Issue 20
Learning CAN be fun. Training SHOULD be fun. Training Games ARE fun!
If you are having problems viewing this newsletter, you may also view it online here.

In this Newsletter...

Mind Mapping
I wanted to share some ideas with you about a learning, memory and organizational technique called Mind Mapping. I recently read a small article on Mind Mapping, written by Stephen Lundin, PH.D. He uses Mind Mapping to help him develop and organize his presentation for speaking engagements. His definition of Mind Mapping is as follows:

"Mind Mapping , briefly summarized, is a radiant display of words, color, and images, with lines radiating from a central image. The lines represent associations, and as the lines radiate out from the center, key words, color and images, build a structure that conveys the meaning with about 3 % of the words it would take if you were using standard linear text. A Mind Map is designed to be remembered effectively because it represents information in a far more brain –friendly manner. It can put all the information necessary for a full understanding of a subject on one page, and in a much more engaging format than linear text could provide." Dr. Lundin states that Mind Mapping is the creation of Tony Buzan, a British writer and psychologist.

The technique is of interest for many reasons. Linda Verlee Williams writes in her book Teaching for the Two Sided Mind, "To have the maximum opportunity to learn, linear sequential techniques must be paired with approaches that enable students to see patterns, make use of visual and spatial thinking, and deal with the whole as well as the parts." Mind Mapping would certainly appear to fit this definition. Williams states that in most learning organization we do not maximize both right and left brain learner opportunities. Individuals, she states, who excel when exposed to left brain (linear) learning techniques, are disadvantaged in that they are not taught how to develop right brain learning technique. Conversely, individuals, who excel when exposed to right brain learner opportunities, simply do not get to deploy these key methods they have become accustomed to utilizing when learning.

Lundin explains that we remember by association. Piaget, the Father of Developmental Psychology, called this ability to associate old experiential learning with new learning "assimilation". We basically learn and strengthen learning by attaching new sensory input to our existing learning. It is why it makes sense to have course pre-requisites. But instead of capturing information in a linear manner, we create organized picture models which clearly depict how the information is related. Naturally "Brain Friendly". After all we have over 100 billion neurons, and an estimated 100 trillion connections (synapses) to keep fresh!

So let's get practical. How is the technique going to be used to help learners learn? Well, Dr. Lundins suggests that it is a great way to take notes. "Mind Maps can be used to organize everything from content of a book to meeting notes, and of course patterns the information in such a way that it can be recalled with about 3 % of the words required for linear note taking."

Perhaps an activity could be devised in class, in which learners are first guided through a Mind Mapping exercise. The instructor might lead the class in developing a one page pictorial (Mind Map) description of some key training content. Then later on, groups within the class might be challenged to develop their own Mind Maps on subsequent key training topics, and present these back to the entire class. Honestly, at this point, this is just a suggestion. I have not tried it yet, but welcome comment from any of you who have.

Here is a graphical view of a sample Mind Map and a link to Tony Buzan's website. In case some of you have not gotten a clear idea. After all, and much to the point, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Sample Mind Map

TGI 6-Pack PowerPoint Icebreaker Team Builder Game
Here are six great PowerPoint games that can be used in the classroom or for online training, including:
• Fun Feud
• Match Game
• 1,000,000 Pyramid
• Star Cruiser
• Ice Breaker Wheel Game
• Team Builder Crossword Puzzle

All the games will help break the ice, get teams working together and help people get to know each other.

Single User Lifetime License $99.99
More Info or Buy Now
Products From TGI
Contact [email protected] or call 602-750-7223

Gage Was No Longer Gage
I am totally obsessed and amazed with the idea that our brains control the way in which we emotionally engage with the world around us. As individuals, we need to be responsible and accountable for our own behavior. Our social rules and mores depend on this important tenant. However, with this said, how should we deal with the knowledge that our emotional interface with the rest of the world may be largely a function of the physiological and biological make-up of our brain?

One very famous neurological case study is that of Phineas P. Gage. In 1848, Phineas Gage was a 25 year old foreman of a railroad dynamite crew. He was apparently described by his co-workers as a very affable and responsible individual. On September 13th, 1848, an accidental explosion occurred (forgetting to first pour sand into the hole, Gage begins to use a tamping rod to pack down gun powder and a spark ignites an explosion) which drives the 13 lb., 3 ½ foot, 1 ¼ inch-diameter rod through his skull which then lands some thirty yards behind him.

Remarkably Gage shortly gains consciousness, is in apparently little pain, and reportedly is talkative and cheerfully explaining how the accident occurred. Gage is driven to his boarding house, where he waits to be treated by the doctor. Months later Gage returns to his work however according to his physician, Dr. John M. Harlow, Gage, once hard-working, responsible, and popular with his men, demonstrates a much altered personality. According to Dr. Harlow: Gage was fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity (which was not previously his custom), manifesting but little difference for his fellows, impatient of restraint or advice when it conflicts with his desires, at times pertinaciously obstinate, yet capricious and vacillating, devising many plans of future operations, which are no sooner arranged than they are abandoned in turn for others appearing more feasible. A child in his intellectual capacity and manifestations, he has the animal passions of a strong man. Previously to his injury, although untrained in the schools, he possessed a well-balanced mind, and was looked upon by those who knew him as a shrewd businessman, very energetic and persistent in executing all his plans of operation. In this regard his mind was radically changed, so decidedly that his friends an acquaintances said he was "no longer Gage".

Gage's life is somewhat tragic in the years following his accident. He is unable to hold onto his job with the railroad and in 1850 spends about a year as a sideshow attraction for P.T. Barnum's New York Museum. He moves to Chile and there works as a coach driver until about 1859 when failing heath causes him to return to San Francisco to live with his mother and father. In 1860 he begins to have epileptic seizures and dies a few months later.

Today we believe that an area of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex (located slightly above and in back of the eye) was traumatically damaged in Phineas Gage's brain. This area plays a critical role in the abstraction of societal rules and the inculcation of cultural mores. This, it is surmised, was the primary reason for Gage's severe change in personality as noted by Dr. Harlow. There remains criticism of these case conclusions. Dr. Harlow's above statement concerning Gage was written many years after the accident, and Gage's pre-accident personality is not well-documented. However, it is generally believed that the physiological damage to Phineas Gage's brain altered his ability to successfully interact with his world; Gage indeed, was no longer Gage.

Who we are, and how we relate to others in the world, serves to define us as individuals. However millions of individuals suffer with clinical depression.

Famous Quotes
Carl Edward Sagan - "We are an intelligent species and the use of our intelligence quite properly gives us pleasure. In this respect the brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous."

Eugene S. Wilson - "Only the curious will learn, only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The Quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient."

Cha'n Master Mingjiao - "Accumulate learning by study, understand what you learn by questioning."

TGI Quiz Show XF
Quiz Show XFThis Quiz Show Game is really 4 games in 1 with the ability to change the configurations of the 4 base games to over 40 different game variations.

It features team play with up to 8 teams and as many as 20 players per team. Input your own training questions or download popular business, educational, and trivia Question Sets available FREE for our XF Game purchasers - literally thousands of pre-written questions.

Single User License from $99.99
Read more and buy now

Brain Facts
Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart was the seat of perception, cognition and the soul. When preparing Pharaoh's body for the afterlife, his brain was extracted through his nose, and then discarded.

Roger Wolcott Sperry (August 20, 1913 - April 17, 1994) was a neuropsychologist, neurobiologist and Nobel laureate. Sperry separated the corpus callosum, the area of the brain used to transfer signals between the right and left hemispheres, to treat epileptics. The corpus collosum contains over 300 million axons. Sperry and his colleagues then tested these patients with tasks that were known to be dependent on specific hemispheres of the brain and demonstrated that the two halves of the brain may each contain consciousness. In his words, each hemisphere is...

"indeed a conscious system in its own right, perceiving, thinking, remembering, reasoning, willing, and emoting, all at a characteristically human level, and . . . both the left and the right hemisphere may be conscious simultaneously in different, even in mutually conflicting, mental experiences that run along in parallel." (Sperry, 1974) (Wikipedia)

The Hippocampus, a part of the brain's limbic system, is thought to be the brain's location for the development of new memories and learning. Hippocampus translates as "Little Seahorse".

Visit our Website at
Download the TGI Catalog

Support Tools
Our Support Tools are a series of training modules for your training programs. These modules can work independently to meet specific training needs, or be combined to work in tandem with one another. Support Tools include:

The Scoreboard Plus Module - A scoreboard, sound generator, tournament tracker, database and more

The Big Spin Module - Several different random generators, sound generator for players, teams or points. It will generate random names, points, numbers, prizes, teams or anything you can think to enter.

The Certificate Maker Module - Create 20 different certificates with customizable forms. Prints 50 individual certificates at the touch of a button

The Quote Maker Module - Contains over 1,000 famous quotes, 20 different printable formats, export to other applications, includes a game called "Who Said This?"

The Question Presenter Module - Internal database to present multiple choice or true/false questions including the ability to attach a graphic and/or sounds to any question

The Answer Is Module - Use to present questions/answers or exercises/follow-up, sound generator, timer and more

Starting at just $19.99, buy one or buy them all here!

Training Games Inc.
Gary Trotta, CEO
4545 E Hedgehog Pl
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
[email protected]
The sole intention of this email is to introduce you to our company and our products. If you do not want to receive ANY future emails from TGI, please CLICK HERE to REMOVE your email address. We respect your privacy and believe in keeping the Web a wonderful place for all.
© Copyright 2008. Training Games Inc.