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Learning for the adult brain, 10.11.2020

We used to think that everyone could teach. That if someone is a good professional and expert in her field, she will be a good instructor, teacher, or mentor. And that she will easily transfer her knowledge to others. This view is far from reality and harms. Every time there are new (and not that new) teachers and educators who get into this trap. Teaching is a profession that should be mastered like any other one. At this talk, we will try to answer the following questions. What are the main challenges while teaching adults? How to take into account our cognitive abilities and brain’s behavior while designing a learning experience for your students? How and when does it better to use the ed-tech tools to leverage the study process?

This talk was delivered at Engageducate conference from Softserve University

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Learning for the adult brain, 10.11.2020

  1. 1. Learning for the adult brain Oleksii Molchanovskyi Ukrainian Catholic University #ENGAGEDUCATE November 10, 2020
  2. 2. About myself ● Academic Program Director of MSc in Data Science at the Ukrainian Catholic University ● Teach a course on Algorithms and Data Structures at UCU ● Co-founder of the Ukrainian MOOC platform Prometheus ● Interests: ○ Higher education ○ Artificial Intelligence ○ Brain studies ● Technoskeptic
  3. 3. What is the main difference between human and modern artificial intelligence?
  4. 4. Context is the king Based on Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust
  5. 5. What is the difference between child and adult brain?
  6. 6. “The adult brain does not function like an audio or video recorder… The brain is suffused with a vast number of networks through which it sorts out all incoming information. Any information already stored influences how and what we understand and eventually learn. Your brain tries to make connections.” Source: Active Training: A Handbook of Techniques, Designs, Case Examples, and Tips. 4th edition
  7. 7. If the brain could talk, it would say things like: ● Where does this information fit? ● Does it confirm what I already know? ● Does it challenge what I already know? Source: Active Training: A Handbook of Techniques, Designs, Case Examples, and Tips. 4th edition
  8. 8. The traditional stand and delivery approach is brain antagonistic. The brain is not very good at absorbing countless bits of factual information -- Eric Jensen. Brain-Based Learning
  9. 9. Can neuroscience help?
  10. 10. Jeff Hawkins Numenta
  11. 11. Neocortex homogeneity ● All areas of the neocortex look the same because they perform the same basic function Source: Jeff Hawkins Human Brain Project Summit Keynote: "Location, Location, Location - A Framework for Intelligence and Cortical Computation"
  12. 12. Neocortex homogeneity ● All areas of the neocortex look the same because they perform the same basic function ● What makes one region visual and another auditory is what it is connected to ● The main conclusion: a brain stores, seeks, and reveals information in sequences
  13. 13. Source: grahamfink.com
  14. 14. What are the possible outcomes for teaching and training?
  15. 15. 1. Do not split the sequences
  16. 16. 2. Storytelling is important
  17. 17. 3. Tell your students about this knowledge
  18. 18. The enlargement consists, not merely in the passive reception into the mind of a number of ideas hitherto unknown to it, but in the mindss energetic and simultaneous action upon and towards and among those new ideas, which are rushing in upon it. -- John Henry Newman. Idea of University
  19. 19. It’s not what you give them; it’s what they take away that counts. -- Mel Silberman
  20. 20. Confucius triad ● What I hear, I forget ● What I see, I remember ● What I do, I understand
  21. 21. Active training extension by Mel Silberman ● When I only hear, I forget ● When I hear and see, I remember a little ● When I hear, see, ask questions, and discuss, I begin to understand ● When I hear, see, question, discuss, and do, I acquire knowledge and skill ● When I teach someone, I master what I have learned Source: Active Training: A Handbook of Techniques, Designs, Case Examples, and Tips. 4th edition
  22. 22. The act of learning begins with a question
  23. 23. Encourage your students to ask questions
  24. 24. Do you able to design your class so that the students teach each other? What will you introduce to your class so that the students teach each other?
  25. 25. Technology is not the solution... ...it’s only a tiny part of it. ● When you master the active training principles, you will not need a specific tool to use active training in your classes ● Active training is not about tools but about teacher/instructor mindset
  26. 26. If you want to become technoskeptic too... at least in education, try this website: hackeducation.com
  27. 27. my steps for How to design a good class?
  28. 28. 1. Know your audience their goals and interests, previous background
  29. 29. 2. Clarify your learning outcomes what will the students take away from your classes?
  30. 30. 3. Design your lesson on a minute scale introduce breaks, questions, discussions
  31. 31. 4. Pay attention to the timing polish your lesson plan
  32. 32. 5. Gather feedbacks oral or written
  33. 33. Resume ● Context is the king ● Sequential nature of the human brain ○ Do not split the sequence ● “It’s not what you give them; it’s what they take away that counts” ○ Give them less but more ● The act of learning begins with a question ○ Stimulate the students to answer and discuss your questions ○ Encourage them to ask their questions ● Technology is not the solution
  34. 34. Thank you! olexiim@ucu.edu.ua

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