The Babies’ Edge of Learning

Hindering Baby Brain Development

National Center for Childhood in Poverty has put out an interesting article of how poverty can hinder brain development in early childhood in the United States. One would suspect that poverty is associated with third world countries, not the United States. However, one in five of America’s children under the age of three lived in poverty in 1997. The poor nutrition is linked to lower test scores on vocabulary, reading comprehension, arithmetic, and general knowledge. The lack of nutrition leads to poor brain development. The move severe the poverty, the lower the nutrition, and that those conditions lead to poorer brain development.

The article goes to on state other causes for poor brain development outside of nutrition that may be caused by poverty and includes factors of substance abuse, maternal depression, exposure to environmental toxins, trauma/abuse, and the quality of daily care.

A simple solution to possibly increase brain development is to increase income levels, which may stem out malnutrition by ensuring that all children are afforded a proper diet, improve their quality of daily care, reduce trauma/abuse, and reduce exposure to environmental toxins.

Fostering Baby Brain Development

On another article, I found that some parents are pushing their young babies to learn early. Parents are now having their babies take yoga, music lessons, and language classes in hopes of having their precious little ones excel in those areas. The concept is rather simple. They expose their little babies at an early age when learning is the easiest. Counting toys or identifying letters seems like play time to the babies. “We’re not saying that your child will suddenly become a genius by coming to classes.”But what we can guarantee is that by interacting at the classes with your child, by encouraging them, and maybe copying some of the activities at home, we think you’re giving your child the best possible start in life” (Anonymous, 2010).

Resources
National Center for Childhood in Poverty (June 1999). Poverty and Brain Development in Early Childhood. Retrieved on May 16, 2010 from http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_398.html

Anonymous (March 20, 2010). Twinkle, twinkle, you little child star; Modern parenting rules say it’s never too soon to learn a new skill. But yoga for babies? Signing classes before they can walk? Toddlers taking music lessons? Mum-of-two Cathy Owen investigates the (super) early learning phenomenon. Western Mail. Cardiff (UK). Pg. 4 retrieved on May 16, 2010 from http://proquest.umi.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/pqdweb?index=30&did=1988389601&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1274073627&clientId=70192

Educational Blogs Dealing with Instructional Design

There are many educational blogs on the Internet that cover what tools to use, methods of “reaching out”, current trends, and what not to do.  I have selected some sites to follow as I venture through courses dealing with Instructional Design.

The Bamboo Project Blog

The Bamboo Project Blog is maintained by Michele Martin.  “This blog is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations use best practices and social media tools to construct life-long learning and career development systems. We are all knowledge workers who must continually respond to a rapidly-changing world. We cannot afford to remain professionally stagnant or isolated from others who could help us learn and grow.  New technologies empower us to take charge of our personal and professional growth in ways we’ve never experienced. I want to facilitate understanding about the role of social media in supporting career development and lifelong learning and empower people and organizations to develop the skills to use these resources.  I’m using this space to stimulate discussion on how social media transforms professional development and to share examples, tools and tips. In the process, I’m also modeling how I use social media for my own growth as a knowledge worker.”  http://michelemartin.typepad.com/thebambooprojectblog/a_newbie_guide_to_the_bam.html

The Upside Learning Solutions Blog

Upside Learning are the makers of UpsideLMS and UpsideAssess and use the blog as a form of advertisement for their products.  Intertwined with the advertisements are suggestions for online teaching.  I don’t know if I would ever want to use UpsideLMS, but the topics of HTML5 and Narratives for Engaging eLearning look insightful.  Judging by the plethora of archived articles,  the site seems to be maintained well.

Instructional Design & Development Blog

The IDDblog.org is maintained by over a dozen people who blog about information on enhancing instruction through the use of technology.  The background of the bloggers is diverse and filled with students, former students, employees of DePaul University, and an award-winning film and video editor.

Experiencing E-Learning

Christy Tucker is an instructional designer who blogs about public school teaching, online learning, corporate training, and best fit web practices.  Her last few posts consisted of weekly bookmarks of other sites that offered great insight into using an LMS called Moodle and other education related topics.  One of the links on the list covered the topic of, “Instructional versus experiential design: do you have what it takes?”