Sunday, February 13, 2011

What did you say?

As I was reading Chapter 4 about the Cognitive Information Processing Theory a particular topic “caught my eye” theories of attention. My medical background teaches me that it is essential for our survival that our brains filter out an enormous amount of input. We need to block some things in order to deal with others effectively and that we all have differences in our abilities to control our attention and block out irrelevant stimuli effectively.
Anyone have students or a child who “studies” with earphones on as they blare out loud music? I always wondered how people can do that.
We as teachers also need to be aware of distractions on our part that we may unknowingly do. The book sites suggestions to mix-up the classroom material to focus and maintain student attention. Using signals, movement, variety, interest and questions can keep it a great learning environment for everyone.


  1. I agree with your review. I read the chapter and was immersed into a Tron like atmosphere as the chapter discussed short term memory and long term memory.Different types of short term memory are,sequential.relevance,and transitional.Long term memory can be triggered by an image,food, or event. In relation to a classroom the teacher needs to retain the students attention so they can learn.

  2. Attention is vital to have in a clasroom in order for students to succeed. I teach second grade so I always try to introduce new concepts with a short video. is a great source for getting the student's attention. It has short videos for alomost every concept in every subject. I also try to use objects such as puppets, or real objects like plants (when introducing plants). I also like to ask questions as I am teaching to make sure they are understanding and listening.

  3. To answer your question on children who use headphones with blaring music, I think it does help them study. Have you ever tried this in your classroom, put on classical music while your students are taking a test or writing a paper. I think music puts the students to ease and allows them to concentrate more. I also think since the music is blaring they will not be distract by some outside noise because they are already focus on their homework and cant hear anything because of the music they are listening to.

  4. In Dr. Pan’s class we are discussing channel theory and channel overload. The theory teaches that there are two imput channels into brain: the visual and the audio or aural. If two much information is imputed in one channel then it is overloaded and the student becomes distracted and unable to process the information deeply. Using signals one is able to direct the student to important information and help them direct their attention. This theory teaches less is more.
    Using this idea with the information in Cognitive Information Processing Theory one would have to surmise that each activity is using channel theory and the use of a variety of activities would fall under Cognitive Information Theory. At least that is one interpretation.

  5. I have read many articles talking about overloading when learning. I have tried to take this into consideration when the students are studying, but I also am coming from a school where I listen to music while I am studying as well. I like my students feel that it helps me to zone into what I am viewing. In the the classroom I have allowed students to listen to ipods while working because of this. Most students seem to focus more and get more work done while listening to their ipods, in a way it acts as a buffer for them to drowned out any noises that would distract them.