Brain training: New hope, new edge for students
By Birgit Moran
It’s back to school time, and with that comes another year of opportunities and challenges. An emerging field is developing to help students who want an extra edge and for those who struggle in school. Rather than, or in complement to tutoring, now there is brain training.
“Just as new knowledge and understanding is revolutionizing the way we communicate, trade, or practice medicine, so too must it transform the way we learn,” wrote Naveen Jain in a recent Forbes article, “We Can Use Neuroscience To Create Better Learners.”
Put simply, brain training works to build new functionality to the brain which allows for higher speed, comprehension and memory so students (anybody) can better obtain, process, understand, and retain information. Colorado-based Learning RX, which also has nationwide locations, has three centers in the state offering an initial Woodcock Johnson Skills Assessment test. The Douglas County School District recognizes and uses this same test for its IEP programs for students needing extra help.
Underpinning our ability to learn, are neurological processes like attention, short and long term memory, processing speed, and more. Learning RX reports that some students on ADHD medications may eliminate or reduce their need for medications after completing one of the programs.
One local student, a high school student with ADHD, said she can now think and respond quicker. Because she entered the program as a Junior in High School, she required some supplemental tutoring to acquire the skills missed in earlier years, but her retention and ability to grasp math concepts was noticeably improved.
The newest center opened recently off of Arapahoe Road, just east of Quebec Street. Any potential student is first tested and results reviewed. These results can be shared with the school if parents request this communication, or not if desired. Students are paired with a coach and work one-on-one for the length of the program that best works for their needs.
“I feel more confident that I can do my work now – it’s easier for me to stay focused in class,” said one student who asked not to be identified. On the Learning RX website, there is a simple explanation of what brain training is: “The brain’s ability to adapt and grow—reorganizing neural pathways and even creating new ones—is called “neuroplasticity.” Neuroplasticity is the science behind brain training and the basis of each of the Learning Rx brain training programs.”