Accelerated Learning and the Types of Memory

The concept of accelerated learning is almost synonymous to honing and sharpening your memory. There are many super learning techniques but it would be easiest if your memory is as sharp as a tack.

Now, to really understand how your mind and memory works, here are the different types of memories that every person has. And understanding them will truly help you understand and master speed learning.

Short-term Memory is where all the new things you are reading or watching or listening to is automatically stored. Some studies suggest that from everything you learn (in an interval of 15-60 seconds), only seven pieces of information would be stored.

Long-term Memory is where information is stored over a much longer period and some scientists believe that it can store an infinite amount of information but recalling it is dependent on: repetition, understanding, frequency and the emotion attached to that information.

Implicit/Procedural Memory is also known as our subconscious or unconscious memory. This is where our habits are stored (brushing your teeth, waking up at exactly the same time every day, etc.). This is the memory that automates or “auto pilots” our tasks.

Explicit/Declarative Memory is whereon of different facts and events are stored. These are the things that we consciously want to remember. It has two subcategories.

Episodic Memory is much like a person’s “autobiographical memory” because here is where all the memories about certain events and locations are stored (anniversary, first school, etc.). Emotion plays a huge part in this memory type.

Semantic Memory is where all the structured facts like science and mathematics are stored. Sometimes, semantic memories are from episodic memories- this happens when the sentimental value of that information has been eradicated.

Accelerated learning is very interesting because it allows you to have a wider knowledge base and a deeper understanding of different concepts. It can also definitely give you an edge in school or in work. Whenever and wherever, you can definitely be of advantage when you know accelerated learning.

Another way that accelerated learning and memory are interrelated is the fact that where we store our memories can be controlled! With certain super learning techniques, you can bypass short-term memory. By doing this, you’ll be sure to have the information that you need anytime.

Obviously, if you have a poor memory or you always forget things easily, no matter how many accelerated learning techniques you know, you would not get the results that you would have wanted.

Aside from the techniques themselves, other ways to improve your memory would be through eating right, proper exercise and different memory games or practices.


How to Better Learn and Remember

Have you ever gone to a seminar and come home excited about all you learned that day? Filled with new ideas. Filled with enthusiasm. Bursting with ways to use the information to make your life better, easier, more fun. Then, a week later, you found that you had difficulty explaining to a friend exactly what it was that had you so fired up. Putting the ideas you did remember into practice was harder than you thought it would be.

Or, have you ever practiced or rehearsed for an upcoming event, gotten it down really well? Then, a few days later, when it was actually time to perform, you did much worse than you hoped you would do.

If you answered yes to these questions, you’re not alone. Most of us have experienced these two situations more than once in our lives. Psychologists at Dartmouth, who specialize in how we learn and remember, have uncovered some of the secrets of the mind. Here are two of their findings:

First, we learn better, and remember longer, when we engage in “spaced interval learning.” We shouldn’t cram knowledge in, in large, “massed learning,” chunks, like at the seminar or the night before a test. Our minds learn better when we do a little at a time, more often. We learn faster and remember better having five one-hour sessions, separated by other activities, than we do when we have one long marathon learning session. This makes sense. It gives our mind time to “let it sink in.” This supports the concept that moderation and consistency over time become significant productivity.

Second, when we practice or rehearse, we should do it in surroundings and situations that are as lifelike and natural as possible.

We want where and how we practice to be as close to the actual event as we can make it. When troops prepare for combat, part of their training involves “live fire,” real bullets. The soldiers must know that their training is as real and potentially fatal as actual combat or they wouldn’t learn what they need to know to survive.

Thankfully, most of our experiences are not as critical as a soldier’s. However, if we want to give a good talk or presentation, we should practice in front of live bodies. If we want to putt better, we should practice on real greens with other people watching. Then, our practice closely resembles the actual situation. This type of practice will help us to prepare and to improve.

When we practice in isolation, or under conditions very different from what we can expect to find during the experience, it is an inferior type of practice. We can combine the two findings from Dartmouth into a single technique for learning: study and practice regularly for short, rather than long, periods under actual conditions. Then, we will learn better and remember what we learned longer. And, we’ll reduce the chances of experiencing stage fright, a mental block or crumbling under pressure.


Interactive Learning and Its Tools

As a result of credit crunch, most of the organizations are switching to cost saving operations. Training, being an on-going process, consumes a lot of time and money of the organization. In the traditional training process, the trainers need to develop the training material, design questionnaire & assignments, conduct class-room session, and evaluate the trainee’s performance. This type of training method is monotonous and outcome is also very less. E-learning, with its multiple learning styles, has therefore become first choice of the employers. Using e-learning they can train their employees using interesting tools that engage them across various touch points.

E-learning is an interactive process, wherein, the user gets to interact with the fellow participants, which helps them in getting a better grip on the subject matter. New tools like game based and mobile learning have further revolutionized the training process. In game based learning, the trainee needs to go on level by level, learning one or the other thing one by one. In this type of learning, the participants are able to try and explore new things, which motivates them to learn quickly. Interactive learning also ensures that the training process does not get boring at any point of time.

Emergence of smart phones have made mobile learning quite popular. Users can now learn on-the-go, using different applications developed by the e-learning service providers. It is beyond time & geographical barriers, and its interesting apps help in learning things easily. Many companies are developing new training module that are compatible with different platforms such as Android, RIM and Windows. Moreover, to enhance the reach of mobile learning, e-learning service providers are developing the learning content that can be disseminated via SMS. M-books are also being developed to further enhance the scope of learning. By employing all these tools in the routine training process, the organizations are learning and developing fast.

For the organizations, which do not want to take the trouble of maintaining and updating the software timely, e-learning off shoring is a solution. There are many service providers, which have a dedicated off shoring center. These off shoring companies analyze the requirements of the client, and develop instructional design. It is then sent for production and is tested for user acceptance. The e-learning service provider also helps the client in support and maintenance activities. As per studies, e-learning off shoring helps the organizations in saving 20 to 40 percent of the cost associated with the training process.


What Is the Plateau in English Learning and How to Deal With It

Plateau in learning is the time when you get stuck and feel that you are not improving. It is something that all of you have experienced. Because it’s normal when we learn language that we learn a lot suddenly and then we have a plateau, a flat spot. It feels like we’re not learning. We’re studying, but we feel like we’re not improving. And that’s the normal process of learning. We have these times where we seem to be improving very quickly and then we have plateaus where everything feels like nothing’s happening. But if we’re patient, if we keep practicing and we keep studying then, we will have another fast period of growing and improving.

It is one of the difficult things that most English students and most students for any subject encounter. It can be frustrating and can make you feel like you’re not improving. It can hurt your motivation. So you need to be ready for plateaus. You need to know how to solve this problem: How should you feel when you have a plateau in your English learning. Because a lot of people get frustrated and then they quit so they never become masters, and they never speak excellent English.

It’s fun to learn something very quickly, but we must also learn to enjoy the plateaus. It’s good to have goals, but we have to learn to enjoy the times when we’re just studying, just practicing and we feel like we’re not improving. We must be patient because research has shown that during these plateaus, we are actually learning very quickly. Your brain is learning so much new information, but it’s not ready to show it yet. Inside your brain many new connections are happening. You’re actually learning very, very quickly, but it’s happening subconsciously. So you can’t really talk about what you’ve learned and maybe you can’t use it yet.

So, for example, with English, during a plateau you feel like you’re not learning, but if you’re listening, you are learning fast. Subconsciously your brain is understanding the grammar and the vocabulary more and more, your brain is learning better and better pronunciation. But there is a delay between understanding and using. So, for example, your listening will be improving very fast, but your speaking not. You feel like nothing’s happening. “I still can’t speak well” and you get frustrated. This happens with a lot of students.

You have to trust the plateaus. If you use the correct methods, if you follow a good spoken English course, subconsciously you will be learning very quickly. You’ll be understanding more and more and more, but there will be a gap. There will be a delay between your subconscious learning and your speaking improvement. It takes about six months for all of this subconscious learning to suddenly create better speech. It will happen automatically and effortlessly. The speaking part happens automatically, you don’t need to worry about it.

You must enjoy the process of learning, not just the final goal. Having very strong, powerful goals, that’s very important. However it’s equally important to enjoy the process of learning. Because if you have a great goal, but you hate the process, if you just hate studying, you’re not going to succeed, you will quit. Every day you have to just love listening to English. You have to enjoy the process every day, every minute. That’s why you should find interesting topics. Not just boring dialogues or boring textbook. Try to find ideas and information that will be useful and interesting to you. Why? So you will enjoy the process of learning English. So you will focus on the content and information, not on learning the language, because learning the language happens automatically.

If you follow good English learning system, you will learn English automatically and you will speak better. The teacher’s job is to make the process as interesting and fun and enjoyable as possible for you. Good teacher should pick topics that are meaningful that will help your life, not just your English. Because the more you find the content interesting, more crazy or entertaining the stories are, the more you will enjoy the process of learning. You will want to listen just because it’s fun and interesting.


How To Learn And/Or Teach Spanish

With the job market as it is, speaking a foreign language is more important than ever before. It is far easier than you might think to advance your career, and/ or help your child become bilingual.

Spanish is probably one of the easiest languages to learn and teach because it is so similar to English. It is also one of the most requested by employers in today’s workforce.

Make it as experiential as possible

The best way to learn any language is to live in the Country, or with a family, were they speak the language you wish to learn. That is not always possible though. But here is something that works almost as well.

In The Class Room or co-op setting:

The best language teacher I ever had, was a high school teacher. He began the first half of the hour speaking only Spanish. To get us to understand what he was saying, he would act out the words or sentence he wanted us to understand. The class would excitedly begin interpreting his actions. This would continue until we understood. The experience was much like being immersed in the Country itself, as we had to figure out what was being conveyed to us. To this day I can remember the words associated with his lessons.

The second half of the class was a mixture of Spanish and English as we practiced what we had learned previously that day. This was a class everyone looked forward to, and where we all learned a tremendous amount.

Some teachers find it awkward to perform or be dramatic in a classroom of students. But that is the case with everything new. Once you get accustomed to it, and see how students respond, it actually becomes quite fun and easy. You will find students behave better as well.

In The Home

After studying some of the Spanish words, prepare an ethnic meal. During the first half of that meal, everyone agrees to speak only Spanish. You can have a Spanish/ English dictionary available. Do this on a regular basis, and it is amazing how much is learned.


The Role of the Internet in Enhancing Learning and Performance

Progressive organizations consistently look for the most effective ways of learning to drive individual and team performance. Traditional learning methods have centred on the written word, with aural, visual and practical learning also key.

With the omnipresence of the Web these days, what effect does using the Internet have on our brains? How does this affect how organizations may use the Internet in developing their people and enhancing performance?

Internet Everywhere

With more of us being “knowledge workers” these days, we access the Internet on our desktop PCs, tablets, notebooks and smartphones – at work as well as at play. The Internet is literally everywhere we go.

Of course organizations have had to face the challenges of balancing the freedoms of their teams to access information with the restrictions to reduce the temptation of it being used for personal means rather than business.

But there is evidence to suggest that organizations could be using the Internet more as an effective training resource, especially for older team members.

A Study from the UCLA

A study performed at the UCLA and presented to the 2009 meeting of the Society for Neuroscience suggested that decision making and complex reasoning in older adults can be improved by as little as a week’s access to the Internet.

Using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) the changes in blood-flow and brain activity were recorded amongst study participants who had little Internet experience.

Scans showed brain activity in areas of the brain controlling language, reading, memory and visual abilities, as well as in regions important in working memory and decision-making.

It is thought that neural activation patterns are stimulated by even a short exposure to Internet activity, potentially enhancing brain function and cognition.

As the brain ages it goes through structural changes and it may be affected by atrophy and reduced cell activity, reducing brain function. The potential is there to use the Internet to slow these negative effects of ageing.

One of the study’s authors, Dr Gary Small, said:

“We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function.”

More Potential

But it’s not just older people that benefit from brain stimulation and the “exercise” it receives from searching for information on the Internet.

Most young people use the Internet anyway these days, but there is potential to be using it more for training everyone in organizations. As another of the study’s authors says:

“When performing an Internet search, the ability to hold important information in working memory and to extract the important points from competing graphics and words is essential.”

This could be an important training resource for team members across the board. It may be that the Internet actually activates our brains more than just reading through printed training manuals.

Of course online training programs are nothing new. Some large corporates have been actively using them for many years; but given the incredible importance of the Internet in all aspects of modern life, it’s surprising that it is not applied more to learning and training in all types of businesses.

The Downside

The downside to the Internet is over-use. There is the danger that over-using the Internet can impact another important ingredient for healthy human life and, in a work sense, high performance: that’s social interaction.

Even people who prefer working alone need social interaction; failure to disconnect from the endless flow of information that the Internet provides is a concern.

It can become like an addiction, which researchers have found can potentially reduce the value of real-life experiences and hamper social skills.

So, at the same time as seeing the possible learning potential, it’s important for organizations to help their employees create a balance whereby they can also use their social skills as well as their computer skills.

The technology needs to serve us rather than the other way around – and we need to remember that the greatest computer of them all is the human brain.


Body-Smart Intelligence – Use it While Learning and Doing Homework

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, or body smart, like the other seven smarts, resides in each child and adult. Those with a lot of it play one or more sports well, can act with their bodies, and may have skilled eye-hand coordination. Others may not be able to do any of that. Many children will have abilities somewhere in between these extremes. You’ll know the ones who are body smart because they think with movement and touch. When they’re excited, they move more.

Have you ever had a great idea while driving, putting groceries away, or walking upstairs? If you have, that’s your body smart at work. This is precisely why these children should not be expected or required to always sit still. It’s counterproductive and unrealistic for the way God wired them. (When it’s essential that they sit still because of others, they must learn to use their self-control to be obedient.)

Studying with the body-smart part of the brain involves moving in relevant ways and thinking with your hands by building things, clapping, writing, acting, etc. These ideas to include movement in lessons can be adapted to your needs:

  • Young children can march to their spelling words, taking one step for each letter. This won’t hurt any student and it will especially help those who are body smart. The teacher can lead them during school and/or children can march when practicing at home. For example, if they do this with the word “Texas” at home and then forget the middle letter when taking their spelling test, they can silently march with their big toes under their desks. This “marching” will help them recall the letter “x.”
  • Older students can use the same marching idea when, for example, memorizing the names of countries and vocabulary for their economics test.
  • Sky writing can be very helpful for children who are body smart. This involves “writing” letters and words as large as you can in the air with your hand, as if you’re holding a pencil. Sky writing also works well when learning chemical formulas, an explorer’s name, or a cursive letter. As an alternative to sky writing, you can use large pieces of chalk on the driveway, wet sponges on chalkboards, and markers on whiteboards. Because sky writing involves muscles in the fingers, arm, shoulder, and back, it’s better for body-smart children than simply writing on paper. Muscle movement helps body-smart children learn and remember. Teachers can lead groups of children in this worthwhile activity in class and encourage them to study this way at home. I recommend that children also say what they’re writing because then they’ll be using two more components of word-smart intelligence – speaking and listening – along with the word-smart skill of writing and the body’s large-motor actions.
  • Body-smart children should have clipboards available for their use because they’ll have the freedom to pace and study, go sit outside for a while, and sprawl out on the floor in the den where they can freely kick their legs in the air.
  • These children may also benefit from reading and studying in rocking chairs and beanbag chairs because these chairs provide the freedom to move. Even “studying” while emptying the dishwasher, cutting the grass, and washing the car may help. Of course, they won’t be holding a textbook, but they can rehearse a poem they’re memorizing, verbalize the order of events they’re studying for their history test, or think through a paper they’re writing.
  • Learning through drama and role-play can also be effective. It doesn’t have to be involved and complicated. For example, if children are learning the difference between shocked and scared, having them make the facial expressions that go with each word can help.
  • Because body-smart children think and learn by touching, it makes sense to use manipulatives. Bending colorful pipe cleaners into letters and numbers may work well. Writing with a finger in dry jello or sand poured into a pan can be effective.
  • Giving children relevant objects to explore and examine can be very motivational and instructive. Remember, they think with their hands, so actually handling an old bee hive could do more for them than a ten-minute lecture about it.


Plan Well and Study Abroad

Would you like to study abroad? Studying abroad is something that every student desires because it opens up a wealth of new prospects. Moreover, it can also be a wonderful source of experience. However, it can pay to be very careful in preparing for your overseas study experience and try to utilize the resources available to you for studying abroad. The first thing that you should plan for is the kind of overseas educational program that you are looking forward for. There are many different kinds of educational programs you can choose from. In fact, some people find the wealth of course options a bit overwhelming and the challenge is always selecting the right program that will allow you to get the most from it.

Another important thing that should be of concern is the financial and monetary aspect. In order to study abroad, you definitely have to invest a lot. However, unlike many over ways you may choose to spend your money, the funds spent on your overseas education and the experience that comes with it is definitely an investment in the true sense of the word. Student can also consider finding some scholarship programs which would significantly reduce the financial cost of your education overseas. There are plenty of organizations that are currently offering scholarships for international students and a targeted search on any of the popular internet search engines will help you locate them.

Often international students find their parents and family are reluctant to see them leave travel overseas to study abroad. This is of course quite natural but it also poses a challenge for most students. Given time these issues, as with home sickness, generally resolve but in the short term some parents find it useful to speak with a study adviser or education agent abroad. Such education agents and advisers are experienced in organizing study abroad programs for international students and should have a good knowledge of the study location and the issues and challenges facing not only students but their families. The adviser or education agent will be able to carefully discuss with parents and students issues such as safety, visa regulations in the host country and the importance and benefits of your chosen course and study abroad program. Your education agent or adviser can also share the experiences of other parents and this method can hopefully bring about positive results.

In choosing to study abroad, students are exposed to a number of opportunities that they would often not have in their home country. This goes for not only the knowledge their acquire in their particular field of study, but also the increased perspectives in various different spheres which they are exposed to. Moreover, the skills of cross-cultural communication would be improved and long with learning the subject of your interest, and you would also get to learn the richness of language and culture of that foreign country where you are planning to study. All these skills are not only sought after by employers across all career fields, but they are also skills that have a far wider and long lasting benefit to the students as they live their lives.

To study abroad is definitely a temptation that most students have. However, you should not be blindly driven by that temptation. Instead you should also try to see both the sides of the coin. If you are ready to face all the challenges that would come in your way while you are studying abroad then perhaps it is the right option for you. There are many others like you who have been able to reap the benefits of studying abroad. If you have a desire and the determination to make it happen then why not give it a try. Live without regrets and start working from now to fulfill your dreams.


Distance University: How to Work and Study at the Same Time

Distance learning students enjoy a lot of benefits with distance university courses. Students get their education without attending classes, and at the same time they are able to manage their jobs. A lot of programs and specialisations are offered through distance university. This is a very prominent distance learning benefit that attracts many students to choose this mode of distance university. Distance learning students enjoy the advantage of flexibility. Students are able to study at their own pace without adhering to class time tables.

Although there are a lot of benefits with Distance University, distance learning requires a lot of discipline and motivation from students. When a student is managing both job and studies, it is likely that the student may lose there track of priorities and fail to keep up to mark.A lot of programs and specialisations are offered through online bachelor-degree programs. Detailed information is available on the internet in case a person is interested in any of the programs. What are the ways a distance university student can overcome these challenges?

Here are a few tips to manage these issues:

*Time management is essential. Plan to utilize available time in the best possible way with flexibility. Set up a daily or weekly plan and ensure that it is strictly followed. Divide time appropriately and efficiently between studies, work and family.

*Motivation is equally important for successful distance university completion. One best way to do this is to stay in touch with classmates. It is very easy to stay in touch through digital media. Discuss projects, assignments, lectures with classmates.

*Keeping a track of the goals and plans is important. Set the milestones to be achieved in order to complete the course. Satisfaction of knowing one’s own progress is a motivating force to tackle the next issue.

*Arrange a suitable study area for maximum concentration. Ensure that the environment is conducive for studying.

*Although there are many advantages of the distance university courses, its effectiveness depends on the individual.

Identifying own needs is a good way to choose a program or specialisation. Ensure that the degree awarding institute is accredited by the education authority.

A lot of programs and specialisations are offered through online bachelor-degree programs. Detailed information is available on the internet in case a person is interested in any of the programs.

Identifying own needs is a good way to choose a program or specialisation. Ensure that the degree awarding institute is accredited by the education authority.


Distance Learning And The Online Revolution

In a traditional learning environment, students and their teachers are in the same place at the same time, busily working through the syllabus towards the academic goals of testing, certification, and of course, understanding. Distance learning deals with the process of education where time or space separate the teacher and student. In a globally connected world, the teacher in Malta, and student in Germany are obviously separated by space, and the answer to this has traditionally involved the travel of one party (usually the student) to the teacher’s location. The advent of readily available video conferencing software, however, has changed this situation dramatically, as new areas for teacher-student interaction have opened up and a world of new online possibilities have emerged to address the problem of space.

What is video conferencing?

When we talk about ‘video conferencing’, we refer to the software, now readily available via services like Skype, which makes it possible for not just voice, but also live video to be streamed via the internet, so that you can not only hear, but also see the person you’re talking to in real-time. It’s this level of interaction which has made all the difference when it comes to teaching and learning at a distance. We wouldn’t feel comfortable just hearing our teacher’s voice over the phone, and this is because of just how important sight is in understanding each other. The ability to actually see your teacher as he or she talks – to gauge expression and all the ‘feedback mechanisms’ such as gestures and reactions is vital to the way we understand each other, and it’s not until these visual cues are gone that we become aware of how important they are to the learning process.

Video conferencing addresses this issue, and the shaky, low-resolution pictures of the past are fast fading, with a new generation of high quality webcams being the standard in most people’s homes. It’s this technological advancement in home electronics which has facilitated the growth in distance learning, as schools and students no longer need to concern themselves with costly infrastructure – the technology which makes video conferencing possible is already widely used, on any standard computer. It’s free to download, and easy to use.

What else is involved?

While video conferencing has taken care of the ‘how’ we communicate, it’s just one aspect of distance learning. Teaching methodology is obviously slightly different when it comes to teaching at a distance, or when separated by time – students need to be able to study at their own convenience, as busy lives, studies, or work schedules mean that the time traditionally spent ‘in the classroom’ must be found elsewhere. In order to address these issues, the traditional ‘correspondence course’ approach has developed into an online solution, with websites filling the role of classroom, study area and library. Distance learning has come a long way, presenting new possibilities for individualised coursework and attention.

Via websites specifically designed for distance learning, coursework can be set, marked, and graded even though the teacher and student are ‘logging on’ at different times. The student has access to a vast library of learning resources aimed at all aspects of the pre-defined syllabus, and in this way, areas of educational concern can be addressed in a very personalised manner. The interactivity of the internet has really fulfilled the idea set forth in traditional correspondence courses – once hampered by the time it took for teacher and student to correspond via mail. Today, correspondence is instant via the internet, regardless of distance, so progress and guidance can be gauged and given in real-time.

The Impact of Distance Learning

With fully interactive distance learning now possible, people across the globe are taking advantage of the new opportunities, as courses of all kinds are now taught over the internet. One of the most striking examples is in the field of English language studies, where travel across great distances has always been part of the course. Students would typically travel to an English-speaking country to combine studies with a holiday, and the sector has grown hugely in recent years as low-cost airlines have made it a much more affordable proposition. But what about students who can’t spare a month to study full-time away from their work, family or other responsibilities?

Distance learning can help – it won’t provide the same experience as a holiday, but academically, the same material can be covered in a much more convenient way. Rather than view distance learning and traditional language tourism as separate fields – for those wanting to travel, but whose time, or finances are limited, a combination of distance learning and travel might be the answer and provide the greatest benefits possible. Courses of all types are making full use of distance learning as they seek to connect students to learning resources and teachers who would otherwise have been inaccessible. With the choices now available, it’s a great time to be a student, where technology and resources mean you can literally attend school from the comfort of your own home.