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Posts Tagged ‘cognition

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I cannot remember the last time I read a textbook about how we think we think. So this video by Veritasium was a good reminder of how working memory and long-term memory operate.

I like how YouTuber, Derek Muller, role-played Drew (working memory) and Gunn (long-term memory). But the video went further than just explaining these two concepts. It highlighted how we become lazy thinkers and hinted at how we might start thinking more actively, i.e., by forcibly putting things into working memory.

The best bit of the video was how strategically making things more difficult was optimal for learning. I have highlighted this in the video segment above.

Muller described how lectures relied on coasting and lazy thinking (if any at all) while more active learning designs like workshops made students process questions.

Active learning is like exercise: Most people do not really like to work, but the same folks will appreciate how the effort pays off.

That is one more reason to blog every day. It helps me stay fit and sharp by dredging up what I think I know, laying it bare, and keeping only what is current or relevant.

Bonus: I have already thought of ways I can use this video in two different workshops I conduct. The first is as a primer for setting the expectation that questions drive learning, not answers. The other is for instructors who have not been weaned off lecturing. There will be so much dissonance!

Rick and Morty is an animated series that is waiting for its third season.

It is not for the faint-hearted because it makes you laugh from openings you might not realise you have. It can be rude and crude, but -oh-so intelligent.

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So it should come as little surprise that it is possible to use Rick and Morty to illustrate human cognition, confirmation bias, and how correlation is not the same as causation.

This just goes to show how just about anything can be used to teach anything else. The key is an educator who can think both creatively and critically.

This LifeHacker article advises that you not tag Evernote posts because tagging disrupts workflow, particularly for creative thinking. However, this argument is flawed in more ways than one.

One assumption is that tagging happens during the processes of creative work. This not only adds to cognitive load, it also is a distraction. However, it does not consider tagging only at the end of the process. This is like doing a summary reflection as part of a disciplined process.

Tagging at the end also attempts to capture the essence or concepts of a process or a learning experience. In cognitive terms, this adds to mental schema. We tend not to remember details; we prefer broad concepts when faced with overwhelming information. The tags aid recall of details by first activating broad concepts.

Creative thinking is not just a result random inspiration. It can be part of a disciplined process. Inspiration can strike when people have a disciplined routine that helps the mind relax and make seemingly serendipitous connections. These activities might take the form of runs, meditation, doodling, blogging, or a host of other regularly scheduled activities.

I tag constantly. I tag my daily blog entries, Diigo bookmarks, Evernote items, and files on my Mac. This not only helps with recall, it also helps me make connections between seemingly disparate concepts. If this is not creative thinking, I do not know what is.

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