Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 25 - July 2007 - by Phil Chambers

TIME TO READ: 4 minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 866. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.

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

This month, as well as our regular quote of the month and Mind Mapping Tip, we share some tips on giving up smoking, what you can learn from Doctor Who and news of the upcoming UK Open Memory Championships!

July's Quote of the Month

"I tried to stop smoking cigarettes
by telling myself I just didn't want
to smoke, but I didn't believe myself"

- Barbara Kelly (5 October 1924 – 14 January 2007) Canadian-born actress
See affirmations about giving up smoking below...

For many more quotes click here.

Mind Mapping Tip of the Month

Connect your main branches directly to the central image. Do not leave a gap around the centre - This wastes space and disrupts the connected flow of ideas.

For more tips on Mind Mapping see "101 Top Tips for Better Mind Maps" available from our online shop, click here.


Kick the habit with positive reinforcement

Sunday marked the start of the English ban on smoking in companies and public places. If you want to give up smoking there are various treatments available: nicotine patches, chewing gum, hypnosis, etc. However, nearly all the treatments say they require willpower. One important component is what you tell yourself. If you use the affirmation 'I am a non-smoker' or 'I don't smoke cigarettes' then whenever you use these phrases you repeat 'smoker' or 'cigarettes' hence focusing on what you want to avoid. This makes you far more likely to fall back into your bad old habit. Far better is to focus on what you are aiming for. Say something like 'I am becoming a more healthy person' or 'I am becoming more respectful of other's health'. The phrase 'I am becoming' encourages improvement and a positively stated goal keeps you focused and on track.


What can you learn form Doctor Who?

I am a fan of the long running British sci-fi programme 'Doctor Who' that saw it's series finale on Saturday. One occasional character, Captain Jack Harkness (played by John Barrowman) is rendered immortal through a somewhat bizarre plot twist. His knowledge that he cannot die leads him to great heroism, saving various other characters in dangerous situations. What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? I'm not advocating life threatening activities but think how fear of failure limits your decisions and actions.


Memory Championships News

Shropshire is set to host the annual UK Open Memory Championships for the first time - with entrants from the UK and Europe competing.

On 14 th July, the Severn Centre in Highley will be the venue for the Championships.   General manager, Alec Bates said, "The centre is usually associated with its excellent facilities for physical sports but we are delighted to have the opportunity to host mental sports.   This is going to be a uniquely interesting and fascinating event."

The one-day competition consists of 10 events in which competitors must memorise and recall large amounts of information in tight time limits. Disciplines featured include Names and Faces, Random Numbers, Historic Dates, Random Words and Numbers spoken at one digit per second. At stake is the title of UK Memory Champion and first prize of an expenses paid trip to Bahrain to compete in the World Memory Championships in August. Cash prizes will be awarded for second and third place and there is a special prize for the best international entrant.

Favourite to take the title is World Ranked Number One, Ben Pridmore, from Derby who currently holds 6 World Records including remembering the order of 27 shuffled packs of playing cards in an hour. You may think that Ben has a photographic memory but this is far from the truth. Chief Arbiter of the World Memory Sports Council and competition organiser, Phil Chambers explained, "Memory competitors are not born with an innate talent, they have simply learned effective techniques and trained their minds in much the same way as physical athletes train their bodies."

The event has kindly been sponsored by a number of businesses from Shropshire and further afield, including Inspire-ed.com, an organisation that trains schoolteachers and students in memory and thinking techniques.

Competitors must have total silence in order to concentrate but media and spectators are welcome, especially to watch the tense final event - scheduled for 5pm - where competitors memorise the order of a single shuffled pack of playing cards against the clock. The current World Record for this is 31.16 seconds.

If you would like to enter there's still time. Drop me an e-mail or regiater online here.

That's all for this month. If you have any comments, suggestions or would like more information about our courses please feel free to contact me.