Speed Reading For Education

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Speed Reading: Help or Hype? An Interview With eReflect Founder Marc Slater

eReflect founder and 7 Speed Reading software inventor Marc Slater was recently interviewed by William Dembski at TheBestSchools.org, a leading higher education and career counseling site that helps people find and apply for the right colleges and universities, and provides career guidance that leads people to find success in their chosen field. Because the skill of speed reading is valuable for students and professionals alike, no matter where they are in their educational or professional goals, TheBestSchools.org asked Slater about the 7 Speed Reading system, and how it can help users achieve those goals.

In the interview, Marc Slater explained how his lifelong interest in continuing education and self-improvement led him to develop 7 Speed Reading and eReflect’s other popular educational software systems, Ultimate Typing, Ultimate Spelling, and Ultimate Vocabulary. Slater’s main goal is to help as many people as possible develop and hone their literacy skills so that they are fully able to participate in the expanding global economy, especially those aspects related to technology and online business that have defined the 21st-century marketplace.

When asked about the connection between technology and speed reading instruction, Slater pointed out the many advantages that using a software program to learn speed reading gives to the user. Dembski noted that he himself followed the well-known Evelyn Wood speed reading program, but did not get the results that he had expected and wanted. By using cutting-edge technology in the 7 Speed Reading system, Slater explained, many of the same techniques can be presented in a way that actually does help people achieve their speed reading goals, increasing their reading speed without losing comprehension.

Dembski also questioned some of the hype about speed reading, where some programs claim to teach people to read 10 times faster than they do now, or speed reading “experts” who say they have the ability to read at over 20,000 words per minute. Slater clarified the difference between this hype and the reality of the results that people have enjoyed by using the 7 Speed Reading system, which takes a rational and balanced approach to this skill. “You can triple your reading speed by using the 7SpeedReading system if you are currently reading at an average or below-average speed,” Slater confirmed. “On the other hand, if you already read with good speed, you might not see a three-fold increase in your current reading rate—but you will see an improvement in your comprehension skills.”

Good reading skills contribute to a love of reading, and Marc Slater, along with the rest of the team at eReflect, are devoted to helping children learn to read as early and as often as possible. Slater remarked on the importance of making books and reading materials available to children in the home as well as at school, and encourages parents and teachers to read out loud to children in order to promote good reading habits. Because 7 Speed Reading is designed to be used by children as young as 8 or 9 years old, the program is also suitable for ESL students of any age. Users can incorporate almost any text into the system database for use in the activities and courses, which means that older students and adults will not have to practice using texts at the primary school level. One of the main strengths of the 7 Speed Reading system is its flexibility and adaptability, and the tools for customization that let each person get the most out of their speed reading training.

When asked about the future for eReflect, Slater revealed the company’s plans to make 7 Speed Reading available in schools, so that as many students as possible get the literacy skills they need to take them up to and through their choices for university education.

Pros and Cons of Learning Speed Reading (Guest Post)

Tim White

There is no skill to speed-reading. It is simply something you get used to, like trying to stand on a moving bus. The only obstacle to speed-reading is that you need a little practice, however there are plenty of tools and techniques you can try in order to speed your process.

Pro – You can research more quickly

Speed-reading is not really suited to reading in general. It is more suited for researching. It allows you to skim through a lot of text to try and find the bits that you need. You then read those bits more thoroughly in order to use them. It is also good if you know a book is mostly fluff and you just want to skim to the good bits.

Con – Comprehension of what is read falls dramatically

It is not something you can use to make yourself a faster reader in general. Speed-reading is about scanning pages with your eyes and picking out the parts that may be of interest to you. It is also about getting a very general idea of what a piece of text is about and is not suited for picking up subtleties or hidden gems within a piece of text.

Pro – It is good for using when on busy transport

Trying to concentrate on every word and absorb every sentence is not easy when you are on a busy bus or train. It is far easier to speed read in such situations because you are not aiming for 100% comprehension. Plus, if you are distracted, you can jump back a few paragraphs and keep speed-reading without too much wasted time or effort.

Con – It is very easy to misinterpret

If you are reading fiction, then speed-reading is not suitable because you cannot catch the smaller and more subtle details. It is also very easy to interpret what is written in a way that skews the meaning of the work. For example, some writers highlight the idiocy of an argument by making it in an exaggerated way, but as a skim reader, you may assume the exaggerated claim is the point of the work.

Pro – You can use technology

There are speed-readings tools on the Internet and on mobile devices. Place your text into them and they flash up the words in quick succession. Your mind and eyes see the words as they flash up, and in your mind you put them into sentences, ergo it forces you to speed read.

Con – It is easy to lose track when using technology

The downside of the technology technique is that if you look away and look back, you completely lose track of what the speed-reader is saying, and it is very difficult to regain an understanding of what is being flashed at you without going back.

Pro – You can use your finger

Another common speed reading technique is the rather low-tech finger technique. You run your finger under the words very quickly and read at the pace your finger moves. This is one of the few speed-reading methods that will actually increase your reading speed too.

Con – You look like a dork in public. You look like a small child learning to read because you are running your finger across your page. Plus, if you run it across a touch-screen device, then it flips the page.


All it takes is practice. Try speed-reading a few times firstly, and then try the technique where you run your finger across the lines. After that, when you are an amateur speed-reader, try an online tool to see if it helps you become a proficient speed-reader. If not, you will have to keep practicing your speed-reading by skimming pages and seeing how much you retain.

Author’s Bio

Tim White is an eager traveler and blogger on education trends for essay writing service Essayhipster.

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Everyday Is World Book Day: The Lost Art of Reading

How often do you read? Chances are you’re reading much less than you’d like. It happens to everyone. We try to set aside time for this sense-awakening pastime only to have our to-do lists and last-minute errands steal that sacred time away from us.

Be more rigid with your reading time. It’s an invigorating experience for your heart and your mind. So, at a time when reading is verging on becoming an extinct art, put down your phone and pick up a book. A world of inspiration and awe awaits.

My Animals And Other Family

This book by Clare Balding is a brave story of self-discovery. It’s bold yet tender, it’s funny yet serious in its teachings. It’s your new favorite, actually.

This story will just make you want to be a better person. You will feel such an invogirating joy when you read it because it’s so full of poignant humor. Take this quote, for example:

“I had spent most of my childhood thinking I was a dog, and suspect I had aged in dog years.”

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

This book by Mitch Albom tells the heartbreaking story of Eddie, a war veteran who dies trying to save a young girl. He’s now in the afterlife. But instead of living the bliss he was promised, he has five people explain life to him.

A book that will shake you to the core.

Who Moved My Cheese?

This book by Dr. Spenser Johnson is not fiction but it will change your life. Why? It’s about change itself. Dr. Johnson inspires you to deal with change by giving you the language and toolkit to do it. He explains how your attitude will work wonders in how you perceive reality and the changes occurring. Through the explanations in the book, you will see a clear path to welcome change and use it in your favor, whether it’s for your career or your personal life.

The Four Agreements

A book by Don Miquel Ruiz that teaches you the four agreements,the four essential steps for utter personal freedom. The wisdom shared by Ruiz goes back to the roots of traditional Toltec beliefs.

Learn practical steps on how to change your way of thinking and create a reality and life that’s permeated by the freedom you deserve.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

This Lewis Carroll classic is the go-to book for many adults and children alike. It’s a world-famous piece of art on how life, just like our dreams and fantasies, is inexplicable, ironic, majestic, and nonsensical — all at once.

Whether you honored World Book Day on April 23 or not it doesn’t matter. You still have time to grab the next best-seller and immerse yourself in a journey of no return!

Here are our top five picks you can read at home, while commuting or with your best friend by your side.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

A book on the intricate relationships among family and friends. A family goes on a two-week trip to Mallorca. See what life has in store for them.

A Colder War by Charles Cumming

This espionage thriller will be the first book you’ve read in one sitting in years. Immerse yourself in an adrenaline-packed tour de force with MI6 agent Thomas Kell. You’ve been warned!

One More Thing by B. J. Novak

A funny short story book you will return to when you feeling blue or ecstatic with life. Your call! Written by well-known former The Office writer.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

If you’re lucky and haven’t watched the movie yet, grab this book and run before the spoilers get you.

Finders Keepers by Stephen King

The much anticipated release by Stephen King comes out in the first week of June. Enough time to catch up on his best works to date!

Get A Creative Boost Of Encouragement From … Lego Man?

Rev It Up Reading Revolutionary Podcast Is Here!

A series of podcast is being held by Abby Marks Beale of Rev It Up Reading Revolution. Hear her reading tips and advice here!

Episode 1: How It All Started

Abby shares how she got started and what to expect from her product – Rev It Up Reading Revolution. [00:07:39]

Episode 2: What’s Your Reading Attitude?

In this episode, you’ll discover what your reading attitude is and why it’s important. Learn how to turn your negative attitude about reading into a positive one. [00:06:05]

Episode 3: The Importance of Preparation Rituals – Part 1

In this episode you’ll learn what preparation rituals are and discover the importance of them in your life. This is part one of a three part series that will help you set yourself up for reading success. [00:06:00]

Episode 4: The Importance of Preparation Rituals – Part 2

You will learn about several important things to consider BEFORE reading to help make your reading experience more active, mindful and conscious. It can also help you identify what’s most important to read and what not to read. [00:07:22]

Episode 5: The Importance of Preparation Rituals – Part 3

It’s certainly challenging these days to get the focus and concentration needed for reading. Abby shares some common sense ideas about how to physically set yourself up for reading success. [00:11:20]

Episode 6: Making Reading Time

Making time to read should be a priority, especially for one’s personal and professional development. Abby shares some interesting stats, quotes and tips to motivate you to put reading at the top of your to-do list. [00:10:58]

Episode 7: 12 Efficient Reader Qualities

Do you need a reading tune-up? Abby shares the list of 12 reading qualities focusing on those that are effective AND efficient. [00:11:01]

Episode 8: Great Online Reading Resources

So many of us read our material online these days. Abby shares her favorite online reading resources, where to find them and how to use them. [00:10:55]

View original podcast here.

For iTunes user, you can get the podcast here.

See Why President Obama Praised This 6-Year-Old’s Inspiring Message

Look Into A Kid’s Eye… Can You See The Changes He Is Seeing?

Strategies That Search Engine Optimization Campaigns Must Have

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is how you get your business out there. With a little help from the best SEO practices and informative, quality content you can attract your target groups and make them stick with you, all the while increasing your sales and staying ahead of the competition.

GIFs+ Infographics = A match made in heaven

Infographics have had their day. Today everyone’s using them and they’re not even putting a lot of effort in creating them. For an infographic to increase engagement with your business it must offer something new and fresh – a GIF infographic, for instance. Animated infographics tap into the energy of motion and capitalize on the visual aspect that’s been proven time and time to be almost irresistible.

Infographics and the more modern animated infographics have an increased click-through rate which can contribute to the success of your SEO campaign. Create infographics that share valuable insider knowledge your readers and visitors will be interested in and willing to share. Ensure these infographics have even greater appeal by making them into animated ones to increase the “I most definitely need to retweet that” factor.

SEO is a combination of features; you need informative content, targeted links, and that much-needed popularity push. GIF infographics have all three features, which makes them a great approach to boosting your SEO results.

Quality and Relevancy over Link Quantity

Page ranking is, as of the latest Penguin update, a more intelligent and intuitive process. Getting back links from sites that don’t in any way associate with what you do doesn’t improve your page ranking. Even if you think that there might be an association, if it’s not evident to the client, your business will not benefit.

To improve your site’s rankings don’t mindlessly get links from general-theme businesses but from businesses in your niche. In other words, if you’re in the wine industry don’t look for backlinks from event sites and online magazines devoted to franchise restaurants; go after backlinks from wine-making businesses, grape producers, and wine brands you want to be associated with. This not only will increase your influence and authority but it will substantially improve your SEO campaign’s effectiveness.

Reputation Improvement via Google Authorship

Nothing boosts your SEO efforts more than having Google perceive you and promote you as an expert professional. Google Authorship is Google’s way of saying, “I can credit online content as yours to build your credibility and expertise in what you do.” Well, thank you, Google!

Google Authorship markup works when you share content you’ve created and it’s linked with your Google+ profile. Some say it is a sneaky way for Google+ to get more popular, but we say it’s a great way to improve your SEO campaign!

When you do share content you’ve authored on Google+, Google shows these in search results with your picture next to it. What this means is that Google Authorship lets others find you more easily since it’s extensively using the Google search engine. It also allows you to get more exposure to Google+ circles on the keywords of your choice.

Be Smarter about Tags

Meta tags are one of the things search engines look at when trying to determine your website’s relevancy to a keyword someone is searching. While it sounds like common sense to include Meta tags that are semantically related to your business, it’s not enough.

These tags let Google and other search engines know what a page is about. So if you’re a leather shoe artisan, Meta tags will help others find you when searching for Italian craftsmanship or any other keyword you use it in Meta tags. Used correctly, Meta tags can increase your click-through rate and subsequently boost your lead generation.

By choosing the rights words for your Title Meta tag and Description tag, you get one step closer to better page ranking. If you consciously make an effort to expand your vocabulary it will ensure you choose those words your potential customers are using when searching for a product you offer.

Stay ahead of the SEO best practices curve

Although not a strategy per se, this is a must-have principle for any SEO campaign. Google keeps rolling out new search engine updates, and SEO is a new and constantly evolving practice, so it is important to be aware of new developments, the latest updates, and of course the best proven practices that will make your SEO goals a reality.

Needless to say, to stay on top of the latest SEO developments, you will need to spend hours on end in researching what the experts in the field are doing, what SEO gurus are discussing and challenging, and all the while making good judgment as to what to let go and what to stick with. Unfortunately, SEO is not a one-off practice, because the SEO scenery changes rapidly and without much warning, so keep up with the world of SEO and pledge to work on it consistently for it to pay off. Avoid being left behind by subscribing to as many SEO news outlets as possible. It’s what will keep your SEO campaign fresh and effective.

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21st Century Marketing Ideas from Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi

INTRODUCTION: When it comes to marketing, advertisement, and client relationships, the technology may change, but for entrepreneurs around the world one basic question remains: How can I get my message to stand out from the rest and reach the customer? Marketing and communications specialist Joe Pulizzi knows the answer to that question and many more, and he shares his expertise through his books, podcasts, and training events.

7SR: At the beginning of the 21st century, you coined the phrase “content marketing.” Some of our readers may not be familiar with this concept, so would you please explain what that means?

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.

7SR: New and established business owners can learn a lot from your online blog and regular podcasts, but you also offer self-paced training through online courses that cover seven topics: planning, audience, story, channels, process, conversation, and measurement. What makes each of these areas an important topic for businesses to focus on?

The majority of businesses that get involved in content marketing do not document their content marketing strategy.  We know, through our research, that the most effective marketers document their strategy before launching an initiative.  While there is no one right way to do content marketing, we believe the planning through measurement framework we’ve built is the best place to start.  Also important is this – creating amazing content is not enough.  We need to think about how we are going to distribute it and measurement before we start to develop any ongoing content.

7SR: Some of your clients include major international corporations that have huge marketing budgets and hundreds of communications staff. How can a solo entrepreneur use the same techniques effectively?

 Actually, I just launched a book and a podcast for entrepreneurs on how to do this.  We’ve identified six steps to making this happen – finding your sweet spot, identifying your content tilt, building the base, harvesting audience, diversifying the portfolio and then monetization.  For more information on this model, go to this link: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/content-inc/

7SR: While much of advertising relies on the impact of powerful images, marketing also depends on communicating with the right words. How can people improve both their verbal skills and their reading skills to become better communicators?

Read. A lot.  The best content creators read books and information sources of all kinds. 

Also, the key to becoming a leading expert in your niche means focusing on the three-legged stool – the blog, the book and speaking.  For an individual to be an expert means focusing on all three parts.  Start with the area that feels most comfortable for you.  The key is to focus on a content area where you can actually become the leading informational resource.  To go big, go small with your content niche.

7SR: What do you see as the next trend in content marketing and online business communication in the coming year?

Our competitors can copy anything we do, except for how we communicate (referring to Don Schultz’s great words).  Innovative businesses will focus on creating amazing content experiences for customers that truly position that company as an indispensable resource.  I believe the best way to launch a company or launch a new product category is with content first.  Many businesses, looking to cut their time to market, will actually start to buy niche media companies to buy that position instead of building it.

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The Unsung Heroes of the Classroom: Teachers, The Everyday Warriors Who Make A Difference

The Science Behind Reading Printed Books

Reading is good for you. It staves off mental decline, it offers immense enjoyment, it expands your knowledge of the world, and it makes you more empathetic. These are just a few of the most referenced benefits of reading. However, scientists insists that reading print books differs from reading on screens. Is that true?

A unique pleasure

It’s being argued in some studies that reading print books will always win over digital media, simply because e-books cannot provide the reader with an uninterrupted immersion in the story. Reading on screens always carries a whole lot of distractions, whether they’re ads, messages from friends, e-mails from the boss, or just the fact that you have to keep clicking and pressing buttons to navigate the page.

A printed book, on the other hand, is something that you can use to disconnect. It’s a gateway to an experience that cannot be disturbed unless you allow it to be.

Better comprehension

Studies reveal that reading on tablets and ereaders actually interferes with your understanding and retention of information.

Reading online is, for most people, surfing the web. It’s a shallow way of reading. We read quickly and superficially, we continually scroll down our feeds and walls, and we feel pressured to take in a lot of information in little time.

Researchers found that those reading on ereaders have a hard time recalling information and storylines.

The fact that digital reading is optimized for fast reading only makes matters worse. We read with less focus, we read anxiously and hastily, simply because there’s too much to read. That’s how the digital medium works, and for the most part that’s how we choose to use it.

We rarely, if ever, read a print book in this page-flipping way. Instead we immerse ourselves in the author’s world, we focus our concentration on the story, and emerge brighter, more relaxed, and wiser.

A good night’s sleep

A Harvard university study also points out that the light that back-lit ereaders and tablets emit interferes with your body’s melatonin production, which in turn affects your sleep. The researchers discovered that you will stay awake much longer, unable to get to sleep, if you are reading on an e-reader in bed, rather than reading a print book.

New reading habits

E-reading is usually hyperlinked. As a result, our reading flow is no longer linear and uninterrupted. We click on links to learn more about a term, word, or character, simply because the digital medium allows us to.

This is not entirely a bad thing, of course. Reading is enriching and interactive in hyperlink mode, but it’s also incremental. In other words, the flow is interrupted and segmented. That’s something that we don’t generally experience when reading a print book.

The expanded information available through hyperlinks might actually turn out to be counterproductive if it impedes our deeper processing. Reading exclusively digitally means we might forget how to read in a deep, targeted way; the way that allows us to process and absorb new information at our own pace, on our own terms.

Obviously, it’s no surprise that people now often find it hard to concentrate when reading a print book. After using web-enabled and message-enhanced media, we’re used to the distractions popping up regularly, and have come to expect and even anticipate them.

Until the time comes when e-readers offer a more optimized experience for bibliophiles who want the full experience provided by a print book, the discussion, as well as the reading, will continue.

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