Vocational Education Training vs. Short Courses: Which Path Should You Take? – Education Article

Vocational education training is becoming a smarter option in an age marked by accelerating change. To keep up with trends in the job market and ensure your tech knowledge is up to par for your chosen industry, pursuing vocational training can keep you grounded in practical skills which can be honed and developed with additional coursework as necessary. Open Colleges offers several online course options to help you develop your career: regular qualifications, short courses, and learning libraries. Below we’ll…

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Goal Setting: How to Set Yourself Up For Success – Education Article

“The more you know who you are and what you want, the less things upset you.” —Bill Murray, Lost In Translation Life can be rewarding without knowing exactly what you want. In fact, it’s unreasonable and limiting to think we should always know our destination before walking out the door. In many cases, we need to act first and experience many different things before we can discover what we want, create concrete goals, and decide how to achieve them. As…

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Tidying Up the Brain: 5 Reasons to Declutter Your Life – Education Article

You’ve likely heard of the book—and the new Netflix series—featuring Marie Kondo. What we want to know is, how does tidying up your life affect your brain? If you’re tuned into the self-optimization literature, chances are you’re familiar with Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. One common refrain that’s spreading through home improvement and well-being circles around the world is Kondo’s ultimatum, “Does it spark joy?” She urges us to examine our household items and ask ourselves…

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How Expectations Influence Performance | InformED – Education Article

Whether we do so consciously or not, we all form expectations about certain things in our lives, from how much we think we’ll enjoy a particular experience to the expectations we form about ourselves and others. Sometimes these expectations are based on prior experience, but more often than not, they’re based on what we’ve been told or the subconscious beliefs we hold. A growing body of research shows that expectations can influence everything from our perception of taste and enjoyment…

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Emotional Intelligence: Do You Have It? – Education Article

“We are not necessarily thinking machines. We are feeling machines that think.” —Antonio Damasio, neuroscientist Emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions, to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships, and to manage your own and others’ emotions. It consists of the following traits: In her new book Dare to Lead, researcher Brene Brown expands and deepens the definition of emotional intelligence based on a seven-year study of one of its pillars, vulnerability,…

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Neuromarketing: 10 Lessons About the Brain from a Growing Field – Education Article

In March, we headed to Rome for the Neuromarketing World Forum to bring you the latest research in the field and discuss what teachers, students, and lifelong learners can gain from a deeper understanding of the discipline. Here are some of our insights. What Is Neuromarketing? During the opening workshop, Michael E. Smith, Founder and Principal Scientist at Adaptation Research, defined neuromarketing as the “application of methods from experimental psychology and neuroscience to the problem of understanding consumer behavior.” This…

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Focus, Flow, and Distractions In Learning: How to Find a Balance – Education Article

In positive psychology, ‘flow’ is a term used to describe the optimal state of consciousness. It’s in this state that we become so energised and absorbed by what we’re doing that all distractions fade into the background and the hours seem to fly by. Obviously, achieving this state of flow is ideal for learning, because it turns something that might otherwise be seen as a chore into a rewarding and even enjoyable activity. But in order to enter our brain’s…

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Why Does the Brain Love Stories? – Education Article

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” –Joan Didion We’ve written about the power of storytelling before, but this time we’d like to dive deeper into the psychology of story as an organizational tool for the brain. Why does the brain latch onto narrative so tightly? Do we learn to communicate with stories as children, or has the human brain evolved to favor them? Importantly, is story the best way for the brain to make meaning, or are there…

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Neurogenesis: Why You Should Exercise Before (Not After) You Learn – Education Article

Various activities spur neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells, from aerobic exercise to nootropics to silence. In turn, neurogenesis can lead to memory enhancement or memory loss, depending on when it occurs. Researchers have found that they can control whether rats remember or forget new information by spurring neurogenesis at different times. If neurogenesis occurs before learning, the rats retain the new information. If neurogenesis occurs after learning, it can cause the rats to forget that information. These…

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10 Productivity Hacks For Students – Education Article

Productivity is something we all want more of. Now that we are riding a new wave of self-optimization strategies aided by technology, we expect life and work to become easier, not more complicated. But that’s not always what happens. Sometimes we need to take a step back from the shiniest new tool in the box and assess what will actually help us achieve the things we want to achieve. One essential part of enhancing productivity is to know how the…

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Communication Essentials: How to Balance Listening and Speaking – Education Article

Are you a talker or a listener? A bit of both? Being a good conversationalist is about being interesting and interested, and knowing how to balance these roles during an exchange with another person or group. Any thorough list of communication essentials includes learning how to balance listening and speaking. Here are a few tips for communicating effectively through a more balanced exchange. 1. Express your ideas confidently and clearly. Not only is it important to express yourself confidently and…

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Memory Tricks: Clear Speech Enhances Recall – Education Article

At the University of Texas at Austin, linguistic researchers have found that we recall information from conversations better when we’ve been listening to someone who speaks clearly, as it frees up cognitive resources which would otherwise be used to decipher the words themselves rather than the meaning behind them. These findings have promising implications for the classroom. In one experiment, 30 native and nonnative English listeners were asked to listen to 72 sentences, such as “The grandfather drank the dark…

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10 Open Educational Resources You Should Know About – Education Article

A lot has changed since MIT first announced that it would be making its course materials freely available online. Back in 2001, the idea that university-level content could be accessed at no cost by users anywhere in the world was virtually unheard of, and the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative was a major driver in the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. Today, Open Educational Resources, which allow teachers and learners to freely use, adapt and redistribute educational content, are widespread. In addition…

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10 Books about the brain for 2019 – Education Article

Brain science is more prolific—and popular—than ever before, and with a deeper understanding of how the mind functions comes a coinciding movement surrounding self-growth and neuroeducation. It’s easier than ever before to self-educate and stay up-to-date with the latest trends when you have not only such a wealth of research coming out, but also popular literature making it more accessible and enjoyable to read. From Jonah Sachs’s thoughts on how “unsafe thinking” promotes creativity to Michael Pollan’s insights on the…

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How Taking Photos Impacts Our Memory – Education Article

Researchers at Fairfield University in Connecticut have found the way we take a photo of an object makes a difference in our ability to recall it later. The research team, led by Linda A. Henkel, conducted two studies to determine whether taking photos of objects affects our ability to remember details about them later on. After study participants were led on a guided tour of an art museum and told to photograph some objects and simply observe others, Henkel’s team…

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Overcoming the Cognitive Barriers to Climate Change Action – Education Article

Climate change is hard on the brain. It’s effort enough to do the necessary research to fully wrap our heads around what’s happening to the planet, let alone what we can do to preserve it. For some of us, it’s easier to deny this reality than to confront it and change our habits. Once we accept the reality of it, our brains can become overwhelmed unless we choose a specific way to contribute and make a conscious plan to take…

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