Cheery Friday Greetings from Learning How to Learn Dec 11, 2015

5th January 2017

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Do You Have a Poor Working Memory? It Can Be an Asset!

A poor working memory can actually help you attain critical “aha” type insights more easily—read this illuminating article: “The Reason Smart People Sometimes Struggle with “Aha” Moments.”

Odds and Ends: A cool productivity tool and a nice article about MOOC trends

We like learning about anything that helps with productivity (so we have more time for diffuse mode relaxation 🙂 ). A new Windows-based tool we’ve fallen in love with is called “Breevy.” It allows you to easily insert phrases you have to retype all the time into whatever document you might like—emails, a Google doc, Word. On another topic, here’s a nice article about “MOOC Trends in 2015: Rise of Self Paced Courses.”

Help with Translating Learning How to Learn

The number of languages Learning How to Learn has captions for is growing rapidly! If you’d like to help with translating Learning How to Learn into your favorite language, please sign up for the Coursera Global Translator Community (GTC). Once you’re signed up with a Transifex account, just make sure you’re logged in to Transifex and you should then be able to find the translation project for Learning How to Learn here. If you have a problem, just email Barb at There’s a particular call for translation into Punjabi and Tswana (both languages were just added for us to be able to use them on the GTC), as well as into Indonesian (Barb was just in Jakarta!).

This Week’s Reading (and Gaming!) Recommendations

As Learning How to Learners know, metaphor and analogy can improve our ability to grasp difficult ideas in math and science. But they also underpin the greatest literature, both fiction and non-fiction. If you want to be bowled over by extraordinary metaphor in fiction, it would be hard to do better than Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses. (Truth be told, Barb’s a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy. One of the highlights of her decade was spending the day together in Santa Fe with him—he’s as unpretentious and kind a person as you could possibly imagine.) In non-fiction, Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit, about one of the greatest racehorses in history, has some of the best writing this side of the solar system. As you might have guessed, Barb is a big fan of horses—her “gamification” effort to help kids have fun while they learn about horses has become a classic board game: Herd Your Horses.

Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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