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The Learning Success Blog

Even you, will grow older

Posted by Moya Gibb-Smith on August 25, 2021 at 1:23 PM

Every minute that passes we age, and most people believe that advancing age will inevitably mean a decline in our mental abilities.

I know that at 66 years old it takes me longer to remember things that once I could bring quickly to mind.

However a recent study has found that not every mental faculty declines and that some even improve!

Now new research from Georgetown University Medical Center offers surprisingly good news.

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Topics: Latest Research, Brain Science, Adult Brain Fitness

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

How Poverty & Disadvantage Impacts Learning for 730,000 Children

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 18, 2016 at 4:43 PM

Peter Barnes

More than 730,000 children in Australia are living below the poverty line.

These disadvantaged children are at risk of having their learning compromised.

The Poverty in Australia 2016 Report, released last week, found the number of children living in poverty is increasing.

The report was written by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) in collaboration with the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

Find out how poverty and disadvantage can disrupt learning – see this infographic (courtesy of We Are Teachers and Scientific Learning Corporation).

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Topics: Latest Research, Learning Difficulties, Learning, For Principals

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

5 Risks - Is Tech Use Really Bad for Learning Capacity & Behaviour? 

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 4, 2015 at 10:57 AM

Peter Barnes

What's your opinion about young children using computer technology?  Do you think too much use is a problem? How much is too much? Is it a problem for their intellectual, social, emotional, or physical development? Does it reduce their learning capacity and contribute to behaviour problems?

If you have, like me, been reading some of the commentary about this issue, it would be easy to believe that there is definitely a problem. Or you might have an uneasy feeling that in some ways, for some children it could be.

Well, maybe it's time to think again. 

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Topics: Latest Research, Learning

Auckland Uni Reviews 15 Programs for Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & ADHD

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 12, 2015 at 4:43 PM

Peter Barnes

A team of academics from Auckland University’s Centre for Brain Research and School of Psychology has produced an objective overview of 15 computer-based and group or whole class behavioural intervention programs that are designed to remediate learning disorders.

They point out that advances in the scientific understanding of disorders such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have paved the way for the development of programs aimed at helping the  estimated one in five students with these disorders.

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Topics: Latest Research, Learning Difficulties, Dyslexia, Reading

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

Brain based learning. It's for everyone.

Posted by Colin Klupiec on June 22, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Colin Klupiec

Bringing an awareness of brain based learning into the classroom may seem a little unusual for many people. Anything to do with brain training still seems to have a connotation of remedial work. But there is a growing awareness of the fact that teaching and learning really does have a lot to do with understanding how the brain works, and how to activate maximum learning capacity in each individual. Consider this quote.

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Topics: Latest Research

Is a lot of screen time a problem for kids if they are using educational computer programs?

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 11, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Peter Barnes

Unsure if your child is having too much screen time? Should you ban TV, iPads and other screens on school days? Or ban them completely? Or just limit your child’s time playing computer games?

Maybe it doesn’t matter – isn’t technology just a part of life now?

Yes it is. But think about this:

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Topics: Latest Research

Should parents teach their babies sign language?

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 18, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Peter Barnes


Quite a few new parents wonder whether they should try to teach their babies sign language to help them learn to speak.

Remember "little Jack" from Meet the Fockers movie and his baby signing lessons? Well, language experts - from Universities and professional practice - say you are better to put your energy as a new mother into other interactions with your baby. For example researchers from the University of Hertfordshire - there is no evidence to support claims that using baby signing with babies helps to accelerate their language development (ScienceDaily Oct. 4, 2012) . Read the full article here.

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Topics: Latest Research

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