2022: What's ahead for learning

by Monique Peters

 

Have you taken stock yet of all the changes COVID has forced on you? 

One of the most uncomfortable lessons we are learning from COVID is the need to adapt, to adjust to the situation we find ourselves in.  We changed our homes into schools and offices, and businesses also transformed, many looking very different than they did before the pandemic hit.  And then we begin to examine the long term effects on us, our habits, our beliefs and our institutions…  

The future for our children in the workplace was already changing fast, and the rewards for employees with learning agility, who can pivot and adjust, are now increasing.  As is the need for soft skills such as time management, creative thinking and decision making.  Employers are already looking for these qualities in their applicants.   

In the future, if the top ten skills needed across all industries include other skills such as communication, negotiation, critical thinking and continuous learning, we are already failing our students.    

According to Peter Goss, of the Grattan Institute,    

“In a typical Year 9 class, the top students can be more than seven years ahead of the bottom students, but NAPLAN’s minimum standards are set way too low to identify the stragglers. A Year 9 student meets the minimum standard even if they are reading below the level of a typical Year 5 student.”[1] 

It can be difficult to expect high school students to progress from basic reading to higher order skills such as prediction, analysis and assessment, when they are still learning to read in their first years of high school. Yet these are the skills necessary for employees to adapt and manage change.   

There is also a sober reality to consider.  Some 5-10% of the population has dyslexia, in addition to other neurodiverse conditions such as autism and attention issues.  Many of these children also tend to have an auditory processing disorder, affecting the way language is processed in the brain.     

All learning is language based.  Our children’s brains are not being prepared for learning through face to face talking and story in their first years like they used to be.  Their brains are not getting enough repetition with language sounds to lay down the foundations for future healthy learning, language and critical thinking.  Speech pathologists and early educators say “talk, talk, talk, play, play, play” for this reason.    

The consequences for the child can be constantly trying to catch up with the curriculum and an increasing gap with their peers as school work increases in complexity.   

But what if there was a digital learning platform that used the latest brain research to rewire the brain more effectively for reading and learning?  That gave students the repetition their brain needed to process information fasterand improve their actual ability to learn?    

Such a program exists.  Already trusted by speech pathologists and schools worldwide for 20 years, it is online, evidence based and designed to be used at home, school or in therapy.  It strengthens the brain’s learning pathways and increases processing speed.   

Fast ForWord is that program.  It’s a combination of brain research, adaptive technology and practice all in one.  It finds the students’ weaknesses in memory, attention and language skills.  It then provides the repetition and practice required to build stronger, faster pathways in these areas.  Neuroscience research has shown that the brain is like a muscle, and repetition strengthens neural pathways so that the electrical signals can travel much faster. The result?  Processing and thinking speeds increase.   

At Brain Wise Learning, we decided to partner the Fast ForWord program with growth mindset coaching to also shift negative beliefs about learning and increase perseverance.    

We call it Learnerobics, and it’s a powerhouse program to improve learning both in the brain and in the mind.   

You can go to our website and find out more about what we do here. Or book your own free information session and ask your questions here

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[1] P Goss & J Sonnemann, Widening Gaps: What NAPLAN Tells UsAbout Student Progress, 21/3/16 https://grattan.edu.au/report/widening-gaps/   

 

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