Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 58 - April 2010 - by Phil Chambers


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Welcome to the April 2010 issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter. Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

This month we have an article on how to tap into the geniuses of the past plus our regular features of quote of the month and what I’ve been up to.


Happy Easter!

Easter MMap

What's Phil Up To?

Phil's Photo

I have just returned from co-organising the North East Regional Final of the UK Schools Memory Championships in Newcastle. This was a tremendous contest with a well deserved winner, Kate McKenna. Kate’s winning score of 1,366 points was higher than last year’s UK Champion so she will certainly be amongst the favourites to win the National Final in July. Read more about the event here.


April's Quote of the Month

"I do not know what I must appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. "

Sir Isaac Newton

More quotes here



Who's Coming to Dinner?

I have been spending the Easter holidays indulging in good food and drink. Thinking about dining, I mused about who I would invite to dinner if I could choose anyone from history or fictional characters from literature. I decided on:

Charles Darwin
Salvador Dali
Richard Feynman
and Leonardo da Vinci

Who would be on you guest list? This is not just an idle thought, it can be a useful exercise. Think about the people that you chose. Why them? What qualities and characteristics do they show that makes them an inspiration or an interesting person?

If you find you have a difficult problem to resolve, these people can help you. Think to yourself, what would your chosen people do? For example, say you chose Albert Einstein: Obviously you cannot really ask Einstein or think exactly the same way as he would, but you can apply similar perspectives. Einstein had the courage to challenge dogmatic assumptions and to go beyond common sense appearances to consider alternatives. He worked though intuition and daydreaming then by following through the implications of his insights.

If you chose Sherlock Holmes, you could consider minute details or clues and what these revealed about the situation.

If you chose Princess Diana, you would consider the human aspects of empathy and compassion.

By asking your dream team or fantasy ‘mastermind’ group you can break out of your usual patterns of thinking to be more creative and innovative.

To learn more about the qualities of some of the greatest thinkers in history read ‘Buzan’s Book of Genius’ by Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene.



That’s it for this month. Look out for the next newsletter at the beginning of May and feel free to be in touch in the meantime.

My contact details are here.

Best Wishes