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Posts Tagged ‘Multimodality’

Photo credit: Lauren Manning

Learning constitutes change but is most easily measured by memory. If you can remember something, then it has changed you and become part of your mind’s current information structures and activity. The most efficient way to create change in the brain is to active multimodal neural networks. As an example of the effects of multimodality, it was found that after only two weeks of practicing a piece on the piano, the brain’s preconscious discrimination ability becomes more acute. There is a difference between just listening to music and to listening and trying to play – combining sensory and motor activities levels produces more change.

People will intuitively tell you that the best way to learn something new is by just trying to do it. Peoples’ intuition is excellent and should be listened to more. Reading documents or listening to a presentation do not produce as much activation or steady memory traces as actually participating in creating the knowledge. Pedagogical models, such as problem-based learning incorporate just this idea and have been put to use in some lucky learning-centered organizations. The idea behind PBL is that a learner takes ownership of the learning process so that it fits his thought architecture and uses collaboration with others to produce new knowledge. This brings more meaning to the subject and overall activation to the learning process.

When combining the idea of multimodal activity and problem-based learning, the modern workplace produces the best possible setting for effective, brain-altering learning. People constantly work in hypermedia contexts with different thought-supporting solutions and activate the brain with visual and auditory input about the subject they are working on. Problem-solving at enlightened workplaces is employee-driven, which produces more innovation, freedom of expression and learning in the work community. In the best case, work actions themselves persist in digital form and can be reflected on later which supports development of metacognitive skills.

The makings of greatness are present in many organizations but what is still needed is liberation. When work processes and contents are over-defined to maximize efficiency it reduces the potential of the brain and restrains creativity and learning. It may be a scary thing to decide to rely on the unique capacities that employees have and to let information roam free inside the organization. However, if organizations wish to make use of what is known about efficient learning and the amazing technologies that can easily be used today, a shift in thinking about learning, knowledge ownership and leadership is required, as well as freedom for the mind.

Thank you spring

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