Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Minds Online

Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology

Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Harvard University Press
Pages: 272
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Minds Online
    Book Description:

    For the Internet generation, educational technology designed with the brain in mind offers a natural pathway to the pleasures and rewards of deep learning. Drawing on neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Michelle Miller shows how attention, memory, critical thinking, and analytical reasoning can be enhanced through technology-aided approaches.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-73599-6
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. Chapter 1 Is Online Learning Here to Stay?
    (pp. 1-18)

    This book is about how cognitive science can help us shape and refi ne the ways in which we use technology to promote learning. But before we take on those research-based strategies, let’s set the scene for why instructional technology is such a timely concern within higher education. “Chalk doesn’t cut it anymore” seems to be the prevailing attitude at many institutions today, and whether you agree or disagree with that sentiment, it’s clear that faculty are pressed to incorporate technology when developing their teaching philosophies and pedagogical strategies.

    This chapter will explore the different trends, events, and forces for...

  5. Chapter 2 Online Learning: Does It Work?
    (pp. 19-41)

    Is The trend toward more technology in teaching is agoodtrend? Does technology degrade or improve learning—or have no real effect at all? In fairness, we should acknowledge that for most of the history of formal higher education, we haven’t asked for empirical evidence of the effectiveness of traditional teaching techniques. In that sense, we’re holding technologically aided teaching to a higher standard when we ask whether it really does produce the desired results of intellectual mastery, self–awareness, self-management abilities, criticalthinking ability, and all the other goals of a college education.

    Even though we have only recently...

  6. Chapter 3 The Psychology of Computing
    (pp. 42-63)

    So Far, we’ve established that technology in higher education is here to stay, and considered whether high-quality educational experiences are possible online. But what about the human side? How do human beings interact with computers and with one another via computers? If we are going to contribute, via our teaching, to the further expansion of computing into everyday life, we should ask ourselves what the likely impacts are on how we think, reason, and communicate with others. In other words, how do computers change us?

    Psychologists have barely begun to put together coherent theoretical frameworks for how ubiquitous computing changes...

  7. Chapter 4 Attention
    (pp. 64-87)

    For the first decade I worked at NAU, I ran an interactive exhibit at an annual event called the Flagstaff Festival of Science. Wedged in among the robotics demonstrations, the insect zoo, and microscope slides covered in pond water, my booth was something I envisioned as a way to promote the public image of psychology—especially cognitive psychology—as a “real” empirical science. But firing up people’s interest in a field focused on invisible mental processes can be challenge—especially when you’re competing with the physics students one booth over who are building rockets out of soda bottles.

    To turn...

  8. Chapter 5 Memory
    (pp. 88-116)

    Building students’ memory for course material is not the sole aim of teaching, but it matters. Memory is central to the cognitive side of teaching and learning; it is the mechanism by which our teaching literally changes students’ minds and brains. It’s fashionable among educators to disparage “mere memorization” as opposed to the sophisticated reasoning skills we hope to foster, but this is a false dichotomy. Focusing on memory doesn’t need to detract from higher-order thought pro cesses. You can’t make solid arguments, invent new applications, or apply critical thinking without a foundation of information in memory.

    As James Lang...

  9. Chapter 6 Thinking
    (pp. 117-147)

    Imagine that you’re a nurse with a freshly minted degree. You’re treating your very first patient, a man who has recently undergone hip replacement surgery. He’s breathing quickly, is agitated, and reports chest pain and shortness of breath. What’s your course of action?

    Back in nursing school, you studied mathematical formulas for calculating IV fluids, memorized anatomy and physiology terms, and learned how to take vital signs. But would you be able to use that knowledge base to accomplish a goal—in this case, developing and executing a plan to address your patient’s needs? If so, you’re successfully engaged in...

  10. Chapter 7 Incorporating Multimedia Effectively
    (pp. 148-164)

    A student drops in on the chinese department of a large university, engaging a helpful department staffer in conversation about the department and its facilities. “Is that the library?” he asks. “No, it’s the reading room,” the staffer answers, assuring him that students from any department are welcome to use the large, inviting space. The visitor inquires about the number of professors and whether there are any foreign students in the department. The staffer describes these for him—two professors, several foreign students—and invites him to come by any time. The pair exchange pleasantries, thank one another, and the...

  11. Chapter 8 Motivating Students
    (pp. 165-195)

    I probably shouldn’t, but in my online Introduction to Psychology course, I open the topic of motivation by asking a series of provocative questions about why the students chose to log into the course that day, instead of choosing to do something easier. I ask them: Why did you even get out of bed this morning? What drove you to abandon that warm, comfortable environment in favor of less pleasant, more energy-demanding pursuits? Fortunately, as far as I know, no student has ever reflected on these questions and decided, on second thought, to hop back into bed. My intent is...

  12. Chapter 9 Putting It All Together
    (pp. 196-234)

    Throughout this book, we’ve examined ways in which cognitive and brain sciences inform teaching with technology. Attention, memory, and higher thought processes are all areas of cognition that we can target by bringing cognitive theory together with technology. In many cases, there are aspects of these cognitive processes that we can’t get at nearly as well with solely face-to-face teaching methods.

    We’ve covered quite a range of specific technology-aided learning activities that draw their power from underlying principles of human cognition. What would these look like put together into a fully “cognitively optimized” course? This final chapter includes planning guides...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 237-268)
  14. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 269-272)
  15. Index
    (pp. 273-279)