Brain & Learning Blog

The Pursuit of Happiness Begins in the Brain (3/25/2017)- Are you happy? Don’t overthink your answer, don’t parse it into happiness in some parts of your life but not others, happy about certain things and not others. These mental gymnastics are clever ways to avoid the central question – are you happy?
Celebrating Brain Awareness Every Day (3/17/2017)- When I started my consulting business more than a decade ago, I was energized by the research papers I was reading from the new discipline of neuroscience and stunned to learn that most teachers and trainers had never even heard the word, let alone started to incorporate these findings into their practice.
Make Your Own Animated Characters and Comic Strips (3/14/2017)- In my workshops I often talk about the power of story to draw the learner into the role of a character, seeing things through his or her eyes.
My Science Manifesto – We’re All Science Workers (3/8/2017)- Last week a colleague of mine gave me some pointed feedback that set me back a bit. “I’m not following you for your political beliefs,” she said. My initial reaction was to deny that I was making any political statements, but the truth is, I was and I knew it.
Your Lazy Brain – Finding the Path of Least Resistance (3/3/2017)- I recently wrote about “desire paths” and learning, linking a concept in architectural design to learning design. Basically, the idea is that our brains naturally look for the easiest path to our destination, so over time users of a system will show the designers where the formal pathways should be. It turns out that your…
Is the Learning Tech Industry Failing Us or Are We Failing Ourselves? (3/1/2017)- Lately things seem to be coming to me in bunches – ideas that appear at first to be distinctly different subjects are starting to merge inside my brain. The last time this happened I tried to make sense of machine learning, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. This week I’m thinking about the history…
TMI! Cognitive Overload and Learning (2/16/2017)- If you want to get a sense of the vast amount of data exploding every second, visit Internet Live Stats and watch the numbers for Internet users, websites, emails and many other statistics updated in real time. But watch out – you might find yourself mesmerized by the rolling numbers and the dizzyingly rapid pace…
How to Think Like a Dog (2/12/2017)- I often write about how the human race evolved and how we developed our finely tuned survival machines – our brains. Today I’m going to look into the evolution of a very close cousin of ours – the dog.
How to Think Like a Cat (2/10/2017)- As a cat lover and owner of many wonderful felines, I felt it was time to focus on our other “best friend,” the cat.
It’s Time for Brain-Aware Leadership (2/3/2017)- Training 2017, the conference sponsored by Training Magazine, concluded this week in sunny San Diego. I’ve written before about the value of attending conferences as a learning professional. Of course, the formal learning programs offered at these events give you an opportunity to learn best practices from a wide variety of experts. But the most…
Break Out the Crayons – Your Brain Needs to Color! (1/19/2017)- Coloring is great for kids You probably remember coloring as a child. This entailed filling in the black and white illustrations in the book with any colors you wanted. There are many practical benefits of teaching children about colors.
My Experience of Working Out Loud Using Pinterest (1/16/2017)- Guest Blogger Taruna Goel on Using Pinterest to Work out Loud. “Working out Loud” is a movement to leverage digital tools to share intermediate work products with colleagues so that you can improve your product through feedback and collaboration. Our guest blogger, Taruna Goel, recently experimented with this approach using Pinterest.
Save on Training Magazine’s Conference with My Discount Code! (1/12/2017)- As our species developed, we were never the fastest or strongest, so we learned how to take care of each other and become hard-wired for social interaction. Psychologist Albert Banderra’s Social Learning Theory recognized that we learn best in a group or community setting. More recently neuroscientists been able to validate his theory through brain…
The Brain Science of Keeping Resolutions (1/5/2017)- If you are one of the many people who made a New Year’s resolution, you may have already fallen off your goal. Don’t feel too badly. After one month, only about 64 percent of resolutions are still in force and by six months that number drops to less than 50 percent.
Eight Predictions for 2017! (12/28/2016)- As 2016 draws to a close, I’ve been enjoying all the “year in review” posts and articles that folks are putting out. I’d like to try something a little bit different, by using my brain’s power of prediction to see what we will be bragging out in December, 2017.
Ho Ho Ho! Why Your Brain Needs Santa Claus (12/23/2016)- SPOILER ALERT: If you believe in Santa Claus, you might not want to read any further!!! What do Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Leprechauns, Unicorns and my “lucky” putter all have in common? They are all examples of “magical thinking.”
Coming Soon! A story of serendipity meets learning conference (12/22/2016)- About a year ago I started talking about a “brain matters academy” that would be dedicated to helping learning professionals develop their skills. I checked out all the usual suspects – those online platforms that make it possible to build and share your own MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) and just couldn’t find anything I…
The Eyes Have It – How the Brain Uses Our Eyes to See the World (12/21/2016)- I was going to begin this post with the common saying, “The eyes are the windows of the soul,” but I couldn’t find the originator of the line to give him or her credit. It turns out that human beings have been saying variations of this truism almost as long as we have been putting…
Tis the Season to Give – Your Brain Will Thank You! (12/18/2016)- Neuroscience tells us that doing good works is also good for your physical and mental health. Give yourself the gift of giving by donating to a cause that matters to you. Here are a few suggestions that matter to me...
Give the Gift of Brain Health Every Day of the Year (12/9/2016)- I just finished another session of my brain-aware instructional design workshop and I came to a big realization. As learning professionals, we all see information on the science of learning almost every day and we’re becoming better and better at incorporating this information into our instructional design and training delivery practices.
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