Cheery Friday Greetings from Learning How to Learn! Jun 10, 2016

10th January 2017

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

A reminder about Process versus Product

Learning How to Learner Anirudh Varanasi has written an insightful essay about “Focusing on Process rather than Product.” Who knew that losing at water basketball could produce such insight?

No Pay MBA

Learner Laurie Pickard has taken on the order of 30 MOOCs as part of a project to complete an education equivalent to an MBA. She calls the project the “No-Pay MBA,” and she has been blogging about it at since late 2013. If you’re interested in doing something similar, check out Laurie’s blog!

Creating a Data Science Masters from MOOCs

In a similar vein, David Venturi is happily becoming a data scientist—and saving himself a heap of money—by dropping out of one of Canada’s top computer science programs and instead creating his own data science masters degree. Here’s how he did it. Clearly there’s growing opportunity to creatively do advanced studies in a flexible, inexpensive way.

Class Central’s Analysis of Books versus MOOCs

The third part of MOOC analysis site Class Central’s interview about MOOCs versus books, featuring Raj Raghunathan (“Dr. Happy Smarts”), has just been published. Writer Charlie Chung does a terrific job of contrasting the two very different book-MOOC mediums—the entire 3-part series is well worth your while. (Incidentally, feel free to leave a review of Learning How to Learn at the Class Central website.)

Barb’s interview at the Antigua Forum

In January, Barb was lucky enough to attend the Antigua Forum in Antigua, Guatemala. Here is her wide-ranging interview, as produced by the Universidad Francisco Marroquín. You’ll learn Barb’s insights on the future of MOOCs, teaching people how to learn, and her research on the best ways to help others.


Barb’s Quora session, where she answered top-voted questions about learning, fear of public speaking, and MOOCs, went beautifully. Some of her answers were also posted in places like Inc and the Huffington Post. You can find Barb’s complete set of answers here. (Feel free to vote them up if you like!)

Book of the Month!

Every once in awhile, we encounter an extraordinarily insightful book on learning. This past week, we’ve had the opportunity to read the phenomenal book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool. This is the best book we’ve ever read about learning. If you want to improve your abilities in virtually any area, or help your kids to do better, you couldn’t do better than to read this important book. Incidentally, what Ericsson refers to as “mental representations” is analogous to what we in Learning How to Learn call “neural chunks.” Notice that Barb’s Quora answer about the most important technique in learning is right in line with Ericsson’s findings—we just use slightly different terminologies.

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

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