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The Learning Success Blog

Fast ForWord & Dyslexia: International Dyslexia Association

Posted by David Stanley on March 9, 2017 at 12:37 PM

David Stanley

LearnFast provides the Fast ForWord program to schools in Australia and New Zealand.

A teacher from one of the schools using Fast ForWord sent us an email saying:  “ One of the students has dyslexia and the mother will not let the child do Fast ForWord because of this Blog from an official publication of the International Dyslexia Association.”

It is difficult for parents to source objective and informed opinions to help them make decisions to help their child. How sad for them when incomplete information like this International Dyslexia Association blog from 2011 makes them fearful.

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Topics: Dyslexia, Fast ForWord

250 Research Studies Published on Fast ForWord & Reading Assistant

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 28, 2017 at 3:41 PM

Peter Barnes

How do you usually make decisions when you are thinking about an important purchase such as a car or a large household item like a refrigerator or washing machine?

Do you base your decisions on:

  1. How you feel (“I really like it”)?
  2. What others say about it?
  3. Comparisons of facts and data (fuel consumption, energy efficiency, reports by independent consumer organisations)?
  4. A combination of all of these.

Decisions about educational software

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Topics: English Language Learners, Fast ForWord, For Principals

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

Posted by David Stanley on February 21, 2017 at 4:12 PM

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

Education – Australia’s Leaning Tower of PISA?

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 13, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Peter Barnes

The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy got its famous lean because the architects and engineers messed up back in the 14th century.

They didn’t build the foundations correctly.

In the 600 years since it was built the tower has turned into a tourist attraction. That’s lucky, because a tower with a lean isn’t much good for anything else.

From recent comments in the media about the latest PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) results an impartial observer could be forgiven for thinking that Australian education may be going the way of the Leaning Tower of Pisa -  interesting, but possibly not really doing the job it was built for.

The latest PISA results have shown that Australian students are continuing to fall behind other countries in maths and literacy. In the last 10 years Australia dropped from 6th to 12th in reading and from 9th to 20th in maths on this global comparison.

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Topics: Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Learning, For Principals

Double " teaching as usual" reading gain - 146 NSW primary students

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 5, 2016 at 1:51 PM

Peter Barnes

Here is how a primary school achieved double the reading gain one would normally expect.

Picture this:  Following a half day professional development session, "Glasses for the Ears" where the teachers discovered how their students could become better learners by using neuroscience, students of all abilities from Grades 2 to 6 were enrolled in the Fast ForWord neuroscience-based program.

The teachers who volunteered to implement the program received more detailed ongoing training and support.

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Topics: Reading, Fast ForWord, For Principals

A Tale of Two Brain Training Companies: Science vs Hype

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 5, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Peter Barnes

This is a tale of two brain training companies, Lumosity and Scientific Learning Corporation. And how one, Lumosity, was prosecuted for making claims about brain training unbacked by science, and the other, Scientific Learning Corporation, used decades of solid research to develop and prove the effectiveness of Fast ForWord. 

Lumosity paid $2 million penalty for unfounded claims

Lumosity, one of the most visible providers of adult online brain training games around the world, was hit with a 2 million dollar penalty in 2016 by the US Federal Trade Commission, due to unfounded claims on the efficacy of it’s product. 

According to the USA Federal Trade Commission press release "Lumosity preyed on consumer’s fears about age related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease”.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord

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

3 Famous Neuroscientists: How Brain Plasticity Helps Human Potential

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 26, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Peter Barnes

“The science of neuroplasticity is slowly but surely transforming how we think about ourselves and our brains, and how we can build a stronger brain that provides us with a better life,” said Dr Michael Merzenich.

He was speaking in a roundtable discussion with Professors Eve Marder and Carla Shatz following the trio’s receipt of the $1million 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience.

The three scientists discussed how their work disrupted a central dogma of neuroscience and how it offers the promise of plasticity-based treatments for people who are struggling to learn, have brain damage or who have brains at risk of mental illness or dementia.

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Topics: Brain Science, Fast ForWord, Educational Neuroscience

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

Fast ForWord Neuroscience Programs a Success at Covenant College

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 27, 2016 at 10:59 AM

Peter Barnes

“I’ve too many good results here with a range of children to not give all the kids an opportunity to do it”.

That's how Bruce Horman, Head of Junior School at Covenant College explained why he decided to have all children in Grade Three participate in the neuroscience-based Fast ForWord program in 2015.

Covenant College is a K -12 school with 540 students in Geelong, Victoria.

For the previous three years Covenant College had focussed the program on students from various grades who were presenting with a range of learning difficulties. They also included some students who were achieving in the mid range of their cohort, but had potential to do better.

Bruce commented, “I've seen that bright kids also benefit from Fast ForWord. It's not just for those kids who are really struggling”.

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Topics: Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories, For Principals

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