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The Learning Success Blog

How to Evaluate Conflicting Research About Educational Programs

Posted by David Stanley on July 7, 2021 at 2:32 PM

David Stanley

I heard from a school about the great results they are getting from a neuroscience program.  Then one of my staff pointed out a meta analysis that is critical of the program. I can’t understand why supposedly gold standard research - a meta analysis - is saying something totally different from what I hear is happening in other schools.” 

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Macquarie Uni’s MUSEC Briefing # 28: Academic vs Real World Evidence

Posted by David Stanley on July 7, 2021 at 9:50 AM

David Stanley

If you are considering a product to help your brain or improve academic performance, what evidence would you rely on?

Many people don't want to read research and thus seek a trusted advisor. Sadly, they are often unaware of potential conflicts of interest.

A case in point is the Macquarie University's Special Education Centre (MUSEC) brief discussed herein, where Macquarie University crudely used one meta-analysis to support their commercial initiative.

Can you rely on MUSEC for an independent, impartial and unbiased opinion?

What about the practical, real world gold standard evidence: 20+ years of product validation by millions of users around the world:

In 1996 four world leaders in neuroscience, after 25 years of ground-breaking research, formed a company (Scientific Learning Corporation). Their core product - Fast ForWord® translates neuroplasticity-based training research into educational programs to develop learning capacity and reading skills. It has been continually revised and enhanced ever since.

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Topics: Fast ForWord, For Principals

Simple Ways To Teach Children About Sustainability

Posted by Jane Shearer on July 5, 2021 at 11:02 AM

Over the past 10 years, sustainable living has become increasingly popular among Australian families. A study from Planet Ark and HP Australia found that more than 90% of Australians are worried about sustainability.

There is, however, still a long way to go before the nation as a whole becomes adequately sustainable. One way to accelerate the process is to teach children about the importance of sustainable living from a young age.

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Topics: Learning

Learn New Skills Faster by Taking Short Breaks

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 11, 2021 at 1:22 PM

Peter Barnes

It is fairly well understood that a good night’s sleep helps us learn better.

Now scientists have discovered people who take short breaks while learning a new skill make more gains than after a night's sleep.

In a Study at the USA National Institutes of Health 33 right-handed volunteers were shown a five-digit code "41234" on a screen and asked to type it out with their left hands as many times as possible for 10 seconds and then take a 10 second break. Subjects were asked to repeat this cycle of alternating practice and rest sessions a total of 35 times.

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Topics: Latest Research, Memory, Learning

Simple Yet Effective Ways To Keep Kids Interested In Learning

Posted by Jane Shearer on June 9, 2021 at 4:53 PM

Australian kids are more than halfway through the school term, and it's likely that most of them are already tired and stressed over homework and revising for exams. According to a recent survey, over 30 percent of students said that their homework workload is their biggest source of stress, while more than 25 percent said that tests like NAPLAN are causing them anxiety in school.

Being worried over grades and performance can cause a child to lose interest in their school work. This is why parents should take active steps to ensure that their kids stay engaged during the school year, and have a love for learning that goes beyond the classroom.

Here are some simple yet effective ways to keep kids interested in learning.

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Topics: Learning

Financial Literacy for Teenagers: 6 Things to Teach Them

Posted by Lidia Staron on May 31, 2021 at 3:30 PM

Our world is in constant flux. Rapid digitisation, partly due to the global pandemic, has made information, work, education, services and products more accessible online. And since teenagers spend more time online compared to other demographics, it is no surprise that this added accessibility impacts their financial behaviour the most as well.

While online shopping may discourage frugality at times, internet use may also increase financial literacy as well. According to recent statistics, 61% of teenagers have already started actively saving their money in a bank account. Meanwhile, 64% had sought out financial advice already.

Why Should Teens Learn Financial Literacy?

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Why Would You Send Your Child to Boarding School, If You Could?

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 31, 2021 at 10:24 AM

Peter Barnes

Only a very small percentage of the worldwide student population attends a boarding school.

I spent the last four years of secondary school as a “boarding student” because my family lived in country Queensland, and there was no high school nearby.  

Living away from family, sleeping in the dormitory with 30 other kids, and eating what I and my fellow students deemed totally unsatisfactory food was, in retrospect, not too bad. Not too good either, especially in my senior year when the school started to feel a little like a detention centre.

I imagine the quality of the accommodation and food has improved in the decades since I was a boarding school student. At least I hope so!

Nowadays some city parents choose to send their son or daughter to board at a school in the same city because they can afford to do so. 

Would you send your child to a boarding school if you could? What do you know about boarding schools?

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Topics: School

Speling?  Spieling?  Spelling? Spealing?

Posted by Moya Gibb-Smith on April 22, 2021 at 1:58 PM

For some folk, these words: Speling, Spieling, Spelling, Spealing,  look so similar that it’s very confusing.

Which one is the correct one? 

Good spelling is vital because it allows the writer to focus on what they want to say. It frees up brain space for their ideas to flourish.

As children learn to spell, their knowledge of words improves, and this makes reading easier.

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Topics: Fast ForWord, Spelling, Fast ForWord123

The Changing Face of Education In A Post-Covid World

Posted by Jane Shearer on April 12, 2021 at 2:40 PM

There is no denying that the Covid-19 global pandemic has disrupted just about every aspect of our lives, including our children’s education. By the end of March 2020, interruptions were experienced at schools in every state. Although the extent and timeline of the closures differed from one region to the next, the Australian education system as a whole was impacted greatly.

Even now, a year later, great uncertainty still remains, with lockdowns being enforced and lifted without much forewarning. Although Australia has managed to avoid much of the large-scale devastation the pandemic caused elsewhere in the world, the country’s education system remains vulnerable.

There are actually a number of ways in which the pandemic is changing education across the world. 

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Topics: School, Learning

Artificial Intelligence & Learning (a dummy’s guide)

Posted by Moya Gibb-Smith on March 16, 2021 at 3:51 PM

Speaking almost sixty six years ago Professor John McCarthy, one of the founding fathers of AI said at the Dartmouth University conference 1956 , “Every aspect of learning... can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.” 

Stephen Hawking, the famous theoretical physicist, said “Every aspect of our lives will be transformed by AI” and it could be “the biggest event in the history of our civilisation”.

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Topics: School, Learning Capacity, Artificial Intelligence

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