Transactive Memory

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Transactive Memory –  a psychological hypothesis first proposed by Daniel Wegner describing the mechanisms through which groups collectively encode, store, and retrieve knowledge. Today, students don’t remember things, they remember where things are. Then, they go and retrieve them when they need them. This is also known as the Google Effect.  This powerful effect is changing how and when students learn. Students now expect learning to be on demand and easy to acquire.

How many of you think you can draw? If we can transact your learning and prove to you that you can draw in the next 5 minutes, would you be open to trying some of the other ideas we have to share with you today?

We use this example to demonstrate the ease of learning new things. If you would like to learn more about making your ideas visual, check out Graham Shaw’s The Art of Communication or Dan Roam’s The Back of the Napkin.

Teaching Idea:  share this video/activity when your feel your students need a little Creative Confidence, then share some tricks for transactive thinking. Are you familiar with Reverse Image Searching?

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.


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