Visuals Boost Brain Power

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Understanding how the brain works will make us better parents, teachers, students, and leaders. Get the rules, the Brain Rules by John Medina. Medina points out in Rule #10 that vision aces over all other senses.

“We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”

Over the years, I have created a number of PowerPoint presentations that I use for instruction and motivation. According to John, this information, if only text based, will quickly be forgotten. Time to scrap those old presentations and create a simpler, visually enhanced, remember-sticking way to deliver this information.

Recently in writer’s workshop, I have been discussing the topic of generating strong writing ideas. In the students’ writing notebook, they dedicate a section in the back of their journal for writing entries. An entry needs to be at least 5-6 lines about a particular idea, moment, or emotion. Students can then use these entries as potential narratives in the future. Often I will ask them to turn to a parter and share their entries. From there, I ask them if anyone discovered a new idea to write about. Because as Steven Johnson puts it, we often have half ideas that need to come together with someone else’s half idea. That is one way great ideas have come about.

Watch Where Do Good Ideas Come From? by Steven Johnson.

I discovered this RSA Animate video really captured the attention of my students. They enjoyed watching the artistic rendering being drawn in “quick time” as Johnson spoke. This form of visual speech throws an artistic curveball at the audience. As for me, I caught myself predicting what drawing might represent the different ideas the narrator was communicating. I wonder if the students will remember this more than just hearing the audio form?

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About Brent Fullerton

International educator who enjoys learning about ways to enhance learning.
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2 Responses to Visuals Boost Brain Power

  1. Kim Cofino says:

    Were you able to redesign a powerpoint using some of these new rules?

    • Recently, I presented to our staff my proposal to adapt the children’s literary classic Where the Wild Things Are. I designed a Prezi to present my idea. You can see my pitch on the blog post, My Wild Pitch ala Prezi.

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