Can You Help Me Find Research On How Writing Strengthens The Brain?

Writing Assignment - Pre-Writing from Flickr via Wylio

© 2010 Enokson, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

I’ve written a lot about how learning in general strengthens the brain and reading’s effects on the brain (see The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning).

In addition, I’ve written a lot about recent research finding how handwriting in particular helps brain development (see The Best Resources For Learning About Handwriting & Learning).

Now, I’m looking for research documenting how writing of any kind might strengthen the brain.

Does anyone have suggestions?

The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning”

When the last Race To The Top applications came out, its focus on the idea of “personalized learning” prompted me to create a The Best Resources On “Race To The Top” (& On “Personalized Learning”) list.

Now, though, I think it’s time to make the topic a “Best” list of its own…

I’ve got a number of concerns, and a fair amount of skepticism, about what’s passing as “personalized learning” these days, and this collection reflects it. Feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments:

“Personalized Learning,” Race To The Top & Putting Even More Lipstick On A Pig

Another Good Take On “Personalized Learning”

Personalization is by Chris Lehmann.

Dan Meyer On Personalization is by…Dan Meyer.

‘Personalized Learning’ Varies for Race to Top Districts is from Education Week.

Quote Of The Day: Personalized Learning

The Soaring Promise Of Big Data In Math Education is by Dan Meyer.

Gates and Murdoch “Personalize” Learning with Larger Classes and Big Data Systems is by Anthony Cody at Education Week.

Rebirth of the Teaching Machine through the Seduction of Data Analytics: This Time It’s Personal is by Philip McRae.

This Time It’s Personal and Dangerous is by Barbara Bray.

Personalized Instruction is knowing each child, how they learn, think, engage… then setting a course of action… @mcpssuper

— Greg Edmundson (@DSSI_ElemTeam) March 11, 2014


The History of “Personalization” and Teaching Machines is by Audrey Watters.


July’s Infographics & Interactives Galore – Part Three

There are just so many good infographics and interactives out there that I’ve begun a new semi-regular feature called “Infographics & Interactives Galore.”

You can see others at A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On Infographics and by searching “infographics” on this blog.

I’ll still be publishing separate posts to individually highlight especially useful infographics and interactives, but you’ll find others in this regular feature.

Usually, I just publish one of these posts each week, but I’m trying to catch up on a backlog of good infographics, so this is sort of a “special edition.”

Here goes:

UNESCO has a nice collection of education-related infographics.

How Birth Year Influences Political Views is an interactive from The New York Times.

Young Vs Old: Which Countries Have The Youngest Populations? is an interactive from Radio Free Europe. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Our World’s Population Of 7 Billion.

I’m adding this next one to The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions:

This infographic is being added to The Best Resources On The Dangers Of Multitasking:

Please Include Attribution to With This Graphic
Multitasking Infographic

I’m adding this next infographic to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures:

On the Sauce

Latest Resources On Child Refugees At U.S.-Mexico Border

Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL


I’ve started a somewhat regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention:

Ala. Puts Stop to Enrollment Policies That Discriminate Against Immigrants is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources To Learn About Alabama’s Awful Immigration Law (& Its Impact On Schools).

Guezzit looks like an intriguing game that can be played as a mobile app or as a Facebook application. I haven’t had time to try it out, but one of its features is a picture quiz for players to identify the correct descriptive words. Trying it is on my “to do” list, but if you get a chance to experiment with it, let me know if I’m right in my hunch that it could have potential for English Language Learners.

I’m a fan of having ELLS use online video games as a language learning activity. Escape From The Room With Framed Pictures is the latest game I’d have students use for this goal, and you can find its walkthrough here. Be sure to click on “English” for language.

4 fun and motivating grammar activities for beginner classes is by Adam Simpson. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Grammar Practice.

The British Council shares a number of good listening activities to do in class. I’m adding it to The Best Listening Sites For English Language Learners.