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The Learning Success Blog

Latin Dancing & Brain Training: Keys to Brain Fitness?

Posted by Tilly Stevens on October 4, 2016 at 2:37 PM

Tilly Stevens

These days, we’ve come to understand that we can train our brains.

Obviously, the physical benefits of exercise have been preached and promoted for years now. Funny thing is, it seems that exercise also helps our brains.

The combination of these two forms of training, mind and body, benefit our brains more than if one or the other is undertaken.

Turns out, physical exercise actually serves to improve memory, says a study conducted by the University of Texas Dallas. 

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Topics: Brain Science, Memory, Fast ForWord, Music

10 Ways to Develop Your Child's Brain for Reading Success

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 1, 2016 at 5:18 PM

Peter Barnes

Many children struggle with reading, but there are ways parents can help prevent reading difficulties.

Reading researcher, Dr Jennifer Buckingham estimates that as many as 1 million children in Australia are at risk of reading failure.

We know from scientific research that the ability to read is one of the most complex skills we can learn.

According to reading research organisations in Australia and overseas, including The Centre for Independent Studies in Australia, the National Reading Panel (USA), and the USA National Institute for Literacy, there are some critical skills for learning to read.  

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Topics: Attention, Memory, Reading, Learning

Educational Neuroscience is Not Pop Science, says Cogmed’s Mimma Mason

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 10, 2016 at 8:25 PM

Colin Klupiec

Mimma Mason is the Cogmed Manager for Pearson Australia, and has previously explained working memory on the Learning Capacity podcast.

But she also spends much of her time helping people understand the emerging field of educational neuroscience. Is it another band wagon, or pop science?

We’ve asked this question before, and it seems like the consistent message is that educational neuroscience is now increasingly informing educational practice and research.

So if it’s for real, how do we implement it? And what does this mean for future teacher education and professional development?

Mimma helps us understand what to make of it all in a discussion on the Learning Capacity podcast. 

Listen to the podcast episode:



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Topics: Attention, Brain Science, Memory, School, Cogmed, Learning Capacity, Learning, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Why Working Memory Is So Important for Learning: Cogmed Can help

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 22, 2016 at 4:20 PM

Colin Klupiec

What is working memory and what happens if your working memory is weak?

Mimma Mason, Cogmed Manager for Pearson Australia, explains that students with poor working memory find learning much harder.

Mimma spends much of her time raising awareness of working memory and its relationship to learning. Most of us might easily relate to long term memory, what we did a while back, or short term memory, like what we did yesterday.

But do we give enough time to thinking about working memory? That’s what’s going on when we get exposed to new things, and it’s a critical part of the learning process.

Mimma Mason explained working memory to the Learning Capacity Podcast, and spoke about how we can develop it.

Listen to the podcast episode:

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Topics: Memory, Cogmed, Podcasts

What's the Latest in Neuroscience, Working Memory, Attention & Autism?

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 19, 2015 at 2:38 PM

Peter Barnes

At a recent neuroscience conference in the USA, I heard Dr Martha Burns give a wide-ranging talk summarising the latest neuroscience research about learning and learning disorders. She related the latest research findings to how the Fast ForWord & Reading Assistant programs improve language skills, reading and learning capacity for many children.

Dr Burns is a neuroscientist, author of over 100 journal articles and multiple books, and a leading expert on how children learn.  Her talk covered topics including autism, attention & listening skills, working memory, self-regulation & cognitive control, dyslexia, intelligent tutoring systems, the neuroscience of learning, goal setting, and what's next for neuroscience. 

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Topics: Attention, Latest Research, Dyslexia, Memory, Autism, Confidence & Resilience, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity

Why Your Working Memory is Important for Your General Intelligence

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 19, 2015 at 1:55 PM

Peter Barnes

"Working memory is vitally important for learning. But it is important to remember that memory and attention aren't subclinical skills, they are actually part of what we call executive function. They are part of what matures as you get older that enables you to be effective and goal oriented. They are the part of what makes a student an effective student, a successful student.", said Dr Martha Burns in a recent presentation.

Dr Martha Burns is a neuroscientist, author of over 100 journal articles and multiple books, and a leading expert on how children learn. 

Here is a summary of what she said in her presentation.

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Topics: Memory

Handwriting May Boost Learning by Activating Working Memory & Reading

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 2, 2015 at 12:40 PM

Peter Barnes

Children today are doing much less handwriting than children did 20, 30 or 40 years ago. Before computers became commonplace, handwriting was much more important for everyone. Back then schools put considerable time and attention on making sure students developed their handwriting. 

I recall entering cursive handwriting competitions when I was a young child (I went to primary school in the 1950s), and the sense of pride for the kids who were judged the neatest writers.

Now, typing on computers and tablets is replacing the act of writing by hand for many students (and adults).

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST 

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Topics: Writing, Brain Science, Memory, Reading, School, Learning, Podcasts

Can Playing Music Help Develop Working Memory and Improve Attention?

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 9, 2015 at 4:21 PM

Peter Barnes

Interesting new research from the University of Vermont, USA suggests that children who learn a musical instrument may be improving their brains in ways that help them well beyond their music lesson or practice.

Learning music might help children to:

  • Improve their attention
  • Enhance their working memory
  • Develop better organisation and planning skills
  • Control their emotions
  • Reduce anxiety
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Topics: Attention, Memory, Music

Nine Facts for Parents & Teachers about Maths Learning Disabilities

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 27, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Peter Barnes

What is maths learning disability? This disability, known as "dyscalculia", is not as well known as other learning disabilites, such as reading disability, but it can effect more than one in 12 children.

Here are some facts that experts say about maths disabiity (courtesy of the USA National Center for Learning Disabilities).

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Memory

Use it or Lose it? – Why the benefits of Fast ForWord are long lasting

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Peter Barnes

Does a child need to keep doing Fast ForWord exercises to continue to get the benefit of the brain training?

No, children don’t have to keep doing the exercises to maintain their improvements in learning reading and self confidence. The benefits of Fast ForWord are long lasting after the exercises are completed.

Research, and reports, from parents and teachers of children who have completed the Fast ForWord program, confirm that the gains made from the exercises are permanent.

Children typically complete the Fast ForWord programs appropriate for their age and development in 3 – 5 months. During this time they work on exercises that strengthen the cognitive and language skills that are essential for learning and reading.

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Topics: Attention, Memory, Fast ForWord

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