Visual markers are the basic tool superlearner uses to encode information. We encode information we want to remember not only when we read, but also when we are planning, watching TV, talking, thinking or participate in any activity that generates new insights.
Jonathan explains: Edit
When we read, we create markers, which are typically mental images which we'll think about at the end of each page or chapter, depending on how much we can build up our memory. It's worth noting that not ALL markers have to be visual. A marker can be the taste of chocolate, the smell of coffee, etc. If you find that this works for you, that's great! Smell and taste are the most memorable of senses, followed by sight. Whatever type of markers we use (it will almost certainly be a mix), they will remind us of all the details we decided that we wanted to remember, and allow us to move the information from short term memory to longer term memory quickly. They also serve as landmarks on the page, which will help us know where to look if we ever need to go back for more information.
Eventually, we will be teaching you to "sight read" - you won't actually read the individual words, but teach your brain to understand them as symbols in large impressions. We will then be training the brain to change these "symbols" - written words - into memorable graphical images. Eventually, you will be able to quickly move your eyes over the text and see a series of images, which you'll then learn to store. This is much further down the line, though.
A good marker has the following elements: -It is one or two words which are highly detailed. For example, you wouldn't summarize a paragraph as "spaceship" or "moon landing" - you would think of the specific detail of that paragraph, such as Neil Armstrong, or "Buzz Aldrin." The more detailed and specific, the better. Ideally, you want to be able to remember four related items from each marker. For example, the marker Neil Armstrong should automatically remind you of Houston, Apollo 11, American Flag, and "One Small Step for Man." By using this one highly detailed marker, we are able to remember more details with fewer memory points, and we create stronger linkages between each marker or memory point. -You are able to easily and quickly convert it into an image. For example, I can convert DNA into an image of a double-helix, but I personally cannot create an image for genetics, at least not easily. -It is easy to draw the connection between one marker and the next. This way, if you forget a marker, you can easily reverse-engineer it. -If the paragraph presents a problem and a solution, or a conflict and a resolution, always choose the solution or resolution, never the question.
Choosing good, detailed markers will allow your brain to reverse-engineer the entire contents of the paragraph. This is because we are using the "bottom up" method, instead of the "top down" method that we typically use while reading. It is easier to remember one detail and then deduct how we arrived at the detail or solution. The opposite is not true; it's very easy to forget the details if we only remember generic concepts.
To give an example: we don't just think of a car - we think of a red cadillac with black leather and polished wheels. We picture the texture of the leather, the shade of red, as much detail as we possibly can.
You should try to create a marker for all "important" details such as people, dates, formulas, and events, but that isn't all. You should have 2-4 markers per paragraph, depending on the density of the material and length of the paragraph. This works out to 10-20 markers per page. You won't always create that many, and that's fine, but be mindful and try to create markers for all significant details you wish to remember.
It will take time and practice to create high quality markers quickly. You'll know your markers are improving when you are able to summarize and deduct the entire meaning of a concept, story, or text simply by recalling the markers and the mental images you've created.
Linking markers Edit
Once the students can create visual markers relatively effortlessly, the student is asked to connect several markers into a knowledge network via methods of chunking (grouping similar items together) and linking (a mental animation describing flow between two markers). Linking/chunking markers is a visualization skill of higher complexity (middle-level visualization). When the markers and links between them become extremely rich, they may be encoded into virtual worlds (high-level visualization) or something similar to wikipedia (hyper-linking).
Stylized markers Edit
While most people prefer highly vivid and detailed markers as described by Jonathan, a large minority of superlearners prefer highly stylized markers. The question that Lev Goldentouch asks those students is "Do you find visualizing flowcharts easy?". The stylized visual markers are mentally encoded into icons connected via lines to other icons. The details of these markers are not encoded as specific description of the object, but as dedicated flowcharts accessible by "clicking" on the "icons".