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Entries in education (6)

Saturday
Jan222011

What I Learned Yesterday-

When my brother and sister and I were all in our teens, the family dinner table became a very quiet time with one another. It wasn't an overnight switch from jovial joking to dead silence but every night we spoke a little less and finished our meals a little quicker. Our main objective: to return to our other semi-social lives outside of the family unit as soon as possible. At one point, my dad, out of desperation more than design, instructed us to go around the table and say one thing we had learned that day.

We each tried, "Nothing, I didn't learn anything" to no avail, and once one us answered then we made sure that everyone had to provide an answer. If one of us had to endure the torture of racking our brains to find some family-friendly life-lesson then everyone was going to have to suffer through it as well. Eventually though, our dissent and aggression passed and when silence set in at the table someone would interject "Okay, I learned today..." and then carry on.

Yesterday by happenstance I came upon a website called "Today, I Learned..." and the author's posts were short, sweet little tidbits of info in reference to programming, web design, and other miscellanea. The coding portions were way over my head but I loved the concept.

And as it has been plain to see I have been struggling for some time now on what I could offer on a daily basis to my readers that would have consistency and some educational merit. So I've decided to invite all my readers to pull up a chair at my family's virtual dinner table, so to speak, and partake in the discussion of daily learning. It has become my very late “New Year’s Resolution” of sorts; to consistently post every day this year, or rather for the rest of this year, "what I learned yesterday..." because more than likely I will be writing the post in the evening and then posting it the following morning. I know that some micro-bloggers have the ability to update their readers on a consistent minute-to-minute basis; unfortunately I am not one of those people.

So to conclude this is what I learned yesterday:

After having problems with my Mac and its spotlight indexing in 10.6.6, I learned how to force it to re-index through the terminal app from the above mentioned website, using the following commands:

sudo mdutil -i off /

sudo mdutil -E /

sudo mdutil -i on /

But that didn’t work. What I had to do was make all my main folders under the hard drive private, which prevents Spotlight from even working at all. Then restart my Macbook and remove one folder at a time from the privacy section and let Spotlight index just that folder. Rinse and Repeat. The order I went in was “Applications”, “Developer”, “System”, “Library”, and lastly “Users”. At the end Spotlight was fixed and that MDS process stopped skyrocketing to 99.9 % CPU usage. Problem solved.



Tuesday
Nov102009

I don't know if they'll post my comment...

Hi everyone,

A little rant of mine, that has been developing for some time now...

I came across an article that is similar to many that appear around the web, called "Easy Techniques to Increase Reading Speed", and there's nothing really bad about this article. But, it's the millionth version of this article, along with the Dr. Jay Polmar articles, and the like that tell all of us how easy it is to read faster.

Saying things like, "Just stop saying the words in your head," or "Don't pay attention to the small words, just the big ones," or my personal favorite, "Don't re-read, just keep on reading, but make you sure you're comprehending what you're reading." Well, if I understood it, I probably wouldn't need to re-read it would I? So, how do I stop this vicious cycle?

And so you read on, hoping to see the "How It's Done" part, but it never comes. These articles upset me so much, because they remind me of when I was one of the slowest readers in my class. They seem to evoke this feeling of hopelessness, because they tell you it can be done, and that others can do it, but that you can't. And I hate that, because that's not education, it's bull-...well, you know what it is.

I'm fed up with speed reading being associated with scams, informercials, 1-800 numbers, and easy short-cuts for 3 easy payments of $19.95. I want people to know that if they're interested in learning about increasing their reading speed, or increasing their comprehension, the information on how to do it is out there.

There was a time for these kinds of advertisements and sales pitces, but not anymore. It's one of the reasons I don't run ads on website, no ppc, no Chitika, no adsense, or whatever, because I DO NOT want to be associated with any type of scam speed reading program. I  just want to be honest with readers everywhere at all reading speeds and comprehension levels.

So, in case my comment  isn't approved for their website, I've decided to post it here. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Enjoy.

"I agree with your four steps:

1. "eye examination" - Yes, great for assessing your physical capabilities for reading and general vision health.
2. "Stop pronouncing the words" - Yes, sub-vocalization can slow down reading speed.
3. "concentrate on the most important words" - Yes, I think it's perfectly okay to skip over the the's and the and's and the a's and the an's. Think about how much faster you would have read that last statement if you had skipped over them.
4. "stop regressing" - Yes, several researchers have shown that the amount of fixations that a person makes while reading a line of text correlate with their reading rate.

And while these are great tips, how does a person learn to stop sub-vocalizing when it's become a habit like breathing? How do you learn to ignore the words "the" "and" and so forth? And why should you stop regressing, when you can't remember what you just read, isn't comprehension more important? Shouldn't you re-read so that you get the main idea?

The answers are out there and many of them are free because they date back to 1900's with the publications of W.B. Secor's study and E.B. Huey's 1908 book "The Psychology and Pedagogy of Read", which is available on Google Books to read for free and download. The research and the answers are out there for everyone to read.

Good luck to everyone looking to read faster."

Saturday
Oct312009

Happy Halloween! and Book Updates

Hi Everyone,

Just one more day until the store opens and my book "Learn To Speed Read" is available.

Upon taking on the project of writing this book, my goal was to not make it like all of the speed reading books that I had read through. Originally the book, wasn't even going to be a book, but a pamphlet, of about 10 pages. I wanted teach people some fundamentals and then be done with it.

And then I thought I could add on exercise booklets to purchase, and I could charge for those, and slowly the project went from being a central core work to a series of disassociated parts. I thought, "My God! I'm turning into one of those programs with the 5 DVD, 7 audio CD, and 40 book encylcopedia on Super-Subsonic Secret to Successful Speed Reading" And I stopped.

The book became bigger, and grew from 10 pages to 100 pages. And after it was put together the book felt light. That's not to say that it was all fluff, but rather, it didn't feel complete, it needed more. So I restructured the book and dived deeper into the lessons and exercises in the book.

It's finished now with a grand total of 366 pages, with all the fat trimmed off, from its original 400 page format. It's designed as a six-week course in speed reading methods and techniques. I look forward to sharing it with everyone come Monday.

Have a great Halloween everybody!

 

-Kris Madden

Monday
Oct262009

Less Than 7 Days Until The Store Opens!

Hi Everyone,

Forgive for the lack of updates, my energy has been devoted to making sure everything is in line for the store's grand opening, which has kept me pretty busy.

I have been wrestling with the issue of whether or not the ebook version of "Learn To Speed Read" should be free, and I have decided that the book will be FREE! It will have a creative commons license with it, that will allow you to legally share the book with friends, family, teachers, etc. The print and kindle version will be priced accordingly.

After going back and forth between giving the ebook away for free, or selling it. I came to the conclusion that if the book was worth anything, people were going to share it with other people, because that's what we do when we like something, we share it with our friends. At that point, I knew that if I didn't allow a free ebook then I'd be turning many possible readers into criminals, and I didn't want to do that.

I also felt that this was an  educational book and should be available to teachers, administrators, students, etc. for free for learning, and I thought, "Who isn't a student, a teacher, an administrator, in some form in their life?"

I wanted to share with everyone an exerpt from an email I received a little while ago, because it helped remind me of what life was like before I could read well:

"I'm a sophomore in high school, and I recently found out that I read very slow compared to the rest of the kids in my English class. I attend a very competitive school, so it's not a surprise that a lot of the students read fast and probably don't sub-vocalize. I, on the other hand, read very slowly. I sub-vocalize almost every word I read. It really slows me down.

It doesn't feel good when I am assigned to read 40 pages a night, but end up reading only 20 because I can't read enough in the time I have. Reading slow has also hurt my love for reading. I've always loved to read but reading slowly just makes it tedious sometimes.

Anyways, I was looking for ways to stop sub-vocalization, when I came across your video. I tried your technique of saying 1-2-3-4 as I read and it worked! I was so delighted. My eyes swept across the page in a fluid line, not chunky as it usually goes. I also didn't have to reread anything because I understood what was happening. And also as I read, a picture formed in my mind. It was awesome."

The goal of the book is to help people read more efficiently, increasing both their reading speed and comprehension. My hope is that it helps people with their reading goals as it did this student, as the videos have others, and how my research has helped me.

Have a great day everybody.

 

-Kris Madden

Sunday
Oct182009

Two New Videos Coming Out Tomorrow

Hi Everyone,

New videos coming out tomorrow, hope you enjoy.

 

-Kris Madden

Monday
Sep142009

Flushlife

Hello everyone. There's a new article up on Flushlife.com. It's a blog for the extremely wealthy. I wrote an article on finding the best tutor for them, based on my experience both as a tutor and as a branch manager for a tutoring company.

At first I thought that writing the article would be easy because I had a great deal of experience in the field. But there were many questions that came to my mind that had no application for the audience that I was writing for, such as: "How much do you charge?", "What's your background?", "What degrees do you have?"

I figured if I were extremely wealthy then those questions would already be answered. And the truth of the matter is that, the answers to those questions don't always lead you to the best tutors. The five questions I came up with I think apply to any tutoring company, school, parents, etc.

I hope you enjoy the article. There's a link for it on the MY WRITING tab. or you can get there by clicking here.