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Welcome to the March 2020 Learning Brain News.

It’s impossible to escape the news about the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19), and how this epidemic may disrupt our schools, clinics and way of life. People are becoming wary of interacting in public and are considering what to do if schools are closed.

See What’s New for some thoughts on how technology can be used to support students who may have to continue their learning from home.

And also in this edition read about 6 occupational therapy techniques you can use at home for children with learning challenges, including ADHD.

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Devon Barnes
Learning Brain News

What's New?

Like many of you, our team at LearnFast has been closely monitoring the on-going coronavirus (COVID-19) developments here in Australia and abroad.

Some of you may encounter school or office closures aimed to best ensure the health and safety of students, parents and educators.

As you plan for continuing student learning while minimising illness during these potential closures, please be aware that the LearnFast language & cognitive enhancement, and social skills programs are available for full online use at home.

You can continue to confidently assign exercises, monitor student progress, and have students train on-demand. Students can continue progressing through Fast ForWord, Reading Assistant and Social Express assignments from home.

This may help you provide a channel of normalcy for your students’ learning during any potential school or office closures.

Contact us for information about home use.

Latest Research

brain connectivity

Learning difficulties due to poor connectivity, not specific brain regions

New research from the University of Cambridge (UK) has confirmed that severe learning and cognitive difficulties are the result of poor connectivity between parts of the brain, and do not arise from specific brain regions, as some scientists previously thought.

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praise in the classroom

Praise, rather than punish, to see up to 30% greater focus in the classroom

Teachers should focus on praising children for good behaviour, rather than telling them off for being disruptive. This will improve behaviour in class, according to a new study.

Researchers spent three years observing 2,536 students, across three US states, from kindergarten age through to sixth grade (5 to 12 years of age).

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In The News

reading gains

How to Get 7 Months Reading Gains in 7 Weeks

One of the largest school systems in the USA state of Alabama achieved average reading level gains of seven months in only 35 days. Students in 17 primary schools used a systemic, research-proven approach to reading intervention that developed cognitive skills essential to reading and learning.

“We felt that helping students with skills like memory, attention, and processing would be beneficial to their learning in any subject and have a greater impact on achievement. Our data so far has supported that belief, ” says educator Tim Solley.

Learn More

New Take on Multiple Intelligences

Multiple intelligences

It’s good to expose myths about neuroscience - but the debunking is getting out of hand - Howard Gardener

The originator of multiple intelligences theory, Howard Gardner, claims to have been the victim of fallacious debunking about his multiple intelligences theory. On debunking in general, Gardner writes, “…when one looks carefully at the assertions about the myths, many of the statements that are supposedly debunking something do not themselves withstand scrutiny.”

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What's On?


Live Webinar: Developing Executive Function From Kindergarten Through High School - 19 March 2020

How do educators reach students who cannot focus in the classroom? Educational scientists now understand attention is not a desire, but a skill: it is a self-regulatory “executive function,” related to goal-setting, organisation, planning, and short-term memory. 

Join Dr. Martha Burns to learn more about executive function, how teachers can build these skills through classroom activities, and how to augment student skills with technology when necessary.

Register Here



An Autism parent shares the top 10 things she has learnt

A few lessons that I have learned in my two years of being an autism parent.

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How the brain’s immune system could be harnessed to improve memory

When it comes to memory, immune cells are known as the “bad cops” of the brain. But new research shows they could also be turned into “good cops” to power memory and learning.

Learn More


Occupational therapy

6 At-Home Occupational Therapy Techniques That Make a Difference

Children and teens with ADHD, learning disabilities, or certain related disorders benefit enormously from occupational therapy. But trained occupational therapists are not always accessible or affordable.  So here are 6 tools parents can use at home to foster independence and improve their child’s success at school and in life.

Learn More

Learning Success Blog

Evidence stamp-1

Fast ForWord: How Much Evidence is Enough?
Science & Real World

I’m always amazed when people say there is no evidence of Fast ForWord’s effectiveness.
If they only looked, they would find hundreds of journal articles and school case studies with many examples of the success of over 3 million individuals who have done Fast ForWord over the last 25 years.
A school principal recently said to me, “I’ve heard of Fast ForWord but there is no evidence that it works, is there?”
Actually, there is a massive amount of evidence.
Here it is

Free Download

Executive Function

Why is Executive Function important for success at school and throughout life?

What is executive function and why is it so important. Download this paper by Neuroscientist, Dr Bill Jenkins to learn about:

  • The three interrelated skills of executive function
  • Why parents need to help their children develop sound executive function skills in early childhood
  • How an understanding of executive function helps parents collaborate with teachers.
Download it Now

Book of the Month

Successful Aging

Successful Ageing: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives

Daniel Levitin, author of bestsellers This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind, looks at what happens in our brains as we age. Why we should think about health span, not life span? What you can do, based on a rigorous analysis of neuroscientific evidence, to make the most of your seventies, eighties, and nineties no matter how old you are now.

Learn More

Supportive Technology

Struggling students

Chrome extensions for struggling students and special needs

Technology can be a powerful tool to assist students with special needs or any sort of learning challenge. The Chrome web browser allows users to install a wide variety of web extensions providing tools which can help all learners, regardless of ability level.

Learn More
teacher classroom happy-1-1-1

4 survival tips for teachers working in a negative school environment

A few tips for continuing to stay positive when those around you have lost their get-up-and-go.

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Achieving goals

The secret to achieving goals

New insights into why people often make unrealistic plans that are doomed to fail.

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teenage friendship

Friendship is crucial to the adolescent brain

The intensity of feelings generated by friendship in childhood and adolescence is by design.

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Solutions to Learning Challenges

reading help

Learning to read

Students need to be taught to read, and developing the
“reading brain” makes
it easier, especially for those struggling. 

Learn More
social skills

Social skills

Here’s how to
get help for
children who
need to improve

Learn More
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Your own learning business

Get better student outcomes and business satisfaction as a LearnFast Provider. 

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English language learners

 Build English Fast.
Better reading, writing
& speaking.

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reading aloud icon

Reading aloud coach

Practice reading with a
virtual coach who listens
to every word and gives corrective feedback. 

Learn More
maths struggles

Maths struggles

Improve maths skills
in 10 minutes a day.

Learn More