The Learning Exchange: An Internet-centric learning center

Related Links:
( for those that want to understand forgetting)

The Learning Center is a place where you can come to have fun learning. My hypothesis is that, at any one time, each of us has a limited amount of available mental energy that is partitioned between remembering, learning, thinking and doing. Mental energy expended on remembering and web-site navigation is not available for thinking, learning and problem-solving. Google and the global connectivity provided by the Internet give us the option of efficiently locating good stuff and sparing us the agony of chasing URLs or having to remember exotic URLs. In other words Google and the Internet can be used as extensions of our memory. If you are having fun then often your your available learning energy is amplified, thereby prolonging the time to boredom. The idea in these pages is to use images to ignite curiosity in order to release latent learning energy. Gene Stead and I have speculated about restoring the joy in learning for our grandchildren. Take a look at some powerpoint presentations available from other internet sites

Learning is all about building understanding and construction of our understanding begins with scaffolding. I believe we can build scaffolding from sensations from each of our 4 senses: visual, sound, touch, smell, taste - We use sensations to link facts, concepts and experiences together. Scaffolding is just what it says, the framework for understanding or the framework for building new insights or the framework for pursuing new knowledge. Josh and I have started building a set of notes that address scaffolding in our area of science.

This collection of resources is all about learning. I like photography and travel. I have accumulated a lot of "stuff" and am getting bored with making photo essays about the places that I have been. Recently, my guys in the IT Lab helped me repackage some spider photos. As part of this, Brian created a page called "For the curious". I liked the idea of grabbing a young person's attention with an interesting photo and then letting curiosity about the photo guide the curious down a path toward interesting science.

My approach is to use my travels and photos as a way to identify potentially interesting learning opportunities. The photos represent visual scaffolding, a frame of reference for learning. Examples include my story of Natasha, the spider, Igor, the grasshopper, bioluminescence seen in the waves on the beach near Muscat Oman etc.

My goal is to restore a little of the fun of learning by weaving a carpet that links photos and experiences with internet accessible resources.

Something about Memory and Learning, Thinking and Education

Getting Started

To start - here are a few sites that have already caught the idea of building exciting learning centers:

Tools

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C. Frank Starmer