Tag Archives: learning

80-20 Rule Learning EDUKWEST Academy

The 80–20 Rule Applied to Learning

Editor’s Note: First appeared on Myelin’s weekly digest. 

Learning is when you use something from your memory. It’s not when you read a non-fiction book, attend a lecture, or watch a documentary. It’s when you use knowledge.

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KlabLab

KlabLab and The Sound of Knowledge Tour: The Revolution Will Be Musical

KlabLab

Which songs evoke vivid memories for you? There is one particularly embarrassing pop song from my high school years that reminds me of sitting in my brand new car (at the time – I still have it!) with my best friend, Erin. It certainly seems that there is something magical about melodies and the way they “stick” in your mind. In the lab, neuroscientists have also found that songs are special. In line with many anecdotal accounts, research has shown that music can conjure up very detailed, autobiographical memories from one’s distant past – even in Alzheimer’s patients. Think of all of the songs you can sing along to without missing a beat, and all of those catchy (or annoying) radio-friendly tunes you can’t get out of your head. Now imagine if the chorus you keep singing to yourself and the beats you can’t stop bobbing your head to could help you learn something meaningful, like formulas to memorize for a physics exam, or a list of vocabulary words for Spanish class. That’s where KlabLab sees enormous potential.

KlabLab is a Pleasanton, California-based startup on a mission to disrupt education through music. Last week, I had the unique opportunity to meet the co-founders on one of the first stops of their Sound of Knowledge Tour at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts (SotA) and the Academy of Arts and Sciences.

When I first arrived at SotA, I observed the tail end of a taiko drum class in the World Music Dojo. In preparation for a performance that night, the enthusiastic students wrote and performed original raps to KlabLab-provided hip hop beats about performance anxiety and how to overcome it. Mohina Sen Cervone, World Music teacher, called the KlabLab experience “world changing,” and wishes her students could have more class time to dedicate to their creations. Ms. Cervone was so inspired that she booked computer lab time at SotA later in the week for students to continue to refine and record their songs.

KlabLab’s founding team is currently taking their tour bus/recording studio all over the West Coast to build a grassroots effort to create customized, engaging, and polished musical lesson plans for schools. Dave Haberman was earning his teaching credentials when he started developing musical lessons as part of his coursework. He then partnered up with music producer Doug Allen. The two agreed that the current state of “educational music” was not engaging enough to pique students’ interests, and aimed to create music that sounded like hit songs on the radio – but with content that was pertinent to classroom curricula. Rounding out the team is Joe O’Loughlin, an experienced musician and educator who serves as “Executive Producer” and business manager.

KlabLab on the road:

In American Literature class, teacher Laura Godden was excited for her students to create original lyrics incorporating vocabulary from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest that they would be quizzed on in a future class session. Ms. Godden had already participated in one session with the KlabLab team, was impressed with how engaged the students were with the material, and would highly recommend this approach to other educators. Teachers do not need any musical training to incorporate these methods into their lesson plans, as KlabLab provides free templates online. Victoria, a junior at the Academy of Arts and Sciences, who participated in KlabLab sessions in both U.S. History and American Literature, told me that she and her peers got a lot out of creating their own songs to a strong beat and rhythm. She felt that having a “good beat” in the background inspired her and fellow students to be more creative, and believed that the music would help her remember definitions and concepts better than more traditional ways of instruction.

The students, obviously energized and engaged in class, were even more motivated to record and share their creations online with the KlabLab community. The group whose recording receives the highest number of votes will be awarded iPads for each of their members, as well as $10,000 for their school.

KlabLab is currently in seed stage, is funded by angel investors, and plans on embarking on a national tour starting this summer. Within two days after launching their tour, the team gained nearly 2,000 users, and has over 8,000 fans on Facebook. While their monetization strategy is still in development, KlabLab plans on creating an album from the recordings made by students on their tour, and will introduce a mobile app in the near future so students can easily record and share their songs. Curious what some of these creations sound like? Here is a peek at Geometry class at the Academy of Arts and Sciences in San Francisco:

From lyrics written by an Honors History student at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, KlabLab’s Studio Master Doug produced this video. Here is the finished product:

Check out the official websites for KlabLab and the Sound of Knowledge Tour, and follow their journey on Facebook and Twitter.

CROSSREF:ED Audio Podcast

CROSSREF:ED #01 Why it’s better to do Homework late at Night (Audio)

CROSSREF:ED Audio Podcast

CROSSREF:ED Episode #01

Why it’s better to do Homework late at Night

  • recorded: April 5th 2012
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AcademicPub - Your Book Your Way This Interview is sponsored by AcademicPub – Your Book Your Way
AcademicPub allows you to take content from their copyright cleared library of over 125 publishers, your files or anything on the web, and create custom course packs that are perfect, for you.
Visit them today at academicpub.com and follow @AcademicPub on Twitter.

In our first episode let’s take a look at a very classic topic in education: homework. And is it good or bad? Christopher dedicated his last episode of C12 here on EDUKWEST to homework, I gave a long rant on “the French Homework revolution” in last week’s episode of review:ed. So why not start crossref:ed with two articles related to homework, as well?

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Why it’s better to do Homework late at Night

Welcome to our new show crossref:ed, a short podcast in which we take two articles or blog posts that cover a certain topic and either validate or invalidate each other. We are planning to release at least one episode per week, depending on what articles we find, of course.


Before we start, let me quickly thank our sponsor for this week: AcademicPub allows you to take content from their copyright cleared library of over 125 publishers, your files or anything on the web, and create custom course packs that are perfect, for you. Visit them at academicpub.com and follow them on Twitter @AcademicPub. We thank them for their support of crossref:ed.


In our first episode let’s take a look at a very classic topic in education: homework. And is it good or bad? Christopher dedicated his last episode of C12 here on EDUKWEST to homework, I gave a long rant on “the French Homework revolution” in last week’s episode of review:ed. So why not start crossref:ed with two articles related to homework, as well?

Download Episode Download Episode Video Download Episode Audio

The Guardian published a piece with the title “Two hours’ homework a night linked to better school results”. It is based on a study published by the Department of Education in the UK. Over 15 years the study has tracked the performance of 3000 students with the result that

“Spending more than two hours a night doing homework is linked to achieving better results in English, maths and science”

As a side note: A previous research referenced in the article found only modest links of homework related to achievement in secondary school, though. But that is not the second crossref:ed article I would like to talk about today.

The new study also controlled for social class, the environment where the homework takes place in and whether students generally enjoy going to school. All those factors seem to have played a role as well.

What I found interesting was the time the homework is done. It is not explicitly mentioned in the text but as the headline lets us assume, most homework is done in the evening or at night. And here comes our second article into play.

According to an article in Scientific American the “Ability to Learn Is Affected by the Timing of Sleep”. The sooner we go to sleep after we learned something, the better we retain that new information.

“In the 24-hour retest—where all subjects had a full night of sleep—those participants who went to bed shortly after learning the words did much better than those who went through an entire day before sleeping. And this leg up in memory was maintained on subsequent days.”

This basically means that if the students in the study did their homework before they went to sleep or at least pretty close to that time the actual amount of hours put in the homework might not necessarily explain the better performance.

If the study mentioned in Scientific American is right then it is all about when to do the homework, not for how long which would be a great basis for an experiment. Maybe I’ll try it out with learning Spanish at night.

Show Notes

  • Two hours’ homework a night linked to better school results
    Source: The Guardian
  • Ability to Learn Is Affected by the Timing of Sleep
    Source: Scientific American

Picture by cynwulf

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