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October 15, 2011

Brain Rules

by Randy Ziegenfuss

This past July, ESL Teacher, Mrs. Teresa Cross, attended the 2011 International Society for Technology in Education Conference (ISTE 2011) in Philadelphia. Throughout the next several months, Mrs. Cross will be sharing some of what she learned. In this post, she shares information from the opening keynote with Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules.

On Sunday, June 26th Dr. John Medina delivered the opening keynote address to thousands of educators at ISTE 2011.

Dr. John J. Medina is an author and developmental molecular biologist.  He wrote the New York Times bestseller Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. Dr. Median occasionally blogs at Brain Rules. During the keynote, Dr. Medina shared his perspective on how different physiological factors of the human brain embrace and shape student potential.  The entire keynote is available for viewing online.

Brain Rules for Education

  • Dr. Medina stated that human brains are designed to solve problems related to surviving while moving. He declared that it is a myth that we only use 10% of our brains.  There are built in gadgets of memory in the brain that work together, and it is the cross talk that makes them work.
  • Key point – memory is not fixed at the moment of learning. It is repetition that provides the fixture.
  • Because of how subjects are typically presented, homework is not review. Homework is actually new learning based on the fact that the content learned earlier is long gone.
  • Dr. Medina stated, “every brain is wired differently from every other brain and learns in ways unique to that wiring.”

Short-term memory: Repeat to remember

  • The brain can hold seven pieces of declarative information for 30 seconds, after which time the information will be forgotten.
  • If the information is repeated within 30 seconds, it will go into working memory for two hours.
  • If the information is repeated within two hours, it will go into long-term memory.
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