A Look At Information Processing

Alexandra Downey

What is memory?

Memory is the term given to the structures and processes involved in the storage and subsequent retrieval of information.


Memory is essential to all our lives. Without a memory of the past we cannot operate in the present or think about the future. Without memory we could not learn anything.

There's a 3 Part Stage Process and It Goes Like This...

Sensory Memory--->Short Term Memory--->Long Term Memory


Now, let's take a closer look!

Sensory Memory

*Extremely short memory: Only about 1/2 second for vision and 3 seconds for hearing

*We use our five senses for this: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch.

*We are more likely to pay attention if there is an interesting feature or known pattern.

*As learners we must attend to this stage in order to move to the next.

Short Term Memory

*Short Term memory is our working memory.

*Relates to what we are thinking about at any given moment.

*Usually lasts around 15-20 seconds; but, if there is maintenance rehearsal, it could become available for around 20 minutes.

*A small number of units can be processed at any one time, usually between two and seven.

*With that variability, it is necessary to point out important information.

*Organization and Repetition are important concepts for retaining information.

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Long Term Memory

*Also known as preconscious (usually easily recalled) and unconscious (not available during normal consciousness) memory.

*This is the process of taking information and storing it for long periods of time.

*Memories are found in different areas of the brain.

*These memories can be triggered in a variety of ways.

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Using This In Our Classrooms

Ways we can use information processing in the classroom:

*Gain the students attentions-Have signals for when you are ready to begin.

*Point out Important information-Handouts or smartboards

*Show students how to use coding for memorizing lists-The SILLIER the better!

*Bring to mind prior learning-ALWAYS REVIEW!

Information processing model: Sensory, working, and long term memory