling s you can name. A key point aboutemotional memory is that it takes precedence over any other kind of memory. The brainALWAYS gives priority to your emotions. Stress response can create all sorts of havoc. The
release of the stress hormone “cortisol” may cause interrupted transmission of information in
your brain and make it impossible to think clearly. All of the memory systems could be blockedby these unwanted an
d sometimes dangerous chemicals. These can take over a “logical” mind.
In summary, the brain has evolved because of the digital technology it has been exposed to sincebirth. Is this good or bad? It is what it is - as teachers, both low tech and high tech curriculumare important in the classroom and technology by itself creates a creature that lacks social skillsand emotional intelligence.

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