RSI Corporate - Licensing

Want to ‘train your brain’? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument

The Guardian – Mo Costandi

“The multimillion dollar brain training industry is under attack. In October 2014, a group of over 100 eminent neuroscientists and psychologists wrote an open letter warning that “claims promoting brain games are frequently exaggerated and at times misleading”. Earlier this year, industry giant Lumosity was fined $2m, and ordered to refund thousands of customers who were duped by false claims that the company’s products improve general mental abilities and slow the progression of age-related decline in mental abilities. And a recent review examining studies purporting to show the benefits of such products found “little evidence … that training improves improves everyday cognitive performance”. While brain training games and apps may not live up to their hype, it is well established that certain other activities and lifestyle choices can have neurological benefits that promote overall brain health and may help to keep the mind sharp as we get older. One of these is musical training. Research shows that learning to play a musical instrument is beneficial for children and adults alike, and may even be helpful to patients recovering from brain injuries.”(more)

The truth about boys and books: they read less – and skip pages

The Guardian – Daniel Boffey

“Boys might claim it’s a simple matter of preferring to read magazines or the latest musings of their friends on social media rather than the classics. But two of the largest studies ever conducted into the reading habits of children in the UK have put those excuses to bed. Boys, of every age, no matter the nature of the literature before them, typically read less thoroughly than girls. They take less time to process the words, lazily skipping parts with abandon. And they choose books that are too easy for them, meaning they fail to move on to tougher material, it is claimed.”(more)

Multilingualism: Speaking the language of diversity

Al Jazeera – Khaled Diab

“As the United Kingdom heads for the EU exit, a recent survey bestowed upon Britons the unenviable distinction of being the worst at foreign languages in Europe. Although this survey is based on perceptions and is, hence, subjective, it does confirm an enormous and damning body of previous research. Despite the UK being one of the most multicultural societies in Europe, three-fifths of people in Britain cannot speak a foreign language, according to a Europe-wide survey. In the rest of Europe, more than half the citizens speak at least one foreign language. This dire picture is backed up by anecdotal evidence. When growing up in the UK, I was often regarded as a curiosity, and sometimes even a marvel, for being able to be speak Arabic fluently. In later life, I have noticed how Britons and Americans, with the exception of an impressively polyglottic minority, usually have the greatest difficulty of any nationality I know in acquiring another language, no matter how desperately they want to.”(more)

Link found between selfie viewing, decreased self-esteem

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Frequent viewing of selfies through social network sites like Facebook is linked to a decrease in self-esteem and life satisfaction, according to Penn State researchers in mass communications. “Most of the research done on social network sites looks at the motivation for posting and liking content, but we’re now starting to look at the effect of viewing behavior,” said Ruoxu Wang, graduate student in mass communications. Viewing behavior is also called “lurking” — when a person does not participate in posting or liking social content, but is just an observer. This form of participation in social media may sound like it should have little effect on how humans view themselves, but the study, published online in the Journal of Telematics and Informatics, revealed the exact opposite.”(more)

Here’s where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on the biggest K-12 issues

E-School News – Stephen Noonoo

“With the election only about two weeks away, the long campaigning season is finally drawing to a close. With so much else to talk about, issues surrounding K-12 education have gotten relatively little attention, despite the recent politicization of charter schools, Common Core, and STEM instruction. Although somewhat easy to miss, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have addressed these issues and more in the press and on their respective campaign websites. And educators seem to have taken notice, at least somewhat: Earlier this month, more than 2,500 educators responded to an informal eSchool News poll asking which candidate best represented their vision for the future of K-12 education. (Clinton won that poll with 58 percent of the vote, while Trump received 28 percent; 12 percent were undecided).”(more)

10 Things You Need To Raise A Bilingual Child

The Huffington Post – Chontelle Bonfiglio

“Raising bilingual children comes with many well-known benefits. For parents, it can be very rewarding; however, it isn’t always as easy as some may think. Children don’t magically become bilingual overnight. Right from the start, it takes a lot of effort. There are various challenges to overcome along the way. There are certain things every parent needs to make the journey easier.”(more)