Memory in the Age of Ubiquitous Learning

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This presentation is about the changing role of memory in a technology society and the importance of a nurturing a good memory in ourselves and our students. We will learn the techniques used by memory athletes and will discuss how these techniques can be applied in online learning environments.



Hello, My name is Will Bachman. I am an instructional designer at the University of South Florida. I am new to this role. Prior to becoming an ID, I worked as a EFL (English Foreign Language) instructor for about a decade where I taught students of over 40 nations. I am passionate about multicultural education, education that inspires curiosity, and education that promotes autonomy. I hold master's degree in education technology from the University of Florida.

Extended Abstract

Yesterday, when asked what movie I saw over the weekend, I googled it. I probably could have remembered. I knew that it starred Diane Keaton, Murphy Brown, and that guy from Ocean’s 11. Actually, before I finished typing all of this in to google, I remembered that it was the “Book Club.”  That’s been happening to me a lot recently. I find myself googling stuff just because it seems easier than trying to remember it myself. What does it mean for education when everything you need to know is only a click away?  

This education session is designed to introduce participants to the art and science of remembering.  The session will start by having participants share (via webtool) their thoughts about the role, if any, of memorization in education. We will then take a look at the broad landscape of memory today, from standardized testing to its real-world demands. Attendees will enjoy a short history lesson on memory training, dating back to ancient Greece, and will hear what learning theorists have offered in regards to the role of memory in learning. We will look at how writing and then printing have changed the way we use our memory and why, in this age of ubiquitous learning, we need to take time and rethink what we ask our students to commit to memory.

The audience will view demonstration meant to impress and will be introduced to the world of memory sports, where they will see how ‘memory athletes’ are using ancient techniques to perform incredible feats of memory. Participants will learn these techniques themselves, and will — in small groups —be tasked with coming up with a system for memorizing a provided list of information. The education session will end with prescriptive strategies on how participants can use memory techniques in the online environment to improve students’ retention of material. Attendees will also receive a handout summarizing the key takeaways of the presentation and links to resources where they can learn more about this topic.