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14 Ways You Haven’t Tried To Improve Your Memory

14 Ways You Haven’t Tried To Improve Your Memory

We all deal with memory loss to some degree: some forget where they put their car keys, others forget why they went out shopping, while others even forget their names. In case you are not under a severe hangover or a student-with-sudden-memory-loss-due-to-exams, you need to identify the cause of your memory loss and combat it with proper, effective methods.

If you are found healthy and doing well, but still have problems recalling things, here are 14 effective and easy ways to improve memory and boost your academic/professional productivity.

Use mnemonics

hand mnemonic write

    As the computer uses binary code to store data and retrieve it in a user-friendly way, the human brain is recording data in a certain pattern, bringing it back later in a specific form. Mnemonics use exactly this feature and help you store information in a specific code, allowing you to recall it in a friendly form. Sounds complicated, right? Well, it is not. When you use a mnemonic you will use a simple rhyme or abbreviation to remember information. To do that you will use already known images, data, smells and other things to link new data to the old. For example, HOMES can stand for the names of the Great Lakes and it is easy to remember, so you would find it easier to remember Huron Ontario Michigan Erie Superior in this form, rather than individual lake names. A mnemonic can be anything, not only a word, so feel free to use your imagination and work your way up to master this memory improvement technique.

    Learn something new

    girl learning for improve memory

      Memory is like a car: if you don’t use it, you lose it. To improve memory and help your brain stay focused all the time, learn something new as frequently as possible. There is no recipe for a long life, but all people who lived more than the average had this one thing in common (among others, like a healthy diet): they used their mind all the time. Learn a new dance, a new language, a new game – anything appealing to you and it will help you improve your memory and acquire new skills in the process, as well as friends. And being social is very important as you are about to find out later in this article.

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      Get enough sleep

      cat sleeps to improve memory

        As keeping your mind active improves the pattern making function in your brain and keeps the neurons busy, sleep stores all the memories. As you fall asleep, the brain switches from the acquiring state to the storing state: during the rapid eye movement (REM) sleeping phase you classify all the events from that day and link them to other memories and knowledge you already have.

        Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, studied the process of brain loss in elders and found memory impairment is linked to poor sleep. At the same time, another study proved naps help children boost their learning power. Connecting the two results you have one major conclusion: you need to get enough sleep to boost your memory, no matter what age you are. This means you need eight hours of sleep as an adult, but depending on each individual, you may need a couple of more (or less) sleep hours. The best way to remember the information you need to learn is to review it just before you go to bed, as this will sediment all the data.

        Focus on fitness (and other exercises)

        girls running marathon

          A study conducted by Dr. David Jacobs at the University of Minnesota, concluded people who follow a regular cardio exercise routine in their young age have better memory in their middle ages, namely after the age of 45. This study is nothing new, as practicians all over the world already noted exercises like swimming, cardio fitness, running and other related exercises help people beat memory impairment in the long term. To improve your memory and keep your mind focused as you age, exercise your body, as well as your mind. You should pick cardio over other type of exercises, as increasing your heart rate increases blood flow towards the brain.

          Watch your diet

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          berry cupcakes

            The term “brain food” is not new: there are foods which improve your memory and keep your mind alert. A new study conducted at the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland, showed green tea is one of these super-foods. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in nuts, ocean fish and olive oil were studied and proved to be effective memory enhancers, so eat those regularly. Other foods to include in your diet on a regular basis: eggs, tomatoes, red wine (use with caution), capers, blueberries and turmeric. Previous lesser known studies revealed that vanilla, rosemary and sage are also great aids when you are looking to improve memory. Vanilla is used in aromatherapy for memory enhancement. Chewing gum is another proven way to improve memory, as multiple studies revealed it increases your heart rate and releases certain scents, both of which trigger memories.

            Meditation and better breathing

            meditation statue

              Meditation is very popular these days, promoted as a wonder-cure, but there are real benefits you can enjoy. First, meditation can speed up your heart rate, thus, bringing more blood to the brain, which also brings more oxygen, making it function at top rates. Second, it helps you relax and focus on you for an hour, which has amazing long-term benefits for brain power, as well as overall health. Most meditation techniques and exercises include deep breathing which is another way to improve memory and relieve stress. By practicing it a couple of minutes a day, you will have better posture, a positive mood and you will feel more energetic. Plus, they are both FREE!

              Enjoy nature

              enjoy the nature to improve memory

                A walk in the great outdoors is very helpful when you look to improve memory and enhance your cognitive power. Researchers from the University of Michigan tested this theory on subjects who were asked to take a walk in nature, then remember a list of items. Another group was asked to walk in the city, then asked the same question. Those who enjoyed the walk in the garden had a better memory of the list by a staggering 20%. But researchers didn’t stop here: they put people to test again, this time showing them pictures with natural scenery and urban landscapes. Guess what: the results were the same! Next time you forget something, open your computer and watch green forest landscapes and your memory will come back.

                Play, play, play

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                playing chess on the beach

                  Computer games are great, but they hardly improve your cognitive functions. Logical and strategy games however, can help you improve memory and focus, while you also socialize and have a great time. The best picks in terms of memory games are chess, Sudoku and related games. The Gray cells in your brain will thank you for those gaming hours.

                  Use neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)

                  man levitating oranges

                    The concept of NLP is rather new, but it is very effective, as it can teach you how to overcome your limits. The basic logic behind NLP is that human limits are drawn by each individual, so they can be beaten by auto-suggestion. Spending time alone, asking yourself what is the cause of your memory loss and figuring put what you really, really want, may help you relieve memory loss and improve your brain power. This works pretty much the same way as a placebo. A study even showed people who were told repetitively that aging alters their memory actually scored lower than their counterparts, who were told there was no link between memory loss and the aging process. Meditation is a great prelude to NLP and they both work great with a better diet, aromatherapy and exercising.

                    Use your sense of smell

                    fragrance to improve memory

                      Perfumes are great not only because they smell good, but also because they help you remember things. Aromatherapy is one of the most accessible ways to improve memory. And there are many studies which proved it is highly effective: Saint Louis University School of Medicine from Missouri is the place where researchers tested the effectiveness of rosemary and peppermint. They used substances with the same antioxidants concentration on mice and found out rosemary increased the focus power and had positive effects for preventing memory loss due to aging. Peppermint had the same benefits, so next time you need to learn math, stock up on peppermint gum.

                      Press those buttons

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                      acupuncture doll

                        Acupuncture has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, with excellent results in almost any field, so there is no surprise it works in improving memory. Each part of your body is crossed by nerves and energy channels. You can stimulate those points with the help of a very thin needle or by pressing them with your fingers. To stimulate your memory and bring back important information press your temples gently, but firmly with your fingers for a couple of seconds. This will relieve stress and help you remember where you put your car keys.

                        Visualize memories

                        visualize glasses

                          A study conducted at the University of Helsinki proved what many students already knew very well: humans have a powerful visual memory. Matching certain images with new information can help you access that information by seeing the image again. In other words, one can use a particular image to recall past events and data. This is why you get tears in the corner of your eye when you see your old skaters or view old photos.

                          Stop multitasking

                          One of the biggest lies in the history of human kind, in terms of productivity is multitasking. Despite the fact that all companies look for this skill in future employees, it actually cuts down a lot on the actual number and quality of things one can accomplish during a given time. To improve your memory and become productive stop doing more things at a time and start focusing on one thing on a time. Start your day with the most important task, then have a small break. Resume your work and at noon deal with the emails, leaving the simplest tasks for the last working hours. If you have meetings, schedule them at the first hour of the day, as waiting is a great memory stealer.

                          Get social

                          friends having fun

                            Socializing is great for your brain as well as overall mood. Never underestimate the power of a good talk, even if it isn’t very interesting. A simple gossip session can improve memory, as it stimulates multiple parts in the brain. To have great memory, you need to keep your synapses – the connection paths between the neurons – active and talking does exactly this. Moreover, you can pair other activities in this list with this last gem, to reap even more benefits from them.

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                            Last Updated on November 5, 2019

                            5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

                            5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

                            Businesses rely on talent to generate and sell value. Without skilled people to create its products, manage its operations and execute its strategies, a business would inevitably fizzle out of the game and leave better-staffed competitors to take the field.

                            This is the reason why ambitious companies go great lengths to attract top talent,[1] shelling out millions of dollars in the process and bending traditional work policies just to bring highly skilled but demanding candidates into the fold.

                            Clearly, the contours of business are changing. But so are the demographics of work.

                            Millennials have become the dominant generation in the job market in terms of population, and some have already transitioned into leadership roles. Most millennials consider opportunity to learn and grow more important than overall compensation.[2]

                            Companies also today expect employees to come equipped with razor sharp business acumen.[3] Unfortunately, there is an alarming discrepancy between the actual skills businesses need and those currently possessed by job candidates.

                            To stay in the game, employers need to continually upgrade their training and skills development strategies to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

                            What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

                            Learning management systems are software-based solutions for authoring, presenting, consuming, storing, and tracking educational content and training materials. These systems aim to centralize all instructional content (e.g., lessons, training modules, instructional videos, presentation slides, worksheets, online quizzes, ebooks, takeaway notes, etc.) in one place.

                            LMS enable instructors to design and deliver learning experiences to students, with the added capability of evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional materials and grading the learning progress of students.

                            On the other side of the equation, learners use LMS to develop skills and acquire new knowledge virtually anytime and anywhere via the different channels and content formats made possible by digital technology.

                            Over the years, a wide range of features and technologies have been integrated into learning management systems to help enhance the experience of training designers, instructors, and learners. These include cloud and mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsive design, scheduling, gamification, data analytics, and interoperability with other applications.

                            5 Best All-Purpose Learning Management Systems

                            There are dozens of LMS vendors catering to the general market or to specific segments such as K-12 learning, higher education, and corporate training.

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                            With so many options available, selecting the right LMS solution for your needs can be complicated and costly, especially when you end up adopting a platform that doesn’t exactly match your goals or requirements.

                            Short of conducting a comprehensive audit of your needs and finalizing a learning roadmap, the safest bet would be to adopt full-featured but affordable LMS solutions.

                            Based on user reviews, here are the 5 best LMS to help people gain knowledge, build skills, and achieve mastery:

                            1. Canvas Network

                            Launched by Instructure as an open source software in 2011, Canvas is an end-to-end cloud-based service originally engineered for the education sector.

                            Widely adopted for K-12 and Higher Ed learning, Canvas can be repurposed for anything that involves an instructor, a subject matter, and a student.

                            Used around the world by people of all ages and organizations of all types, Canvas arguably has the largest learning and support community in its class. It works on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

                            To get a glimpse of the platform’s fresh interfaces, you can visit the Canvas Network, a learning community that provides educational and instructional materials created by colleges, universities, corporate businesses, independent course developers, and other knowledge-sharing entities around the world.

                            Hosting hundreds of interesting topics from data science to horticulture, the learning network also serves as evidence to the scope, capabilities, and popularity of the Canvas LMS platform.

                            Canvas is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which enhances the platform’s reliability, speed, scalability, and overall online performance.

                            Additionally, platform adopters enjoy a low-risk environment since cloud-based solutions require no hard stops for version updates, upgrades, or system migrations.

                            The Canvas website does not show a price matrix but says the service adopts a simple formula for computing fees: a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on total number of users. It also promises free basic services for teachers who want to use the platform.

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                            In addition to Canvas, Instructure also offers Bridge (an LMS designed for corporate environments), Arc (a video platform for online learning), and Gauge (an assessment management system).

                            Check out this video if you want to learn more about Canvas Network:

                            2. Google Classroom

                            This free service from Google aims to improve the teaching and learning process using cloud technology, web apps, workflow simplification, and seamless communication between students and instructors.

                            Using Classroom, educators can easily create and schedule classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and grade quizzes all in one place. By streamlining processes, Classroom helps teachers save time and organize classes more effectively. Both students and teachers can also work using any device anytime and anywhere.

                            Classroom works perfectly with other Google tools, having been launched initially as part of Google’s G Suite for Education. This LMS solution taps Google Drive for content storage and distribution, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the creation and sharing of instructional materials. Meanwhile it integrates Google Calendar for scheduling and Gmail for communication.

                            With G Suite, other communication channels such as chat messaging, video conferencing, and a dedicated website are enabled.

                            Easy to set up and manage, Google Classroom is free to use. One of my very first courses was actually hosted on Google Classroom.

                            Going beyond the classroom environment, Google offers G Suite Enterprise for Education for large institutions. This suite provides enhanced search and analytics capabilities as well as advanced tools for enterprise communications.

                            3. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment)

                            If budget and capability equally top your list of LMS adoption criteria, then Moodle might just fit the bill. Which is to say there’s none (i.e., bill).

                            Moodle is a free and open-source learning solution for distance education, workplace training, flipped classrooms, and other pedagogical environments.

                            It is also a full-featured LMS supported by a robust community and a thriving developer ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Moodle is used in more than 15 million courses by more than 130 million users in 230+ countries.

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                            Among other things, Moodle enables administrators and educators to create a dynamic and dedicated website to host organic, easily accessible, and highly customizable courses that can be experienced on desktops and mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

                            Moodle provides a personalized and intuitive dashboard as well as a host of collaboration tools for content designers, teachers, and learners. A universal calendar, an efficient file management system, an automatic notification system, multimedia integration, and a progress tracking tool all come with the package.

                            Check out this video if you want to learn more about Moodle:

                            4. Absorb

                            This platform recently bagged PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best LMS.

                            Co-designed and built by former course authors, Absorb takes learning experience to the next level. This turnkey LMS solution is responsive, full-featured, and highly customizable for maximum impact.

                            Course developers can orchestrate a wide range of experiences depending on audience or learning situation. In addition to surveys, polls, and e-commerce integration, Absorb supports formal online learning and certifications standards such as AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can.

                            The user interface can also be modified to match the learner’s location, group, or department, allowing for a different look and feel for customers, channel partners, management trainees, and newly hired employees.

                            Absorb supports all personal computing devices from desktops to mobile phones. There are also native or hybrid apps for iOS and Android.

                            The only possible drawback to the platform’s powerful feature set is its pricing. The service reportedly implements a flat, one-time setup fee depending on your business and training requirements. According to the site, any plan comes with a dedicated success team for your account.

                            Although small companies are welcome to try, midsize to enterprise-scale organizations are probably the best segment to readily adopt this LMS solution.

                            Take a look at some examples of Absorb in this video:

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                            5. Watershed Collaborative

                            Created by a group of educators, this nonprofit rethinks the priorities of an LMS, asserting that too many systems miss the most essential elements of what makes learning stick. They promise a better user experience – emphasizing Learning before Management and System.

                            Watershed aims to support an inquiry-based learning experience through an integrated mix of online and in-person learning strategies and interactions designed expressly for teams – including collaboration, reflection, and dialogue.

                            While Watershed was founded initially to serve the K-12 education market, the company has since expanded its scope to cater to all types of teachers and learners with its video-rich, state-of-the-art platform.

                            If you’re a mission-driven educator, content creator, institution, or business, this LMS may be the one for you.

                            Watershed specializes in assisting you with the instructional design of courses and provides content production services to ensure top-quality video assets with lasting value. Their LMS makes it easy for course creators to continuously update and tailor content to support small and large groups, while ensuring the technology and instructional strategy supports communities of learners.

                            Pricing varies based on products and services, but revenues support the nonprofit’s ability to make its platform and courses available at little or no cost for high-need educators and educational settings.

                            Honorable Mentions

                            There are dozens of LMS vendors in this growing market and the brands included in foregoing list are by no means the only viable options for companies or learning institutions looking to upgrade their learning infrastructure.

                            Many other excellent services are worth checking out. These include:

                            1. Docebo is an LMS designed for hyper-engaging students, employees, customers, and other learners. The system helps organizations identify and resolve competency gaps with strategic learning interventions.
                            2. Cornerstone OnDemand is a talent, training, and performance management solution offered as an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This service enables learners to create personalized playlists of instructional content.
                            3. Lessonly is an LMS solution that makes it easier to recall and reinforce whatever skills or knowledge you have learned through quizzes, coaching, and constant practice.
                            4. Skillsoft is an online training and corporate learning platform developed by a two-decade old and billion-dollar company with the same name.
                            5. D2L BrightSpace is a learning management system that has all the basics for delivering excellent, rich-media experiences for classroom or workplace training.

                            Conclusion

                            There are many ways to learn but some are more effective and meaningful than others. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance classroom learning or an HR manager creating a long-term talent development plan for employees, the key to impactful learning is to understand and bridge the needs of learners, the goals of your institution, and the actual capabilities of the learning tools you are considering.

                            Note that using multiple LMS platforms is possible although not recommended. On the other hand, adopting other learning solutions beyond LMS (such as podcasts, mentoring, and onsite in-person workshops) may significantly improve learning outcomes. Always go for products and plugins that seamlessly integrate into your core LMS tool.

                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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