Links on Learning and Education

Learning Math via Sudoku, Music, and Web Design
In Who Needs Maths?, Andrew Hodges, maths lecturer at Wadham College, Oxford, states that mathematics would be better learned through logical puzzles like Sudoku and adds,

"We should be trying to find ways of equipping children with the basic maths they will need to function adequately in society. ... We should be looking at ways of teaching maths skills through other media, such as electronic music and web design, that are more relevant to most students."

Learning and Exercise
Use it or lose it! If you want to keep your mind in good shape, you need to use it, and there are recommendations from playing crossword puzzles to using your non-dominant hand for combing your hair. But did you know that you need to use your muscles to keep your brain functioning well? The article Lobes of Steel (New York Times) reports on research showing that regular aerobic exercise "boosts memory and cognitive processing speed" in both mice and people due to increased neurogenesis.

Students Remixing Teachers on YouTube
How would you like to be videotaped without your knowledge and then find yourself on YouTube? Students are now posting videos of their teachers on YouTube. Vaishali Honawar has a lengthy article, "Cellphone taping a classroom threat".

Faculty Grating Habits
From a study on Professors' Most Grating Habits, here are the top ten:

  1. Poor course organization and planning.
  2. Poor teaching mechanics (for example, poor use of the blackboard or speaking too fast, softly, or slowly).
  3. Lecture style and technique, including being too wooden or long-winded.
  4. Poor testing and exam procedures.
  5. Negative mannerisms, including attire and verbal and nonverbal tics.
  6. Monotone voice.
  7. Poor use of class time (for example, coming in late and stopping early).
  8. Intellectual arrogance--talking down to or showing a lack of respect for students.
  9. Being unhelpful and not approachable.
  10. Unfair or confusing grading process.