Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 79 - January 2012 - by Phil Chambers

Happy New Year

TIME TO READ: 3 minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) plus a 3 minute video - Word Count: 711. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.

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Welcome to the Januaey 2012 issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter. Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

This month This month we have a technique that will help you succeed in your New Year Resolutions, plus our regular features of Mind Map Tip, Quote of the Month and what I’ve been up to.


Mind Map Tip of the Month

Pin or ‘blu tack’ Mind Maps to the walls of you bedroom or office. Wherever you will see them regularly. This is especially important for exam revision and goals (or resolutions). You can review the Mind Maps in idle moments (for example if your call is held in a queue on the phone). It shouldn’t take long. You can review an entire, highly detailed Mind Map in 90 seconds.


January's Quote of the Month


"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."

~Oprah Winfrey

More quotes here



What's Phil Up To?



I have mainly been relaxing over Christmas and re-charging my batteries for great things ahead in 2012. More in future editions of the Newsletter.


How to Ensure Your Resolutions Succeed.

The New Year is a time for making a fresh start and putting the excesses of Christmas feasting and drinking behind us. Maybe join a gym, decide to lose weight or give up smoking. Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? How successful have you been to sticking to them in the past? Do you have a strategy to make sure that you stick to them this year?

Psychologists have shown that we take in only a tiny fraction of the information that presents itself to our five senses. Our perception is filtered and the brain fills in the blanks. This is based on our experience, memories, beliefs and internal ‘model’ of the World.

To demonstrate this watch the video, “The Amazing Colour Changing Card Trick” by Dr Richard Wiseman, Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. Click here

If you were fooled by the trick you will understand how little you actually pay attention to. The important thing is to direct your attention to what is important and what will help you achieve your goals and resolutions. There is an area of the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS), this regulates the transitions between sleep and awake states but also plays a role in stimulating attention. The RAS allows your non-conscious brain to alert you important things. But to know what is important you must pre-programme what you need to look out for.

One way to do this is to imagine that you have achieved your resolution. Visualise what it looks like, feels like, smells, tastes and sounds like if applicable. Try to make the imagined experience as vivid as possible. Now think about how you achieved the goal. Who helped you? What were the stepping-stones along the way? Try to visualise each one. Although your ‘real’ path to success may not follow exactly what you have imagined, your brain will now be on the look-out and open to serendipitous coincidences that will help you.

This technique is not just applicable to goals and resolutions. If you have undertaken any kind of learning, you need to ensure that you apply it rather then slipping back into old habits. Visualise situations in the future where the new knowledge or skill will be beneficial. Try to be as specific as possible. By creating imagined ‘memories of the future’ you are more likely to notice the situations when they arise and act in the most appropriate way.

Best of luck with your resolutions for 2012. If you apply the techniques above, you shouldn’t need luck. Believe in yourself and you may be surprised how much you can accomplish!

That’s it for this month. I’ll be back in touch with he next newsletter in Febraury.

Best Wishes