29 March 2011

Applied research and the goals of education

Lat Friday I attended a very interesting and informative event: Brain Power - Science Meets Media. The event was sponsored by NSERC and organized by Dr Sylvain Moreno, lead scientist at Rotman Research Institute. George Brown College collaborated with Dr Moreno on the development of MusiQKids: our Game Design faculty and students worked on the prototype for this innovative product. The focus of Brain Power was on the application of brain science to education, and the use of innovative media to increase educational development. It was a fascinating look into the mind and how leading scientists are working toward building better educational systems through brain science application. Also presenting at the event was Dr Tom Chau, with whom GBC faculty (and CCET Innovation Coordinator) Jamie McIntyre collaborated several years ago on the development of a microelectronic-enabled pen designed to give feedback on a child's ability to grip and so use the pen. Projects like these show the value of articulating complementary expertise between universities and colleges. The application of brain research to education as a theme supports the judicious allocation of resources into our education system in order to maximize effectiveness - a worthy goal. As attendee John Godfrey, head of the Toronto French School put it: "The goal of education is to make people privately happy and publicly useful."

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