As the brain acquires new knowledge, the connections between the neurons become stronger, creating a more robust network and allowing the neurons to communicate more quickly. This is learning, and the more we rehearse a skill or piece of information, the quicker we are able to retrieve it and the easier it becomes.
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.
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.
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.
Around a fifth of 15-year-olds in Australia do not have basic financial literacy, according to a new financial literacy assessment results report.
While in no way is debt solely dependent on poor money management, it can certainly be exacerbated by it and it is never too early to learn about the importance of sound financial strategy. Follow these tips and ensure the process is as fun as it is informative!
Money somehow seems to be a slightly taboo subject in many homes, with few parents discussing money matters with their children.
While children can absorb new information at an amazing rate, they can lose it just as quickly. Did you know that learning loss is a big problem over the summer holidays?
Consequently, six weeks of the new term are spent relearning old material. It is estimated that just two to three hours of active learning a week is enough to prevent learning loss over the summer – and a few hours of private tutoring is an ideal way to maintain your child’s learning (if this financially feasible, of course). If you’re worried about what other parents might think, don’t worry – 96% of parents say they wouldn’t judge others for using a tutor.
How to learn from YouTube
YouTube is the most popular online video sharing platform now in the world, there are millions of interesting videos on a wide range of different topics, many of which can actually be very educational.
There is something for everyone and there are many opportunities for learning. This article will look at how you can use YouTube for learning new things, as well as developing existing knowledge.
The YouTube Learning channel
Besides being able to search for topics of interest and choosing from the highest-ranking videos, there is actually a dedicated You Tube Learning channel full of videos on a wide range of different topics designed to help people learn new things, develop their knowledge in areas of interest, pick up new skills and maybe even find new hobbies.
There has been a surge of interest in meditation in recent years due to mounting scientific evidence and research that links regular meditation with improved physical and mental health and well-being.
Meditation has a great deal of brain boosting effect also, including improved memory, attention span and learning capabilities. This article will explore the ways in which meditation can improve learning.
Improved problem-solving abilities
Studies show that practicing meditation can help us become more creative and flexible in our thinking. This in turn improves our ability to problem-solve and conceive of novel or original ideas.
What is STEM and why did it become STEAM?
I asked John Burfoot, a STEAM teacher in a New South Wales Primary school to explain and we recorded our chat as an episode of The Learning Capacity Podcast.
John also told me about how STEAM lessons enable students to learn valuable 'soft' life skills, as well as technical and technological skills.
His journey from a student who failed all his final high school exams to a degree qualified teacher is inspirational, and can serve as a reminder to students that their lives are not defined by what marks they achieve in school exams.
He worked as an electronics apprentice, a job in avionics, and making explosives for special effects in films before realising his passion is teaching.
How do you communicate complex information in a way that people unfamiliar with the subject's jargon can understand it?
How do teams of experts from different disciplines communicate with each other?
Dr Judy Ford, retired genetics expert and now a communications specialist, spoke to The Learning Capacity Podcast about ways to overcome these challenges.
She has been working with PhD students to help them navigate through their PhDs, and this includes how to communicate in writing and especially speaking.
In the Podcast she talks about the Three Minute Thesis Competition in which students have only three minutes to communicate the ideas that are important in their PhDs.