Impact of internet on our brains

What is the Internet Doing to our Brains?

Dr. Paul Howard Jones shared his views and findings in the video.

Is Google rewiring our brains?

Is it true that the more time we spend on internet, the less time we spend in real life socialising?

In the highlights of Recent Social Network Site Research

– SNS’s generally stimulate teenage social connectedness and psychological well-being

– It is about how the technology is used: Benefits if supporting existing friendships

Is the internet bad for us?

Paul compares technology of fire-making

– GOOD for warmth and toasting muffins

– BAD: if used carelessly – No panic headlines: “Fire may destroy us”

– we understand dangers and precautions.

It’s about how we use technology – when, how much, what for…

So, it is the affordance of technology that makes the difference, based on what and how technology is used in situations.

Would the use of internet lead people to do more or less physical exercise?  Research findings on this were divided – with some indicating that people exercised more whilst others indicating that people exercised less with the use of internet.

Are games (and internet games in particular) good teachers?

In Paul’s views games could be good teacher.

Action video games improve:

– Performance on many visuomotor tasks

– Switching of visual attention

– Suppression of distracting visual influences

– Inference of an action’s probable outcome

– Contrast sensitivity (primary factor limiting sight)

What are people doing on internet?

– Adults – pornography & illicit relationship

– Young people – gaming

This is an interesting finding.  I think it depends on what sort of games people are involved in.  There are World of Warcraft, educational games etc.

In the virtual World such as SecondLife, there are lots of people immersed in it, for socialising, communicating and sharing, education, or dating etc.  There are huge potential of the use SecondLife in Medical and Health Education, SecondLife in distance education.

Another reason why games could simulate learning is based on the premises that : We love uncertain rewards.  This is especially true for those of us who like to overcome the obstacles, and to achieve certain outcomes, like advancement of achievement levels and engagement and interaction with others to accomplish team, network, or community (or COPs) goals – that’s the reward that most of us like.  These may relate to the use of gamification to engage people (students in particular), so they would interact with the games, people and those involved in the system.

What else have you found, with internet and games in particular, on our brain?

To explore further:

How about the impact of internet on teaching and learning?  Your views….


Prior Learning Assessment

An interesting article on how MOOC may stimulate the use of Recognition of Prior Learning or Prior Learning Assessment in Higher Education.

Some observers think the interest in MOOCs could help spur demand for prior learning assessment, building wider acceptance of the practice in the process. Many traditionalists in higher education, particularly at selective colleges, have been skeptical of prior learning assessment. But that may be more difficult when the learning occurs with the tutelage of professors at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. And MOOCs might also make contributions to how prior learning is measured.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Here in Australia, institutions have been adopting Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for more than a decade.  There have been various reports documenting the progress, issues, challenges and opportunities of RPL.

The issues and challenges include:

RPL or Recognition of non-formal and informal Learning:

1. Catalyst for lifelong learning pathway

2. No nationally consistent definition

3. Powerful process to assist student career planning

4. Can have a significant positive impact on learner confidence and motivation

5. Can be of assistance in the development of more learner-centred education or training programs

6. Provide significant assistance to employers – contribution of employees to business

7. Benefit to mature-aged people seeking to improve their employment prospects

8. Maintaining our knowledge and skill based in face of ageing population

9. Persons seeking RPL – require considerable direct support

10. RPL process needs to be simpler and more streamlined

11. Administrative costs with PRL could be significant disincentive for candidates & providers

12. Difficulty that RPL candidates have in validating their non-formal and informal learning

13. RPL process and procedures – major issue and challenge

14. Variability in RPL assessment

15. Research & evaluation into impact of RPL

I have been using RPL for the last decade, as I have shared my experiences here and here (see my comments).

There are many merits in the use of RPL, together with a portfolio (or PLE/PLN) approach in documenting evidences of competency for assessment.

However, as mentioned in the reports, RPL must be customised to suit individual’s needs and so one size doesn’t suit all.  This means that even the MOOCs must be customized in order to align with the actual candidate looking for recognition, and this may be a huge challenge, in particular if the MOOCs align only to certain educational outcomes, rather than individual units of competency.

There are therefore lots of mapping of competency required before one could claim for recognition.

I think there are lots of opportunities in developing such Recognition of prior learning, based on the GLOBAL MOOCs experience (the connectivist MOOCs (CCKs, PLENK, Change 11, LAKs) and the instructivist  MOOCs (i.e. Stanford AI, Coursera, MITx, edX, Udacity, or Khan Academy) and the other Community of Practice and Educational Networks or Social Media approach towards Informal Education, Non-formal and Informal Learning.

So, would this open up an opportunity to explore ASSESSMENT MOOCs – on Recognition of Learning – Prior Learning, Informal or non-formal Learning and a MOOC on Lifelong Learning with ASSESSMENT?

What do you think would be the future of ASSESSMENT BASED MOOCs?