Learning: Navigation Help for the Brain

Our brains need structure. Especially when it comes to learning and understanding. One way how to do that is what I wrote about in my short series: How do we learn? What else can we do to help our brains to navigate itself?

What do you need in order to orientate yourself? What is one of the most downloaded app? It is Google Maps. In the earlier days we used gigantic maps to know where we are and where we want to go. Now, we have more modern ways to navigate. I think that this is also more important than ever. There are so many elements which fight for our attention and we get easily lost. It doesn’t matter whether we sit in a car or we sit in a workshop.

What is becoming a standard in cars is often neglected in classroom settings or more broadly speaking in the learning context. I also asked myself how everything plays together and where we are at the moment. Trainings or lectures are often packed with content. If you miss five minutes you might already have a problem to follow.

That is why it is crucial to always make visible where we are in the learning process. That is also one (of many) reasons why we shouldn’t use PowerPoint during a training. The whole content needs to be visible to draw connections and to come back when the participants feel the need to. A good way is also to draw the agenda as a map. You can get creative here. Maybe you have a road and a car which you can move along the road. And, always refer back to where you are and where you are headed. That is also what Google Maps does.

If you want to help your students, participants, fellow-learners, then help them to navigate in make sure they always know where they are and where they are headed.



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