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Teaching the Brain

I wanted to share a couple videos in this newsletter in which experts explore ideas about brain development. There are two names I’ve come across that may soon have a big impact on education, if they don’t already.
Nicholas Carr has arguably (emphasis on “arguably”) become the expert on our tech-savvy world’s impact on the human brain, most notably with his article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?" and his recent book, The Shallows.
Here is Carr talking with Google’s Peter Norvig, Director of Research.

For an entertaining, shorter alternative, this is Carr on The Colbert Report, where Steven is able to articulate some reasonable counterarguments hidden by humor. 

Daniel Willingham is a professor at the University of Virginia, and his recent book, Why Don’t Students Like School?, analyzes brain function in the classroom. In this video (access the link by clicking this publicity photo), Willingham discusses the student brain and multitasking. 

How much should cognitive research influence our pedagogy? How do we achieve balance in teaching students to use technology? Is this the place for a Facebook joke? Too soon? Are kids stuck in the shallows of thought as a result of internet dependency, and if so, what do we do about it? Or, are these guys completely wrong? Comment below!

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