Before getting into today’s post, I need to make a personal observation.

I’ve spent twelve August days in hospital and, during that time, became reacquainted with the uniqueness and promise of our great country. 

America truly is a Melting Pot.

During my lengthy stay, I was taken care of by literally dozens, men and women, of the most professional of Nurses.  Those Nurses represented at least a dozen ethnicities —- and, all were patient-focused, knowledgeable, empathetic and vigilant. 

They spoke to me of the great country we are becoming. 

.Having lived through the divisiveness of the 1950s and 1960s, it’s clear we’ve come a long way.  And, as a result, our nation has strengthened and progressed in a most positive direction.

We’re coming closer to living the Constitution than ever before.  Let’s keep moving forward!

And, now to the post.

 “Developing a great vocabulary is one of the most overlooked ways to improve our lives. It is often believed that learning many words is only useful for writers and speakers, but the truth is that everyone benefits from it, both personally and professionally.
 .  .  . If learning new words and using simple language seem like contradictory goals at first, it makes complete sense when you understand that having a good vocabulary is more than knowing a large amount of words: the point of having a good vocabulary is being able to choose words with greater precision.”  (from Litemind, Top 3 Reasons to Improve Your Vocabulary”)

Yet, the majority of “reading tests” we take in school primarily measure vocabulary recognition. 

But, does vocabulary recognition mean very much?

Of course not! 

The ability to form opinions from what individuals read is the only valid test of reading ability — and, that depends upon reading comprehension.

What are the facts today? 

Only about a quarter of this nation’s fourth graders are able to form opinions from what they read, and only a third of our high school seniors can.  The majority of our working adult population cannot comprehend anything written beyond a third- or fourth-grade reading level. 

Whether we like it or not, our learning culture has changed.  We must realize that we are no longer a nation of avid readers.  It may be that we never were, but reading today continues to shrink as the most effective way by which the majority of us can assimilate knowledge and form opinions. 

But ours is not a stupid nor uninformed society. 

On the contrary!  Only our primary means for communicating information has changed. 

Where then do most of us get the majority of the information we assimilate today?

From computers, smartphones, tablets and television, of course! 

And yet, for all of the advances made in linking technology with learning, too many organizations today still rely on the old traditional methods of stand-up lecturing and reading.

The result is that the learning needs of nearly two-thirds of our citizens are being ignored through the use of these traditional methods.

We are sensory beings.  The more our senses become involved, the more completely and enjoyably we learn.  Even better, the more of our senses that are involved with the learning experience, the greater our retention. 

Nobody is trying to exclude the one-third of us who are comfortable in a reading-based learning environment.  We’ll respond favorably to multi-sensory learning, too.  But for the two-thirds in this nation who have no learning culture choice, the incorporation of video, animations, simulations, gaming, optional full audio, music and sound effects into our learning designs and programs will be pivotal.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend.  More on Wednesday  –  –  –

   — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

August 30, 2017

   www.itclearning.com/blog/  (Mondays & Wednesdays)



(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner, jhbillwalton@gmail.com, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)