Some summer readings: A few fun articles

Lately people have been sending me all sorts of interesting articles to read! I’ve linked below to three really thought provoking ones that I’ve come across lately. One’s about frustration during clicker training, another is about neuroscience, and the third is about teaching algebra through games. So, all three are completely different, but I hope you’ll check them out! I’ve been thinking about all three of them, so I wanted to pass them on.

Is frustration required for learning?

This is a great article by Christina Bond from Kay Laurence’s website. Many trainers argue that some level of frustration will always be part of the training process. However, as the article explains, there are lots of reasons why we should try minimize frustration while training. Good shaping often is nearly errorless and involves very little frustration on the part of the leaner.

DragonBox: Algebra Beats Angry Birds

This is a lengthy, but really great article from Wired magazine. You’ve probably heard of Angry Birds, but have you heard of DragonBox? This interactive game teaches kids how to solve algebra equations. And apparently, kids love it! As the author explains in the article, this app could potentially free teachers up from grading and checking over student’s work and give them more time to focus on the “whys” of algebra and more advanced concepts. I think this is where we are headed in the future—more and more concepts and skills will be taught in a game-like format. This article actually relates a lot to the one above–learning should be fun, not frustrating!

Defending Jonah Lehrer

This is a thought-provoking neuroscience article that one of my professors passed on to me. Lots of interesting points in this article about the field of neuroscience. Two parts I found most interesting were his discussion about the link between dopamine and rewards, as well as his discussion about why it is very difficult to isolate a concept like creativity in the brain.

If you have interesting things you’ve been reading online lately, feel free to leave a comment on this post or use the contact form to shoot me an e-mail. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

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