On another blog, Learnodes.com, I am attempting to stimulate patterns that connect knowledge to learn by forming a node of related webpages. My premise is that educators can and do build rich learning content in this way – by connecting networks that form patterns of knowledge in context.
This morning the New York Science Times has an article titled Brainpower May Lie in Complexity of Synapses about the work of Dr. Seth Grant at the Sanger Institute. Since the Times article is from a Nature Neuroscience article that is closed to the general Net visitor ($32 to download the article – and even then it can’t be linked to), I went to the Sanger Institute website and located a press release there describing Dr. Grant’s work. Another Sanger Institute page has the image at the right, which I think it is altogether fair for me to call a biological “learn node.” The page with the image explains research titled “Genes to Cognition,” in part this way:
Our research focuses on understanding the synapse and the multiprotein machines using an integrated set of experimental strategies including genome wide and specific gene studies. We aim to understand the logic behind the complexity of molecular organisation of the synapse using these strategies . . . .
For educators, this exploration of brain function suggests a fascinating challenge to understand how the connectivity nodes of the Net participate in interfacing human ideas for learning. Surely, stimulating patterns of ideas by creating online learn nodes holds promise for education. Experts in subjects can, and frequently do, devise nodes that connect webpages they respect – making learn nodes something like what is suggested in the image above.
The purple dot near the top, that is spewing something toward the vertical rods, brings to mind a term from SEO (search engine optimization). The SEO guys talk about “giving juice” to webpages by linking to them. If you are an expert in some learning subject and make a node among wepages you respect, you are giving them juice – puffing at them like the purple dot is doing. How very 21st century is that !!