Book of the Week – Brain Based Teaching in the Digital Age

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Happy Friday!  With the end of a crazy week full of meetings and software training (in my case ASCD, technology hardware standards and Promethean ActivInspire training) I thought it might be time for a Book of the Week post.  On Monday morning at ASCD in San Antonio I had the opportunity to attend Marilee Sprenger’s session on “The Digital Brain.”  I left with my head hurting, but in a good way.  First and foremost, I have to embarrassingly admit that I have limited knowledge on brain-based teaching research.  Reflecting on my credential program I can’t believe the professors did not spend more time talking about learning and brain function.  It just seems sort of intuitive.

After leaving Sprenger’s session on Monday, I picked up her new book, Brain-Based Teaching in the Digital Age, in the ASCD bookstore and proceeded to read the first half on the flight home.  So far I’m pretty impressed.  The book is broken down into the following sections. :

  • Part 1: Digital Technology & the Brain
  • Part 2: Desk Space, MySpace, My Style
  • Part 3: Music, Mind Maps, and Memory
  • Part 4: Balancing Digital Desires with Digital Natives’ Needs

In each section Sprenger references current brain research and proven instructional strategies and mixes these ideas with what we know about digital natives’ use of technology for learning and entertainment.  So far, the book has me thinking a little more deeply about how I would organize my classroom and which tools (digital or analog) make the most sense for teaching a particular instructional goal.  If you’re looking for some reading on brain-based teaching and working with digital students I would definitely recommend picking up Sprenger’s book.  The Introduction is posted online on the ASCD website, as well as a study guide should you be interested in using it for a book study.

Joe

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