What does ‘metacognition’ mean?

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

As it turns out, knowing what you know (or ‘metacognition’) actually explains a lot about how well you learn. The more conscious you are of your knowledge and thought processes, the more you can focus your energy on shoring up knowledge where it’s most needed. However, obvious though that may seem, it’s not so easy in practice — in general, people are pretty bad at it.

But that’s not the kind of indictment it might sound like at first — when you think about it, judging your own knowledge is very challenging.

Overcoming internal biases to identify areas and strategies for improvement


Online learning was just a backup plan, or a way to distribute content to a wider audience. Then, COVID-19 happened.

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Photo by Mohammad Shahhosseini on Unsplash

Everything had to be online. No one knew how best to approach it, so, as with most mass movements online, the earliest attempts were to simply take the in-person experience and put it on a screen. (The same thing a lot of print magazines did when they first decided to have websites.) While at first, people are understanding of the need to adapt quickly, that patience wears thin when the experience continues to be suboptimal over the long haul. This has serious implications for the future of education, as people like Scott Galloway have pointed out.

For example, Zoom is…


An interview with educator Stephen Minix on the death of George Floyd and America today

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Stephen Minix at the Watts Towers , 2016 — Photo by the author

One of the most important things to do, as protests continue across the country, is to take the time to listen — listen to members of the black community talk about their experiences and their thoughts on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going as a society. …


Background and inspiration behind Tom Clark’s art and career as a portrait painter in San Francisco

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Portrait of a girl in a straw hat — Tom Clark

Recently, I asked longtime friend and portrait artist Tom Clark if he would share some of his approach to art, from both a personal and historical perspective. I met Tom when I was quite small (that’s me in the painting below with my granddad, Donald Teague), and we’ve since stayed in touch to talk art (and sometimes politics) at cafes in San Francisco whenever he can be dragged away from the easel.

Here’s what we discussed.

Bryan Kitch:
How do you approach portrait painting from a historical perspective? …


When you blend cognitive science and artificial intelligence, remote learning can increase engagement, and improve performance versus traditional learning practices.

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So you’ve moved your course content online—that’s a good start. Now, it’s about making that training as effective and engaging as possible.

The traditional Learning Management System (LMS) allows you to make content available, and distribute it to your learners. But it falls short when it comes to the learning and retention component—that part is left entirely up to the individual.

As has been well established by the scientific community going back to the 19th century, we humans forget what we learn at a predictable rate (Hermann Ebbinghaus’s forgetting curve). …


This lecture by renowned UCLA cognitive scientist Robert Bjork reveals how forgetting, remembering, and learning are all vital, positive components of human memory

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Photo by Pejvak Samadani on Unsplash

When we hear the word ‘forget,’ typically there are negative associations. We often think of ourselves as striving not to forget things. But, as Robert Bjork discusses in the below video, forgetting is actually an important component of learning and memory.

Case in point: If we simply recorded and remembered everything, our memory would become cluttered with useless material. Or, in Bjork’s words, “Forgetting, rather than undoing learning, enables learning and focuses remembering.”

Bjork goes on to discuss how we, as humans, tend to fundamentally misunderstand this system of forgetting and remembering as it relates to learning.

“We seem…


A Conversation with Jeanette Duffy, Managing Director, UNICEF Ventures

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What are some of the challenges that inspired the creation of the UNICEF Kid Power program?

Jeanette Duffy: Every child, regardless of gender, ethnicity, income or geography, has the power to make a difference. However, based on research done by UNICEF USA surveying 5,600 3rd-5th grade students across the United States, most elementary-aged students do not believe their actions can make a positive difference in their community or the world. Most educators recognize the importance of implementing programs to empower today’s youth, as demand for social emotional learning (SEL) and purpose is growing. However, the lack of proven, scalable, cost-effective interventions has prevented widespread adoption of SEL programming.

In schools across the U.S. there is a…


How Jill Gurr and Create Now are helping at-risk kids go from struggling with literacy to writing a narrative for the future

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Walk into the office at Create Now in Downtown Los Angeles, and it’s immediately obvious that everything centers on the kids. In the second story of what looks like a former warehouse, rooms are filled with music equipment and art supplies, with a recording studio located near a drumming room that’s lovingly built into a closet, the egg crate foam insulation hand-applied to the walls.

What’s also clear is that this place matters—not only to the staff and volunteers, but to hundreds of kids who learn essential skills through the arts. …


Five managers from across the U.S. rewarded for their diligence in collecting attendance and engagement statistics for their programs

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Our first-ever UpActive Data-Driven Managers Awards recognized five managers from programs ranging from afterschool reading & literacy training, to soccer for refugee children, to high school sports.

Our Summer 2018 winners were:

The one constant: A strong dedication to helping community members develop the skills they will need to build for the future.

“[UpActive] is an easy platform to take attendance and track data for your students…


How Bentley Kapten and Jacob Adams are combining modern, empathic educational practice with 21st century skills in underserved communities, from coast to coast

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A chance meeting sparks an idea

“We’re both educators, and we both have experience working in education—specifically in high-performing charter schools,” says Kapten. “Jacob [Adams] worked in Brownsville, Brooklyn—I worked in Bed-Stuy [Bedford-Stuyvesant], Brooklyn.”

Working in the same circles, it was only a matter of time before the two met. And, immediately, there was a connection.

“The thing about the schools where we worked—and the reason we started STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] to the Future [stemtothefuture.com]—is that they were sort of like ‘assimilation factories.’ A lot of the focus was just getting kids on compliance, and really not allowing them, whether through the formalities…

Bryan Kitch

Athlete, artist, writer. Content Marketing Manager at @cerego. Twitter: @bryankitch

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