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Neuro-educational Games and Peer Instruction in EFL (Jeff Mehring)

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Neuro-educational Games and Peer Instruction in EFL (Jeff Mehring)

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My presentation will look at interactive learning environments involving games and peer learning. The maxims I'll be examining are prediction, memory, and collaboration. Uncertain rewards and prediction have an unique ability to engage learners, stimulating the brain's reward system and increase dopamine levels. Higher dopamine levels during learning increase the possibility of neurons connecting and encoding new learning (Howard-Jones, 2011 and Willis, 2006). zondle is one game that can generate dopamine production and offers uncertain rewards. zondle Team Play exploits the relationship between the brain's reward response and learning, by allowing the teacher to provide feedback on answer options just before the wheel of chance is spun. The rising anticipation helps create a "teachable moment", suitable for scaffolding student learning with maximum effect.

This presentation is stems from an action based research study in one of my content-based classes. I will have some extremely preliminary findings to share and if all goes according to plan (mainly access to the Internet), participants will be able to play the game and gain first-hand experience of how they can incorporate it into their curriculum.

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Very exciting! -and three maxims Cool 
Its interesting to see how the maxims overlap in various situations. 


What you bring up here is core to neuroELT --games (fun) and peer learning.
Looking forward to hearing you talk about this!

Robert

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So true Robert. The maxims do overlap in many ways. With memory I hope to demonstrate the importance of moving new learning from declarative (about) to procedural (do) memory. It is important that students are able to "do" more than talk "about" and this comes through practice. If new learning can become proceduralized (if that is a word) it will enable them to increase their working memory and raise their language abilities. 

Peer learning is one aspect of the flipped classroom and Dr. Tokuhama-Espinosa has stated that flipped learning is one way to teach that is very brain friendly. Dr. Mazur at Harvard developed a program that is now a Pearson product called Learning Catalytics which makes peer learning very effective. I believe you can do the same thing with zondle and Socrative with the added benefit that they are free!

Looks like it will be a great conference! For those who can not attend on Monday, will those presentations be online at some date?

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Fantastic!

Regarding procedural memory, I'm very interested in the cerebellum.
I'm sure it holds the key to not only motor learning (as is often proposed), but also much of our automatized language usage. Regarding such research, not much is out there yet, but I'm quite sure my hunch will play out well over the next 5-10 years. I've discussed this idea with many neuroscientists in the US and in Japan. Invariably, they got this look in their eyes and said something to the tune of, "I think you're on to something!" and went into deep thought.... then nodded their heads.

Recording:
We hope to record everything digitally.
We haven't decided if we are going to post everything via FAB, or leave it up to the individuals to post on youtube, etc. There are pros and cons to each. Which would you prefer?

Robert

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Hi Jeff, 
I'm super excited to hear about your Zondle action research! I'm curious about it, but I've never used it in my classes.
Cheers 
Tom

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I can't wait to use Zondle second semester for my students. Thank you for presenting!

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Jeff,
Thank you for your wonderful presentation!
I played with Zondle today myself. It was fun! and it seems it has got lots of potential for the classroom! I'll "study" more about it during the summer holiday and would like to use it in my class for the next semester.
Thank you for sharing great ideas!
Best wishes from Osaka :-)
Junko Omotedani

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karlene99 and Junko, 

Glad to hear you are entering the world of zondle. Please let me know if you have any questions on how to use it in your classes. I'd also like to hear how your results or your students! I think it has a lot of potential for the EFL classroom!

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