UKEdMag: Learning can be modelled like a Rolodex by @nlad84

Growing up in the 80’s and 90s’ I have the faintest memory of the pre-mobile phone world and the ways which we used to store phone numbers, mainly the rolodex. With the recent resurgence of cognitive sciences in learning, we can model many aspects of memory, and the techniques used to improve it by using the idea of a rolodex?

When you are tested on an idea by a question, your brain flicks through the rolodex to find the correct entry for the topic being assessed. When you get to the entry, the “card” is removed and the information retrieved. This information should be dual encoded, using shorthand for key concepts. From this shorthand, ideas should be easy to elaborate on to allow swift answering of questions. The card should be sorted in categories, as part of a grand “schema” and then sequenced in a way that allows easy sorting and storing of new information. I guess this makes the rolodex a concrete example of memory and learning.

It’s a shame that modern day pupils won’t know what they are!

@nlad84 Assistant Principal - Northamptonshire

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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