LearnFast logo with no background.png

BLOG  |  NEWSLETTER  |  PODCAST  |  FREE RESOURCES  |  SHOP  |  CONFERENCE  |  WHAT'S ON

Delivering the world’s best evidence based solutions for learning

AU 1300 203 104  |  NZ 0800 451 959

At Home  |  At School  |  For Business  |  Homeschoolers  |  Adults

The Learning Success Blog

Peter Barnes

Peter Barnes has diverse background and experience that ranges from adult education & training in a human resources context, through learning & business innovation, to the leadership of large organisations. He has also worked in finance journalism, accountancy, and digital marketing.

Peter has been involved with the LearnFast Group since 2003, when he joined his wife, Devon, to help her manage the growth in the numbers of schools and individuals using LearnFast’s educational software programs to address language and literacy challenges for learners of all ages.

Peter is a passionate snow skier and has a wide range of interests – from mirror neurons, to American politics (and many others!). Peter has a vision for improving the education of future generations through the innovative and creative use of emerging technologies.

Recent Posts

When did you finish school? Does it matter for your brain?

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 20, 2020 at 2:50 PM

Peter Barnes

Did you finish school last year?  Last decade?  Last century?

Does it matter when? 

It might, if you want to keep your brain sharp and agile.

It’s unlikely you completed school last year. Most readers of this blog are older than that. You might have finished in the 2000’s. Or last century -  in the 1990’s, 1980’s, 1970’s or even earlier (like me!).

You learnt new things almost every day when you were in school.  Your brain was very active, building new neural pathways and strengthening existing ones.

If you finished school last decade or last century, it is likely you haven’t been learning new things nearly every day since then, and it’s the new things, the novel things, are best for keeping your brain sharp.

Read More

Topics: Attention, Educational Neuroscience

The times are a-changin' (at school too): Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 2, 2020 at 12:03 PM

Peter Barnes

In 1964, Bob Dylan sang:

Come gather 'round people wherever you roam….for the times they are a-changin'

Do you know the song?

Bob Dylan received a Nobel prize for literature in 2016. It was for the lyrics he wrote, like “The Times They are –a-Changin”.

He was right about that way back in 1964.

And the times are still changing. Especially in education. That’s thanks to educational neuroscience. It’s changing education in ways we could not have imagined.

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, Educational Neuroscience

Make Educational Neuroscience Work in Your School - 7 Tips

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 25, 2019 at 2:25 PM

Peter Barnes

Educators and schools around the world are increasingly using the knowledge, techniques, and programs developed from a new understanding of how our brains learn. They are applying neuroscience in their classrooms.

Why?

As an educator, you might be asking yourself why would I do this in my school?

Here are some reasons why. Educational neuroscience can:

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, School, Learning Capacity, For Principals

Educational Neuroscience:  A Wave of Change for Teachers & Students

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 25, 2019 at 2:24 PM

Peter Barnes

Is educational neuroscience a legitimate area of knowledge which can help teachers and students, or is it mostly "neurobabble" as some articles in the Melbourne Age and in The Conversation have recently suggested?

The authors of both these articles correctly point out that there is an increasing amount of brain-based language in education discussions. And also that much of the 'brain' and 'neuro' language being used has little scientific basis.

But that does not mean all discussion of the role of neuroscience in education should be dismissed as useless "neurobabble". In fact educational neuroscience is now a recognised scientific discipline which is being studied in some of the world's leading universities including Stanford, Columbia and Vanderbilt in the USA and Cambridge University in the UK.

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, Learning Capacity, Educational Neuroscience, For Principals

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

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 23, 2019 at 11:46 AM

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.  

Read More

Topics: Attention, Memory, Reading, Learning

5 Essentials for Effective Neuroscience Learning Capacity Programs

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 18, 2019 at 5:12 PM

Peter Barnes

How do educators sort through the hype surrounding brain-based "neuroscience" learning programs?

Parents and educators have been seeing the benefits for students using well designed, research based brain training programs to improve their learning capacity. This has led more and more distributors of educational products to jump on the bandwagon and promote their products as "neuroscience based".

So if you have been noticing more advertisments, emails and other promotions using the terms "neuroscience" and "brain-based" as a basis for their products, how do you know what are valid claims and what is simple opportunistic use of these labels?

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, Learning Capacity

What's Happening with Artificial Intelligence in Education & Learning?

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 10, 2019 at 5:33 PM

Peter Barnes

What's artificial intelligence got to do with learning and education? Actually, as it turns out quite a lot and in the future it may have an even bigger impact on how teachers teach and how students learn.

I was fortunate to attend the Australian Tutoring Association 2019 annual conference in Melbourne, where I heard educator Moya Gibb Smith give a presentation about the role of artificial intelligence (or AI as its generally known) in education and learning and how it's going to affect students, teachers, and tutors.

Read More

Topics: Learning, Podcasts, Teaching, Successful Schools, Neurotech Programs

Neuro-performance: Better Brains for Sport, Business and Learning

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 10, 2019 at 1:53 PM

Peter Barnes

According to Dr David Bach, a Harvard-trained scientist, physician and serial entrepreneur, the rapidly developing “neuro-performance” industry will change what we understand about the limits of human performance in sport, business and learning.

As a parent or teacher, why should you care about this?  And what is neuro-performance anyway?

Neuro-performance is the practice of improving brain function to achieve a higher level of human performance...including speed, strength, decision-making, learning, thinking and the ability to perform under pressure by training the brain so it’s messages are clear, accurate and fast.

It is now being used in elite sports and in business to enable participants to achieve greater levels of performance.

Read More

Topics: Brain Science, Learning Capacity, Adult Brain Fitness, Neurotech Programs

Tutor Anne-Marie O'Hagan: Importance of Family Involvement in Learning

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 30, 2019 at 12:31 PM

Peter Barnes

My brother, a primary school Principal, told me he often noticed the kids who did well at school had families who were very engaged in their education and in the school community. 

That's not to say children can't achieve at school if their families are not involved.

But it's an interesting observation.

So I thought I would explore the impact of family involvement on a special category of students - those struggling with their learning.  And I spoke with Anne-Marie O'Hagan, a former teacher and now a tutor working with struggling students for her perspective on this issue.

We recorded our conversation for an episode of The Learning Capacity Podcast.

Read More

Topics: Learning, Teaching

Dyslexia: Intervene Early to Improve Brain's Auditory Processing Speed

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 18, 2019 at 1:46 PM

Peter Barnes

Earlier intervention for children at risk of reading problems, and strengthening the area of their brains that distributes sound will probably prevent a lot of reading failures.

These are some of the conclusions from the latest (2019) research into dyslexia, according to Dr Martha Burns when she presented Scientific Learning Corporation's 5th annual webinar on updates to dyslexia research to mark Dyslexia Awareness Month, in October.

Dr Burns referenced many of the articles about dyslexia which were published in 2019.

Here are highlights from just two of the 2019 articles (courtesy of Amy Takabori from the Science of Learning Blog).

Read More

Topics: Dyslexia, Reading Difficulties

      Subscribe to Email Updates

      Recent Posts

      LearnFast Blog

      All about Neuroscience & Learning

      Are you interested in trends in learning, learning technology, education, neuroscience, or treatments for learning difficulties – including auditory processing disorder, dyslexia, attention, autism and others?

      Do you have children or students you want to help achieve more from their education?

      Does literacy enhancement or English as a Second Language interest you?

      Find out what’s happening on these and other topics related to neuroscience and learning, read comments on the latest research, and join the discussions.