7th December 2018
Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!
Book of the Year
Our very favorite, most highly recommended book this year is Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. This book ranks amongst our favorite biographies ever. Boyd was a genius level iconoclast (with a measured IQ of 90), and a rebel of the first order, who changed the military’s approach to war and saved countless lives while he was at it. Boyd took on idiocy where ever he found it, whether with bombastic Pentagon generals who were happy to fake important tests, or those who thought they could outgun him in the air. Boyd was so witty, engaging, and fearless in tackling new approaches, and the research behind this extraordinary biography is so artfully done, that it’s a “can’t miss” book for anyone who loves rebels and reading. OODA away!
Hit Lit! Top Books of 2018 for Learning How to Learners!
Here are the books and tools that LHTLers have found to be most useful this year (not counting our own Learning How to Learn, A Mind for Numbers, Mindshift, and The Deep Learning Revolution, which of course ranked at the top!)
- Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate Into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation
- How to Traumatize Your Children: 7 Proven Methods to Help You Screw Up Your Kids Deliberately and with Skill
LHTLers also find the following learning tools to be perennially useful:
- Palomino Blackwing Pencils (Barb’s favorites)
How to Memorize a Phone number Without Using a System
4-Time memory champion Nelson Dellis is back with another fantastic memory tips video—this one, (you guessed it), is on how to memorize a phone number without going through the contortions of learning a memory system. Enjoy!
Can we produce a MOOC like a television series?
Edna Margarita Manotas Salcedo at Colombia’s UniNorte is one of the foremost visionaries in MOOC-making today. Read her article on MOOC-making for Tec de Monterrey to get a sense of the innovative directions she is forging.
Scott Young on Effective Test-Taking
Scott needs little introduction—he’s one of the most perceptive writers about the learning process we know. If a standardized test such as the SAT, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT or any of other hundreds of more specific tests are in your future, you couldn’t do better than to read Scott’s great article on how to prepare. Graphic Novel of the Second Law of Thermodynamics—and Online Learning
We personally find the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which might be briefly summarized as “processes cause the entropy (disorder) of a system to increase”), to be of entrancing interest. (Part of the reason we couldn’t help but like Boyd!) Here’s an interesting graphic novel approach to explaining the second law, developed by a Stanford team that includes Petr Johanes, who worked on research with online learning researcher extraordinaire Larry Lagerstrom.
- Petr Johanes and Larry Lagerstrom, “Adaptive Learning: The Premise, Promise, and Pitfalls” (ASEE 2017).
- Petr Johanes and Larry Lagerstrom, “Online Videos: What Every Instructor Should Know” (ASEE 2016).
- Larry Lagerstrom, Petr Johanes, and Tee Ponsukcharoen, “The Myth of the Six-Minute Rule: Student Engagement with Online Videos” (ASEE 2015).
- Larry Lagerstrom and Petr Johanes, “Work-in-Progress: Developing Online Graduate Courses in Electrical Engineering” (ASEE 2014).
Insightful Email about Learning and the Pomodoro
Here’s an inspiring note from LHTLer Sivan Traub: “About a year ago, I came across your book A Mind for Numbers, which I practically read in one sitting… It is precisely because I have come across the topic of ‘learning’ so often and throughout my life that I am extremely appreciative and interested in what you do. One thing that your course ‘Learning how to Learn’ has helped me with is making violin practice, and basically every learning task I engage in easier and less effortful. Pomodoros have a regular place in my practicing scheme, and I am much more aware now of the importance of relieving the area of the brain doing the focused work, so stretching and push-ups have become my favorite Pomodoro-interval (the effects of which I am seeing in my increased arm strength).”
That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!
Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team
- Get the course recommended text, A Mind for Numbers!
- And Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying; A Guide for Kids and Teens. Great ideas for parents, too!