Friday, June 27, 2008

Memory and Learning

We spend a lot time as educator helping people learn. What we are really trying to get them to do is remember stuff. Remember to turn in their assignments, remember the times tables, remember to put their name on their paper, and even more important things. We focus our efforts on pedagogy, effective strategies, best practices and enriching learning experiences. I have often said (with full credit to Dr. Harry Wong whom I am paraphrasing) that educators are doing brain surgery without scalpels.

Recent developments in the field of epigenetics actually confirm this and give worthwhile insights to good teaching practices. In Scientific American Mind June/July 2008 an article entitled Unmasking Memory Genes by Amir Levine details recent research that points to external events changing the expression of genes and altering Memory abilities. Various studies in mice and sea slugs show that certain chemicals and environments can actually stimulate the memory. Enriching, interesting and novel environments for mice with memory disorders allowed them to improve their ability to remember (especially negative events such as being shocked)

Fascinating article and it encouraged me to think about the type of environment I am building with and for learners.

Preview the article here

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More about the right to publicity

You can check out a great broadcast from NPR regarding email. One of the people expresses the attitude I was kind of mentioning yesterday. He says he tries to live his whole life so that if everything went public it wouldn't embarrass him. Pretty good rule to live by. Check it out here:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Right to Publicity

I have been thinking a lot lately about our right to privacy. I had a student very upset with me that I was remotely controlling his computer with software and blocking sites and applications that he wasn't allowed to use in my class. He told me I was violating his right to privacy. I explained that I was only doing my federally mandated job of keeping kids safe on the internet.

But I also find that many people today want to be able to post anything and everything about themselves online. The population I have been recently working with seem to feel it is a right to put anything about themselves they want to on the internet without considering whether a future employer will look at it or whether they are showing themselves involved in risky/inappropriate behavior.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The days are going by. I am in my 3rd week at UEN and feel pretty good. I have been working on iMovie and will post my first attempts later this week. I will have to create a YouTube and a TeacherTube account to do it which should be interesting. I have also been updating my.uen page. You can check on it at

Also, I have started being a mass transported commuter. Riding UTA has been a new experience for me but is all in all good. I will save quite a chunk of change because I don't have to pay for gas. I would like to see more options for energy efficient transportation. Watching a big F350 chugging it's way down the freeway with one person in it is still appalling to me. I know there are some people and some times a big, powerful truck are necessary, but there are a lot of people who commute with them and it's a little crazy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Utah Career and Technical Educations Summer Conference

I presented at the CTE Summer Conference for Technology and Engineering. I did two sessions one on Multimedia Portfolios and another on the Town of Kerfuffle Simulated Town Meeting I have done in my class for the last few years. Check out my.uen page for more of the details.

Welcome to Jorgie Learning

I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!

Visit some of my other blogs or the other blogs I find mildly entertaining for a more polished feel.