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Top 10 Tricks to Boost Your Memory and Remember Anything

Remembering things, like names, dates, and other fine details is a skill—one that you can sharpen and hone. Here are ten memory boosting techniques everyone can learn.

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Improve Your Productivity with 4 simple steps today!

In his article 7 Ways to Maximize Downtime featured in Entrepreneur, Performance Consultant, Speaker & Award-Winning Author John Brubaker shares his thoughts on how to redeem your time. What I discovered is that by incorporating just one micro-change in your daily routine, you significantly change the outcome of your week for the better! The key is not to try to do it all at one time; and the secret is that these simple techniques will work for virtually anything you want to change.
1.      Fitness: Want to firm up your core? Try adding three Burpees to your routine.
Ready to take it up a notch? At step four add a second pushup.
In less time than you think, you will see a dramatic change in your core. Use some common sense here though. You can’t go out eating a buffet every day and expect that 3 Burpees will burn that off. Instead consider adding it before or after your routine. Do you want to get better results, increase the number of repetitions; it is just that easy.

2.      Productive Daily Plan: If you’re like most of us, you tend to drag yourself from bed, into the shower, dress and get into the day without a lot of forethought and effort. There is an adage that “the things that get attention, are the things that get done.” If you invest just 8-10 minutes jotting down what you a) Need to get done, b) Want to get done, c) Like to do, you can very quickly organize your day and create a productive daily plan. Discipline yourself to frontload the Need to at the top of your daily list. Allow yourself no slack until you get one or more Need to’s completed. That may mean, don’t walk into the workplace and start checking emails, returning phone calls, etc., unless they’re part of the Need to.

You can stack up the Want to, during the times when you can’t make any additional progress on the Need to item. As a reward, add in a Like to, just to keep the fun in the day. So what’s the key, the secret sauce, the hidden jewel to this process?
Starting off the day well. Brubaker suggests you integrate this “micro-change” by adopting a Rise and G.R.I.N.D. (Get Ready It’s a New Day) mental mindset.

Wake up an hour earlier than everyone else in your house. Discipline yourself not to hit the snooze. This capsule of time provides you with a quiet, distraction-free environment to enhance your focus. Grab your coffee and instead of checking your email or watching the news, invest that time creating your Want to, Need to, Like to list and plan for the day. Everything you do should move you toward completing your list – anything that doesn’t is a time thief and needs to be avoided.

3.     Mindless Ride to Mindful Commute: Much has been said or suggested about learning on the
go, but it’s truly under-appreciated. It’s estimated that Americans spend the equivalent of a work week sitting in traffic. Redeem your commute time by adding a little knowledge to your skills. By attending Windshield University, I’ve read (listened to) dozens of books on everything from leadership and management, to current events, all for free!
The average daily commute time in the U.S. is about 50 minutes round trip. Consider the typical college course is about 50 minutes long. A micro-shift in your mindset could propel you from a mindless ride, to a mindful commute! Would you like to learn another language? Would you like to finally read the Bible through? If you’re riding and not driving, would you like to see how others have successfully built, repaired, or refurbished something with common tools?
Check into your Windshield University by checking out podcasts, CD Audiobooks, MP3 downloads and more! Think about it; if you reframed your 50-minute daily ride into a mindful commute, you could add over four hours a week (more than the average college course) or about 216 hours to your professional development annually. For free! That’s the equivalent of an MBA’s worth of professional development.
4.      Power Lunch: Stop eating at your desk! Schedule business-lunch meetings (at least once a week) that can help you: achieve one of your goals, make a sale or advance your career. we spend 31 hours a month or more in unproductive meetings, and much of that is due to no clear call to action; the purpose for the meeting. Your power lunch will shake up that trend for you personally and professionally! You’re making an opportunity to feed your body and your career!
Use a few minutes of your lunch break to review your daily progress and adjust where needed. Some research suggests
So where do you start? Start right now by committing to improving yourself! Aren’t you worth it? Next write down a goal that you would like to achieve over the next 30 days…starting today! Not tomorrow or the first of the month, but right now where you’re sitting or standing. Once you write it down, a goal becomes a plan! Now share your goal in the comment section below and watch your plan take shape!

Dr. Eugene Matthews

Podcast Mini Tools (Teaching Resources)

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For several years I've been using a couple of (free) tools to quickly create targeted content for students in my courses. While this is not a unique approach, for anyone looking to reach your students with a slightly less impersonal touch, a Podcast Mini Tool (PMT) might just be the ticket.

Let me answer some basic questions, then provide the links to the tools I use and let you try them out for yourself!
  1. Who is the Target Audience?
  2. What is the Purpose?
  3. When is it Appropriate?
  4. How to…

To begin with, this technique came about as a result of necessity more than anything else. I found when grading essays, quizzes, online discussion responses and other assignments there were often two or more common issues or errors noted. Sometimes it was the result of less specific guidance and other times it was the result of inaccurate interpretation of the guidance for the assignment.

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Depending on the class size, commenting on shortfalls individually could take several hours. One way to address shortfalls is to make a blanket statement and attach it to everyone’s assignment. However, regardless how well crafted, it still felt impersonal. An off-shoot of this low tech solution was to prepare a blanket comment, then parse the appropriate areas for each student’s assignment and send it off. Less impersonal, a bit more effective, but a little time consuming.

In using the PMT you actually comment along as you go. For individual essays, reports or other writing assignments, you provide a wealth of valuable feedback specific to the student needs. More on that later.

Target Audience:

The target audience is the individual student. Feedback comes in three basic forms:
Constructive - tells the individual how to make something better or do something better; 
Corrective - tells the individual how to fix what was wrong or make something right; and
Praise - validates the individual and the work they performed
If you follow this order student responses to your assessments will improve.


The primary purpose of the PMT is to quickly and effectively provide guidance and feedback response on students’ work effort. A secondary purpose is to reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation or misunderstanding of intent. To be effective the student must interpret the written explanation in the manner you intended, or it loses its impact. Unless you have built a strong academic relationship with the student, your intended message in your written text is subject to distortion.

Appropriately Applied:

A good thing about the PMT is that you aren’t required to use it all the time, or for every student assignment. For example, if you’ve assessed multiple choice / True-False quiz, there may be little use in preparing a PM. Conversely, if you’re grading an essay style exam where more critical thinking and application of logical reasoning is required, a PM will better Construct, Correct, or Praise in terms of feedback than would the traditional text response.

Lastly, when the content that is being assessed is detailed or complex, or you have students at a geographic distance, the PMT is a good way to bridge the distance and encourage multilevel engagement.

Movenote This PMT allows you to record audio/video and display the assignment on-screen as you assess it. A strength in this PMT is that the recordings can be saved as MP4, uploaded to YouTube, or the Movenote host site. The recording can be imbedded into the learning management/course management system, or simply sent as a link to the individual student or the class as a whole. Regardless of what device they access the internet with, they will be able to view the content.

Screencast-o-matic This PMT actually captures your screen and records audio/video. In some instances you may want to do more than point out errors in an assignment; you may want to provide another example. Since this PMT captures the screen, essentially anything you can replicate on screen will be recorded and made available to the student or the class. Recordings can be saved as MP4, AVI, and FLV formats.

The caveat to both of these PMT’s is that the free versions are limited to 15 minutes. The reasons why that is not a problem are 1) You can make unlimited recordings i.e., Pt 1 of 4; and 2) Anecdotal evidence suggests attention waivers after 15 minutes of watching a computer or cellphone screen.

Go Ninja…Academically
To get sort of Ninja while reading and assessing assignments, prepare a script with common errors or issues you noticed after each assignment assessment. Then as a summative explanation, prepare a blanket Podcast Mini outlining the common points of interest for the class as a whole and submit it to the class as a whole.

There is a strong likelihood that other educators have used other tools with varying degrees of success, so I don’t purport that the PMT is the only solution. What I can say is that it has been effective for me, and has helped reduce my grading/assessment of written assignments and increase my student interaction.

Check it out and see where PMTs will take you!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any manner with either of these products, beyond being a free user.

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