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As a teacher, it is tempting to conclude that your students will understand and remember simple information (like a brief factor quick directions) that you have just told them. However, consider the situation in which a student, Karla, is still tryingto understand a previously explained concept. Karla's working memory is operating at full capacity with attempts to processearlier information and thus cannot successfully deal with the simple instruction or fact that you have now stated. Workingmemory is altogether too limited to thoroughly process rapidly delivered information.


The concept of attention is one's focus on a given portion of all possible stimuli. This is also the layman's understanding of theterm “attention,” so you are already familiar with this idea. Whatever you are thinking about (i.e., whatever is currently inworking memory) is what you are paying attention to. Wesometimes use the phrase “selective attention” to indicate that we must select a limited amount of information to process, and ignore theremainder of the incoming information streams.

Demonstration activity

Notice how selective attention is necessary to focus on the target voice and number in this activity: (External Link)

Practice and automaticity

The longer a piece of information is effectively processed (e.g., through elaborative rehearsal), the more we understand it and the morelikely we will be to remember it at a later time. In layman's terms, this is called practice. In the classroom, first-graders will need to practice their reading skills more than sixth-gradersbecause the sixth-graders have “put in their time” already and have spent a considerable number of hours practicing their reading to thepoint where it is now automatic. When a skill (such as reading) has been automatized, it requires fewer working-memory resources and thus consumes less space in working memory; this has the benefitof freeing up the remaining space in working memory for other thoughts. For example, how burdensome is it for you to figure out howto pronounce the word “conundrum” compared to the time it would take a first-grader? Because you can easily process this word, you cansimultaneously consider the ideas “conundrum” and “Aunt Mary's wallet is missing from her purse, and we didn't see anyone enter orexit the room.” A first-grader would be capable of comparing these ideas but would require much more time to arrive at a completeunderstanding of the intersection between these two ideas than you would need, because you have already automatized much of the requisiteprocessing.

In summary, then, practice speeds up processing because it automatizes critical skills.

Long-term memory

Long-term memory is just what it sounds like: an area that stores information permanently. To arrive in long-term memory, informationmust have been sufficiently processed in working memory. Stated another way, working memory is the exclusive route to long-termmemory. How does information become “sufficiently processed” in working memory? By considering both the amount of time spent and thequality of processing encountered there. We will discuss different qualities of information processing later. For now, keep in mind that theamount of time one spends thinking about a topic (e.g., preparing for an exam) does not necessarily predict one's memory for that materialat a future point in time.

Duration and capacity

As far as we know, information is maintained in long-term memory indefinitely; there are no known expiration dates here. Additionally,there is no known limit to the amount of knowledge that can be stored in long-term memory. No one can credibly make the excuse that theydon't have room to store any more information!

Now perhaps you can begin to see why it is important for teachers to understand human cognitive architecture. Without fully appreciatingthe capabilities and limitations of the information-processing system, teachers could easily have unrealistic expectations for theirstudents—and that is not good for anybody.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, Oneonta epsy 275. OpenStax CNX. Jun 11, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11446/1.6
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