Developing Minds in the Digital Age

Towards a Science of Learning for 21st Century Education

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This book highlights new scientific research about how people learn, including interdisciplinary perspectives from neuroscience, the social, cognitive and behavioural sciences, education, computer and information sciences, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and engineering. These new developments offer fascinating new perspectives, based on technological advances, which enable a re-examination of longstanding problems in learning, raise new questions, and offer new approaches to the study of learning. This report seeks to catalyse discussions on the implications of these research findings for education practice and policy, and in turn, on how knowledge and experience from real-world education practice and policy could challenge and inform research agendas and theory building.



Technologies for spatial learning

Paper-based technologies, such as maps, diagrams and graphs, have been used to support spatial thinking and learning through the ages. Modern digital technology provides new options for enriching spatial learning with potentially transformative impacts. This chapter focuses on two such technologies. The first is sketch understanding, where software incorporates cognitive models of human visual, spatial and conceptual representations and processes in order to see a student’s sketch as they do.We summarise CogSketch, a new platform that has been used to develop two novel kinds of educational software that have been successfully used in classroom experiments. The second technology are Geographic Information Systems (GIS), computer-based mapping systems that facilitate spatial data analysis and visualisation, e.g. the distribution of housing density, crime, school test scores, etc. in different neighbourhoods.We review evidence that using GIS can promote spatial reasoning in high school students.


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