In The News



Shonan Seminar (SHO-zemi), Japan's fastest-growing education group, is pleased to initiate a joint learning science research initiative with Tel Aviv University's Minducate Center in the Sagol School of Neuroscience.  This collaboration leverages a compelling research environment of over 200 centers enrolling over 30,000 students at SHO-zemi.  The goal is to enhance Professor Lilach Shalev's successful research into ways we can assess and even improve student attention and executive function.  A critical aspect of this collaboration is a focus on practical and scalable outcomes that can impact students' academic performance and empower teachers, even after the research is completed.

Yoshi Okamoto of SHO-zemi met Professor Shalev after they were both invited to speak at the prestigious Israel EdTech Summit 2017 in June.  Mr. Okamoto had already been pursuing methods to understand students' cognitive and emotional function in classrooms, so when he saw that another speaker was running an "Attention Lab" at Tel Aviv University, he was intrigued to find a potential colleague who was working towards similar goals.  Upon their first meeting, Professor Shalev's feedback helped refine Mr. Okamoto's existing ideas, and he immediately wanted to support her work.  Over the summer of 2017, SHO-zemi invited Professor Shalev to experience an intensive four-day summer seminar.  The seminar was an opportunity to experience SHO-zemi’s teaching methods first-hand while also participating in ongoing "learning engineering" approaches that enable rich data collection at scale using commodity tablets and video cameras.  Professor Shalev's curiosity and enthusiasm led to a quick decision on her part to enable this exchange.  This productive visit sparked further discussion, not only with Mr. Okamoto, but also with other SHO-zemi teachers, leaders, and researchers.

SHO-zemi is excited to develop research around the theme of sustained attention and cognitive control, and pilot data collection and analysis. SHO-zemi's agile learning engineering platform together with the deep expertise of Professor Shalev's attention lab is a powerful combination.  These efforts stand to improve the way students learn across cultures and throughout their lifespans.

Robots, virtual reality, and escape rooms; this is how the new classroom will look like

An article by ynet (hebrew)


Neuroscience goes out of the lab and into the classroom

While neuroscientists have long been studying the fundamental cognitive mechanisms of human learning, a new wave of studies has been pushing the boundaries of brain research by attempting to better understand how learning takes place in real-life contexts. 

Here, using portable EEG, researchers followed high school students learning in real-life environments. The researchers identified brain synchronization as a marker of shared attention and engagement. These groundbreaking studies open the door to using neuroscience research to study attention and engagement in learning in real life settings, while also accounting for group interactions and not just individual processes. This is an important step towards overcoming the existing between insights gained in sterile lab settings, and the messy reality of learning process in classrooms.