Thursday, June 09, 2005

OTTL 2005: "Balanced Brain Thinking in a Left-Brain World"

My notes on another Our Turn to Learn 2005 (OTTL) keynote presentation by Brain Thwaits.

  • Psychologists say the average person's attention span is around 20 minutes.
  • The Curve of Forgetting. Most information is lost in the first hour (more than 50%!)
  • We have known since 1885 (?) that passive learning (students are sponges to be filled with intructor's knowledge) is not effective but we have not done anything about it!
  • The Curve of Remembering. Reinforce learning the day after, a week after, a month after...
  • Teachers commonly tell you what to learn (ie. "read chapter 3") not how to learn. It's something we just develop on our own.
  • Our brains are much better than computers (yay!). There are virtually an unlimited number of connections and patterns of thought.
  • Intelligence located throughout body, not just the brain.
  • The Book of Genius top 10 geniuses - all men, all white.
  • Brian's own Top 10 female geniuses - Oprah is #1.
  • Tips:
    1. Organization - chunking, tripping, turning into "resume format"
    2. Imagination - colour coding, using colour markers, diagramming relations, indicating questions. As adults we have a discomfort to using our imaginations in this fashion ("what are we in kindergarten?")
  • Essentials for success: communication, problem-solving, ability to prioritize, work ethic, knowing how to learn.
  • Dale's Cone of Learning (Edgar Dale). Also used by the advertising industry.

    We remember:
    • 10% of what we read.
    • 20% of what we hear.
    • 30% of what we see.
    • 50% of what we hear and see.
    • 70% of what we say (peer tutoring may benefit the teacher more!)
    • 90% of what we say and do.

      Passive learning is BAD!
  • Chinese proverb:
    I hear... and I forget,
    I see... and I remember,
    I do... and I understand.
  • Chunking - making lists, teamwork, "straining" information, choosing key words. Breaking paragraphs into sentences into words into letters, developing mnenomics, pictures. Example: learning the treble clef (EGBDF - Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge!).
  • Balancing left-brain and right-brain. How did we learn the alphabet? The alphabet song (invented by Mozart)! Why not do the same with the multiplication table?
  • Mind-mapping, developing trees. Topics > Ideas > Detail > Examples, Mnemonics, Explanations
  • Earlier grades more fun, but less so as we progress through the educational system. Increases in left-brain activities, teaching methods.
  • How to learn like Einstein did:
    • Consider everything from all angles
    • Visualize thoughts
    • Produce (brainstorming)
    • Combinations
    • Think in opposites
    • Force relationships
    • Prepare for chance. "Chance favours the prepared mind" -- Louis Pasteur.


At 3:53 a.m., Blogger charmayne paul said...

Hi there, whens the next post? That was a great read. Have you started another blog somewhere? I'd like to link yours to mine for the benefit of the students etc who visit.

Charmayne Paul

v-_- pax


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