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Brain Behavior Institute 2008 - Session 4




The Web as an Educational Tool,
and Incentive for "Getting It Less Wrong"


The promise and possibilities

Mining the Web

Web Authoring

General Assignment

During the rest of the institute, use afternoons to learn/discover/think about something you have been/are becoming interested in and develop a new inquiry-based ("open-ended, transactional") lesson that you will use in your classes next year. Use the web to learn/discover/think and develop a web resource that you (and others) can use in relation to your new class lesson. "The point is that thinking, and being able to think, is the only way to make anything BETTER than it is, and sure there's a risk in that but its a hell of a lot better then sitting in one place and trying to hold everything together, particularly when it isn't really quite what you want and you know damned well that its all going to come apart one way or another anyhow. Thinking IS fun ..." This Isn't Just MY Problem, Friend Find something you think is fun. Play with it, learn about it, create a frame of words/ideas/questions around it, so your students will think it is fun too. And learn from it. As you do.

Have fun. So you can help your students have fun too. Everybody will be happier ... and learn more.


Today's Assignment

Create an introduction to yourself on your "blog" page. Do some surfing, add to your blog page links that you think are interesting, may help in developing your lesson.

Try making something simple with Scratch. Can you develop it so that it that seems ... alive? surprising? .... interesting? ... a good open-ended transactional learning experience?

Institute Assignment Update

1. Have fun discovering/creating new ways to think about things, in education and life.

2. Get used to using/updating your blog.

3. Put in blog a summer project, ideally but not necessarily something you can use in your classroom next year and/or something useful to other teachers.

4. Put in your blog some thoughts about what you will do differently in your classroom next year.

5. Update blog during the year.


Bernadine Dancy's picture

The Blog

I am excited about making my own blog, this is a first for me. I know I will use the information from my blog in my classroom. Also searching the web I found some other children sites Iam anxious to try.
joycetheriot's picture

Classroom Management & Modeling connects to Teen Brain

I’ve been reading articles all afternoon that correlate classroom management techniques to Teen Brain behavior. Actually I copied most and put them on my jump drive so I can read them tonight with greater focus. This seems to be a closer alignment to my search for methods to facilitate increased participation of my 9th grade students. I am extremely interested in techniques to generate self-confidence, curiosity and good problem-solving skills. I want my students to be excited by their discovery of their skills and ability, not necessarily a joy for science. I’ll be deepening this study as the course continues!

Judith Lucas-Odom's picture

Web Thing

I felt more comfortable using the web today! I enjoyed the refresher in using serendip! I need a refresher on using HTML! Surfing the web was more relaxing. I do like how everyone is sharing their brain matter! Kudos to all of us!
cisrael's picture


Creating one's own simulations is quite challenging. It is a good reminder of how it feels to be a student struggling with a new concept. I am trying to figure out if a tool like SCRATCH has usesfulness for high school kids, but to do so I have to spend some time figuring out its capabilities. I think that there is no question that the web contains trememdous potential for our students and for ourselves as a source of good learning, but it also contains tremendous potential as a source of misinformation and distraction. As we said earlier in the institute, not all data is created equal (e.g. Wikipedia)

Blogs and wikis, I think, are terrific tools. Our students are so used to get their information electronically, it's as if they expect that to be the only way to get it and to share it. We don't have to buy into the notion that electronic communication is the only type of worthwhile communication, but we should recognize its value, and use it. Our audience recognizes its value and is eager to use it.

Which makes me think that one of the most important things we need to teach our students is critical thinking vis a vis electronic resources; i.e. how to evaluate the information they get electronically. We need to be careful to do the same thing.

Babtunde A Oronti's picture

Excellent tool provided...................

We have at one time or the other heard of sad stories of people, especially young folks who have been preyed upon just because some infidels got access to them or their personal information over the web. In some of the stories this have proved fatal.

I just want to say that the web is a good tool however it can be dangerously regrettable to just let our kids or even anybody loose on them without any check.

It's just like anythiing we use without control or limitations. Atomic energy can be harnessed for use in weapons of "mass destruction" and "mass construction". It depends on how the brain of the individual in question is functioning at that point in time.

My point is that the web is good because it gives us an easy and very economic way of getting information and solving life's difficult problems, however if not properly handled it can also complicate matters and make life more unbearable compared to the experiences we had in the past before the advent of computer technology.

GMH's picture

Making a blog is a lot

Making a blog is a lot easier than I had thought. It seems a good way to share information with collegues. SCATCH looks like a lot of fun to create games for students.
cynthia's picture


Kids need to do something to learn,i.e.tying your shoe.With practice this skill is learned.How much more with science.Webpages can be helpful to the learning process and teaching.Interactive software appears to be more effective.I'm going to try to create an interactive website.

joycetheriot's picture

Open Web Use

In K-12 Public schools you can't ever expect open use of the web. Children may reveal information that puts them in danger, they may watch inappropriate material and they might pick up viruses and worms that are destructive to the hardware. Unblocked computers at the very least can slow or stop computers from frivolous downloads and then we are at the mercy of the technologist’s schedule.

Bottom line: We live in a litigious society; teachers can lose their jobs if children are endangered by use of an unblocked Internet.


cynthia's picture

brain and behavior

I wouid like to know more about neurotransmitters.

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