Issue 4
Learning CAN be fun. Training SHOULD be fun. Training Games ARE fun!

In this Newsletter...

We Can Improve Our Ability to Learn
People learn in different ways. We are coming to understand this, but in the past may have labeled some as "not too smart" because they did not appear to learn as well as others in school. What we didn't realize is that our educational system delivered learning in a manner that worked well for some and not so well for others. Well how did it get like this you might ask? Dave Meier, "The Accelerated Training Handbook" provides several reasons for this educational oddity, none of which have anything to do with HOW WE LEARN!

Dave Meier tells us that our current educational system has its roots in 19th century Puritan New England. What the Puritans developed was something called the Common School Movement, which kind of standardized our approach toward learning. And puritanical learning was naturally a very dreary, joyless and rote affair which eventually made its way into our schools and universities. Instead of learning being an intrinsically joyful experience, it was more a punishment inflicted on us unsuspecting students like medicine, which although hard to swallow was reputedly good for you to take. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" was the mantra chanted by this top down, hierarchical, controlling and instructor centered system. This approach also eventually found its way into our corporations. Meier jokes, instead of corporal punishment we’ve inherited corporate punishment with its endless no questions asked PowerPoint presentations and mind numbing training manuals.

Meier sites good old American individualism as another detriment to the way we learn. Somehow there was this idea that we needed to stand on our own isolated two feet competing against our classmates for higher grades. As General Eisenhower told us, "More than ever before, in our country, this is the age of the individual". Learning we know however can be a very social activity. Indeed studies like those conducted by H.M Levine at Stanford University found that peer tutoring was 4 times more effective than individual computer based instruction, reduced class size and even lengthened instruction time. The University of Minnesota published a study that demonstrated that two individuals in active dialogue, with concern for one another’s progress, significantly improved the quality and quantity for computer based learning. Meier points out that the education systems in Western culture have been paternalistic and dominated by males (The school master). These beginnings have had profound effects on the way we learn. Yet as women continue to break glass ceilings and achieve parity within our learning institutions, they bring with them a desire for more inclusive and collaborative learning environs. We begin to distance ourselves from hierarchy, rigidity and dogmatism within our learning methodologies.

Meier provides us with actually 7 reasons (he references them as diseases) which have harmfully shaped and contributed to our learning malaise. The last and perhaps most interesting one is the Printing Press. Invented by Johannes Gutenberg, this blessing for all mankind is also a curse. Books have become central to all learning. Yet for all the wonderful knowledge we derive from reading, the way we learn became dramatically more verbal (vs. visual), linear (vs. holistic), abstract (vs. experiential), and overwhelmingly more individual (vs. collaborative). Another way to say it might be more "left brain" then "right brain".

Science has clearly attributed different learning functions to the right and left hemispheres of our brain. Right brain functionality, which is more visual and allows us to discovers patterns and relationships between parts has been somewhat downplayed in our learning institutions over the years. Well in a "this glass is half full" sort of way, a great opportunity exists. People who for whatever reasons prefer right brain functions to learn would be better afforded this opportunity in our schools. And left brain learners can become more adept at developing their own right brain learning strategies. A WIN WIN for everyone! This certainly makes the case for developing new ways to deliver information.

A good read on the subject comes from Linda Verlee Williams in her book entitled "Teaching for the Two Sided Mind". Williams states "The brain has two hemispheres but too often the education system operates as though there is just one." In the typical high school classroom”, she continues "students are expected to learn most of their information from books and lectures. They work almost exclusively with words and numbers, in a world of symbols and abstractions." In the early 1960s, Roger Sperry of the California Institute, in an effort to treat epileptic suffers, performed a surgery to effectively split the two hemispheres of the brain. This allowed science to clearly view the different functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The differences were dramatic. Naturally, although we have preferential learning styles, we all use both sides of our brains to learn. In order to maximize learning, it only makes sense to present information in ways that appeal to, for lack of a better term, "left brain" learners AND "right brain" learners.

This idea would take a bit more time initially, and obviously a more learner centered approach, however the net result would be increased and improved learning.

TGI Games – Pulsing between High Attention and Learning
Attention is the gateway to learning. No learning occurs without attention. You need to engage your learners and convince them of the benefits of what you’ve got to say, or their brains will simply filter you out. There is a lot going through everyone’s mind today. With all the stress we encounter on a daily basis, it is virtually impossible to focus, unless we are interested in what’s being said. I think when we watch and old TV sitcoms, for example let’s say, The Andy Griffith Show, we are comforted by its one story line linear simplicity. Don’t you wish you could be back in old Mayberry with your only concern being to help Barney regain his confidence? It is mind numbingly nice, not to have to think about all the stuff that parades through our brains on a moment to moment basis. No wonder television is so popular; it gives us a breather, a break!

Attention however is not everything. Let’s say you’ve just piqued my interest with something you’ve said. You’ve got my attention, but then it is essential to give me, the learner, the opportunity to think. To give me a moment to challenge, to mull over, to compare and analyze what you’ve just said with what I already know. Once I’ve done this, I can assimilate or hook the learning into my neural networks and as if magic, thanks to you, I HAVE JUST LEARNED SOMETHING!

Games have always been a great way to grab attention. Usually as they are played in the classroom, folks are standing up, yelling, laughing – Oh yea, they’re engaged and you've got their attention. But typically games have been used for reviewing and reinforcing what has just been taught. That’s great, but could we use these wonderful attention grabbers to present new learning. In many of our training games we offer a feature that does just this. Sure our games operate by delivering your own training questions to competing teams, but we also allow you to attach sounds, graphics, movies and even mini-PowerPoint presentations to each question. Why? You might be asking. Because if the game has piqued interest, engaged the audience, allowed everyone to focus, what better time to provide a means for the learners to think, challenge, mull over, compare and analyze and ultimately LEARN. Perhaps after presenting a game question I can inject a follow up question, a discussion exercise, a concept visual or a mini-presentation to further my learner’s ability to conceptualize and learn.

The ability to add graphics to a game is found in all TGI Deluxe Games. The ability to open and run additional sounds, graphics, text pop-ups and any other file types (including PPS files, AVI files etc.) from a question can be found in the TGI Presentation Game, TGI Baseball Game and TGI Racecar game. We are also quickly updating other TGI games to incorporate this great learning feature. Contact [email protected] for further details and questions.

Products From TGI
Contact [email protected] or call 602-750-7223

Famous Quote & Fascinating Fact
Famous Quote: "How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?" Henry David Thoreau

Fascinating Fact: Approximately 20% of the blood from our hearts is pumped to our brain. Neurons are constantly being developed in the brain and therefore a constant blood flood is essential.

The Presentation Game 3.0 - New & Improved!
the Presentation GameThe Presentation Game 3.0 turns your PowerPoint presentation into an interactive Game! Convert an unlimited number of your PowerPoint presentations into presentation games.

(Single User License $ 74.99)

See all details at :

The Ultimate in Quiz Show Games - Quiz Show ULTIMA
This version has it all. Quiz Show ULTIMA not only has ALL of the features of our best selling Quiz Show DELUXE Game; but it also contains:

- The ability to interface with USB buzzer systems or work stand-alone buzzers
- A database to track individual player games and monitor their learning progress
- Contains four great quiz show games including our latest single player game we call "All The Way?" - a millionaire type game
- Four Game Show Emcees to choose from
- Awesome program graphics
- A bigger Question/Answer screen, for easy viewing in large meeting rooms

Choose from Annual or Lifetime, Single or 10-user licenses Priced from $99.99

See the features and purchase at
Note: This product has now been replaced by Quiz Show XF

Batter Up! TGI's Baseball Game DELUXE
TGI Baseball Game DELUXEThis new version of our best selling sports game breaks new ground for training. It gives you the sights, sounds and action of Major League Baseball and the play is driven by answering your training questions.

Key Baseball Game Features include:
- Animated pitching and base runners
- Great game sounds
- Plays just like a real baseball game
- Input your training questions directly into the game
- Handles up to 100 multiple choice, true/false or fill in the blank questions
- Enter questions in up to 3 different categories

Pricing Starting at just $74.99 for Single User Annual License
Visit to purchase and view additional licensing options.

Visit our Website at
Download the TGI Catalog
Training Games Inc.
Gary Trotta, CEO
4545 E Hedgehog Pl
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
[email protected]
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