We have all been there, sitting in front of a teacher who is explaining something. Unless the teacher is using all of their abilities to engage the class with exciting new toys to demonstrate what they mean, the chances are it'll be a bit dull. We usually appreciate the necessity for the lesson, we understand that we are better off knowing and so we put up with being bored. The thing is, our brains don't like being bored. In a purely neurological point of view, without the element of excitement and play, the brain is simply not at full speed.
It's been demonstrated by scientific means that doodling, or drawing random images, while listening to a lecture actually improves recall. We seem to remember the information better if we occupy the playful part of our mind. Maybe it's something to do with curbing the day-dream, by pinning the consciousness into the room on something within the context of learning, we prevent it from taking over and blinding us to the lecture.
Back in 2009, a psychologist called Jackie Andrade performed an experiment in which 40 people were tested for memory recall. They were given a rambling voicemail to listen to, and half the group were asked to doodle while listening. The benefits were clear, those who focussed their creative side on the simple activity had better information to repeat back to the examiner. They heard and then remembered more of the voicemail.
If we consider all the things we may imagine when in a school environment, the pressures and the strains of the high density of youth can be overwhelming. If you're like me, then the mind simply doesn't perform well with all the plethora of issues faced in such places. The continual input and emotional background noise in high-speed and authoritarian institutions is like a thick soup we have to cut through somehow every time. Doodling can actually help us to do that.
So remember that our mind is not simply a one river device, but it has many tributaries. If we want to focus on the main input then we have to put the tributaries to work on something that keeps us in the room. An engaging and exciting lesson of course has all the calling cards our mind will need but in the real world, it's simply out of the ordinary to constantly provide new stimuli.
Another great way to get past the distracting evnironment often associated with learning is to choose to study online. If you can manage your own time without much reminding then it can be really easy to acquire new professional or personal skills. Why not browse some digital courses now and see what you could learn?
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