Virtual Classrooms

improving productivity of virtual classrooms using zen communication

There is something quite magical about seeing a team of swimmers in a pool synchronise their body movements to music. Or a group of dancers, flawlessly move on stage as if they were one person, rather than many (just think of Riverdance) . But it isn’t just their bodies that are working together. It is their minds too.

Zen classrooms are on the same wavelength

Virtual classrooms work in the same way as these swimmers and dancers. They need to learn and work together in ways in which don’t allow them to contact in the normal way. They need somehow to get the ‘on the same wavelength’ to personally learn and ensure the success of themselves which can only be enhanced by the success of the whole group. Many of us have probably experienced some kind of synchronised thinking with another person before. An ability to finish someone else’s sentences before they do. To see eye to eye on new ideas. All quite useful when you are trying to team communicate, collaborate and create a cohesive virtual classroom. But is “being on the same wavelength” just something that people say in passing? Is there more to than just hearsay?

Synchronising your brain waves- getting into ZEN

A recent study just out from researchers at New York University, and published in the journal Current Biology, which explores the concept of “synchronised thinking”. And they found that being on the same wavelength as someone else actually has some biology truth to it. What’s more, you can see it happening in real-time in the brain. The researchers used mobile EEG- a form of portable brain imaging- to simultaneously measure the brain waves from a group of people (12 to be precise) in a real world setting, whilst they were working together on a shared task (See Diagram 1).

What that meant was that they were able to synchronise everyone’s brain waves according to what was going on around them, the task they were working on. And by doing this they could then see how the neural activity across the group of people related to each other. Whether they were thinking “on the same wavelength”.

And guess what? They were. Their brain waves lined up. And, although the study was done in high school classroom, the insights are relevant to a broader audience. To any situation where people are working together on a shared task.

Measuring and improving virtual classroom communication using ZEN

We want in any virtual classroom to be able to baseline the level of communication in the classroom against which improvement can be measured over time to achieve our best. To do this, we have employed our Oscar-AI™ technology to measure the synchronised thinking (ZEN) of the team (See Diagram 2).

Alpha brain waves and the corresponding colour (light waves) allow us to quickly and efficiently measure the alignment of teacher and student. We are then able to compare the teacher and students communication ZEN (on the same wavelength) for alignment. You can see and complete the test yourself: Contact us for Link to Zen Test.

ZEN communication’s basic building block is mental resilience. The degree to which a team is able to improve it’s ZEN will be impacted by the individual student’s mental resilience levels. This is also checked and reported back to the student using the same ZEN test. This should be tested on a regular basis (every month) as our personal and study circumstances are constantly changing as our needs to respond.

Teachers access a virtual class communication portal through a website in which they enter their school name, teacher name and identify the students in their class.

A ZEN communication diagram (as per below) is produced. This highlights the strength of the communication with each student and also provides communication ideas for the teacher to use with each student so as to improve communication in this virtual environment.