Thursday, March 18, 2010


Learning Tips 1
One sure way to become a more effective learner is to simply keep learning. An article reported that people who learned how to juggle increased the amount of gray matter in their occipital lobes, the area of the brain is associated with visual memory.1 When these individuals stopped practicing their new skill, this gray matter vanished.

So if you're learning a new language, it is important to keep practicing the language in order to maintain the gains you have achieved. This "use-it-or-lose-it" phenomenon involves a brain process known as "pruning." Certain pathways in the brain are maintained, while other are eliminated. If you want the new information you just learned to stay put, keep practicing and rehearsing it.

Learning Tip 2.
Learn in Multiple Ways
Focus on learning in more than one way. Instead of just listening to a podcast, which involves auditory learning, find a way to rehearse the information both verbally and visually. This might involve describing what you learned to a friend, taking notes or drawing a mind map. By learning in more than one way, you’re further cementing the knowledge in your mind. According to Judy Willis, “The more regions of the brain that store data about a subject, the more interconnection there is. This redundancy means students will have more opportunities to pull up all of those related bits of data from their multiple storage areas in response to a single cue. This cross-referencing of data means we have learned, rather than just memorized.”

.Learning tip 3
Teach What You've Learned to Another Person

Teaching can improve your learning. By teaching to the rest of the class, your teacher hoped you would gain even more from the assignment. You can apply the same principle today by sharing your newly learned skills and knowledge with others.

Learning tip 4
Start by translating the information into your own words.
This process alone helps solidify new knowledge in your brain. Next, find some way to share what you’ve learned. Some ideas include writing a blog post, creating a podcast or participating in a group discussion.

Learning Tip5.
Utilize Previous Learning to Promote New Learning
Another great way to become a more effective learner is to use relational learning, which involves relating new information to things that you already know. For example, if you are learning about Romeo and Juliet, you might associate what you learn about the play with prior knowledge you have about Shakespeare, the historical period in which the author lived and other relevant information.
Learning tip 6.
Gain Practical Experience
For many of us, learning typically involves reading textbooks, attending lectures or doing research in the library or on the Web. While seeing information and then writing it down is important, actually putting new knowledge and skills into practice can be one of the best ways to improve learning. If you are trying to acquire a new skill or ability, focus on gaining practical experience. If it is a sport or athletic skill, perform the activity on a regular basis. If you are learning a new language, practice speaking with another person and surround yourself with immersive experiences.
Learning tip 7 .
Look Up Answers Rather Than Struggle to Remember
Of course, learning isn’t a perfect process. Sometimes, we forget the details of things that we have already learned. If you find yourself struggling to recall some tidbit of information, research suggests that you are better offer simply looking up the correct answer. One study found that the longer you spend trying to remember the answer, the more likely you will be to forget the answer again in the future. Why? Because these attempts to recall previously learned information actually results in learning the "error state" instead of the correct response.
Learning tip 8
Understand How You Learn Best
Another great strategy for improving your learning efficiency is to recognize your learning habits and styles. There are a number of different theories about learning styles, which can all help you gain a better understanding of how you learn best. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences describes eight different types of intelligence that can help reveal your individual strengths. Looking at Carl Jung’s learning style dimensions can also help you better see which learning strategies might work best for you.

Learning Tips 9
Use Testing to Boost Learning
Testing can be more beneficial than studying alone. Image by Clinton Cardozo.While it may seem that spending more time studying is one of the best ways to maximize learning, research has demonstrated that taking tests actually helps you better remember what you've learned, even if it wasn't covered on the test.3 The study revealed that students who studied and were then tested had better long-term recall of the materials, even on information that was not covered by the tests. Students who had extra time to study but were not tested had significantly lower recall of the materials.

Learning tip 10
Stop Multitasking
Multitasking can hurt learning effectiveness. It was thought that people who multitask, or perform more than one activity at once, had an edge over those who did not. However, research now suggests that multitasking can actually make learning less effective. In the study, participants lost significant amounts of time as they switched between multiple tasks and lost even more time as the tasks became increasingly complex.4 By switching from one activity to another, you will learn more slowly, become less efficient and make more errors. How can you avoid the dangers of multitasking? Start by focusing your attention on the task at hand and continue working for a predetermined amount of

Monday, March 15, 2010


How to overcome exam phobia

It is a common experience of my teaching that more than 60 per cent of students suffer from an examinations phobia.It doesn't matter whether the student is intelligent or not. They all worry about forgetting or overlooking something or the other while appearing in an exam, not being able to recall important facts at the appropriate time and, most importantly, ending up with a low score or failing. And these fears become barriers in their performance, especially during exam time.I want to share through this piece some of the major reasons leading to exam phobia along with some ways that can come in handy in helping students beat the fear and enjoy the learning process.Most teachers as a general practice in schools target their teaching either directly or indirectly towards the exams. Being focused on that, they highlight the same for the students as well like emphasiszing the need to complete much of the syllabus before the exams, working on important topics that may come in the exams, revise the lessons before the exams, etc.The students too, as a result of this, feel that exams are the most important thing. With that settled, they too start focusing on exams while living with a feeling of dread instead of enjoying their classes.But before discussing ways to help students beat this fear, it would also be helpful to examine the facet of fear.Sometimes fear is related to a specific subject as a result of which your confidence may rise or fall only when tested in that subject.Students might also fear the punishment that would be awarded to them by their parents or teachers on getting low marks. Because if God forbid, they measure less on their expectations, they are not just punished for it by the teachers in the form of having to write the correct answer 10 times or sometimes even 100 but the parents too show their disappointment by ignoring them for several days.Another aspect is being retained in the same class on failing the finals. In addition to all this, the students know that the teachers always appreciate those who get the highest marks in class so simply getting good or average grades is not good enough.At this stage, when the students find themselves disinterested in their studies due to exam phobia, the role of the teachers in encouraging them to just do their best becomes even more important.So how can a teacher help the agonising young minds to lose their fear of exams? The following tips may come in handy: • Make your students aware of the fact that their getting less marks in the exams will not result in any kind of punishment. Help them realise that examinations are merely a segment of the learning process used to explore one's skills. Give the same message to the parents as well.• Do make the students understand that the process of learning is far more important than giving exams. If a student takes an active interest in his or her studies while not thinking about being tested on it later on, he or she would automatically gain good marks.• Appreciate even the slightest improvement in performances. It will enhance self esteem, making the child want to learn more and work hard to acquire more good grades. Also share the improvement in students with the parents which will also do away with the notion that teachers only call the parents when the child is failing in class.• Help them believe in their strengths. All children have their own sets of hidden potential. Help them realise their good points. For example, some students may have good handwriting, some might have good presentation skills and so on. Ask them to use the best of their already existing skills and abilities during the exam to get better results instead of thinking and worrying about self-created fears.• Help the students search out their own areas of weakness. Self assessment helps in finding out the area within oneself that needs improvement. For instance, I secured less marks in the exam because: (a) I made careless mistakes, (b) My presentation was not attractive, (c) My time management needs improvement, (d) I need to go through the concept with the teacher again and so on. After making them go through a process of self assessment, facilitate them to practically work on the weak areas either through tasks given in the classroom or through home work.

Become Genius

What is a Genius? The dictionary defines “genius” as:  “Someone who has an unusually high level of intelligence, mental skill or artist...