The Backwards Brain Bicycle … and change

Brain neurons
Brain neurons

I follow a YouTube channel called SmarterEveryDay. This channel contains over 100 videos of the host exploring the world through science (I’ve posted about this before: Smarter everyday). There really are some great videos included that could be useful in the classroom as well as being simply, interesting!

Last week they posted The Backwards Brain Bicycle, in which they have to learn to ride a bike where turning the handlebars to the right turned the wheel to the left and vice-versa. It made for some interesting experiences.

Watch the video here:

As well as being a potentially good resource for the classroom, this video made me think about the change process and how difficult change can be. In regards to anything we try in the classroom, often we have to push through the difficult stage until things work appropriately and try not to slip back into the comfortable what we’ve always done frame of mind. Not to say that what we’ve always done wasn’t good, but sometimes if we want to go beyond that we’ve got to step out of our comfort zone and move into the unknown. The video showed that to learn to ride the backwards bicycle took great time, effort and a rewiring of the pathways in the brain.

Bringing digital technologies into the classroom can be a bit like that. It can be easy to question why we need to use technologies when the students were already learning. But perhaps we can take things a step further using technology. There could be opportunities for further learning and creativity around a concept or topic that only a digital device can offer.

It’s not about thinking that things were already working. It’s about thinking where else can I take my students in their learning? Where else am I willing for them to take themselves?


Image by Fotis Bobolas – CC-BY-SA 2.0 

Smarter Everyday

I’ve recently come across this YouTube channel: Smarter Every Day.

I’m not going to write much about it because I think the videos speak for themselves, however in a nutshell, the host has a question to answer and heads out to answer it through videos (including high-speed), interviews etc.

These are the two videos that first grabbed my attention.

How Fish Eat (Parts 1 & 2)

And just to whet your appetite a bit more, a cat video (that’s why we use the internet isn’t it?)—yeah, I know some won’t like that he’s experimenting on animals, but we know they land on their feet. The question is… Why? Lots of physics learning in this video!

There are a huge number of videos on his channel and he has over 1.7 million subscribers! The videos can be used in a wide range of educational contexts or even just to inspire kids to question and investigate more!