Thursday, June 09, 2005

OTTL 2005: "Train Your Brain" by Brain Thwaits

My notes on an Our Turn to Learn 2005 (OTTL) keynote presentation by Brain Thwaits.

  • Problems with memory:
    • No interest
    • No Attention. The average brain speed works at 1,000 to 25,000 words-per-minute (wpm).
      • Reading (250 wpm)
      • Listening (125 wpm)
    • No Effort
  • Stress and anxiety are bad for memory
  • It is normal for humans to forget names, faces, etc. Our fears are common!
  • Visualization helps.
  • Brain test #1: Here are 20 words (not listed here). Commit them to memory. Here they are again. Now tell me what they were. As a group we only got to about the 7th word.
  • Reinforcement, the more senses involved with the learning experience the more deeply it gets encoded into memory.
  • Brains are unique, like fingerprints, which lends itself to explaining why we have such trouble communicating and understanding each other!
  • Teacher. They explain everything perfect... to themselves!
  • Gardner's multiple intelligences.
  • Brain improves with age.
  • Dendrites. Social interaction causes more developed ones.
  • Brain Test #2: Visualize these 20 words (not listed here, told in a story-like format). Here they are again. What were they again? We managed to get all 20.
  • Principles of Brain Training
    1. Motivation - tricks, rewards, generating interest
    2. Practice - makes perfect, strengthens connections in brain.
    3. Emotion
    4. Association - builds stronger bonds
    5. Meaning - ask questions (when they arise)
    6. Visualization
    7. Chunking - summarizing, distilling information
  • Left brain vs. right brain. Our society is left-brain dominant (math, sciences, etc). Harmony is key, getting the two sides to work together.
  • There is no known capacity to the human brain.

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