Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 65 - November 2010 - by Phil Chambers


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

This issue, we have an article how brain stimulation can help with maths, results of the Second Indian National Memory Championships plus our regular features of Mind Map Tip, quote of the month and what I’ve been up to recently.

November's Quote of the Month


"Alone one can make a difference.
Together we can change the world"

~ VR1Forever Charitable Foundation
Worn by arbiters at the Indian National Memory Championships

More quotes here


What's Phil Up To?

Phil's Photo

I had the pleasure of attending the Second Indian National Memory Championships in Hyderabad last weekend. More details below.

Preparations for the World Memory Championships that will take place in China at the beginning of December are underway. The next Newsletter in mid-December will include results and a report. It certainly promises to be the by far the biggest and hopefully that best World Championships ever.

I am also working on teachers' resources for the UK Schools Memory Championships. If you are interested in your children’s school taking part please contact me.


Mind Map Tip of the Month

A useful code of your Mind Maps: Use an upward spiral with an arrow on the end of it as a representation of continuous improvement (or Kaizen). Likewise, a spiral pointing down with an arrow at the end can represent continuous decline.


Report on The Second Indian National Memory Championships 2010

Jayasimha   Arbiters John_louis
Squadron Leader Jayasimha
The excellent arbiters' team from VR1Forever
Me with John Loius - Winner

Congratulation to Grandmaster John Louis who retained his title in the Second Indian National Memory Championships.

The second Indian Memory Championships (and first official World Ranking Tournament) took place on 31st October at the Fortune Select Manohar Hotel. The hotel offers an oasis of calm amidst the incessant traffic and noise of Hyderabad and is the first to offer coffee breaks and lunch by the pool!

The competition was master-minded by Squadron Leader Jayasimha and Dr. Kranthi Raj plus a great team of arbiters form VR1 Forever Foundation. It followed the National Standard rules and was run with a mixture of military efficiency and friendly warmth.

With about 100 competitors, many travelling long distance to attend and including lots of Juniors and Kids, it was one of the largest ranking competitions ever staged. Media coverage was also brilliantly managed – I have lost count of how many TV crews I spoke to and the final awards ceremony, attended by a host of VIPs, was followed with over an hour of photocalls.

If this tournament is anything to go by, the Mind Sport of Memory is alive and well in India and set to take off in a very big way. Judging by the enthusiasm and determination shown by both the competitors and organisers, we may well see an Indian World Champion within the next few years.



New research at Oxford University has shown that applying a very small electric current to the parietal lobe of the brain can improve some skills used in learning mathematics.

Subjects were required to solve a puzzle that involved substituting numbers for symbols. When the current was passed right to left across the brain region there was a statistically significant improvement, however if the direction was reversed performance dropped.

The research is in its early stages and it has yet to be seen whether the procedure has any detrimental effect on other brain functions but it is hoped that it could eventually lead to relief for suffers of dyscalculia, the numerical equivalent of dyslexia. To read the full story click here:


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

My contact details are here.

Best Wishes