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Education, an Internet Connection and Autotelic Learning

Sugata Mitra desribes this as an example of a self-organizing system, but a more concrete way to look at it is using technology, collaborative grouping and small doses of emotional-social reinforcement to facilitate autotelicism in students. The key cognitive info is between a third to two-thirds of the way into the video:

The social component ( both student groups and the “granny cloud” of remote adult facilitators) is not a mere frill. Children, like adults, are not Vulcans The neuronal connections related to learning content information tend to be strengthened by emotional and contextual associations.


More here from Stowe Boyd on the counterintuitive results of brain research about learning.

6 Responses to “Education, an Internet Connection and Autotelic Learning”

  1. onparkstreet Says:

    I’ve got to dig up the link about reading novels and neuronal connections that I read somewhere….either in the NYT or Arts and Letters Daily or something.
    – Madhu

  2. onparkstreet Says:

    Here it is:
    "To help answer this question I called Maryanne Wolf, a professor of child development at Tufts University and the author of “Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.” I described my “Perjury” problem — I was interested in the subject and engrossed in the book for days, but now remember nothing about it — and asked her if reading it had ultimately had any effect on me. “I totally believe that you are a different person for having read that book,” Wolf replied. “I say that as a neuroscientist and an old literature major.” She went on to describe how reading creates pathways in the brain, strengthening different mental processes. Then she talked about content."

  3. zen Says:

    Hi  Doc Madhu,
    That sounds like a good book, perhaps with an ev psych spin to it? Schools badly need neuroscientific input on reading as the pedagogy ( and the law under NCLB) attempt to force all children into the same method of learning to read without regard to their developmental differences or their differing aptitudes for subset skills that make up "reading" ( it seems to be a decentralized set of skills in different brain regions with secondary compensatory areas to boot).

  4. J. Scott Says:

    "She went on to describe how reading creates pathways in the brain, strengthening different mental processes."—-That makes sense; particularly relevant when reading something from one discipline triggers a memory from reading a topic in another—I’m guessing this synthesis is the result of "pathway creation."

  5. Larry Dunbar Says:

    That "Perjury" story really was amazing. I can’t imagine someone reading a book and not remember what it is about after reading it. I understand about creating pathways and such, but come-on, not remembering it after reading it? Granted, a student should expose his or her self to the topic 3 times (reading, questions and answers, and lectures) during the length of the class of study to retain much of what is taught, but if one is truly interested in something, like the author was about Hess, the author should have remembered something after reading.This must be why engineering students make the best terrorist. Only someone who has to remember what they read, unless they are heavily Oriented towards automated movement between Decision and Action, can maintain the target as an image long enough to bring the Act to completion upon Observation. 

  6. Larry Dunbar Says:

    So, what these pathways are doing is Orienting you to automatic respond. The author was a non-thinker. *The pathways are building force across a gap in the pathway between decision and action, not a horizontal area of potential energy to be observed and acted on. The author was a linear thinker who is programing in future quick responses, not building a picture, image or vision of those responses. *As a guitar player, this person would have a well developed right hand, belting out wavelengths, but may falter on hitting the correct spatially placed frets. *Then again,who cares if the notes are wrong, when the rhythm is right? *A Qual who is able to hit the correct fret?

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