beanz Magazine

Google Expeditions

Russel Toris on Flickr

Cheap new VR technology lets students take field trips around the world!

Do you remember what you ate for dinner seventeen days ago? Or what colour shirt you wore? Probably not. For most people, the details of average days blur together. But when you go on a trip, whether it’s a visit to a local zoo or a vacation around the world, every sight, sound, and taste is etched into your mind.

Now which do you find easier to remember: “collywobbles” or “763927501827”? Even if you have no idea what “collywobbles” means (it’s a fancy term for bellyache) you’ll probably pick the word. Yet both terms have 12 characters. What makes the first so natural and the second so intimidating?

Both exercises tell us something about the way we learn: our brains aren’t built for cramming random lists of facts. Instead, they work best when information is meaningful, when all of our senses are engaged, and when we’re doing something concrete. Yet this creative, hands-on approach is expensive. Most schools don’t have enough money to bring their students on a camping trip, much less an expedition to the Great Barrier Reef or the International Space Station. Or do they?

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Links from the bottom of all the October 2018 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.

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