Thursday, 15 April 2010


I watched Wayne Rooney the other night. Absolutely brilliant, he can read the football field so well, he can see/tell what others are doing, work out what they are likely to do so well. His brain must be amazing. He must be brilliant, superbly intelligent.
I watched David Beckham the other year. Absolutely brilliant, he can read the football field so well, he can see/tell what others are doing, work out what they are likely to do so well. His brain must be amazing. He must be brilliant, superbly intelligent.
I listened to Mohamed Ali the other night. Absolutely brilliant, he could read his opponent so well, , work out what they are likely to do so well. His brain must be amazing. He must be brilliant, superbly intelligent.
Hang on a minute, ok the last guy was one hell of a talker people accept that he must have been intelligent.
Being good at a sport means that you have to be dedicated, thoughtful, able to plan and see opportunities as well as having the ‘biology’ to deliver physically. But we are surprised when a good sportsperson is also brilliant academically, a brilliant reader..
But what if all sportspeople had to play their sport in size 8 shoes? Would the same people be at the top of their sport?

Using your finger!

I would like to say that if you need to use your finger to keep your place when reading a book it is unlikely that you will find reading on a computer screen very easy! Leaving the smears of a greasy finger, following the words on a screen is not a good idea. Mind you if the computer screen is adjusted so that you no longer need to use your finger, then that is a different story! It is harder to change the appearance of a printed page to suit your eyes.
So what is this finger stuff all about? People who read fluently aloud from print are looking at words’ well ahead of their mouth’ as they read. If you cover up the word they are about to say, they will not really bother. A non fluent reader will stop and make you take your finger away. They have not seen the word yet!
This is similar to the pianist who is sight reading music. As the page is turned, they continue playing, seamlessly. They are holding the notes in their head for several seconds before they play them.
A person with sight reading problems will see and play each note one by one. It will sound very mechanical. A bit like listening to someone who appears to have specific reading problems, reading aloud. The bigger their difficulty the more like a machine gun they will sound, lacking musicality, intonation or for the techies amongst you… prosody.
I would expect then people who are diagnosed as dyslexic who are also musicians to have difficulties with sight reading whereas if they are playing from memory or improvising it would sound perfectly fluent...musical.

I may be wrong. So this is a challenge to anyone dyslexic to let me know if they can sight read easily!
Reading poetry is similar. An extreme form of fluency is required to sight read poetry successfully.
Sibelius other than being a great composer is also the name of a brilliant computer programme which can be used on screen with any music. Several years ago they produced little application which allows the user to set the RGB (colour background) to whatever works for them.
Now how can sight reading music be a phonics problem? Just a thought that I must bury away back in my head.

Your own story

I have had many conversations about this blog. Mnay people would like to tell their own story. You are invired to do so .Please write yiouy stories as comments on this blog. We all look forward to reading about your experience in reading.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Why Finland has higher academic success..BBC World news

The story about Finnish educational outcomes should not be surprising. Finnish is probably the 'most transparent'language in existence.. What you see is what you say. There is very little ambiguity in meaning. Whereas English is one of the most opaque. Full of ambiguity which makes it difficult to use BUT capable of amazing subtlety and poetry.
There are problems of functionalliteracy in the UK and other english speaking and reading countries for the countries for the poorest 20% of the reading population. It is quite easy to compare educational performance in countries of similar economic performance and see the link with the language transparency. Within Finland though there are still many problems for people because they need to read off white backgrounds.But that is another story.
If there are lots of decsions to bemmade in the brain when analysing the words being photographed,then there will be less'computing power' for the brain to work out what the meaning of the sentences/paragraphs are. The 'visual photography needs to be made as easy, low demand, as possible. Now what was the reast of this blog about?

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Discussion today with a guy who works as a greenkeeper.

Now you know what I do Chas!!!! It is really a similar thing to the way chlorophyll grabs the photons in photosynthesis... aka your turf!
There are three types of pigment cells in the retina when you read. The ratio of cells varies from person to person.
The amount of data sent per millisecond) from retina to the 'camera control system ( the muscles)' controls the amount of 'camera shake as they take the pictures and are coordinated together'
By getting the relative brightness of the screen pixels correct you can maximise this and the result is what you 'felt'/./.smoother cameras control!!
... See more
put another way; you would be really happy working in a dark green environment but with real problems of concentration in a 'redbrick...urban environment'!!

Ok back to your studying. We know that the reading speed of a personal most directly correlates with their 'academic performance', not their intelligence whatever that is.
But of course it is the reading speed on white! What you get.
It is as if we all had to run a race but everyone had to wear size 8 shoes.... OK if you have size 8 feet but otherwise you would be slower, not want to run too much or too often. As you go up the academic ladder, whatever your subject area the amount of pressure to read and write more increases. The ones at the top of the ladder, most of who read very quickly, do so on 'white'... Surprise surprise.
The great thing about ICT is that it is no longer the rule.. The rules have been changed. I have got to get people to realise this... use it and see what happens... If you have a go at TintMyScreen you can set your computer at your optimum... I do not know what the outcome will be for you, but my expectation is high.

That was fun writing that (on my magenta background! which you would hate!