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Informative Videos From and About Excellent and Innovative Educators!



Remake Your Class: Planning for a Collaborative Learning Environment

Edutopia follows a determined teacher at Roosevelt Middle School in San Francisco as he transforms his crowded classroom space to enable deeper learning.

Collaboration Strategies in the Classroom

“This video explores the concept of collaboration, both ideologically and strategically. It provides some observations of the way a teacher may integrate collaboration into the classroom.” “The new 21st Century set of Literacies … and it looks a lot different than the model that most of us were raised on”.

Why use Active Learning?

In this brief but informative video, University of Michigan Professor Noel Perkins makes a quick for effective case for transitioning to Active Learning. He makes the statement, “now … I teach more and lecture less”, and I think that says it all!

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Flipped my Class

In this video, John Sowash, who has been writing and sharing his flipped classroom experiences for years, discusses the five things he wishes someone had told him before he flipped his class. Very helpful insights for those just getting started with flipped teaching and learning.

Whole Brain Teaching

This is fun to watch – what teacher doesn’t enjoy seeing young students fully engaged in their learning! The big question for me is how to adopt these techniques to older students. Group activities certainly lend themselves to that, but the idea of incorporating more movement into the learning process would generally come across as rather odd and perhaps immature, but the reality of it is that it helps us learn!



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Early Brain Development and Gaming: A New Study on Neurogenesis and Brain Connectivity

Could a recent study by neuroscientist Simone Kühn reveal new ways of stimulating early brain development as well as a cure for the aging brain in later life? A study conducted at Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine in Berlin unveils the latest findings for video gaming.

Recent advances in science have been able to provide a better insight into how our brains develop from birth, allowing researchers to identify the most influential factors of early brain development. We now understand that a number of factors (including nutritional, emotional and intellectual factors) can all shape the very profile of a child’s future.


Now a new study has revealed that neurogenesis, which is the vital growth of new neurons, can actually be activated by video games. It’s no mystery that educational gaming can help a child’s mind develop but the recent study formed by neuroscientists at Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, now unveils exactly how this works.


How the Early Brain Works

As the most unformed organ in a newborn baby, a child’s early life experiences, along with his/her diet, medical care and early life education can make a tremendous difference to success and happiness in later life. The brain – although primarily formed by genetics – has a malleability which lends itself to adaptation and development. And because of this, the importance of early life education and stimulation is more crucial than ever.

Video games can help to stimulate the connectivity in various brain regions, and early life video gaming can actually help to improve memory formation, motor skills, spatial coordination, and strategic projection.

Neurogenesis and Brain Volume

Not only does the study by Simone Kühn of Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine show us that brain connectivity can be dramatically improved by gaming but the recent Berlin study (titled ‘Playing Super Mario Induces Structural Brain Plasticity: Gray Matter Changes Resulting from Training with a Commercial Video Game’) also shows that the use of video games from a young age can also increase neurogenesis, which is the very important process of growing new neurons in the brain.

As a result, the size of a child’s brain can be directly linked to early life stimulation such as video games and education. The results of this study can also be applied to explore the subject of brain plasticity and cognitive aging.

Benefits of Video Gaming and the Brain

So now we understand the importance of embracing the application of gaming technology into a child’s early development. But what about the use of video games in other stages of life or for other medical benefits? For instance, the study also poses the possibility of using gaming to help alleviate the symptoms of psychiatric problems such as the downturn of cognitive aging; dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ALS or other neurodegenerative diseases. The benefits of gaming not only boost early life brain development – but they could extend to decelerating the degenerative span of the brain in mature life.

Additionally, study leader Simone Kühn believes that other mental health problems could benefit from video gaming. The use of video games could be used as a therapy tool, one which can tackle various mental disorders including schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress and even depression.

Video games for improving mental brain function for the elderly have already being trialled at the University of California by cognitive neuroscience research leader, Dr. Adam Gazzaley. A full journal was released in September 2013 by Dr. Adam Gazzaley and his research team.

The possibilities for video games and brain development are clearly something we’re only just beginning to comprehend.

*Creative Commons licensed image source.

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The Zombie Sheriff – A Teaching and Learning Love Story

February 22, 2015

Collaborating with Students, a Teacher Publishes a Novel and Everyone Learns Along the way My first passion has always been teaching students to think in new ways and to try different things, but I’ve never been able to shake a close second, creative writing. I’ve always somehow found time to write during my teaching career […]

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Education Technology Thought Leader Interview – D2L Founder & CEO John Baker

February 15, 2015

D2L is a recognized innovator in the Learning Management System market space, regularly incorporating emerging technologies in their flagship LMS, recently renamed “Brightspace“. In this interview, D2L’s CEO John Baker, who has provided visionary leadership since he founded the company in 1999, shares examples of many ways that teachers and schools are leveraging advanced functionality […]

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Digital Learning and Teaching Tweet Wrap for Week Ending 02-14-15

February 14, 2015

Inspiring, informative, useful, or just plain fun tweets about education and instructional technology articles, resources, etc. (Originally posted on Twitter by @EmergingEdTech over this past week … collected here to share with our blog readers). This week’s Tweet Wrap features some interesting activities to encourage self-directed learning, some different ‘flipped’ model to get you thinking […]

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10 Resources for Lessons on Abraham Lincoln

February 11, 2015

With Honest Abe’s Birthday Upon us, are you Taking Time to Teach About his Legacy? I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Abe Lincoln. His story and deeds have affected me deeply since I was a child. In hopes that teachers across the U.S. and the world at large might grasp the […]

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February APP ED REVIEW Roundup – ELA Apps

February 10, 2015

This Month – English Language Arts Apps (and big Changes Coming from App Ed Review) We are excited to announce that App Ed Review is undergoing some big changes! We are transitioning from being an app review website into a comprehensive support network for teachers who are or who want to use apps with their […]

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Education Technology Integration – You’re Doing it Wrong

February 8, 2015

Knowing What NOT to do can be as Valuable as Knowing What TO do Do you want to really get the most out of using technology in your classroom and courses? Or maybe you’re new or still in the early stages of adoption and want get ahead of the game by learning what NOT to […]

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Instructional and Education Technology Tweet Wrap for Week Ending 02-07-15

February 7, 2015

Inspiring, informative, useful, or just plain fun tweets about education and instructional technology articles, resources, etc. (Originally posted on Twitter by @EmergingEdTech over this past week … collected here to share with our blog readers). This week’s Tweet Wrap features great pieces from many of #EdTech’s “Rock Stars”, including 60 Videos of Practical Ed Tech […]

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The Importance of Teaching ‘Traditional’ Typing Skills in 2015

February 5, 2015

Even as technology continues to move forward, schools are discovering the value of looking backwards to older instructional methods that help teach students how to make the most of digital resources. In the 21st century, where “bring your own device” and computer-based learning are common themes in education, many students are already familiar with using […]

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