Ever since Benoit Mandlebrot introduced the concept of fractals in his seminal work, How Long Is the Coastline of Britain, fractals and fractal geometry has been in the public interest as both math and art.
When we seek to learn, we stand at the edge of an unfinished bridge, poised between what is known and the infinite horizon of all we can know, with the light of illumination showing us the way. Learning is successfully extending the bridge from what we know to connect with what we don’t know. The bridge completes, i.e., an ‘aha’ occurs, when we recognize a familiar pattern in the unknown: “Oh, I get it! That new thing is just like this other thing I already know, except it’s different in this way … or that. Now I understand!” In the brain, an ‘aha’ is the same as an experience of recognition. The bridge connecting the known with the previously unknown is a metaphor representing the patterns of similarities and differences.
Learning requires a desire to learn (motivation), guidance in understanding new concepts (metaphorical bridges), and practice in using them to achieve results that matter to us (rewards). Walking back and forth over the metaphorical bridge cements its place in our mental landscape. Metaphors are internalized much better if presented through the use of story. The presence of emotion stamps value on the bridge as it is formed. The optimum specific form of each of these components depends on the individual student and what is being learned.
Technology can be used with great effect to satisfy all three of these requirements. One of the newest technologies, immersive technology, is particularly powerful because of its ability to integrate perception, experience, emotion, and logical thinking. Also, adaptive learning techniques can be used to fine tune teaching with the individual student each step of the way.
1.) Douglas Hofstadter, Surfaces and Essences
2.) Lisa Cron, Wired For Story
3.) gaming in education, goal-directed learning,
4.) adaptive learning / adaptive teaching
5.) organizations exploring immersive education: Rockcliffe University, Unimersive.
Thanks for joining me!
In this space I will present multiple facets of the brilliance we call our minds. We will explore how we think, why we think, what we think, and how our thoughts become what they are.
‘E’ implies a focus on the latest in technology and research,
‘lumin‘ means light–illumination.
‘8‘ represents my ‘eight fold way‘: eight principle paths I will plant posts in.
The paths are:
- Learn from History–the history of learning.
- Understand the power and influence of Perspective,
(Two slightly different viewpoints gives us depth perception,
imagine what depth of understanding can come from many perspectives).
- Understand Learning Styles, yours and others,
(e.g. analytical, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, …).
- Find the best Metaphorical Bridge linking what you know to what you don’t know,
(and understand the central importance of metaphor in how we learn).
- Collect and become proficient in using the best Learning Tools,
(note taking, research, diagraming, mind maps, study music, …).
- Maintain good Brain Function for the powerful supercomputer between your ears,
(the usual: diet, exercise, and sleep, etc. but very pertinent to good brain function).
- Stimulate Creativity and have Fun with fascinating topics,
(e.g. fractals, mazes, stereograms, puzzles, holograms, kaleidoscopes, …)
- Utilize Immersion and poke at the illusive mechanism of consciousness,
and Collaboration with others–learn in groups,
learn in fully immersive virtual spaces where reality is optional;
the whole really is greater than the sum of the parts.
There will be an emphasis, because it is my primary current interest, in the use of immersive–Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Actual Reality, and any combination thereof–technology as a space, tool, and platform for enhancing learning. The possibilities are mind blowing.
What new worlds will you see
when you unlock the power of your mind?
The picture on the main page header represents our exploration into the vast unknown sea of knowledge, standing at the edge of what is known, looking out into the infinite horizon of all we can know, with the light of illumination showing us the way. Learning is finding the other end of the bridge that connects us to the one we already stand on.
Here’s to learning about learning together.