ISSUE 63 - September 2010 - by Phil Chambers
TIME TO READ: 7 minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 1,648. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.
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Welcome to the September 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 on study skills for students, results of the UK Open Memory Championships plus our regular features of Mind Map Tip, quote of the month and what I’ve been up to recently.
More quotes here
What's Phil Up To?
Last Month, I was one of the main organisers of the ‘UK Open Memory Championships’ sponsored
Later this month I will be travelling to Sweden to oversee the Swedish Open and to China for the
The UK Open Memory Championships 2010
Congratulations to Ben Pridmore for successfully defending his title at the UK Open
The event saw competitors from 10 countries including a team from the Philippines who
A special commendation goes to 11-year-old Konstantin Skudler from Germany who
broke several kids’ records to take overall 7th place.
|UK Open Memory Championships 2010 Final Results|
|Position||Name||Abstract Images||Binary Number||Names & Faces||Hour Number||Speed Number||Historic Dates||Words||Hour Cards||Spoken Number||Speed Cards||Overall Points||GM||Cat||Country|
|9||Johann Randall P. Abrina||352||176||180||250||277||231||308||192||99||374||2440||A||Philippines|
|10||Rick de Jong||184||213||190||283||320||220||100||231||280||317||2338||A||Netherlands|
|11||Roberto M. Racasa||0||192||280||200||213||0||68||231||210||50||1444||A||Philippines|
Mind Map 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.
Back to School Tips
This week sees the return to school of children in the UK after the Summer break. September 1st is also National Teachers’ Day in Singapore, so I thought it apt to write about study skills this month…
Here are my top 5 tips for students:
1) Don’t work for more than 45 minutes without a break.
This can be a challenge in school where lessons often last longer than this. However, when doing self-directed study, you will retain far more by taking regular short breaks. The graph below shows what happens to your recall as a function of time spent studying.
Notice that you remember more from the beginning and end of a study period. If you take breaks you create more beginnings and ends and so increase your overall level of recall.
2) Drink plenty of water.
The brain is over 85% water and some studies link memory loss to dehydration. Try to stick to water rather than having excessive amounts of coffee, tea or cola that all contain caffine and certainly avoid high energy drinks like Red Bull whilst studying.
3) Take notes with Mind Maps.
Mind Mapping works in harmony with the brain and aids concentration and memory. It is a great tool for summarising lots of information on a single page helping you to make sense of everything. If your teacher or lecturer requires you to take dictation or copy notes from a white board or projector then create your own Mind Map summaries after the lesson.
4) Revise from day one.
It is physically impossible to adequately cover an entire year’s work in the week before exams. This is especially true if you have not looked at some of your notes for several months. Trying to do so leads to massive stress, panic and eventually revision becomes a damage limitation exercise. If you make Mind Map Notes (as described above) you can review an entire hour’s work in a matter of minutes. Review your Mind Maps at regular intervals as described in last month’s newsletter. The more you know, the easier it is to learn related and associated things so not only are you removing the panic in the lead up to exams but you are also making the whole learning process easier.
5) Use mnemonic techniques for lists, data, equations, language vocabulary, dates and details that you are expected to recall.
Mind Maps are best for understanding concepts but are not so good for list based information that you are just expected to learn and regurgitate in an exam. In these cases you are best using a memory technique.
A really useful memory technique is the 'route', sometimes called the method of ‘loci’. We naturally remember places that we have visited. Even if you have a poor sense of direction you can always find your way home from work, school or college without evening thinking about it. The route technique takes advantage of this fact by attaching new information to your exiting 'geographical' knowledge.
For example, say you had to remember a list of 10 key points. Think about your journey to the local shops. You will pass a number of objects along the way. As you come out of your front door, perhaps you have a path with a gate at the end. As you walk along your street you pass a pillar-box, a peculiar shaped tree, a zebra crossing, whatever. You should find it easy to think of 10 familiar objects along the way. To remember your 10 important points for the exam, simply imagine something that represents the first point and mentally place it in the first place (your path). Something representing the second point is placed in the next location (by your gate) and so on. To recall the 10 points, recreate the journey in your memory noting that objects that you placed in each location.
There are a number of additional principles that you need to apply to make the items stand out. However, with practise it becomes easy to rapidly remember almost anything.
For more detailed information on study skills read ‘The Student Survival Guide’ by Phil Chambers and Elaine Colliar or subscribe to our 52 week ‘Super Study Skills for Students’ e-book that gives you bite sized instalments each week with examples, exercises, animations, video and audio content.
That’s it for this month. Look out for the next newsletter at the beginning of October and feel free to be in touch in the meantime.
My contact details are here.