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This link recently saved by orzelc on September 28, 2012
New theoretical ideas and empirical research show that very young children’s learning and thinking are strikingly similar to much learning and thinking in science. Preschoolers test hypotheses against data and make causal inferences; they learn from statistics and informal experimentation, and from watching and listening to others. The mathematical framework of probabilistic models and Bayesian inference can describe this learning in precise ways. These discoveries have implications for early childhood education and policy. In particular, they suggest both that early childhood experience is extremely important and that the trend toward more structured and academic early childhood programs is misguided.
This link recently saved by orzelc on June 12, 2012
Cow Clicker is a Facebook game about Facebook games. It's partly a satire, and partly a playable theory of today's social games, and partly an earnest example of that genre.
You get a cow. You can click on it. In six hours, you can click it again. Clicking earns you clicks. You can buy custom "premium" cows through micropayments (the Cow Clicker currency is called "mooney"), and you can buy your way out of the time delay by spending it. You can publish feed stories about clicking your cow, and you can click friends' cow clicks in their feed stories. Cow Clicker is Facebook games distilled to their essence.
This link recently saved by orzelc on May 17, 2012
Some ideas never die, no matter how little fact they’re based in.
Popular misconceptions can be fairly harmless, like the belief that it’s dangerous to wake a sleepwalker (in fact it can be very dangerous not to wake a sleepwalker).
In other cases misconceptions can be dangerous or limiting. False beliefs about how we learn can be the absolute worst, keeping people from trying to learn certain things because they’ve been told they’re not capable.
Here are three of these ridiculous popular beliefs about learning:
This link recently saved by orzelc on May 02, 2012
McCrickerd points out it is only through dissatisfaction that we change our behavior. An instructor with an overly-enhanced self sees no reason to change when something bad happens in class. “Not my fault they didn’t learn…”
And who else does a lot of teaching? Teaching assistants, that’s who. Graduate students with a raging case of imposter syndrome. When something goes wrong in their classes, “It’s my fault. I shouldn’t even be here in the first place…”
Yeah, that’s a real motivator.
This link recently saved by orzelc on April 03, 2012
The findings come from a study of 199 middle school students who struggle with reading and who participated in a reading improvement class that included Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, said one of the study’s authors, Dara Williams-Rossi, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
The researchers found that boys consistently had a higher self-concept of their reading skill than girls both before and after using the e-readers. After use of the e-readers, boys’ attitudes about the value of reading improved, while girls’ attitudes declined, said Williams-Rossi, an assistant clinical professor in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU.
This link recently saved by orzelc on March 27, 2012
You probably think you know how to study.
After all, you've made it to graduate school. You've successfully turned in homework assignments and passed exams for at least 16 years. And there's a good chance that you have your study routine set, whether it's a cup of tea and your textbooks in bed, or a quiet library carrel you've claimed as your own.
But it may be that the study habits you've honed for a decade or two aren't serving you as well as you think they are.
Research has shown that some "common sense" study techniques — such as always reading in the same quiet location, or spending hours at a time concentrating on one subject — don't promote long-term learning. And some habits that you might suspect aren't so great, like last-minute cramming for exams, may be even worse than you thought.
We've rounded up three principles, drawn from decades of cognitive psychology research, to help you get the most out of your studying hours.
This link recently saved by orzelc on March 02, 2012
In the last half decade, magic—normally deemed entertainment fit only for children and tourists in Las Vegas—has become shockingly respectable in the scientific world. Even I—not exactly renowned as a public speaker—have been invited to address conferences on neuroscience and perception. I asked a scientist friend (whose identity I must protect) why the sudden interest. He replied that those who fund science research find magicians “sexier than lab rats.”
I’m all for helping science. But after I share what I know, my neuroscientist friends thank me by showing me eye-tracking and MRI equipment, and promising that someday such machinery will help make me a better magician.
I have my doubts. Neuroscientists are novices at deception. Magicians have done controlled testing in human perception for thousands of years.
This link recently saved by orzelc on February 27, 2012
“It is only in the past 10 or 15 years that we have had the technology for people to do studies that involved picking a particular genetic variant and investigating whether people who score higher on intelligence tests tend to have that genetic variant,” said [Union College Psychology Professor] Chabris. “In all of our tests we only found one gene that appeared to be associated with intelligence, and it was a very small effect. This does not mean intelligence does not have a genetic component, it means it’s a lot harder to find the particular genes, or the particular genetic variants, that influence the differences in intelligence.”
This link recently saved by orzelc on January 16, 2012
A 2011 study from the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Psychology called "Manifestations of Personality in Online Social Networks: Self-Reported Facebook-Related Behaviors and Observable Profile Information" published in the academic journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that Facebook users are no different online than they are offline. The study also revealed strong connections between real personality and Facebook-related behavior. Social and personality processes, the study says, accurately mirror non-virtual environments.
This link recently saved by orzelc on December 09, 2011
Human judgments, of course, are never made in a vacuum. Pilots are part of a complex system that can either increase or reduce the probability that they will make a mistake. After this accident, the million-dollar question is whether training, instrumentation, and cockpit procedures can be modified all around the world so that no one will ever make this mistake again—or whether the inclusion of the human element will always entail the possibility of a catastrophic outcome. After all, the men who crashed AF447 were three highly trained pilots flying for one of the most prestigious fleets in the world. If they could fly a perfectly good plane into the ocean, then what airline could plausibly say, "Our pilots would never do that"?
Here is a synopsis of what occurred during the course of the doomed airliner's final few minutes.