Cork Dork and love at the South Pole

19th May 2017

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Month

We give an enthusiastic thumbs up for Bianca Bosker’s fantastic book Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste. You might think that this is just a simple book about wine tasting.  It’s not. Or rather, it is about wine tasting, but it is SO much more!  Much like our other favorite “immersion learning” book, Moonwalking with Einstein, Cork Dork takes you through one person’s hilariously obsessive, but scientifically-based pursuit of the development of memory.  But this time, rather than learning to memorize things like cards, number, or names, Bianca is learning to remember tastes and smells. That might seem inconsequential, but as Bianca reveals, improving your sense of taste and smell, in fact, improves all of your cognition.  Bottom’s up to this brilliant book! (Bianca also reads the Audible version; you may be able to get two free audiobooks through this link.)

The Wall Street Journal Profiles Barb

Here’s a great profile of Barb in the Wall Street Journal by editorial features editor James Taranto. James catches Barb at her casual best chatting about her life, her work with learning, and love at the South Pole Station.  If you don’t happen to have a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, here is a sizeable excerpt. Barb’s books are proving exceptionally popular — A Mind for Numbers  is currently out-of-stock on Amazon until the end of the month; get your copy of Mindshift while you can.

An Excellent Free Course to Help Learn English

If someone you know is planning to learn English as a second language, we strongly recommend Voice of America’s Let’s Learn English. There are 52 lessons, archived under the “Let’s Learn English” tab at the top of the web page. Just to look at the cover image of the first video is to start laughing! In addition, VoA is working on a new series for intermediate learners that will be released in the fall. [Hat tip, Dustin Stephenson-Reynolds, Bilingual Producer, VOA Learning English]

MOOC update

If you’d like to get an overall snapshot of trends in general online learning in higher education, you may wish to take a look at this article — “Who’s Up and Who’s Down in Online Education?” by Goldie Blumenstyk. Goldie notes: “In 2015, more than six million students — nearly 30 percent of college students — took at least one course online. Nearly half of those students took courses exclusively online.” [Hat tip, our friend Karen Maeyens at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín.]

A Stanford Researcher’s 15-minute Study Hack Lifts B+ Students into the As

This outstanding article by Jenny Anderson at Quartz gives a great overview of research that reveals how thinking about your learning can actually improve your learning.

The Value of Rereading Books

Here’s an interesting blog post/podcast by memory expert Anthony Metivier with 11 reasons why we should reread books.  Enjoy!  

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
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