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Right-brain learning and flashcard DVDs

Several weeks ago, I blogged about the Amazing Rainforest Animals educational DVD and how it uses the principle of flash cards for learning. Being incorporated into DVDs makes the flash-card technique an even more effective learning tool, since the DVD is a controlled environment (with consistent pronunciation, consistent flashing time, and optimal repetition frequencies).

Flashing is a tested method of teaching children new concepts, said to activate the right brain.

Right-brain Learning

The right brain’s functions include artistry, emotional intelligence, creativity, intuition and seeing the whole picture (holistic). Until recently, most schools of thought considered left-brain functions to be more important. But today, the right brain functions are recognized as equally important, though often under-utilized.

Proponents of right-brain learning “believe that during the first six years of life, the right brain is wide open and ready for educational input of all kinds. This window of opportunity can be maximized with 12 early learning techniques taught at six different stages of early childhood development. When right brain and the left brain activities are enjoyed at key times of development, children maximize their potential right from the start.”

The flashcard method is one of the ways of opening up young children’s right brain, hence their intellectual potential.

I was given two other learning DVDs to review – one from the Baby Learns Chinese Series and the other from the Sing to Learn Chinese Series. Both utilize the flash-card technique.

Though Baby Learns Chinese specifically says “baby” in the title, I believe that older children and even adults who want to learn the Mandarin language will find the DVD useful and practical. Besides, there’s no better way to start learning a language than at the beginning, with the basics. But yes, young children, as young as infants, will benefit the most from these flash card-based DVDs.

Sing To Learn Chinese Volume 1 (P749.25) includes 23 children’s songs, most of which have English counterparts (such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, 10 Little Indians, Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes).

Baby Learns Chinese volume 2, Fruits and Food (P999.75) includes basic food and fruits that are practical especially for Asians. (The fruits include durian, longgan, lychee.) After all the words and images are shown, a song to review all the words follows.

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On flashing, flashcards, and flashcard DVDs

Before I proceed let me tell you that this is a wholesome entry, and it will not tackle the other type of flashing. “Flashing” here refers to the educational type. Just sayin’. 😀

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Four-year old Nate seems to be growing at the speed of light! And I just don’t mean physically, though he is quite heavy and huge now.

I mean he is learning new things every day in leaps and bounds – I am amazed. Early this year, husband and I were talking about Nate’s inability (back then) to speak and express himself. He often had tantrums because he couldn’t express very well what he wanted to say. Well, since he started going to school, I saw remarkable improvements in his vocabulary and communications skills. He now speaks in sentences, and can even relate a simple story (such as what happened today in school).

Although, yes, I attribute much of his progress to school, I also cannot deny the fact that media (TV most especially) plays a huge role in Nate’s progress. Currently, he is in love with the Ben 10 series, so much so that he calls himself “Ben”, and V “Gwen“. Show him photos of the Alien Forces, and he will be able to identify each one by name.

The power of the TV as a media for learning is great. That is why I try to limit Nate’s TV time, and to shows that are kid-friendly. (Well, Ben 10 isn’t so educational, but.. Oh well…)

One of the reasons why TV educates, whether by intention or not, is because of the flashing. One scene flashes to the next. And young brains are wired in such an amazing way that information flashed at speed is grasped by the right brain.

Anyway, I was recently introduced to Powerhans Kids and its line of educational DVDs. Powerhans is the exclusive distributor of the Brainy Baby line of educational products in the Philippines.

The company has a new line of educational DVDs, and this time it’s from Wink to Learn, a Singapore-based company that creates learning tools for kids. Among these learning tools that Wink to Learn pioneered are flashcard DVDs. It is said that flashcards are one of the most effective tools for teaching young children. But for the flashing to be effective and efficient, there are many variables that come into play. These are: color of flashcards, fonts, accurate voice cues, correct speed of flashing.

For the mom, dad, tutor who has no formal training in teaching, these variables are quite a challenge. So, the flashcard system isn’t as easy at it seems!

So Wink to Learn developed a way to simulate flashcard learning through DVDs. No more paper flashcards, but instead the concept of flashcards  – huge, visually appealing letters along with accurate auditory cues – are incorporated into the DVDs.

I had the chance to watch a flashcard DVD along with my kids. I have the Amazing Rainforest DVD (P749.75) from the Wink to Learn Animal DVD Series. (Watch video here.)

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