Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 99 - October 2013 - by Phil Chambers

TIME TO READ: 4 minutes (average reader) - less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 984 To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us or read my book Brillaint Speed Reading.

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Welcome to the October 2013 issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter. Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

In this edition of the newsletter we have an article on study at University promoted by a report that students are resorting to taking drugs, News from recent Memory Championships and our regular features of quote of the month, What I’m up to and Mind Map Tip..


October's Quote of the Month

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

~ Benjamin Franklin

More quotes here

What's Phil Up To?


I’m coaching a businessman in London on the use of Mind Mapping.

Learning Technologies is undergoing a slight rebranding. I cannot say more at the moment but will keep you posted.

The website for my new eBook, “How to Remember Equations and Formulae” has been somewhat delayed but you can still be one of the first to buy a copy through this pre-release link.



Mind Mapping Tip of the Month

Mind Map Cenre 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 101 Top Tips see my book here.


Memory Sports News Headlines

Congratulations to Mark Anthony P. Castaneda from the Philippines on winning the Hong Kong Open Memory Championships and to Johannes Mallow of Germany, winning the Swedish Open with the highest ever score in a memory championship of 10,059 points.


Just Say No to Drugs

Pills According to a report in the Daily Mail (28th September 2013), many students at Britain’s top universities are taking prescription only drugs, readily available on the internet, to improve their academic performance. These so called ‘Smart Drugs’, most notably Modafinil, a drug designed to combat narcolepsy, allow students to stay awake and alert for long periods. If this does improve concentration we need to seriously consider the introduction of drug testing at the World Memory Championships.

The long-term health risks of taking drugs such as Modafinil, especially amongst teenagers, are as yet unknown. A spokesman for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said: 'Modafinil is a prescription only medicine. It should only be taken following a full consultation with a doctor who can fully assess you for any possible risks associated with taking a medicine.’

If you are looking for a boost to your academic performance, a much safer route than ‘popping pills’ is to improve your study skills. Working smarter, not harder, allows you to assimilate and understand information at far faster rates and at a deeper level. Here are my top five tips to gain an unfair advantage in university (or any level of study):

1) Get in the Right Mindset for Learning
Before sitting down to study it is important to be in the right frame of mind. This is relaxed but alert with mostly Alpha and Theta brainwaves. Make sure you have a calm environment away from distractions. De-clutter in your brain by spending 2-3 minutes noting down any niggling distractions on your mind. Setting these to one side clears your mind for learning. It is not a good idea to listen to music whist studying but some relaxing or motivating music before prior to learning has been shown to be beneficial.

2) Use Your Multiple Intelligences
We all have a mix of different intelligences. The more of these you tap into the stronger you learning will become. For, example you can use your musical intelligence by creating a rap or song to help remember some aspect of your studies. You can use your physical intelligence by acting out a key principle. Describing or discussing your studies with a ‘study buddy’ engages your interpersonal intelligence.

3) Learn to Mind Map
Mind Mapping engages several more of your intelligences, namely, visual-spatial, logical mathematical and linguistic as well as having a kinesthetic ‘muscle memory’ if hand drawn. Mind Maps allow you to see a subject in context and make connections between different aspects. They aid understanding and, due to the use of colour, images and association, boost memory. Another benefit is that a Mind Map allows you to distill down a subject into its essence so you can review far faster. (see point 5 below).

4) Use Advanced Mnemonics
The use of memory techniques (technically called mnemonics) allow you to commit information to memory. Typical data includes: dates of studies in psychology, events in history, mathematical or chemical equations, definitions of technical terminology, syntax in computer science, vocabulary in foreign languages, etc. Combining mnemonics with Mind Mapping gives you a very strong and fast approach to revision. (My new eBook, “How to Remember Equations and Formuale” explains how to effectively use mnemonics. See link here.)

5) Review Correctly
Review your notes form the start of the course to build knowledge. Don’t leave it to the month before the exam. Follow the ideal review schedule of reviewing after 10 minutes, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month and 3 months. It is easiest to review using Mind Maps. (See last month’s Newsletter). I offer individual coaching on these subjects and more. If you’re a university student on a tight budget a less costly first step is to buy my book, “The Student Survival Guide”. At £15 it costs less then 8 doses of Modafinil and I guarantee it will do you’re a lot more good!

That’s it for this month. I’ll be back in touch with the next newsletter in early November.

Best Wishes