Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 57 - March 2010 - by Phil Chambers


TIME TO READ: 4 minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 996. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.

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Welcome to the March 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 the how to deal with boring study topics and news of a great free app for the iphone plus our regular features of quote and Mind Map Tip of the month and what I’ve been up to.


What's Phil Up To?

Phil's Photo

As I write this I am sitting in a large hall at the University of Teeside, Middlesbrough in between running memory competitions for the Schools Memory Championships. We have had a real star of the future this morning who came third in the country so far and beat last year’s winner’s score. Founding father of Memory, the late Creighton Carvello who lived in the town would have been proud.

Last week I was at the other end of the country running a two-day course on Memory, Speed Reading and Mind Mapping in Essex.

On 6th – 7th March I will be running a similar two-day course in London. Limited spaces are still available. For details click here.


March's Quote of the Month

"‘Of course I will explain to you again why the trip to the Bahamas was so vitally necessary,’ said Dirk Gently soothingly. ‘Nothing could give me greater pleasure. I believe, as you know, Mrs Sauskind, in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. Furthermore I have plotted and triangulated the vectors of the interconnectedness of all things and traced them to a beach in Bermuda which it is therefore necessary for me to visit from time to time in the course of my investigations. I wish it were not the case, since, sadly, I am allergic to both the sun and rum punches, but then we all have our crosses to bear, do we not, Mrs Sauskind?’"


From 'Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency' by Douglas Adams

The interconnectedness of all things has a serious implication for learning - See the main article below.

More quotes here


Mind Map Tip of the Month

Size your lettering appropriately for its level in the hierarchy of a Mind Map. Main branches have larger lettering than second level branches and so on, decreasing as you move out from the centre.


Questions from the Files - How to Overcome Boredom

I have recently been asked how to make boring subjects less tedious, difficult and de-motivational. There are a number of points to answering this question.

1) Do you believe, as Leonardo da Vinci did, that everything connects to everything else? (see the quote of the month above and Leonardo’s quote published on the quotes page in February 2000). Is there any subject that you are interested in? Of course there is. This means that by definition you must be interested in every subject. You may not have developed a passion for the particular subject that you called ‘boring’ but there must be ways that you can make it more interesting. For example if you love football but hate maths, you could make maths more interesting by working out statistics for your particular team. You could even use maths and Newton’s equations to work out how footballs travel when kicked.

2) Why are you studying the ‘boring’ subject? In the case of the questioner, he was studying to become a doctor. Think about your ultimate goal. If the goal is strong enough then the stepping stones to get to that goal become smaller obstacles. Your overall motivation will help you through. It is important to regularly remind yourself of you goal and to picture in your mind what it will feel like to achieve it.

3) The final thing to consider is the way that you study. In the words of Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen, authors of the bestselling management book ‘FISH!’, “You cannot always do what you love but you can love what you do”. The point is that with a positive attitude you can enjoy your work (or studies) even if there are things that you would rather be doing instead. Studying with Mind Maps and imaginative memory techniques makes the process of learning more enjoyable and creative, even if the content is not. It is hard to think of anything more boring to memorise than strings of random binary numbers (1001011101, etc) but the top memory athletes enjoy committing them to memory because for them the numbers represent people doing interesting and amazing things in unusual locations.


Calling All iPhone Owners


I have fantastic news if you own an iphone. There is now a FREE Mind Mapping App that can be downloaded from the AppStore. Details here.

This allows you to quickly and easily Mind Map with a few gestures of your fingers wherever you are. So if you are sting on the train and suddenly have a flash of genius this can be captured and developed on a Mind Map without the hassle of searching for bits of paper or always carrying a bundle of coloured pens.

What’s more, the App allows you to upload the Mind Map to your home or office PC or Mac. Using the iMindMap software on your computer your Mind Map can be refined, shared with other users, printed and exported to Powerpoint or as a graphic file. You can even use it as the basis of a presentation or for project management.










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

My contact details are here.

Best Wishes