Brain-Friendly Learning: Lessons from Neuroscience and Pokémon Go

Welcome to another episode of our podcast, "NO MORE BORING LEARNING!" Today's blog serves as a companion to our recent episode on the marvels of the human brain and its profound influence on learning. How does understanding your brain help you learn better? More importantly, what can we glean from the creators of Pokémon Go about making learning more effective?

Your Brain: A Marvelous Machine 
Neurologists may not agree on everything, but there's consensus on one point: the human brain is a miraculous creation. With around 86 billion neurons capable of making 200,000 connections each, your brain's potential for learning is practically infinite. This shatters the myth that learning capabilities diminish with age. In fact, your brain continues to make new connections throughout your life, provided you keep it healthy.

How Learning Actually Works

Learning isn't a matter of information getting 'saved' to your brain like a file on a computer. Instead, your neurons connect with each other, building pathways that help you recall and apply what you've learned. The stronger these connections, the better your learning outcomes.

The Brain-Friendly Quartet: Four Factors for Effective Learning

 1. Repetition: A Tried-and-True Method
The key to retaining information is repetition. Consider the game mechanics of Pokémon Go, where players repeatedly capture creatures. This constant repetition, augmented by varying challenges, ensures players remember and improve their skills. For trainers and educators, the task is to make repetitive learning enjoyable and engaging.

2. Context is King
Learning thrives when connected to a meaningful context. In Pokémon Go, players earn points and rewards, keeping the gaming experience urgent and relevant. Similarly, training that is directly tied to a work context — say, customer interactions for customer service reps — increases retention and application of the material.

3. Creation Over Consumption
Your brain loves to establish meanings and links. When you learn, your brain often creates stories to make sense of new information. A participatory approach, where learners piece together models or solve problems, results in better retention. In Pokémon Go, every player is on a unique journey, capturing creatures and strategizing, creating an individual narrative that they remember clearly.

4. The Power of Emotion 
Emotions make learning experiences unforgettable. Just like the thrill of a competitive quiz enhances the learning process, adding elements of excitement, humor, or risk to a training program makes the content stick better.

Conclusion: Transformative Learning Over "Fun" Learning
As we discussed on our podcast, understanding the intricate nuances of how your brain functions can significantly improve the way we design and experience learning.The goal isn't just to make learning "fun," but to make it transformative. After all, the best learning happens when we are challenged, engaged, and a tad bit uncomfortable. So, let's leave our comfort zones and head towards our stretch zones, where real learning and growth occur!

Stay tuned for more insights on how to make your learning experiences anything but boring.Thanks for listening, and happy learning! 





Brain-Friendly Learning: Lessons from Neuroscience and Pokémon Go

31 min