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The Learning Success Blog

5 World Firsts: Fast ForWord Brain Training & Reading Programs

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 4, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Peter Barnes

By the start of 1996, four neuroscientists had spent 25 years researching both how our brains learn and also ways to help people with dyslexia, autism and specific language impairment.

The scientists were Dr Michael Merzenich - now known as “The father of neuroplasticity”, Dr Paula Tallal, Dr Bill Jenkins and Dr Steve Miller. They co-founded the Scientific Learning Corporation (SLC) and Fast ForWord is the registered trade name of the platform SLC built to translate basic neuroplasticity-based training research into clinical and educational products.

In doing this they established 5 “world firsts”:

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Topics: Fast ForWord, Educational Neuroscience

Educating with Neuroscience Conference 2016, Melbourne 26 August

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 26, 2016 at 5:23 PM

Peter Barnes


Educators have been a bit late in applying the immense value of neuroscience, but it’s here in education right now, according to Dr Steve Miller, keynote speaker at the Educating with Neuroscience 2016 conference (ENS 2016) in Melbourne on Friday 26 August.

“It's here now, and if you haven't looked you may not have noticed it,” he says. “Here's the examples I give people:

  • Pro athletes are doing neuroscience training to be better at being competitive athletes. 
  • The military in a dozen countries uses brain training to make their elite teams more consistently elite. 
  • Every hospital has a neuroscience team that uses neuroscience technologies in neurology to help assess things. 
  • Companies around the world, if you look at the Fortune top 100 companies, half of them have done a neuroscience study to see what they should be doing to make something more effective, or improve decision making, or to make decision making work among their consumers. 

The place where it's last, to be honest, is in the learning space, in education.”

Expert and experienced speakers at ENS 2016 Conference

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Topics: Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Educational Neuroscience Helps Students: Special Needs to Mainstream

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 23, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Peter Barnes

Peter Carabi, vice president of Global Business Development for Scientific Learning has been watching how educational neuroscience is changing learning for students around the world.

He sees how this relativey new brain science, which is the foundation for the Fast ForWord brain training, language and reading programs, opens new opportunities for students regardless of their country or ability.

Peter recorded an interview with the Learning Capacity Podcast in which he discussed English language learning and educational neuroscience.

This blog is a transcript of his comments about the latter.

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Topics: Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Educational Neuroscience

Peter Carabi: English Language Learning with Fast ForWord

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 23, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Peter Barnes

Language and reading are universal skills required by everyone across the world. And with English being such a dominant language, there are an increasing number of people looking for ways to improve their English literacy.

Peter Carabi, vice president of Global Business Development for Scientific Learning is in the privileged position of witnessing the effects of the Fast ForWord programs as they help people around the world with their language skills. He sees how this opens new opportunities for them and often completely changes the trajectory of young peoples’ lives.

The programs are based on neuroscience, and the concept that the brain is not fixed, but plastic, and has the capability to change itself. Peter describes it as one of the things that can give us all hope.

Colin Klupiec caught up with Peter at the biannual LearnFast summit in January 2016, on a sunny day in Manly on Sydney Harbour and recorded an interview for the Learning Capacity Podcast. Peter discussed English language learning and educational neuroscience.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: English Language Learners, Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

Nervanix Attention Software Boosts High Value Learning: Dr Steve Miller

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 26, 2016 at 9:50 PM

Colin Klupiec

Image if you had a piece of wearable technology that could "listen to your brain".  And use what it hears to help you to track your concentration while you study.

This might sound a bit like science fiction. But it's actually available now with the Clarity software and headset from the Nervanix Corporation.

It might surprise you to know that the technology behind it, known as EEG, is actually about 100 years old.

Dr Steve Miller is the chief science officer for Nervanix. He’s one of the driving forces behind the development of Nervanix Clarity.

Dr Miller explains how it all works in an interview on the Learning Capacity podcast.

He points out the significant implications for education. And how this new technology can enhance learning for all students involved in high value learning.

Listen to the podcast episode:

 

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Topics: Attention, Brain Science, Learning, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience, Nervanix Attention Technology

Phonics Instruction Activates Brain Area Best Wired for Reading

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 12, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Peter Barnes

Research from Stanford University, USA, has shown that phonics instruction activates the left hemisphere of the brain. This is where visual and language regions are located.

The researchers showed that an alternative reading instruction method, known as whole-word or whole-language activates the right side of the brain.

Prof Bruce McCandliss, a co-author of the research noted that left hemisphere activation is characteristic of skilled readers, and is lacking in individuals who struggle with reading.

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Topics: Latest Research, Reading, Educational Neuroscience

Colin Klupiec - Northside Radio: Learning Capacity, Education, Reading

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 11, 2016 at 5:19 PM

Colin Klupiec

In my role as producer of the Learning Capacity podcast, I get to talk to many interesting people from around the world.

Occasionally, the tables get turned, and the people I meet start to ask me more questions than I ask them.

Nick Kenny, hosts a program on Sydney based community station Northside Radio, FM99.3. It’s named A Fair Call and is a political commentary and current affairs talk show. He invited me to join him on the program to discuss what learning capacity is, what I thought about current developments in the education system in Australia, and why I thought reading is so important.

He wasn’t afraid of asking tough questions, and it made for a very enjoyable discussion. The program was recorded, and I’m pleased to add it to the growing list of interviews that make up the Learning Capacity podcast.

Listen to the discussion:

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Learning, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience

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

20 years of Fast ForWord – Where is Educational Neuroscience Headed?

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 4, 2016 at 12:27 PM

Peter Barnes


It's 20 years since four visionary neuroscientists combined their brain research with emerging computer technologies to develop some exercises to help children with reading difficulties.

The work of the scientists, Dr Michael Merzenich, Dr Paula Tallal, Dr Bill Jenkins and Dr Steve Miller proved that the underlying cognitive processes that influence speech and language problems could be identified—and permanently improved.

Their research and the exercises they built led to the development of the Fast ForWord program.

20 year commemorative conference

To commemorate this 20-year milestone, the four founding neuroscientists are participating in Scientific Learning Corporation’s Visionary Conference in San Diego on March 3-5, 2016.

They will be reviewing how far we've come in our understanding of the brain and learning, and where the science, now known as educational neuroscience, is headed. 

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Topics: Fast ForWord, Educational Neuroscience

When Will Educational Neuroscience be an Integral Part of Teaching?

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 8, 2016 at 10:17 AM

Peter Barnes

“It's here now. If you haven't looked, you may not have noticed it.”

That's neuroscientist, Dr Steve Miller, speaking on The Learning Capacity Podcast about the emerging field of educational neuroscience.

He pointed out that neuroscience, the knowledge of how our brains work, is being applied in a range of diverse fields and has recently come to education.

Research from neuroscience is being applied in:

  • Professional athletics – to improve performance
  • The military - to make their elite teams consistently more elite
  • Medicine - for diagnosis and treatment
  • Business - to understand decision-making and consumer behaviour
  • Education - to improve teaching methodologies and learning outcomes

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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Topics: Learning Capacity, Podcasts, Educational Neuroscience, For Principals

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