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Outsourcing your knowledge

Albert EinsteinWhy knowing less helps you to do more.

Diane Shawe M.Ed. 

When you think about the power of your brain and how we learn, memorise and recall all those facts, it can get very confusing. Having taught for nearly 25 years and trained some of the brightest professionals over last 10 years, I believe that knowledge is divided in two distinct areas. We can either know about a subject ourselves or we know where we can retrieve information on that subject. The massive amount of information available online has opened an infinite library of easily and quickly retrievable information with simple search engines. I like to think of it as an organic external hard drive, an outsourced memory we can plug in at any time. Some have argued that the internet dilutes the most traditional kind of knowledge: knowing a subject ourselves. They argue that in some way it makes our brains less efficient, diminishing our intelligence and destroying our inner hard drives and memory.

You may remember (if you are of a certain age) that when you were young, you knew by heart the phone number of your closest friends. Since the introduction of digital directories on smartphones there is no longer any reason to memorise numbers by heart.   On the other hand, how many hundreds more contacts do you have now compared to then thanks to the digital directories? In reality, how much more connected are you? The real deal of the information age is not that it allows us to know more, but that it allows us to know less in terms of depth of what we know, as mentioned by David Brooks, a New York Times columnist, in his famous 2006 NY Times article[1] The Outsourced Brain.

neuroscience brain“Memory? I’ve externalised it.” He said, “I am one of those baby boomers who are making this the “It’s on the Tip of My Tongue Decade.” But now I no longer need to have a memory, for I have Google, Yahoo and Wikipedia. Now if I need to know some fact about the world, I tap a few keys and enjoy the vast resource of the external mind.”

I think the positive side of this is that we are free to expand our awareness of subjects we did not have space, or availability, to explore before. Our memory now has a different function: it is a digital index that remembers the existence of a subject and what are the best leads to find information on that subject. I too had thought that the magic of the information age was that it allowed us to know more facts. Then I realised that the magic of the information age is that it allows us to know less.

It provides us with external cognitive servants, silicon memory systems if you will, with collaborative online filters, consumer preference algorithms and networked knowledge. We thus can give these servants the massive raw data and liberate ourselves to think, explore and be creative. You can use your brain to learn new skills, the soft skills that are the true measure of success.

Your outsourced memory (the internet, the cloud and more) allows you to be aware of the existence of information you would never have come across before when you were limited to what your inner memory could hold. It allows you to increase the quantity (and thus the quality) of the information that you can process because you do not always have to worry about memorising every single detail of it. It allows you to use more brain power in linking concepts and applying them rather than remembering them. It empowers you to think and process information faster because your brain has the space to hold links to so much different information, and in doing so it expands your subjective time. Back in the analogue era, the difference between a deep brain and a shallow brain was the availability of information and the choice of whether to take in that information or not came second.

As an educationalist and technophile, combined with my outsourced memory I have the capacity to think deeper. Now that (nearly) everything is available, the power is back to you: it is up to you to take responsibility of what content goes into your mind and how you use your outsourced memory.

Now you have begun to outsource your brain and now have room to do something rather special with your neo-cortex. Enjoy.

 

Can the Law of Reciprocity Make or Break Your Business?

We mean to help you so that in turn you help us

We mean to help you so that in turn you help us

Understanding the Law of Reciprocity

article by: Tim T Dingle BSc (Hons) MIBiol PGCE MBA
CDO  Academy of Vocational and Professional Training

Have you ever wondered why some people seem luckier than others? Have you ever been (mildly) annoyed that others attract more referrals than you? There has got to be a reason, hasn’t there? Well a good definition of ‘luck’ is when action meets opportunity. People that help other people every chance (they get) almost always come out on top. I am amazed by the simple gestures of holding a door for someone, returning a lost wallet and giving someone a referral produces 2 things:  First, the feeling that the person on the receiving end of your kindness is compelled to reciprocate; and second, you create a positive thoughts/feelings about your self-image. There’s something very powerful at play that causes this phenomenon.

Psychologists call it The Law of Reciprocity and it says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return. It is buried deep inside our DNA and is an evolutionary survival mechanism. As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than their original good deed. You can try and resist this law, but your DNA will intervene and you will more than likely still feel that you need to respond in kind to a good deed. If that’s true (and it is) then it would be to your advantage to understand the right way – and the wrong way to take advantage of this powerful law.

Do you think that the Law of Reciprocity can make or break your business?

Diane Shawe the CEO of the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training states “the law of reciprocity is like a karmic “piggy bank”. What you broadcast into the universe, whether it is positive or negative, is a deposit due to be returned to you. Your deposits may be returned quickly, without the effects of past and future deposits added”  but then she goes on to say “How then do we define the purpose of Business Etiquette?”  interesting combination.

For this reason, it is wise to bank positive deposits often.

As someone who is running (or is aspiring to run) their own business, there are a couple of ways you can invest in the use of reciprocity: the Constructive Way and the Destructive Way.

The Constructive Way

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One of the hardest parts of a new business relationship is building trust and rapport. To do that, there are some things you have to establish up front with a potential client to show them you’re one of the good guys. These fall in the area of intent, empathy and credibility. So, if you really are one of the good guys, you can show people what you’re made of simply by being friendly, honest, and helpful. That’s the idea behind a lot of the freebies that bloggers give away all the time. By giving something that’s of legitimate value away with no expectation of compensation, you’re achieving several things.

  • If the material or help you’re giving away is of high quality, you’re establishing yourself as a person of credibility – someone who knows what they’re talking about.
  • You’re demonstrating empathy by showing the recipient that you understand they’re looking for answers. You understand that they need help – and you’re someone who’s willing to give it to them.
  • You’re showing that your intent is not just to get into their wallets – but to sincerely help.

In the process, you stimulate the DNA program of The Law of Reciprocity. When you establish yourself as an honest, sincere, and giving person – you make it much easier for people to buy from you when you have something to offer. It is at that point they already like you, they have seen that you know your stuff, and they trust you. All that makes it much easier for them to choose you.

The Destructive Way
3 HR JUMP START BUSINESS BOOTCAMP WITH GEWUK 18 NOV 2013While responding to The Law of Reciprocity is hard-wired into us, most people aren’t stupid, but can often be inexperienced or too trusting. If the Law is exploited as a tactic, they often experience a lot of discomfort and dis-ease about the situation. Even though I use the word ‘exploiting’ ( I don’t believe that most people conspire to use this law) you might best understand it as someone being false’ pretense, a front; you are pretending to be sincere and helpful, therefore only to trick people into feeling a sense of obligation. Poor salespeople are easy to find – and when someone is using reciprocity as a pressure tactic, it’s obvious. You’ve been there as a consumer.

I’ll bet you don’t have to go back very far in your memory bank to remember a time when someone seemed a little too nice. Even though they were doing something positive for you, you still instinctively didn’t trust them. That’s because their intentions weren’t sincere and you sensed it. Using the Law that way may trick someone from time to time, but it likely won’t lead to repeat sales, good will, or referrals. Pressured prospects tend to disappear quietly.

So the right way to gain maximum benefit from the Law of Reciprocity is to use it sincerely and for the right reasons: to help others and to grow your relationships. There are a lot of aggressive sales and marketing people out there, but listen to them with caution. Consumers are smarter than ever before. Being aggressive tends to offend and alienate. Instead, aim for active and inclusivity. What’s the difference? Aggressive is relentless and pushy. Active and exclusivity is, well, active listening and keeping them involved.

If what you’re selling is truly of value, you don’t have to be a bully to get people to buy. You just have to work hard to get your name out there and develop your brand. Since you are one of the good guys, ask yourself; What small thing can I provide today that my customers can really use?

When you come up with an answer – give it to them. It’s the right thing to do – and because of The Law of Reciprocity, your customers will gladly return that generosity when you do have something to sell.

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Glossophobia: The number one fear in the UK!

fear of public speaking course

Speaking presentation survival school course

Got to make a presentation? Make a wedding speech? Say something at an event? Nervous? How AVPT Global can help you right now with the fear of public speaking.

Tim T Dingle BSc (Hons) MIBiol PGCE MBA

Chief Development Officer, Academy of Vocational and Professional Training

Having trained hundreds of people in brilliant public speaking (and many more to be Standup comics) I am often asked about the causes of Glossophobia. This is a type of speech anxiety and is most commonly the fear of public speaking or of speaking in general. An estimated 75% of all people experience some degree of anxiety and nervousness when public speaking. I am lucky and don’t suffer- whatever size the audience. The good news is it can be cured and overcome.

The more specific symptoms of speech anxiety can be grouped into three categories: verbal, physical and non-verbal. The verbal symptoms include, but are not limited to a tense voice, a quivering voice, and vocalised pauses, which tend to comfort anxious speakers.

The symptoms I see the most in training are the physical ones. These result from the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system responding to the situation with a fight-or-flight adrenalin reaction. Since the sympathetic system is all-or-nothing, adrenaline secretion produces a wide array of symptoms at once – all of which are supposed to enhance a student’s ability to fight or escape a dangerous scenario. These symptoms include acute hearing, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, increased perspiration, increased oxygen intake, stiffening of upper back muscles and the classic dry mouth. None of which are much good when you are about to give a wedding speech. The good news is they can be relieved with training and some skilled guidance.

learning to speak under pressure

Looking good when speaking under pressure

Public speaking experts agree that one of the most important steps in preparing for a speech is practice. Yet after giving the same speech so many times, it can be difficult to maintain an authentic voice, especially once nerves kick in. More than anything, a successful speech hinges on your ability to know your audience and establish a connection. Shape your speech around a subject that you genuinely care about and try to focus on what you have to offer your audience.

Your concentration will naturally shift away from what is at stake for you personally, calming your nerves and allowing you to connect to your audience in a real way. Then, tell a story. Take the audience on a journey. While there are many aspects that will contribute to the success of your speech, it is the authentic, heartfelt moments that will be remembered most.

The importance of learning to speak in front of an audience is undeniable; invariably intertwined with leadership, motivation, and change. While Glossophobia is common, in fact the most common phobia in the UK, it is certainly a fear that can be overcome. But the power of spoken word is reason in itself to push past that fear.

So remember that nerves are natural: use your nerves to propel you through the speech, and know that your physical response to stress will only make the speech all that much more rewarding once you finally step down from that stage. Remember to be authentic: pick a topic that you truly care about, and the audience will be stirred to care as well. And finally, don’t be afraid to aim big. You were chosen to speak for a reason, and you have a meaningful story to tell. So take slow, rhythmic breaths and change the world- and take this course in conquering your fear of public speaking!

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BYOD! The change is here.

Bring Your Own Device

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Tim T Dingle BSc (Hons) MIBiol PGCE MBA Chief Development Officer at the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training.

AVPT Global is issuing a technological tsunami alert; feel the force of a very real wave of BYOD / BYOT and new mobile learning and learn how to avoid being swamped.

Here at AVPT Global we like to bring you some advanced news and perhaps a serious warning of impending change. I have worked in the education sector for 25 years and seen many changes in technology during that time. There is a clear and present need to improve the soft skills and learning of individuals- whether at School, University or in business. Already at AVPT we are using the latest technology to improve training and it is clear that mobile learning is massive. I came across the term bring your own device (BYOD) in a recent workshop for employers. It means the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace and use those devices to access company information and applications. The term bring your own technology (BYOT) is being used more frequently in an educational context. It is a part of a supplementary school technology resourcing model, where the home and the school collaborate in arranging for use their own digital technology to be extended into the classroom to assist their teaching and learning and the organisation of their schooling.

The BYOD / BYOT ‘tsunami’ is rapidly coming over the horizon for educational institutions and businesses. BYOD is making significant inroads in the business world already with about 75% of employees in high growth markets such as Brazil and Russia and 44% in developed markets already using their own technology at work. In most cases, businesses simply can’t block the trend.

We believe that BYOD may help employees be more productive and become genuine Life Long Learners. It can and should increase employee morale and convenience by using their own devices and makes the company look like a flexible and attractive employer.  Many feel that BYOD can even be a means to attract new staff (and we all know how hard it is to get the right person on board): 44% of job seekers now view an organisation more positively if it supports their device.

AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

We have found at AVPT that if businesses are to survive they will need to be proactive and really note and respond to the trends.  They will need to shape the largely inevitable development to the best advantage or try to surpass the deeds of King Canute and prevent the wave from swamping their institutions. Perhaps not surprisingly at this very early stage many of the early BYOT moves are making this mistake, are naïve, simplistic and preoccupied with the relatively mundane, showing little appreciation of what BYOT could entail.

We believe at AVPT global that there are least six global megatrends coming together that will impact on all businesses, schools, institutions to some form of BYOT. These megatrends relate to the normalised use of personal digital devices in every facet of life, the burgeoning digital and educative capacity of the student’s homes, cloud computing, parent digital empowerment, government’s increasing inability to fund state of the art personal technology for all and the inexorable evolution of schooling from its insular paper-based mode to one that is more digital and networked.

Fundamental to BYOT is that personal choice of the technology by the individual (whether in School, Higher Education and Business). While businesses /schools might and probably should provide advice, the final choice should rest with the individual. The will give an enhanced facility for the personalisation of learning in and outside the business and educational premises. That is the secret of the success of online mobile learners. In our online Learning Management System that can be used by the owner of device, at home, work or on the move (found out VTF are driving this change).The individuals are having their ownership of the technology and the information respected and absorbed.

Get qualified whilst on the move with AVPT

Get qualified whilst on the move with AVPT

So the future that BYOD / BYOT is creating will cause a profound educational change. It has immense potential that will assist change in the nature of schooling, teaching, learning and the relationship with homes and work. However, to realise this potential there has to be really strong leadership in education and businesses management. It has to change thinking and begin to understand what is needed terms of the power of mobile learning. Leaders have to take charge of the process, understand the possibilities and appreciate what is required for sustained success and development. At AVPT we see leaders training who are training to be proactive, learning about the forces impelling institutions to some form of BYOT. We see the need to appreciate the real potential for society in educational, social, economic, technical, administrative and political terms.

At the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training we believe these are still very early days with BYOT / BYOD. There isn’t much out there being written about these changes to mobile learning except in some pioneers in the field. The focus of most business and institutions is technical with little thought given the wider educational or financial implications. The greatest challenge with BYOT / BYOD will be human. The technical aspect is easy- and always will be. The key is to understand the historic significance of this development and to recognise that we are moving to a new model of mobile learning, teaching and institutional resourcing where everyone collaborates, facilitates and genuine accepts these changes.

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Manisha Gaur discusses why Global Accreditation is leading the way to unified integrated accreditation

The rise of International Accreditation

News Title

by AVPT Global

For decades, regional accreditation bodies had been granting educational institutes with primary accreditation after evaluating them on a regional scale. However, as globalization grew, it became extremely important for educational institutes to be acknowledged world over so that when students look for credit transfer and international job opportunities, it does not stand in the way.  This gave rise to International Accreditation. This topic was represented by Ms. Manisha Gaur, Director Operations at Venkateshwara Group of Institutions, India.

She discussed how globalization has affected today’s education systems and the education providers are looking forward to establishing a centralized education system.

The phenomenon is occurring, but at a very slower pace and this is where the accreditation agencies have to play their role. They need to set up a unified and integrated accreditation system for all the educational institutions globally so the standardisation of education can be done successfully.

A smarter way to study with www.avptglobal.com

A smarter way to study with http://www.avptglobal.com

Regional accreditation bodies have existed and also evaluated education providers on a regional scale, thereby granting them Primary accreditation.  However, the rapid growth of globalization calls for a global entity which can evaluate them against internationally proven standards of education and grant them an internationally recognized Secondary Accreditation.

This secondary accreditation is basically known as International Accreditation. With international accreditation, the school, college or university will be internationally accepted. Students of such educational institutes can further study in the educational institute of their choice in any country without the tension of their credits transfer and also, work with any employer without the tension of their degree acceptance.  For these reasons, it has also become a major deciding factor by students when selecting their higher educational institutes/ universities. Additionally, it has also become important to employers. Employers globally feel more comfortable hiring students from internationally accredited institutes.
Based on this information, she presented why international accreditation is needed globally and how, in the last couple of years, it has gained massive importance, even more than national and regional accreditation bodies. Her topic also informed the participants as to how International accreditation bodies evaluate the institute on the basis of their academic and organisational management and provide them with international accreditation. This international accreditation not only enhances the institute’s profile regionally but also internationally which is why, today, we see a majority of the students and institutes around the world demanding international accredited programs.
About the Speaker

Manisha Gaur is a highly respected member of the Indian education community. She is not only involved in the teaching of the students but she takes it as a responsibility where she wants to develop students into becoming pillars of the society. She has been associated with the Indian Education Board and the National Accreditation body where she has conducted various presentations and has published various researches. She has also received numerous awards from the regional and international community for her services.
AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

Revealed: How Improved Confidence Brings Powerful Success

group of people

Confidence can be your key to success.

Confidence in Life and Networking can be learned.

Article by Diane Shawe Author

If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not standing in the light.
Lady Gaga

1. Learn to USE YOUR INNER DNA confidence

I feel it’s something that is always there, something you’re born with that gets lost along the way, or stolen by others. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find it again.
Amy Lee Tempest

 When you were born you did not emerge unsure of your cry or insecure about your umbilical cord. You came out unaware of external judgement, concerned only with your own experience and needs. I’m not suggesting that you should be oblivious to other people. It is just that it may help to remember confidence was your original nature before time started chiselling away at it. When you start feeling unsure of yourself remember: we were all born with confidence, and we can all get it back if we learn to silence the thoughts that threaten it.

2. Success WILL HAPPEN

It might seem strange to say expect success since you can’t predict the future, although according to Peter Drucker, ‘the best way to predict the future is invent it’. Conventional wisdom suggests you should expect the worst because then you won’t be disappointed if you fail and you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you succeed. Research suggests this isn’t universally true; pessimism can undermine your performance creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Find the successes in every day and you will notice over time that they increase.

3. The unknown IS OK

Control is an illusion, you infantile egomaniac. Nobody knows what’s gonna happen next: not on a free way  not in an airplane, not inside our own bodies and certainly not on a racetrack with 40 other infantile egomaniacs.
Nicole Kidman in Days of Thunder (playing Dr Claire Lewinski)

People often think confidence means knowing you can create the outcome you want. To some extent it does, but this idea is not universally true for everyone. Confidence comes from knowing your competence / skills and acknowledging it’s not solely responsible for creating your world. When you take that weight off your shoulders and realise that sometimes the twists and turns have nothing to do with what you did or should have done, it’s easier to feel confident in what you are trying to achieve. Networking becomes easier and you fear.

4. Learn to receive praise.

It’s amazing how easy it is to believe all the negative things people say and yet discredit the positive. Taking a compliment is an art. Sometimes, it’s instinctive to assume they’re just being nice or that maybe you aren’t really skilled—you just got lucky. Occasionally, this may be true, but for the most part you earn the praise you receive. Don’t talk yourself out of believing it. Instead, recycle it into confidence. You did a fantastic job on your project at work-that means you can do it again. You had an amazing performance-that means you can trust you’re talented. Other people want you to succeed; now you just have to believe them when they show you you’re worthy.

5. Practice WILL MAKE YOU MORE confident

The harder you practice, the luckier you get.
Gary Player (Golfer) 1964

Like anything else in life, your confidence will improve with practice. A great opportunity to do this is when you meet new people. Just like if you were the new kid in school, they have no idea who you are—meaning you have an opportunity to show them. As you shake their hand, introduce yourself, and listen to them speak, watch your internal monologue. If you start doubting yourself in your head, replace your thoughts with more confident ones. Ask yourself what a confident person would do, and then try to emulate that. Watch your posture and your tone. Hunching and mumbling will make you feel and look less confident, so stand up and speak slowly and clearly. People are more apt to see you how you want to be seen if they suspect you see yourself that way.

You may have confidence in some areas and not in others; that’s how it works for most of us. Draw from those areas where you’re self-assured. Above all, remember you are talented and have real ability regardless of what mistakes you think you may have made. Start by acknowledging it and it is the first step to believing it in your heart; believing it is the key to living it. Living it is the key to reaching your potential.

Visit amazon for a selection of Diane Shawe Mindfeed books https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diane-Shawe/e/B0052WG8V6

 

The Currency of Digital Learning

Using technology for life long learning

Using technology for life long learning

How do we digitally learn?  How do you learn effectively in a workshop? What is the currency of digital learning?

By Tim T Dingle BSc (Hons) MIBiol PGCE MBA

Chief Development Officer at  the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training.

When you want to acquire a new skill or apply some new knowledge, do you learn by passively sitting and listening to an expert lecture for 90 minutes without a break and 150 Power point slides? What do you actually retain that enhances the value and the currency of your learning. The currency is defined  as something of value, or something that represents value: knowledge, gold, respect, or social media following, all represent different kinds of currency. In 2013 it could be that the currencies in digital and workshop learning are changing.

Learning is evolving and not simply by the tools that actuate it. The process of adopting new learning domains and materials (many digital) has exposed the need for new skills. It is debatable whether or not such skills need to be expressly taught, or if they’re simply the residue of intense, well-designed learning experiences. Whether or not they are old learning (content) with a new coat of paint, or genuinely represent a paradigm shift in learning priorities, it is difficult to doubt their constant application in a 21st century world that is super fast connected, digital, omni-social and multi-faceted.

No longer is it considered sufficient to teach children to simply read and write, and fill in the middle with discrete facts about history, mathematics, and scientific processes. There are new skills that transcend content areas, in this way functioning as natural pathways out of old thinking: creativity, problem-solving and collaboration. One can problem-solve across and within topics formerly thought of as science and history and moving between them both moves them beyond academia, and back to the real world. This is possible because flexible cognitive and creative capacities are not rigid.

The brain science literature suggests that workshop learners understand and remember more when they talk about what they are learning.  However, there are some people who attend workshop and training seem to have information wash over them and are uncomfortable with talking or moving.   So, to get improved retention and learning in both digital and workshops:

1.  Do something physical when you learn: incorporate some sort of movement or body activity every 20 minutes, on line or face-to-face.

2.   Walk and talk, walk and learn: I do this a lot in half-day or full-day trainings.   Participants might do an exercise, but the results are on the wall for a debrief. Using a tablet for true learning as you move.

3.  Flip Chart Products: This is where participants will write specific responses on labelled charts on the wall at designated times.    It can be an answer to a question, a question learners still have, a summary statement, an opinion about the content, facts they want to remember, or how they plan to use the content.  Then stick it on the wall. It works with digital media as well- plaster the wall with paper!

With the proper technologies and thoughtful new methodologies, courses can become content infinite. When the learning goals supersede the content areas, things begin to change. As the currencies in digital learning evolve, they necessarily evolve the learning with them.

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Is Mobile Technology re-wiring the brains of our Children?

Overload or Growth?

Overload or Growth?

Or is there hope in a BRAIN project funded by the President of the USA?

Well you do hear people say that mobile technology and smart tech is rewiring their brains brain, making a new breed of digital natives and even brain washing our children. The facts are that they will spend 11.5 hours a day using smart technology; whether that’s computers, tablets, television, mobile phones, or video games (and in my experience usually more than one at a time). That is a big chunk of their 15 or 16 waking hours. The media tend to exploit these facts and combine them with pseudo-science with outlandish claims of ‘brain rewiring’ and potential harm. I have heard this uttered in alarm, (usually by those concerned that children’s ability to learn and pay attention) and stated as a ‘good thing’ by others, convinced that a generation of digital natives has developed incredible powers of absorbing and applying information.

Indeed 4 years ago President Obama officially announced in 2013 that 100 million dollars in funding for arguably the most ambitious neuroscience initiative ever proposed. The project has the catchy name of Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neuro-technologies, or BRAIN, and aims to reconstruct the activity of every single neuron as they fire simultaneously in different brain circuits, or perhaps even whole brains. If you have seen Iron Man 3 there is marvellous moment when the evil Aldrich Killian (played by Guy Pearce) shows the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow inside his brain in real time; a must see moment. The next great project, as Obama called it, could help neuroscientists understand the origins of cognition, perception, and other brain activities, which may lead to new, more effective treatments for conditions like autism or mood disorders and could help veterans suffering from brain injuries. It also might just help people realise why they need to choose a great course and real focus.

neuroscience and nerve system neuroscience brainSo what are facts about neuroscience and mobile smart technology? Can we learn effectively using smart devices? Well, when our minds are engaged in a simple or complex task, the information relevant to that task is held in our STM or short-term memory. According to the late but great psychologist, George Miller, this mental holding space can only contain four to seven pieces of information at a time. To be retained it needs to be transferred to the LTM (long term memory). We can only move information from short-term to long-term memory using our attention; we have to be paying attention to, and thinking about, a fact or a concept in order for it to be encoded in memory.

To encode properly you need to eliminate distractions, which are often caused by multitasking events. Young people report frequent media multitasking (texting, emailing, surfing the web, Twitter and Facebook) while also doing homework. Their belief is they can do it effectively, but research shows otherwise. In fact, research demonstrates that individuals who multitask the most are actually the worst at it. Whether we’re learning with a tablet, smart device or a book, it’s best to give it our best attention.

The rapid evolution of mobile technology has placed quite a burden on our concentration. The day is constantly being challenged by external sources. Even the most pressing of matters can be interrupted at any moment by a familiar buzzing in the pocket. This gives a friendly nudge to pay attention that the brain responds to and many find virtually impossible to resist; alarmingly even while driving. These all too frequent interruptions, coupled with growing expectations for immediate responses (emails responded to at 2am), will challenge our cognitive control system at its very core.

The cognitive control system is our ability to focus on accomplishing a task in the context of competing demands. You might want to look at a course that explains this in more depth. This special ability is what has allowed humans to achieve remarkable achievements, from developing languages and building complex societies.

It doesn’t matter that we think children are growing up digital natives and somehow addicted to technology. It simply doesn’t change how we come to understand new information. Basic understanding happens when we process new information in terms of its meaning, rather than its surface features. Understanding happens when we connect new information to what we know already.

It seems that the competing noise and multitasking distractions, will have a more significant negative impact for those with undeveloped or impaired focus and cognitive control. Those that easily lose focus such as children and us older adults, or in the presence of neurological or psychiatric conditions like ADHD or Alzheimer’s disease. There is no doubt that we have to be careful about the influence of unending data streams of interference on our minds. We need to make more informed decisions about how best to interact with the technologies around learners and how we use the technology positively every day. Perhaps the BRAIN project will guide us on new ways being effective learners.

The lesson seems to be that when we are engaged in something that requires high quality attention (like one of our excellent express courses in critical thinking we should conduct ourselves in a manner that is most appropriate for how our brains function: in the absolute focus mode.
So it seems that despite all the real concerns, technology is not rewiring young people’s brains or brain washing them. Indeed mobile smart technology must and can be harnessed to improve our minds. This will come as a relief to some and a disappointment to others. This new brain research will shed light on our understanding, our attention and focus systems and better memory that can now be applied to a new generation of humans, not so different from the ones who came before.

Mindfeed ebooks by Diane Shawe

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 Shawe’s eBooks are available on Amazon right now at: https://www.amazon.com/Diane-Shawe/e/B0052WG8V6

About the Author

Diane Shawe is an author, speaker, trainer, mentor, consultant and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience. She has personally trained over 2800 people around the world in a variety of fields and has published a number of works. She has contributed to over 100 Kiva Entrepreneur’s around the world.

She was also one of the producers of a Day time Ladies Talk Show in 2015 and Host of one of the UK’s best loved Annual Hair Extensions Awards.

Diane also enjoys oil painting, sailing and clay pigeon shooting. She focuses on topics that she is passionate about in her writing and has attracted over 36,000 followers on her popular blog.

Media Contact
Company Name: AVPT Short Courses & Hair Extension Training Academy
Contact Person: Diane Shawe MEd
Email: Send Email
Phone: +44 208 1333120
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
Website: http://www.academyexpresscourses.com

Understanding the Language of Training

questionmarkI know what your thinking…

article written by Tim Dingle MBA
Chief Development Officer  AVPTGLOBAL

Training is about to undergo a revolution and the understanding of body language will be crucial for those undertaking training. Speaking at a conference in Birmingham last year, a leading HR director observed that there was nothing as important as understanding the language of business.  That must mean the non-verbal as much as the verbal expressed language.  Non-verbal communication is commonly known as body language and I spent a lot of time studying the basis of this and its importance in training and interviews. So the question is can it be read and used by individuals, managers and directors- or indeed in their wider professional or social lives?

Body language is a broad term for forms of communication using dress, body movements or gestures instead of, or in addition to, sounds, verbal language, or other forms of communication.  It is part of the category of paralanguage, which describes all forms of human communication that are not verbal language.  This includes the most subtle of movements that many people are not aware of, including, for example, a discreet smile or a slight movement of the eyebrows. Such messages can be communicated instantly and silently through gesture; body movement or posture, facial expression and eye gaze.

Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle would not have recognised it, but just watching an accomplished politician, actor, or shopping channel salesperson can give you some insight into the power of gestures or facial inferenceSuch gestures can add to the stagecraft, amplify the message and can provide surprisingly magnetic assurance about what you are being told.   Have a look at the courses we offer at The Academy of Vocational and Professional Training.

Can the use of these non-verbal signatures be imported into the business, training and HR arena?  It can be a risky strategy to attempt to read and rely upon body language signatures without some training and practice. Should individuals be aware of the power of non-verbal communication and seek to harness this aspect in negotiation? If our desire, as individuals in business, training or HR, is to produce our optimum performance then we should employ all of the communication and interpersonal skills with which we individually have been gifted.

We may well consider investing our time to improve our oral questioning and language skills, but very few individuals seem to give much thought to developing the skill of both reading and transmitting non-verbal clues. We can help! Developing those reading skills would be much easier if all our clients were between three and nine years of age – this is rare of course, even if sometimes a negotiation has something of a playground quality about them.  Children wear their emotions on their sleeves and are, except perhaps to other children or their doting grandparents, pretty easy to read.

Mobile Learning, Mobile Earning

Mobile Learning, Mobile Earning

Tightly crossed arms, a screwed-up face and a stamped foot quickly clues you into the internal voice of the child, even if their response to the question, “Are you OK” is “Yes”. A parent’s sixth sense is often nothing more than a demonstration of the superior body language reading skills that child carer’s, of necessity, have learned to develop.  The older we grow the more we learn how to mask our true feelings, which unconsciously includes the toning-down of our body language as well.  Whilst we can try and make our non-verbal communication less obvious, very few people can completely mask it.

HR directors, business people and individuals, might want to learn to look for those more subtle, but tell-tale, signs of stress, hope, agreement, confidence, resistance, and fear in the body language of the clients, and indeed their own clients.  Picking up on these signs could allow us to make progress in a situation of stale-mate and could save a negotiation that is about to crash.  These skills can allow us to zero-in our questioning, to know when a private meeting or a break is essential, and to see the evident bridges and agreements, even when the other side have yet to verbalise them.  How too are we at listening to clients, staff and business partners when they speak to us?  Are we fully engaged with them, having turned our chair, and thus our whole body towards the speaker, leaning forward and maintaining good eye contact?  If you want to be heard in your turn, you need to be seen to be listening.

People will usually only tell us what is really on their mind if they believe that we are really listening.  Do we really listen?  Taking notes whilst staring at out iPad or mobile phone as the person tells their story, does nothing to build confidence in us or the process.  Active listening skills such as reflecting back a summary of what has just been said by the speaker may just persuade, non verbally, a client to listen to you and thereby facilitate success. HR directors, managers and individuals should be encouraged, therefore, think about using their body language positively to enhance the oral skills that they already have, allowing them to maximise their potential as conflict resolution practitioners.

I know what you are thinking. You need to start training, now.   

Please review our VTF  Presentation and let us know if this is an opportunity for you.

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Keep Taking the Tablets

Keep taking the tablets

Keep taking the tablets

-More Than 1 Billion Smart Devices Sold Last Year Changes Everything

article by: Tim T Dingle BSc (Hons) MIBiol PGCE MBA  CDO at AVPTGLOBAL

I can remember clearly (it was after all, only 3 years ago on April 3rd 2010) when Steve Jobs unveiled a unique consumer tablet with an unusual name. It had been one of his obsessions for years, even before the iPhone. Many people thought Apple would be better served by coming out with a netbook: you remember netbooks, don’t you?

According to the International Data Corporation[1], worldwide shipments of smart connected devices grew an amazing 29.1% year over year in 2012, crossing 1 billion units sold with a value of $576.9 billion. The market expansion was largely driven by 78.4% year-over-year growth in tablet shipments, which surpassed 128 million in 2012. Quite astonishing and I hope everyone had a great Christmas opening the tablets!

We all know that smart devices can deliver amazing functionality; from constant Internet and social media connection to brilliantly helpful apps. They are genuinely changing the way we operate as a society. The change is happening so rapidly and almost seamlessly that most of us probably don’t realise how much we use and rely on our smartphones and tablets.  How did the business world even operate without employees having constant access to their phones, email and the Internet? How did busy parents keep track of their schedules without a calendar that never leaves their side and actually reminds them of events?

apps galore!

apps galore!

If we pause to consider that now we can use apps to find the best meal when on the road, the nearest petrol station or to locate possible holdups on route. We don’t even have to watch TV or connect to an online news site to get instant national and local news. We can scan rail and plane tickets with our smart phones and check in with no paper for international flights. While smart devices are making everyday activities easier for consumers, some businesses are facing challenges to compete effectively. The challenge is being met by forward thinking companies like AVPT Global[2] who seek to use tablets and smart phone technology to be at the heart of online learning and push forward the rise of mLearning.

The iPad and other smart devices (including my brilliant Samsung Note 10.1) have had huge initial impact on access to information, business sales and social interaction. In fact the pioneering of this new category has in some ways been even more significant than the iPod and even the iPhone, because it has disrupted so many different device manufacturers. It has created a market opportunity for smart device manufacturers and created a challenge to other PC makers and even potentially influencing how we may watch television in the future. It has also extended digital content opportunities to make books and video on-the-go a more practical experience, ending the back breaking march of the child with books to school perhaps?

The iPad was the first device to successfully bridge the gap between the PC and smartphone for consumers. Since it landed in the first consumer’s hands more than 55 million iPads have been sold worldwide, used for watching (and streaming) movies, reading books, magazines and newspapers, Web surfing and playing games. Tablets are becoming familiar common coffee-table fixtures in households around the country. They’re also being stowed in the briefcases and bags of travellers, whether they’re going by car or by plane. And they’re increasingly carried by teachers, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents — a wide range of professionals who find they can do much of their work with a tablet. Put simply, the tablet has become the go-to PC substitute for a variety of activities.

A smarter way to study with www.avptglobal.com

A smarter way to study with http://www.avptglobal.com

People now leave their laptops behind more often, taking advantage of the tablet’s lighter weight, ubiquitous wifi (and 3G /4G) connectivity, its longer battery life and catalogue of useful applications. We are seeing some of the tasks traditionally performed on PCs and laptops, now being performed on the tablet. In fact, all five of the top activities (email, Web surfing, game-playing, social networking and online shopping) shifted towards the tablet in late 2011.

Many of these are activities we do on our smart phones, of course, but doing them on the tablet is not only more pleasurable visually, it leads to entirely new behaviours. Watching video (be it movies, TV or YouTube) is definitely one of the preferred uses of tablet owners who also have smartphones, as is Web surfing and email, according to new research from Nielsen. In a great piece of research called, “Tablets are for meals. Smartphones are for snacks,” Nielsen[3] shows how 10 per cent or less of smartphone owners opt to do those activities on their phones. Social networking (both Facebook and Twitter) is also better done on a tablet than smartphone, as is writing emails. Aside from making phone calls, the only activity right now where the smartphone beats the tablet is instant messaging. But even 18 per cent said they’re doing that on their tablets. It appears that mobile phones tend to be the gateway drug in emerging markets where consumers typically move on to a tablet.

The IDC report that grabbed the headlines last week (1.2 billion smart devices), goes on to say that it expects global smart connected device unit shipments to surpass 2.2 billion units by 2017. Consumers and business buyers are now starting to see smartphones, tablets, and PCs as a single continuum of connected devices separated primarily by screen size. Each of these devices is primarily used for data applications and different individuals choose different sets of screen sizes in order to fit their unique needs. These kinds of developments are creating exciting new opportunities that will continue to drive the smart connected devices market forward in a positive way. The first step on the long road to mLearning is just beginning and the potential for individuals and companies to grasp the opportunity is seen by only a few.

Taking the Tablets has never been so exciting.

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[2] The Academy of Vocational and Professional Training www.avptglobal.com

[3] Dan Lee, Director of Product, Digital Nielsen July 18th 2012