16 December, 2009

Giving up

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.

The most certain way to succeed is always to try one more time.

-- Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

Learn everything you can

Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can -

there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.

-- Sarah Caldwell (1924 – 2006)

15 December, 2009

It is not helpful to help a friend by putting coins in his pockets when he has got holes in his pockets.

-- Douglas Hurd

A teacher cannot teach you if you are not willing to learn.

All the input from teachers, or from good books will be trashed by you if you mind is set to reject the input from the beginning.

Dexterine Ho

14 December, 2009

Aim at something high.

In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.

-- Henry David Thoreau

If you always aim at only passing the subject, you will likely to get it and not getting more!

Dexterine Ho

13 December, 2009

Made mistakes

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

-- Albert Einstein

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

-- Confucius

11 December, 2009

Did you ever think

If you look to someone else to provide you with all the answers, why are you needed?

You may have to search a little bit and, perhaps, have some irritation, anxiety, and upset, but did you ever think that it might all be set up that way, just to help you grow, just to help you take another good look and reach just another step higher?

-- John-Roger

10 December, 2009


The successful man is the average man, focused.

-- Source Unknown

11 October, 2009

Take a step back

Try to take a step back and refocus if you are having problems with your study.

Reflects on how the problem occur and how it ballon to the size that is beyond your ability to solve.

Some of the issues are beyond your power to correct, but the ones in your domain are easy to fix.

Once you do whatever you can to minimize it, you will see the problem less daunting!

Just get to work ASAP (As Soon As Possible)!

Dexterine Ho

14 September, 2009

Team work

If you understand that your assistance are vital to the success of the team, you will treasure and appreciate the assistance of others to make the team excel.

I like to attend workshop. In a learning environment like that, my learning flows and a lot of difficult tasks can be made easy by team work.

If you watch the TV programme: "Are ou smarter than a 5th Grader", you will understand that learning is easy with the help of a team, even the team is a group of 5th graders.

If you usually like working solo and enjoy reading and learning alone, try to work with a team and learn differently. If you have any doubt, seek out someone to help and unlock your doubt.

But remember, sometime even if the team work method doesn't directly benefit you, the experience you have will be a worthwhile experince.

29 August, 2009

Don't Procrastinate

The greatest thief this world ever produced is procrastination,
and he is still at large.

-- Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885)

More failure in learning is a result of procrastination!

-- Dexterine Ho

28 August, 2009

Facing new and awkward challenges

In any learning situation, in order to advance from know to unknown, one may face new and awkward challenges from time to time.

Most of us hesitate when asked to perform an unfamiliar task as we afraid we lack the knowledge, techniques and skills to do it properly.

Do the best you can, as the attitude is the one that really counts. You may be surprised or amazed at what you are capable of.

By trying your best and putting your heart and soul to the new challenges, it could lead to some new finding or some break through.

It is the same for most of the new discovery.

You will master new knowledge/technique and skills to go through the difficult path if you have the right attitude.

The same path which looks difficult to cross will become managible if you are willing to put your heart and soul in crossing it.

Dexterine Ho

27 August, 2009

Don't rush

When you rush forward but get nowhere, part of you wants to say 'just forget it.'

But listen to your other half, instead.

Sometimes making progress is as easy as going with the flow, so force yourself to slow down.

26 August, 2009

Undo your bad habit

A bad habit never disappears miraculously; it's an undo-it-yourself project.

Abigail Van Buren US advice columnist (1918 - )

25 August, 2009

Learning create opportunity for success

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

-- Thomas Edison (1847–1931)

Learning create opportunity for success!

Successful people are learner all the time!

-- Dexterine Ho

01 August, 2009

Problem solving

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

- Albert Einstein

22 July, 2009

A little bit more.

Four short words sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd; a little bit more.

They did all that was expected of them and a little bit more.

-- A. Lou Vickery

21 July, 2009

If you force a child to do ...

If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him.

-- John Holt (1923 - 1985) American Educator

09 July, 2009

Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary

Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary


If you like to check up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts, Visuwords is the one to use!

Visuwords produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net and let you learn how words associate.

Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree.

It's a dictionary!

It's a thesaurus!

Visuwords™ uses Princeton University’s WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers.

Combined with a visualization tool and user interface built from a combination of modern web technologies, Visuwords™ is available as a free resource to all patrons of the web.

08 July, 2009

Spelling make easy!

Woman has Man in it;

Mrs. has Mr . in it;

Female has Male in it; She has He in it;

Madam has Adam in it;

History has His in it.

28 June, 2009

Limiting belief

If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you.

-- Louise Hay

24 June, 2009

Tell me and I'll forget.

Show me and I'll remember.

Involve me and I'll understand.

-- Native American Proverb

In learning, listening is good, yet not good enough, as you may forget when you hear easily!

In learning, observation is better than listening, as you can hear and see at the same time, hence you can remember better.

Nevertheless, the best learning is to have hands-on experience yourself!

Your experience will internalized the learning and make it part of your knowledge!

Dexterine Ho

20 June, 2009

When we blame, we give away our power.

-- Greg Anderson

When we blame, we give away the opportunity of fine tuning our inner channel and look for ways to improve ourself.

Instead of getting angry and blame others for anything that is annoying, ask for advice from friends alike on how to improve.

Sometime talking to a close friend make you feel better as you are likely to accept the view and look at things from a different perspective.

With the calm and peace you have at that moment, you will be able to concentrate and do things well.

Dexterine Ho

15 May, 2009

Yahoo! Education Reference

Yahoo! Education Reference

"Yahoo! Education offers a handy selection of searchable reference materials to help you find the information you need.

Look up the definition of a word in the Dictionary, find its synonym in the Thesaurus, or translate it into Spanish.

Search for facts and information in the Encyclopedia, find country and regional maps and flags in the World Factbook, and much more."

The reference tools listed on the page includes:

The American Heritage® Dictionary, Fourth Edition

The American Heritage® Spanish Dictionary, Second Edition

Roget's II: The New Thesaurus

Columbia Encyclopedia

Columbia World of Quotations


09 May, 2009

Infoplease: Homework Center

Infoplease is the world's largest free reference site. Access to Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Almanacs, and Homework Help on English, math, history, geography, science, and social studies are organized in systematic way.

For students who need Homework Help on English, math, history, geography, science, and social studies, just go to:

Infoplease: Homework Center

I like the language help and you may find other sections useful!

27 April, 2009

Give yourself some incentive

Everyone of us needs some incentive.

Even unrealistic goals are fine, because being unrealistic, it move you further.

Just remember, as long as you don't exhaust yourself trying, go ahead and give yourself a carrot on a stick and chase it.

You may not get the carrot on a stick, nevertheless, you will not be sitting still at where you were yesterday!

Dexterine Ho

26 April, 2009

Negative thoughts

How can you rid yourself of any negative thoughts?

How can you let positive energy flow into your mind?

Just focus on some creative projects and rid yourself of any bad thought or bad habits.

Do not plan it too far ahead. Do not postpone it till tomorrow, next week or next month.

Start it today. Focus on a project that make your learning interesting, or just do some exercise that make your mind relax and turn your negative thoughts off. Once you get to do something with your heart and soul, your will notice some positive energy flow into you mind.

Dexterine Ho

25 April, 2009

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men.

No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

-- Elbert Hubbard

No machine, even the most intelligent computer can do the work of one extraordinary man, and that man maybe you!

That is the reason why we still need to learn and study as no machine can replace us.

Dexterine Ho

24 April, 2009

Being busy vs being focus

It is not enough to be busy ...

The question is: What are we busy about?

-- Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

23 April, 2009


Success isn't measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.

-- Mike Ditka

22 April, 2009

Have a great goal

All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.

-- Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)

21 April, 2009


Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.

-- Henry Ford

20 April, 2009


If no task is organized enough to function, not much will get done.

To have any progress in your study, try to make organizing your own system a priority, even if those around you remain disorganized.

Dexterine Ho

19 April, 2009


My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.

-- Abraham Lincoln

18 April, 2009


You can look at something a hundred times the same way.

Looking at it from a different way can be difficult!

It is hard to see something old in a new way, nevertheless, don't give up until you find your new way.

You may be amazed that it is not just one way or two ways, but many ways that you can look at one thing!

Change your view, change your perspective, and get creative, it's there in you.

Dexterine Ho

15 April, 2009


Bad habits are like chains that are too light to feel until they are too heavy to carry.

-- Warren Buffet

05 April, 2009

Passion, patience and performance

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering you own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.

-- Saint Francis de Sales

To be good in any learning, passion, patience and performance is the key to success.

In any type of learning, you will not find it a chore to explore and learn further if you have passion.

In any field of study, you will success if you have passion and patience in accumulating knowledge.

In any pursuit, if you have passion and patience, and willing to performance above the average, success is something within your reach.

Dexterine Ho

31 March, 2009

Rule your mind or it will rule you.

-- Quintus Horatius Flaccus, known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.

30 March, 2009

Vessel vs fire

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.

-- Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus (AD 46 – 120) commonly known in English as Plutarch — was a Roman historian (of Greek ethnicity), biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist.

Learning is not a filling process, it is a thinking process too!

Dexterine Ho

29 March, 2009


When things on your desk or in calendar or in your room start making no sense, you know it's time to do something about it.

Getting organized and start with a small task which can be done within half an hour is not as hard as procrastinating about it.

Consider it your new project and dig in 30 mins per day and within a month, you will see the result and be amazed by your work.

If you do nothing and just spare 30 mins adding more things on your desk, in your calendar or in your room, you will be equally amazed by the destruction you created with one month.

Either way work, so the choice is yours!

I think it is normal for one to move one way and reverse it from time to time, so long as you have some positive move in a year's time, your will grow the good habit of organization.

Hence you are not able to get organized with a short period, then plan it within your comfort zone. The key point is get started and accumulate the positive move everyday.

Dexterine Ho

27 March, 2009

Ten Best Vocabulary Learning Tips

The Ten Best Vocabulary Learning Tips

For the full text, visit the link at:

Here are the 10 headings:

1. Read, Read, Read!

2. Improve your context skills.

3. Practice, practice, practice.

4. Make up as many associations and connections as possible.

5. Use mnemonics ( memory tricks).

6. Get in the habit of looking up words you don't know.

7. Play with words.

8. Use vocabulary lists.

9. Take vocabulary tests.

10. Get excited about words!

26 March, 2009

Teaching is Learning from the other angle

If you are language learner and like to have a glimpse into the integrated Language course in higher education institute like National Institute of Education (NIE, Singapore), you may like to read the above book.

I have written one chapter and it is:

Chapter 15: Reciprocal Peer Tutoring in Digital Literacy Course
by Dexterine Ho Soo Miang

I think students learn a lot through peer interaction. Language and Digital Literacy Skills (the course that I am conducting in NIE) is something that you need to practice very often, and peer tutoring is the best as "the tutor" is always with or around you.

The rules of learning language, computer skills, and many subject knowledge are similar:

Use it, perfect it!


keep it, lose it!

If you like to read the book, it is available for rental from INNO HANDS-ON, Singapore. Email dexterine@yahoo.com or smho@pmail.ntu.edu.sg for more details.

Alternatively, you may purchase a copy from Amazon

For more details on the book, visit the
web page by the editor of the book (Dr. Michael Vallance's) at:


25 March, 2009

701 e-Learning Tips

These tips are from senior managers and training professionals around the world. The free digital book is available from:


Complete book (8.2 MB PDF)

Here are some tips I extracted from the e-book:

#7: e-Learning Is Learning Is Learning

e-Learning is just a media, a small "e" in front of learning.
Thus, everything fundamental about learning applies as well.

Victoria Penacca

#139: Adapt, Don't Just Copy

Put thought into the creation of the e-Learning module. Follow instructional design principles. E-learning is NOT just a conversion of Word or PowerPoint documents. E-Learning is a different medium - adapt your content accordingly.

Ashok Malani

#219: Chunk Your Training

Keep you lessons at 30 minutes or less but if training on a new application, 60 minutes or less is best. Online recordings? 20 minutes or less.
Ginger Jones
Siemens Energy & Automation

The Complete book (8.2 mb PDF) edited by Elliot Masic and published in Summer 2004 has 141 pages and 14 chapters covering the ABC’s of getting started to global implementation strategies.

With 701 e-Learning tips analyzed and categorized in this e-book, I am sure you will find some tips useful and applicable for your study and learning!

16 March, 2009

Fun with words

What these words have in common?









In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter,

place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, it will be the same word.

I received the above words list and the answer from a friend. It take me awhile before I am convinced that it works.

Here is my illustration of the two-steps reversed process:

Banana --> ananaB --> Banana

Dresser --> resserD --> Dresser

Grammar --> rammarG --> Grammar

Potato --> otatoP --> Potato

Revive --> eviveR --> Revive

Uneven --> nevenU --> Uneven

Assess --> ssessA --> Assess

I am sure if we check through dictionary and use the same method to pick up words, there will be more words of the same kind!

Dexterine Ho

12 March, 2009

What does research tell us about teacher learning?

What does research tell us about teacher learning?

Read more


Article highlights:

What research shows about teacher learning?

When the workshop ends - and real learning begins!

Getting the most out of your professional development

Find out more from:

SingTeach: new issue

SingTeach is an e-magazine produced for teachers and teacher educators by the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

It keeps you informed about the latest events in NIE.If you would like to subscribe to the SingTeach mailing list, just send an email to sgteach@nie.edu.sg with the subject title "subscribe”

What does research tell us about teacher learning?

full text of the article is available at

The following is what I extracted from the article:

Lessons learned outside the classroom

Have you ever wondered if the 100 hours you clock in for professional development is really helping to make you a better teacher? Read on to find out what the research shows.

"Professional development is a continuous process of individual and collective examination and improvement of practice.” (American Federation of Teachers)

As teachers, we attend countless workshops and in-service courses. Added to these, there are many other avenues for teacher learning to take place, such as action research, reflective journals and online communities.

They are part and parcel of a teacher's life.

But how many of those workshops actually improve our pedagogy?

How much of the new knowledge we gained is translated into better teaching practice?

Maximizing your learning

In their project, “Teacher Learning and the Acquisition of Professional Knowledge”, American researchers Suzanne Wilson and Jennifer Berne surveyed a number of research projects and found three themes that make for effective teacher learning.

1. Learning must be activated

Teacher learning needs to be “activated”, ...“see” learning in action – when they learned to learn as their students would. By being able to identify with their students, they were able to understand the curriculum more thoroughly and thus became better teachers.

2. Learning must be shared

Interaction is integral to teacher learning. When teachers are able to come together and talk about what they do, to share teaching beliefs and practices, and to critique each other as professionals – that is where learning truly begins...

3. Learning must continue

For real learning to take place, it must continue long after the seminars and workshops are over. The researchers noticed that many of the teachers involved in the projects stayed in touch long after the projects were over. This enabled them to continually meet and share their experiences in and out of classrooms.


So we know what makes for effective teacher learning. What we often forget is that real learning is hard work!


What does research tell us about teacher learning?
For more details, read the full text of the article at


11 March, 2009

MIT World : a primary source of great ideas on the web

MIT World is a free and open site that provides on demand video of significant public events at MIT.

MIT World's video index contains more than 500 videos and is a primary source of great ideas on the web. The url is:


I visited the site today and listen to:

China's Development and China-U.S. Relations
Zhou Wenzhong
February 10, 2009

It is about 1 hour and 11 mins, the downloading speed is good and the video is of high quality.

For those who do not know MIT World yet, here is what I extracted from:

About MIT World

MIT World — A Primary Source of Great Ideas on the Web

Which ideas and innovations can change the world?

MIT World answers that question by publishing key presentations by the MIT faculty and guest speakers who are shaping the future.

These free, on-demand videos, available 24/7 to viewers worldwide, reflect and extend MIT’s educational mission—to provide the best education in science, technology, and related fields—to engaged learners anytime, anywhere.

More a publication of thought leadership, and less a news site, MIT World aims to capture the pulse and excitement of the range of ideas discussed at MIT every day and share them with the world.


Characteristically, the MIT World videos are scholarly, relevant, and accessible to a wide audience.

Content may include the latest discoveries in science, engineering, architecture, humanities, technology, and management, as well as technical seminars in emerging fields and presentations that illuminate trends in society, the arts, and humanities.

MIT World commentary provides an intellectual context for the lecture and links to relevant sites.


Founded in 2001, MIT World is a project of the Office of the Vice President for Institute Affairs.
iTunes Connection

Some MIT World videos can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes U site. Visit iTunes to browse MIT's public and course lectures from MIT World and OpenCourseWare.


MIT World is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Institute Affairs at MIT. Funding for the web site redesign and technology development is provided by the Lord Foundation of Massachusetts  

Source of info:

About MIT World

To select the video, you may browse the index by tabbing the "Browse Video" tab or use the "Explore Ideas" tab to look at a word map and to decide which word to explore. The bigger the font, the higher the hits. I think it is a great ideas as I am a visual person who enjoy graphic way of representing size of database.

Here are a list of Topics available from MIT World:

International Affairs
National Security
Public Policy

Dexterine Ho

10 March, 2009

Reference Desk: refdesk.com

If you need some reference books, dictionaries or encycolpedias etc, visit


I like to use the page and use it to look up words using The free dictionary under


It is a quick way to learn what is the meaning of a word and how the word is pronounced.

Dexterine Ho

09 March, 2009

Facing obstacles

If you're trying to achieve, there will be road blocks.

I've had them; everybody has had them.

But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

-- Michael Jordan (b. 1963)

08 March, 2009

One at a time

All of us tend to long for a great day but you don't even know where to begin.

Why set ourselves up for frustration by aiming for the stars?

Just start with one thing to pursue first and go from there.

Dexterine Ho

07 March, 2009


The height of your accomplishments will equal the depth of your convictions.

-- William F. Scolavino

06 March, 2009

Make a to do list

One of the secrets of getting more done is to make a TO DO List every day,

keep it visible, and use it as a guide to action as you go through the day.

-- Alan Lakein

05 March, 2009


Some time, we do not need to have any big achievements to have a great day.

In fact, all we have to do is tidy up our desk and let the things go back to its original place.

When you can get what you need when you need it, learning is easy and it will flow naturally.

Dexterine Ho

04 March, 2009

Learning is a painful process

Pain is temporary.

It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.

If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

-- Lance Armstrong

Learning is a painful process, yet this kind of pain is temporary.

"It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place."

If you quit, the pain of not learning something will lasts forever!

Dexterine Ho

03 March, 2009

Tips from MindTools.com

Mind Tools' mission is "to help people around the world learn the practical skills needed to excel in their careers". Nevertheless, the tools offered are useful for all kinds of learning.

To view the range of tools on available, visit

If you are interested in "Memory Techniques"
click the link below:


The tools in this section help you to improve your memory. Even if you do not have the time needed to develop this quality of memory, many of the techniques here are useful in everyday life.

For example:

* Mnemonics

* Using Your Whole Mind To Remember

* Designing Mnemonics: Imagination, Association and Location

If you find the tools too overwhelming to learn within hours or within days, you are right, the tools are useful, yet you need not learn all of them at one time.

Remember to focus on what you need at the moment, and just master one technique and apply it first.

If you have some other needs, then move on to acquire the second technique. Mastering the technique through your own application and it will be yours. If you just keep reading and never apply them, it will be forgotten and become useless.

The best rules in learning is, never learn more them three techniques in one go without any application, keep your learning time short and have some interval to keep the mind fresh when you add new learning techniques to your brain.

Other sections in MindTools are:

  • Leadership skills
  • Problems solving
  • Decision making
  • Project management
  • Practical creativity
  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Stress management
  • Information skills

To view the range of tools on available, visit http://www.mindtools.com/

Dexterine Ho

02 March, 2009

Completing what you start

I cannot emphasize enough that completing what you start is one of the most worthwhile things you can do for your health and well-being.

It's a joyful process because, as you complete, the unconscious starts clearing, your energy is returned to you,

and you begin to live in the present making conscious decisions and completing them on the spot.

-- John-Roger

01 March, 2009

Step outside of your comfort zone

If you have the courage to step outside of your comfort zone,

you will not only be amazed by the marvel and sights of the world, but also with the wonders that lay deep within yourself.

-- Rosanna Ienco

28 February, 2009

Tips from AskOxford.com: learning tips for language learning and general learning

Some Learning Tips from AskOxford.com are useful for any kind of learning even though the title "Language Learning Tips" may make you think that it is only useful for language learners.

Read the full text from

You will realize that most of the tips are applicable for any subject learning. Here are some headings I extracted from the web page:

  • Find out what kind of learner you are
    If you recognize your strengths, you can use them to work more effectively. Work out what your preferred learning style is and use it to your advantage.
  • Work at your own pace
  • Why not learn with someone else?
  • Don’t get stuck by a word you don’t know
  • Language learning is also about intuition
  • Speak, speak, speak!
  • Read aloud whenever possible
  • Build up your vocabulary
  • Get the right tools

And most of all, have fun!

Read the full text from

and apply the tips in whatever you find it applicable!

Dexterine Ho

27 February, 2009

Nothing of great value in life comes easily

Nothing of great value in life comes easily.

The things of highest value sometimes come hard.

The gold that has the greatest value lies deepest in the earth, as do the diamonds.

-- Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)

Even if you know all the good tips on learning, great value of the tips comes from your application.

Apply and work hard, you will success!

It takes a normal studendt 6 years to complete the Primary eduation in Singapore, 4 years for Secondary education, 2 years for Junior College or A level, 3 years for Polytechnic Diploma and if you want a degree, it just takes more time in learning even if you were to arm with all the study skills!

Learning tips just help you to ease your learning and make it more joyful or less painful in your learning process!

The learning tips you acquire will to help you learn better, and preseverance is still the key to all sucess in learning!

Dexterine Ho

26 February, 2009

We only know what we know when we need to know it

We only know what we know when we need to know it.

Human knowledge is deeply contextual and requires stimulus for recall...

Small verbal or nonverbal clues can provide those ah-ha moments when a memory or series of memories are suddenly recalled, in context to enable us to act.

-- Dave Snowden, Founder & Chief Scientific Officer - Cognitive Edge

Source of information:

As we requires stimulus for recall, whatever we learn become whatever we remembered or whatever we can apply at the time when we link it with something we find it interesting, useful or important.

The ah-ha moment when a memory or series of memories are suddenly recalled usually happen when we need to solve a problem that enable us to act.

Nevertheless, if we do not learn the things first, we have no database to link or recall and the ah-ha moment will not be possible!

No learning is of minus value as you can only make it valuable when you master it and apply it!

-- Dexterine Ho

25 February, 2009

Do you best

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing,

the next best thing is the wrong thing,

and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

-- Theodore Roosevelt

24 February, 2009

Exchange and learn more

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple.

But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

-- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

The same is learning! Share what you learn and learn more through sharing!

23 February, 2009

To do with ease,...

What we hope ever to do with ease,
we must
learn first to do with diligence.

-- Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784

22 February, 2009

Learn, Unlearn, And Relearn

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

-- Alvin Toffler

21 February, 2009

The Power of Mindful Learning

The Power of Mindful Learning sets forth a theory of learning that argues that learning should be taught conditionally and not "overlearned".

If you do not have time to read the book:
The Power of Mindful Learning
by Ellen J. Langer
Project by Scott Allen, Karen Connaghan, Karen Elinch, Christian Greer, Sari Jensen

Visit the link below to read the summary:


Here are a few lines I like:

Performing a skill over and over again so that it becomes second nature may lead to thoughtless or mindless interaction with the skill or concept.

The students that were given the information conditionally had a tendency to be more creative than the students that had the information presented in absolute form.

Creating novelty or differences in learning activity will help students to learn better.

Looking at things in different ways is being mindful: it's varying the image.

Turning work into play...virtually any task can be made pleasurable if we approach it with a different attitude.

By applying mindfulness approaches, a task can be tolerated, even enjoyed.

One way is to pre-interpret and shape ideas into bits that relate to our interests and curiosities.

The second way is to allow students to change their own attitudes by taking the raw information and finding their own meanings.

Forgetting allows a similar experience/sensation to be experienced anew, perhaps with a new perspective based on your life's changing experiences.

Remembering the overview while forgetting painful details enables one to experience and enjoy the present without fear.

Learning can be more difficult if we must first unlearn data in order to learn new data or processes.

You become what you expect yourself to become. Your memory and forgetting can be positive -- the ending results are yours.

When we are mindful we:

View a situation from several perspectives

See information presented in the situations as novel

Attend to the context in which we are perceiving the information, and eventually

Create new categories through which this information may be understood.

Intelligent thinking is a process through which we sort, select, and assess the appropriate strategies and procedures to apply to a novel task.

Being mindful means that we implicitly know that there is no one absolute standard for action.

Uncertainty creates the freedom to discover meaning. Data considered to be a source of ambiguity enables the observer to become more observant.

20 February, 2009

Can Do Attitude

Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell'em, 'certainly I can!' - and get busy and find out how to do it.

-- Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

19 February, 2009

Love what you do and learn what you love

Love what you do and learn what you love!

Here is the quote:

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.

-- Steve Jobs

18 February, 2009

Uninteresting Subject?

There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject;

the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.

-- G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

17 February, 2009

Action makes a difference

Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea.

It's the person whogets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it that makes a difference.

-- Nolan Bushnell

16 February, 2009

Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment

Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain.

An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind,

but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.

Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment;

and the view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax for the journey.

-- Harold B. Melchart

Study and learning is the same and is part of life journey!

Dexterine Ho

15 February, 2009


If you can’t make a mistake, you can’t make anything.

-- Marva N. Collins

Learning is the process of overcoming problems and correcting mistakes along the way!

If you are afraid of making any mistake, you will learn very little!

If Thomas Edison is afraid of making mistakes, he will not be a great inventor!

Dexterine Ho

14 February, 2009

Do each day all that can be done that day

Do each day all that can be done that day.

You don’t need to overwork –

or to rush blindly into your work, trying to do the greatest possible number of things in the shortest possible amount of time.

Don’t try to do tomorrow’s – or next week’s – work today.

It’s not so much the number of the things you do but the quality, the efficiency of each separate action that counts. . . .

you need only to succeed in the small tasks of each day.

This makes a successful day.

With enough of these, you have a successful week, month, year – and lifetime.

-- Earl Nightingale

13 February, 2009

The impossible

The impossible is often the untried.

-- Jim Goodwin

If you find it hard to believe that certain study method really works, just try it and be amazed by how it works on you!

Dexterine Ho

09 February, 2009

Successful people

Success seems to be connected with action.

Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit.

-- Conrad Hilton

Just remember that if you fail in passing any subject now, you can learn from your mistakes and move on.

Don't give up. You will be successful if you keep learning from your mistakes!


07 February, 2009

Do your best

Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.

-- George Halas

06 February, 2009

Never lose sight of your goal

Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays,

but never lose sight of your goal.

Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience,

so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.

-- Mario Andretti

05 February, 2009

Try more them one method

If the wind will not serve,

take to the oars.

-- Latin Proverb

If one method is not working, try the other method.

If you try many methods, you will be able to find the best that suit you.

Each and everyone of us have difference learning style and some methods that work on others may not work on us.

The opposite is true too!

If your friends or study group are not able to help you, try to study on your own and you may be amazed how smart you are if you put your heart and soul in solving your study problem.

Instead of asking for help from friends, offer your help sometimes. In helping others, you will learn a lot of things in a new way!

Dexterine Ho

04 February, 2009

Just a short break

If you feel stress, do not look forward to the weekend before it arrives.

Today is only Wednesday and you may be daydreaming of plans you have made for Saturday and Sunday.

Sometimes you just need a break from all the things you have to do.

It's amazing how 15 minutes can help one feel rejuvenated and ready to deal with the day.

If this sounds familiar, here are a few things you can do to unwind:

Wash your cup!
Wash your face!
Make tea/coffee for yourself!
Eat an apple or some fruits!
Walk round your office/apartment and clear a corner with a disposible tissue!
Look out the window and just daydream for a while!
Learn something new on YouTube!
Call a friend up and have a short chat!

Dexterine Ho

03 February, 2009

Ideals are like stars

Ideals are like stars:

you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the ocean desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny.

-- Carl Schurz

02 February, 2009

Bigness comes from doing many small things well

Bigness comes from doing many small things well.
Individually, they are not very dramatic transactions.
Together though, they add up.

-- Edward S. Finkelstein

Success in learning is cumulative!

Good learning and good understanding of a subject is acquired through consistant and continous efforts!

--- Dexterine Ho

01 February, 2009

Watch your ...

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

-- Unknown

Watch your learning, they become your future assets!

Watch your wrong learning, they become your future liabilities!

What you focus on today, become part of you tomorrow!

-- Dexterine Ho

31 January, 2009

Activity gets you busy, Productivity gets you results.

Activity gets you busy, productivity gets you results.

Activity consumes time.

Productivity frees it!

Learn to be productive and indulge less in time consuming activities!

Dexterine Ho

30 January, 2009

Spelling Software: SpellQuizzer

If you use Google and search for "Spelling Software", you will get thousands of hit. How do you select one that is suitable? I think it is good to try those that can let you test for free for a period of time. After trying and testing, you may then make your decision to purchase.

One of such software is SpellQuizzer at

To understand how it works, you can view the demo at:


Demo 1: Creating a spelling list

Demo 2: Practicing with a spelling list

Demo 3: Sharing a spelling list with others

Demo 4: Importing a spelling list

To download free trial copy, go to:

You can use the software free for 30 days and test it up with your kids.

In general, children nowadays associate computer with fun and writing on paper with work. Most of the children are more eager to practice their spelling words using spelling software than the traditional way of writing them on paper.

As SpellQuizzer allow the recording of sentences using voice input, you may enter the spelling list with some funny audio recordings of the words in the list to make spelling task fun and amusing!

As schools in Singapore test students' spelling using hand writing method, hence even kids can spell and type the words using the software, it is necessary to test them again using the traditional way: writing on paper.

While writing words on paper, most of the kids are careless and may confuse mirror image letters like d with b, p with q etc., it is important to take note of that when you mark and check their spelling!

With the help of the software, the manual checking task is less tedious as parents only let the kids write out the words after they have learned and typed the words correctly using the software.

With the help of the software, I am sure spelling task will become less stressful for the learner and the parents in the future.

With the help of the software, I am sure learning process will be more productive for kids! Learning spelling will be more fun and interesting.

29 January, 2009

Any day has the potential to be good ...

Any day has the potential to be either good or bad for your study and learning.

Even though you are stuck at home, in the library or in school, study issues don't play a decisive role. What matters is whether or not you let personal problems cloud your every thought.

Many students find it hard to focus on their study as their mind is filled with personal problems and they allow the problems to stay and cloud their every thought.

No doubt personal problems will not be resolved overnight and it is natural for us to be disturbed by it from time to time. No human being is without personal problems, instead of letting it cloud your thought, how about replaced it with your other issues in your study.

Concerntrate your thought on study issues and you will be less disturbed by your personal problems. Once you can sail through your study smoothly, your personal problem may not look that disturbing!

28 January, 2009

Bigness Comes From Doing Many Small Things Well

Bigness comes from doing many small things well.

Individually, they are not very dramatic transactions.
Together though, they add up.

-- Edward S. Finkelstein

In the long run, whatever study tips you apply, it is perseverance that count!

Start with something you can manage and learn it systematically in weeks, months or years, you will become the master of that subject!

Dexterine Ho

27 January, 2009

A little bit more

Four short words sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd: a little bit more.
They did all that was expected of them and a little bit more.

-- A. Lou Vickery

Just try a little bit more in learning, you will be more successful!

-- Dexterine Ho

26 January, 2009

Discipline Vs Devotion

People think I'm disciplined.

It is not discipline. It is devotion.

There is a great difference.

-- Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007), Opera Singer

If we are learning something, we need to be disciplined in order to acquire the knowledge.

If we want to master a subject, we have to be devoted in order to apply what we acquired with perserverance.

If we are devoted in learning, we can succeed and be a master in any field.

Dexterine Ho

25 January, 2009

Be Flexible

If you keep doing the same things over and over again, you're not going to learn anything new.

Hence, once in a while, you need to break your usual routine and delve into some foreign territory.

Whether you simply take a different route to work or decide to embark on a whole new hobby altogether, your day will be a lot more interesting the more you alter your usual method of doing things.

Flexibility is something you have to exercise once in a while, or else you get stuck in a rut.


Once you get into a fixed way of living,
it becomes difficult to change!

Once you stick to one way of learning,
it becomes dry to learn, and
learning becomes difficult!

Dexterine Ho

24 January, 2009

Chunk Learning and Acquisitions of Knowledge

People usually learn to exploit predictable structure. When we translate it into learning, there are two ways of learning:

* Acquisition of information/knowledge through memorizing, i.e.,have the predictable structure repeated many times and let it goes into our RAM (Random Access Memory) automatically! Good example of such learning is the acquisition of mother tongue (if the mother tongue is being used at home from very young age)!

* Using separate chunks and progressively composed with extended practice, i.e., learning how to add single digit numbers, then use the acquired skills of addition and apply them in solving summation problem of double digits or triple digits.

Good application of chunk learning can lead to acquisition of mathematics knowledge if one learns how to migrate the learning, i.e., use the chunk of knowledge in summation, subtraction, multiplication and division and apply them together in suitable situations.

For example, work out this sum

89 divided by 3...

(Please do not use any calculator)


3 89 (3 goes into 8 2 times)
__6 (3 times 2 is 6)
__29 (Subtract 8-6=2, and drop down the next number 9)
__27 (3 goes into 29 9 times and 3 times 9 is 27)
___2 (Subtract 29-27 = 2, 2 is the remainder)
89 divided by 3 is

29 & 2/3



The easier way to solve this mathematical problem for a simple-minded person like me maybe:

89 / 3 is the same as (90 -1) / 3
= (90 / 3) - (1 / 3)
= 30 - 1/3
= 29 2/3 (or 29.66666...)

The first chunk of knowledge we use is

90 = 89+1
89 = 90-1

The second chunk of knowledge we use is

30 = 90/3
90 = 30*3

The third chunk of knowledge we use is

1/3= 0.33333....


or 1 = 1/3 + 2/3

Hence, we can use of our simple chunks of knowledge in addition, subtraction to change 89 to 90, then use division or multiplication to make up 30 from 3* 30 or 90 / 3. The additional 1 is being divided by 3, hence we can get the answer 29 2/3 or 29.66666... .

Q & A of mathematic problem extracted from:

Dexterine Ho

23 January, 2009

Set up a schedule

To set your mind on study, the best way is to set up a schedule of activities so you will have a routine to follow.

Depending whether you are attending school in the morning or afternoon, you can have a time table like the followings:

Morning hours before school: (8 am to 11.30 am)

* Morning Exercise

* Breakfast - 20 mins

* Read Newspaper or Watch TV programme - 20 mins

* Piano Practice - 30 mins

* Complete all the home work required for schooling today - 40 mins to 90 mins

* Revision of lesson learned yesterday - If you have time

* Lunch - 30 mins

Afternoon hours:

* Lunch and short nap - 60-90 mins

* Do home work - 90 - 120 mins

* Exercise - 30 mins

* Piano Practice - 30 mins

* Complete all the home work required for schooling today - 40 mins to 90 mins

* Revision of lesson learned - If you have time

* Read Newspaper or Watch TV programme - 20 mins

Evening Hours:

* Dinner - 30 mins

* Do home work - 40 mins to 90 mins

* Revision of lesson learned - 40 mins to 90 mins

Once you have a schedule to follow, you will not feel uncertain about your study. The time table will create a period of stability once you start to do things according to your schedule. You may review it periodically and adjust your new learning tasks by re-scheduling your time table.

Dexterine Ho

22 January, 2009

Colour always help

I like to use colour makers to highlight text that I read, it helps me to look at black and white text book and recall them easily by remembering the section in various colours.

I am glad to find Dr Rick's Learning Tips that highlight the same technique:

Color those Study Skills at


"Have your children break study tasks and notes into manageable chunks using a simple system of colors. After reading and color-coding, the information will be a snap to understand, synthesize and reassemble for a report."

"Brightly colored markers are one of the simplest, yet effective ways to help you get your kids excited and focused on learning."

"Kids of all ages really benefit from the hands-on engagement and visual cues color-coding provides."

Just click the link and read on if you are interested.

Other "Learning Tips with Dr Rick" can be viewed via the archive of tips, visit: http://www.learningtips.com/default.asp?action=archives&subaction=category&report_type_id=1&station_id=

18 January, 2009

7 Ways to reinforce spelling

This youtube video gives quick tips to help teachers and students teach and learn new words:

In summary, the 7 ways are:

1. Post words

2. Says-Spell-Write-Draw

3. Use words in a story

4. Present words in chunks

5. Spelling Journals

6. Inform parents and guardians

7. "Words I can't spell" rules

Enjoy the video and hope you improve your spelling along the way!

Dexterine Ho

17 January, 2009

Learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun

free vocabulary games

Try this website and use the spelling games to build your vocabulary!

The fun way to learn new words and acquire spelling skills!

Dexterine Ho

16 January, 2009

Time Management Tips

Julie Morgenstern has turned her “inside out” philosophy of time management into a thriving consulting practice, here is some tips on time Management from her that may help you in your study.

Remembered that getting organized requires a lot of self-discipline, what is one thing you can do to follow through on your commitment to organize?

Select a single consistent planning tool, whether it’s digital or on paper.

When all your ideas are in one place you can prioritize everything in context, not in pieces.

What I like best is her answer to the following Question:

How about the proverbial "messy desk" ?

Actually, that person may really be well organized.
It’s not a matter of what a space looks like, but how it functions.

So bear in mind, it is what you do with your stuff that matter and not how other view it that matter to you!

Julie Morgenstern web site is at:


Julie Morgenstern media review archive is at:


Read on and you will benefit from her tips if you apply it!


Dexterine Ho

15 January, 2009

Use some exercises to learn memory techniques: chunking

Short-Term Memory (STM) has a limited capacity, about 7 items, and a limited duration, about 30 seconds.

Reflecting from your own learning experience, you will notice that the limited capacity in STM is the problem in most of your study.

Remember that if one can only hold about 7 items at a time in STM, then there are limits on how much information one can transfer to Long-Term Memory. All our Long-term memory are build and selected from our STM. Hence, if you cannot remember what is learned in the classroom everyday, it is hard for you to recall them in examination.


To demonstrate the limits of STM, look at the letters printed below for about 10 to 30 seconds and try to write them down without looking at the screen.


Are you capable of writing down all the letters or recalling them in segments without mistakes? It is difficult as 14 letters exceeded the capacity of your STM.

Since 14 letters is difficult for most people to store in their STM, chunking can be applied here to increase the capacity of STM.

Instead of trying to remember 14 letters you must first chunk the letters into a few segments.

For example:.


If you chunk the 14 letters into 6 chunks as shown above, it is easy to keep all the letters in STM.
Having the 6 chunks in your first level of chunking, you can move further and map some patterns.
You will notice that X is the first and last letter. IBM-SAT-MTV-PHD are the 12 letters between the two Xs.
The pattern "X------------X" and "IBM-SAT" + "MTV-PHD"complete the 14 letters.
If you can translate the middle chunks to sentences, like "I used IBM on SAT" and "he watched MTV to get his PHD". It is alright to have meaningful or meaningless sentences so long as it help you in your recall.

The key is to actively chunk letters, words, sentences, or numbers such that there are 7 or less chunks.

If you use an active imagination, you can chunk anything.

But chunking takes work, and to get good at chunking it takes practice. To practice chunking on your own, click the link here:


Source of information:

Memory techniques "Chunking" by Dr. Mark W. Vernoy, Professor of Psychology, Dean of Social & Behavioral Sciences. Palomar CollegeSan Marcos



14 January, 2009


In most learning, sequences can consist of sub-sequences and these can in turn consist of sub-sub sequences.

Chunks in motor learning are identified by pauses between successive actions...

Chunking in cognitive psychology and mnemonic, refers to a strategy for more efficient use of short-term memory by recording and retrieving information in small segments.

It is like eating an elephant, we can only eat one small piece at a time, yet, given time, we can finish the whole elephant!

For more academic explanation on Chuncking, read the following!

Source of information:

"Chunking (psychology)" from Wikipedia


13 January, 2009

Where is the end?

You already know that hard work pays off in the end, but where is the end?

Only with more hard work while waiting, you will see the first flickers of light at the end of a tunnel. That will make all your hard work pay off.

Upon discovery of that flickers, you will not only have a good day, but have a good life with the knowledge that you acquire through your hard work and efforts.

No one can take away what is in you and you will be able to have it forever.

You can multiple your benetfits by sharing it with others,!

Sharing your understanding of the acquired knowledge will enhance your knowledge domain and make you an expert in that field.

It is not surprising that great scholars are usually found in University and Research Centre where dissimination/sharing of knowledge or re-searching/re-learning of knowledge is enabled through institutional set-up.

Dexterine Ho

Dexterine Ho

12 January, 2009

Get Smart-Learning Tips

Intended for drum learner, yet some tips are universal and can be applied in any subject learning.

The full text is at:


Some useful learning tips extracted from the page are:

Write out your long-term goals

Break them down into short-term goals

Review/Re-write them regularly

Stay organized

Plan your practice and practice your plan every day

Use "scrap time" (while watching T.V., driving, waiting for your friends, etc.) to work out your "chops etc

Involve as many senses as you can in the learning process and exaggerate each of these!

Dexterine Ho

11 January, 2009

Learn and Make your Learning the Road To Happiness

The road to happiness lies in two simple principles:

find what it is that interests you and that you can do well,
when you find it

put your whole soul into it

- every bit of energy
and ambition
and natural ability you have.

-- John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)

10 January, 2009

Get interested in something!

You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind.

Your mind gets bored and therefore tired of doing nothing.

Get interested in something!

Get absolutely enthralled in something!

Get out of yourself!

Be somebody!

Do something!

The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.

-- Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)

09 January, 2009

Maintain focus at work that enrich your learning

Maintain focus at work or study that enrich your learning.

Most of us may find ourselves daydreaming about some upcoming tasks or some past issues and forget to focus on the work or study we presently engage in.

Reward yourself for being able to focus on work that enrich your learning/life, entertain yourself by doing something unusual in your leisure time. That will help you to focus on your work next time.

08 January, 2009

Break it down to small pieces

Disease comes from “dis-ease”.

Research comes from "re-search".

The word cardigan contains "car, dig, an" or "card,i, gan".

The easiest way to learn to spell compound words is to break them down into their component parts.


07 January, 2009

Find it within

You cannot teach a man anything;

you can only help him to find it within himself.

-- Galileo

It is through self discovery that you learn a lot of things yourself. Teachers only guide you in your learning journey, assist you in knowledge acquisitions and prepare you to sit for your examination.

A lot of learning is on your own as teaching in class will not be mirroring examination questions. The best teacher parts you with the methods and opens your mind for self explorations.

Dexterine Ho

06 January, 2009

It's kind of fun to do the impossible

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

-- Walt Disney

The process of learning is transforming something unknown to known.

It is fun to learn for those who enjoy learning!

Dexterine Ho

05 January, 2009

Magic Number Seven

The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two

"The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information" is a 1956 paper by the cognitive psychologist George A. Miller.

concept goes beyond numbers. For example, most of us can remember about seven recently learned chunks of similarly classified data. Keep this in mind when you are presenting information to other people.

The chunking principle requires you to classify the items into groups to reduce the information overload.

BenefitsBy chunking information the author improves the reader's comprehension and ability to access and retrieve the information.

Miller showed a number of remarkable coincidences between the channel capacity of a number of human cognitive and perceptual tasks.

In each case, the effective channel capacity is equivalent to between 5 and 9 equally-weighted error-less choices: on average, about 2.5 bits of information.

Miller hypothesized that these may all be due to some common but unknown underlying mechanism.

He noticed that the memory span of young adults was around seven elements, called chunks, regardless whether the elements were digits, letters, words, or other units.

Later research revealed that span does depend on the category of chunks used (e.g., span is around seven for digits, around six for letters, and around 5 for words), and even on features of the chunks within a category.

In general, memory span for verbal contents (digits, letters, words, etc.) strongly depends on the time it takes to speak the contents aloud, and on the lexical status of the contents (i.e., whether the contents are words known to the person or not).

Several other factors also affect a person's measured span, and therefore it is difficult to pin down the capacity of short-term or working memory to a number of chunks.

Nonetheless, N. Cowan has proposed that working memory has a capacity of about four chunks in young adults (and less in children and old adults).

A variety of studies could be summarized by saying that short term memory had a capacity of about "seven plus-or-minus two" chunks.

Miller wrote that "With binary items the span is about nine and, although it drops to about five with monosyllabic English words, the difference is far less than the hypothesis of constant information would require.

The span of immediate memory seems to be almost independent of the number of bits per chunk, at least over the range that has been examined to date."

Miller acknowledged that "we are not very definite about what constitutes a chunk of information."

Miller noted that according to this theory, it should be possible to effectively increase short-term memory for low-information-content items by mentally recoding them into a smaller number of high-information-content items.

"A man just beginning to learn radio-telegraphic code hears each dit and dah as a separate chunk. Soon he is able to organize these sounds into letters and then he can deal with the letters as chunks.

Then the letters organize themselves as words, which are still larger chunks, and he begins to hear whole phrases."

Thus, a telegrapher can effectively "remember" several dozen dits and dahs as a single phrase.

Naive subjects can only remember about nine binary items, but Miller reports a 1954 experiment in which people were trained to listen to a string of binary digits and (in one case) mentally group them into groups of five, recode each group into a name (e.g "twenty-one" for 10101), and remember the names.

With sufficient drill, people found it possible to remember as many as forty binary digits. Miller wrote:

"It is a little dramatic to watch a person get 40 binary digits in a row and then repeat them back without error. However, if you think of this merely as a mnemonic trick for extending the memory span, you will miss the more important point that is implicit in nearly all such mnemonic devices. The point is that recoding is an extremely powerful weapon for increasing the amount of information that we can deal with".

Sources of Information:





Please visit the above Wikipedia pages to gain more comprehensive understanding.

04 January, 2009

Technical problems in time management

When we lose something tangible and visiable, we feel the pain and miss it easily.

Yet we do not feel the same for time lost as time is not so tangible and visiable.

Changing your perspective on time and remove the obstacles that hold you back from organizing your time efficiently will make your study excel.

Beside the Pareto principle, i.e., the 80-20 rule I mentioned in my last blog, one needs to look at sometechnical problems and obstacles that block one in using one's learing time efficiently.

First, what are the technical problems?

* Set the wrong time for study
* Miscalculated time needed for learning certain tasks
* Do not break complex learning task in to managible chunks
* Forget to revise whatever you learn in class immediately after the lesson
* Learning space too disorganized

Solutions to the problems:

* Set the wrong time for study
- Choose the right time for right tasks

Just remember that you are a different learner in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. If your memory works best in the morning, then use the morning hours to learn things that you need to remember by heart. If your creative thinking power is the best at night, then do your problem solving tasks during the late hours.

* Miscalculated time needed for learning certain tasks
- Allow yourself extra time to learning tasks that you fail to achieve

No one can be right all the time in time allotcation. It is good to give yourself 10 to 20% extra time in learning new tasks or doing difficult projects. You will feel more at ease if you have some spare time to explore tasks or to master it. If you are able to do it within the time limit, use the extra time you set aside to reward yourself, like have a good tea break!

* Do not break complex learning task in to managible chunks
- Make complex tasks achievable using a step-by-step approach

No one can submit an academic assignment without proper planning. To plan means to break complex task like academic assignment into managible stages/chunks: e.g., data collection, data analysis, main findings and discoveries, reporting and charting of findings/results, final analysis and conclusions etc. Wtih the time frame set for each stage, one can complete the assignment in stages with ease. It is not possible to do an assignment if you do not plan and manage them step-by-step.

* Forget to revise whatever you learn in class immediately after the lesson
- Do it immediately after class within the first few hours or on the same day

Revision make learning easy, especially if you do it immediately after class. If you are unable to do it within the first few hours, do it every night before you sleep, revise all that you have noted down in your notes. On every weekend, revise all that you have noted down during the week. Before the exam, it is important to revise all that is needed for the exam.

* Learning space too disorganized
- Organize your space so that you can find things you need

You need not have your learning space organized like a library or a stationary shop. What you need is some organization that allows you to find things when you need them. Some learners cannot study well when their learning space is too neat. They practice organized mess to stimulate their thought. If you are one of them, just be sure that the mess you created in your study space is an organized one in your mind. If your mind have a good index to retrieve what you need, that is fine! Just remember, use system that works on you!


Dexterine Ho

03 January, 2009

Pareto analysis and Pareto principle in time management

The Pareto principle, i.e., the 80-20 rule, states that, about 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It is named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.

Pareto analysis can be used for selecting a limited number of tasks that could produce significant overall effect. It uses the Pareto principle - by doing 20% of work you can generate 80% of the advantage of doing the entire job.

Applying Pareto principle in time management and using Pareto analysis to look at causes of problems, you can see things in a creative way. It will help you to stimulate thinking and organize thoughts in your learning tasks.

From Pareto analysis you know that 80% of your learning tasks can be completed in 20% of the disposable time. The remaining 20% of tasks will take up 80% of the time.

It you look at your study patterns, you will soon discover that 20% of your time can be use to master 80% of your learning tasks.

Using Pareto principle, you may sort your learning tasks into two parts.

* Category 1: 80% of the tasks that can easily be achieved if you use 20% of your study time

* Category 2: 20% of the tasks that can only be achieved if you use 80% of your study time

With the understanding of your study patterns and learning ability through Pareto analysis, you should assigned a higher priority to tasks that fall into the first category. Spend the first 20% of your study time to master 80% of learning tasks that you find it easy to achieve.

For those tasks that fall into the second category, you may assigned a lower priority and spend the rest of your studying time on learning those tasks that are harder to master.

In the process of learning the second category tasks, most students will find it hard to focus and do not use the time effectively in learning.

Nevertheless, if they spend the first 20% of their time wisely and efficiently, they usually are able to pass or even excel in any subject of their study.

With the understanding of the 80-20-rule, you will understand why some learners do not seem to spend a lot of time in their study, yet can still have good results!

Maybe they are smarter in their time management, and learn to use their time in a more productivity manner by applying Pareto analysis and Pareto principle in their study tasks!

Interested to know more about "Pareto analysis"


To understand "Pareto principle" and the life of 'Vilfredo Pareto'




Dexterine Ho

02 January, 2009

Memory training systems

Memory training systems

The phenomenon of chunking as a memory mechanism can be observed in the way we group numbers and information in our day-to-day life.

For example, when recalling a number such as 14101946, if we group the numbers as 14, 10 and 1946, we are creating a mnemonic for this number as a date, month and year.

An illustration of the limited capacity of working memory ... can be seen from the following example:

While recalling a mobile phone number such as 9849523450, we might break this into 98 495 234 50.

Thus, instead of remembering 10 separate digits that is beyond the "seven plus-or-minus two", we are remembering 4 groups of numbers.

Various kinds of memory training systems and mnemonics include training and drill in specially-designed recoding or chunking schemes.

A chunk can then be defined as "a collection of elements having strong associations with one another, but weak associations with elements within other chunks"

Information extracted from:

Please visit the wikipedia page above to read the full text.

01 January, 2009

Time Management

Time Management

The new year is here and does life seem out of balance?

In today's fast-paced, high-pressure world, we all face challenges in our personal and professional lives in managing our time. Learners like you may face challenges of having too little time for too many learning tasks!

We may need a whole new way of looking at time and how to manage it for the New Year.

I think as a learner, one needs to view time as tangible and visual object.

It is common for one to view time as a measurable object as time come and goes as we can see the changes in clocks or watches. It is only measurable yet not tangible.

We are able to feel the changes in time yet unable to visualize it as a physical and tangible object by itself.

If you like to learn Time Manangement, start with:

Time management - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dexterine Ho