news, in the media

Adjunct professor, Luc Beaudoin, talks about new book

August 19, 2013

With the release of his new e-book, Dr. Luc Beaudoin, an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Education, has been featured throughout the media. Titled Cognitive Productivity: The Art and Science of Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective, the e-book explores how the Knowledge Age presents us with unparalleled opportunities to develop personal excellence on the basis of knowledge, while also presenting significant challenges. Dr. Beaudoin argues that it’s important to understand both the opportunities and the challenges; That way, we can develop ways to improve ourselves with knowledge.

The following list outlines the book's media coverage:

July 11, 2013—Dr. Luc Beaudoin and his recently published e-book was featured on The Canadian Daily website.

"To harness rather than drown in the ocean of knowledge that swamps us daily via the media and the Internet, we’ve got to become more cognitively productive, says Luc Beaudoin. The Simon Fraser University adjunct education professor drives home that message in his new book Cognitive Productivity.

"Released on Leanpub, a Vancouver-based online bookstore, it’s the first research-based book to explain how marrying learning strategies that underlie cognitive science with learner-friendly technology can make us more cognitively productive."

July 15, 2013—Monique Polloni from Boulevard du Pacifique, CBC Radio Canada, talks with Dr. Luc Beaudoin about his book, Cognitive Productivity, which examines learning in an information overload world.

Read an English excert of the Q&A below:

Monique: What is cognitive science?
Luc: It's an interdisciplinary science to study the human mind. It uses information processing as the central metaphor.
NB: for more info, see my book or start with: 

Monique: What kind of research is the book based on?
Luc: I just had time to mention artificial intelligence research in the interview. I could have also mentioned cognitive psychology and education research, for example, research on test-enhanced learning and expertise. They figure in the book. 

Monique: You propose a broad concept of cognitive science?
Luc: The classical notion of cognition dates from Aristotle's faculty psychology. It distinguishes cognition from volition and affect. Broad cognitive science views all of psychology as information processing. When studying learning from a broad cognitive science perspective, we can address motivational, emotional and other considerations in the same way. It's all information processing.

Monique: What about information overload?
Luc: I suggested that the human mind hasn't evolved specifically to deal with the vast amounts of information that we attempt to process today. In fact, we continue to use 19th century concepts about the mind, information and knowledge. That hinders learning. My book helps people update their understanding of themselves and knowledge.

Monique: Have younger people's brains adapted to process information better than older people?
Luc: There is no strong evidence of that to my knowledge. People across all generations are challenged in dealing with all of the information available today. Not all young people are very adept at using information technology, though they might appear to some to be. 

Monique: The book uses many examples, can you say something about them?
Luc: Yes. In the book, there are several running examples. One of them is about learning a concept proposed by John Gottman in the relationship cure called the "bid". Gottman discovered that members of a couple make frequent bids (or requests) to each other. (Such as: please pass the salt? Or would you help me with the laundry? Let's go out on a date this week-end...) Gottman discovered that how people issue and respond to bids determines the course of their relationship. My book uses the example of learning the concept of bids because the concept of "bid" is clearly not booking knowledge. It's value lies in helping one improve one's relationships. And to really master this concept one needs to perceive bids and respond to them. This involves the entire person, not just memorization or semantic memory. If we treat all learning that people do from books , ebooks, and other knowledge resources in this "whole mind" manner, we will be a lot further ahead in understanding and improving learning. That's what my book does.

Monique: What strategies and tips do you propose?
Luc: The first thing is to understand the problems and opportunities we have in processing and learning information. I also provide a general characterization of what we do with information. I also provide simple concepts people can use to assess and select information for further processing. Filtering and rejecting information is very important, because our time and attentional resources are severely limited. The book provides several other tips and strategies.

July 31, 2013—Frieda Werden from SFU Ideas and Issues, a CJSF radio show, talks with Dr. Luc Beaudoin about cognitive science and his new e-book Cognitive Productivity.

August 15, 2013—SFU adjunct education professor Luc Beaudoin’s new book, Cognitive Productivity, which examines learning in an information overload world, was featured in the Maple Ridge News.

"Enlightened by what his own varied career path has taught him, Beaudoin cites examples of how information overload and learner-unfriendly technology are combining to break down our cognitive productivity.

"'Merely skimming and archiving information, which most of us do to try to stay afloat on our sea of information, stymies cognitive productivity,' said Beaudoin.

"'There’s not enough active reading, annotating and harvesting of information gems, which we must then practise recognizing and using if we’re to become expert with the knowledge.'

"It’s believed to be the first research-based book to explain how marrying learning strategies that underlie cognitive science with learner-friendly technology can make us more cognitively productive."

Read more:

August 23, 2013—News 1130 caught up with SFU adjunct education professor Luc Beaudoin to discuss students going back to school and cognitive productivity.

"If you’re in college or university, you know it’s not easy to study in this info-overloaded environment with cell phones and other gadgets going off.

SFU education professor Luc Beaudoin says information technology makes it all too easy to passively process information. However, for deep learning, he says we must consciously challenge ourselves."

Read more:

August 26, 2013—Dr. Luc Beaudoin, adjunct education professor with SFU, joins Mark Forsythe on CBC Radio's BC Almanac show to discuss the use of technology in the classroom and Dr. Beaudoin's newly released e-book, Cognitive Productivity.