For Immediate Release: June 26, 2011
Neuroscientist and Best-Selling Author Dr. John J. Medina at ISTE 2011 Explores How Physiological Factors of the Brain Embrace and Shape Student Potential
PHILADELPHIA—Brain researcher and bestselling author Dr. John J. Medina, delivered the opening keynote address for an overflow crowd of more than 6,000 educators at ISTE 2011. The five-day conference for educators is being held June 25 through 30 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
Medina’s presentation, “Brain Rules for Education,” focused on physiological and cognitive structures of the brain and their role in unlocking the potential for learning and teaching. “Every brain is wired differently from every other brain,” Medina said, “and learns in ways unique to that wiring.”
He noted that current learning environments are directly opposed to the best function of the brain, which operates at peak efficiency when “made to solve problems related to survival in an outdoor setting in constant motion in unstable weather.” Sitting in classrooms all day does not encourage optimal brain performance.
Medina shared his “theory of mind” and how it applies to teaching. “If you can penetrate inside someone’s psychological interior, you will know when you’ve bewildered or inspired them.”
If teachers have the ability to recognize gaps in student knowledge then they can develop lessons that address it. Medina’s presentation offered provocative ideas about how the brain sciences might influence the way we educate children and how we use technology today and into the future.
ISTE president Holly Jobe underscored the idea that educators “need to tap into the interests of the students. Many educators today teach the way they were taught,” she continued. “But we are obligated to change our classroom practices and meet students in their world.”
Both presenters challenged the audience to rethink how our children learn and how the education system must transform if we are to truly unlock every learner’s potential.
To view the Sunday keynote presentations, visit ISTE’s YouTube channel.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. www.iste.org
Marlene Nesary, ISTE, firstname.lastname@example.org, (541) 302-3789, cell (541) 912-0428