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The Learning Success Blog

Peter Barnes

Peter Barnes has diverse background and experience that ranges from adult education & training in a human resources context, through learning & business innovation, to the leadership of large organisations. He has also worked in finance journalism, accountancy, and digital marketing.

Peter has been involved with the LearnFast Group since 2003, when he joined his wife, Devon, to help her manage the growth in the numbers of schools and individuals using LearnFast’s educational software programs to address language and literacy challenges for learners of all ages.

Peter is a passionate snow skier and has a wide range of interests – from mirror neurons, to American politics (and many others!). Peter has a vision for improving the education of future generations through the innovative and creative use of emerging technologies.

Recent Posts

Is this your future classroom?

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 11, 2017 at 2:25 PM

Peter Barnes

Sydney University has published a very interesting article about how it's classrooms have changed.  To read Sydney Uni's complete post, go here.

Here is a summary of the article, which starts with this comment: 

"Today, the classroom is flexible, creative, and agile – our students are logging in and learning from all over the globe. The modern tutorial room, lecture theatre and laboratory are still hives of activity, but not in the way you remember it. Here are a handful of ways the classrooms at Sydney have changed."

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Topics: eLearning, School, Teaching, Successful Schools, For Principals

Educating with Neuroscience 2107 Conference Series expands to Asia

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 6, 2017 at 9:48 AM

Peter Barnes

The premier educational neuroscience conference in Australia & New Zealand, ENS2017, is expanding to Asia following well attended events in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland in August this year. 

Principals, school administrators, teachers and other education leaders from Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand will be able to attend the Educating with Neuroscience 2017 Conference Asia (ENS2017 ASIA) in November.

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Topics: Learning Enhancement, Learning Capacity, Educational Neuroscience, Teaching, Fast ForWord123, Conferences, ENS2017 ASIA

Autism & Fast ForWord123: What a Difference a Few Months Make

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 29, 2017 at 4:50 PM

Peter Barnes

In the Rethinking Learning Blog a mother of a 9-year old autistic boy wrote how the Fast ForWord123 programs have improved his expressive language skills, listening skills, ability to follow directions, conversation skills, desire to interact with others, social skills and reading comprehension. 

The mother, who calls herself by her blogger title, 'Mama Woz' says, "the progress he’s made in the 3.5 months since starting Fast ForWord has been truly exponential".

Here is her story, courtesy of the Rethinking Learning Blog:

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Topics: Autism, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Fast ForWord123

Fast ForWord123 rated highly by techlearning.com

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 29, 2017 at 4:31 PM

Peter Barnes

The neuroscience-based language & learning improvement program, Fast ForWord123 (including the Fast ForWord cognitive, language and reading development modules plus Reading Assistant, the online reading coach) was recently rated by techlearning.com.

Here is a summary of the techlearning.com rating:

OVERALL RATING:

Unique features and technology, sophisticated reporting, real-time feedback, interactive resources, and a broad range of reading passages in an intuitive and easy-to-use program all help teachers understand when and where students are struggling and help students gain the skills they need to be successful readers.

Suitability for Use in a School Environment: 

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Topics: Fast ForWord, For Principals, Fast ForWord123

It Hurts to be Excluded - Educating with Neuroscience 2017 Conferences

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 12, 2017 at 10:02 AM

Peter Barnes

Do you know what it feels like to be discriminated against, to be excluded?

I hope you don’t, it’s not nice.

It happened to me recently.  A travel insurance company told me they would not renew the annual travel insurance policy I’d had for years.

The reason?  I’ve had a birthday.  I’m a year older, and they don’t insure people my age on that policy.

Every day in our schools some kids feel discriminated against, feel excluded.  Because they are different in some way from the group. They may be physically different. They might have learning challenges and can’t keep up with the rest of the class.

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Topics: Brain Science, Learning, Educational Neuroscience, Conferences

Monkeys Don't Eat Salad: Educating with Neuroscience 2017 Conference

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 30, 2017 at 2:39 PM

Peter Barnes

A friend of mine lives in a community in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. High above a fast-flowing, snow-fed stream which feeds into the mighty Ganges river.
 
It’s a remote clearing in the jungle-clad mountains, teeming with monkeys.
 
The residents had a long trek down the mountainside to the village in the valley below to buy vegetables. The village vegetables were not always fresh. So they tried growing their own.
 
But the monkeys ate everything. 
 
Except for leafy green salad vegetables.
 
Monkeys don’t eat salad.

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Topics: Brain Science, Educational Neuroscience, Conferences

How You Can Spot Weak Cognitive Skills in Your Classroom

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 22, 2017 at 3:31 PM

Peter Barnes

What’s happening in your students’ brains when they can’t follow your classroom instructions? What if a student doesn’t want to answer your question? And why do some students struggle to tell a story?

These are all signs that a student may have a weakness in one or more key cognitive skills. Skills essential for learning.

As well as language skills, we all need four key thinking skills for effective learning. They are: memory, attention, processing, and sequencing.

Here are some behaviours you might notice if your students have a weakness in these skills:

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Following Instructions, Fast ForWord, Educational Neuroscience, Early Learners

The times are a-changin' (at school too): Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 22, 2017 at 11:12 AM

Peter Barnes

In 1964, Bob Dylan sang:

Come gather 'round people wherever you roam….for the times they are a-changin'

Do you know the song?

Last year Bob Dylan received a Nobel prize for literature. It was for the lyrics he wrote, like “The Times They are –a Changin”.

He was right about that way back in 1964.

And the times are still changing. Especially in education. That’s thanks to educational neuroscience. It’s changing education in ways we could not have imagined.

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Topics: Brain Science, Educational Neuroscience

What is Fast ForWord123?

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 17, 2017 at 4:14 PM

Peter Barnes

Fast ForWord123 (FFW123) is a unique 3 step, evidence-based method for increasing students’ capacity to learn. It is a powerfully effective and scientifically validated method for improving learning outcomes where English is the language of instruction.

This method blends the best of education technology with empathetic support of human factors and motivation from the “reward economy”.

It builds cognitive skills essential for learning, and simultaneously improves the four components for learning-in-the-English-language: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Scientists built & evolved FFW123 on 45 years of research

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Topics: Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity

25% improvement in writing skills in 11 weeks using Fast ForWord123

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 17, 2017 at 11:45 AM

Peter Barnes

25 university students who had Fast ForWord123 training for 11 weeks boosted their writing skills 25%.

This compares with a control group of 28 students at the same university who did not receive the training, and who showed no improvement over the same 11 week period.

Because no explicit practice with writing is included in the training program, the results of this study demonstrate that training in basic cognitive, listening, and reading skills generalise to improved writing ability.

The writing skills of the Fast ForWord 123 group were measured before and after training. The measurement tool was the OWLS Written Expression Scale. This is an internationally recognised standardised assessment which showed the 25 students improved their writing skills from below the control group students to above them after the training.

Read More

Topics: Writing, Fast ForWord

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