Flicker: Your Brain on Movies

22nd July 2022

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Books of the Month

Flicker: Your Brain on Movies, by Jeffrey Zacks.  We have no idea how this magnificent book slipped under our radar when it was first published in 2014, but it’s a doozy!  Zacks is a renowned neuroscientist, but he also loves movies. The result let’s us peer into Zack’s life’s work, including an in-depth look inside movies to see what makes them work, and what makes us love them. 

Most followers of Learning How to Learn, as well as virtually all cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists are aware of working memory.  But few are aware of the importance of “event models”–the contents of working memory.  We believe the concept of event models, which Dr. Zacks helped pioneer, will become an important one in education, and particularly online education.  More about that to come in our upcoming MOOC 3 of Uncommon Sense Teaching

99 Tips for Creating Simple and Sustainable Educational Videos: A Guide for Online Teachers and Flipped Classes, by Karen Costa. This simple, upbeat, encouraging book gives a nice boost for creating simple online videos for your classes that can be used over and over again (hence the “sustainable”) part of the title.  As Costa notes: “I’m here to shout from the rooftops that videos will make your life easier! Let me explain. How many e-mails or phone calls from students do you respond to each term asking you the same questions over and over? Tons, right? I teach first-year students, often in their very first online course. They have a lot of questions, and they need almost constant support. Being a great teacher is time-consuming. What if we could support our students and save ourselves time in the process?… This time is given back to me tenfold in the time that I save from answering countless and repetitive questions term after term. I have taught with and without these videos, and I can attest to the fact that in the terms in which I use videos, I receive far fewer frequently asked question-type queries from my students, and the quality of my students’ work is much better. That means I also spend less time working with students on revisions or resubmissions, because they are more likely to get it right the first time. While creating a video might cost you 15 minutes, it will pay you back in saved time.” 

If you’re looking for a quick-to-read motivator to get you going with simple videos, this is a good book to get you started.

Jump into the “Everest Memory Masterclass”!

5-TIME USA Memory Champion and Guinness Record Holder, Nelson Dellis’ amazing “Everest Memory Masterclass” is open for registration this week! You’ll learn all the things you need to have an amazing memory for lifeyou’ll learn how to apply memory techniques to suit all the important situations in your life where memory is essential. Barb herself is in one of the bonus interviews. Nelson is limiting the size of this cohort, so make sure to check it out and sign up! Signup here.

Barb on Fast and Slow Learners 

Check out Barb’s podcast discussion of fast and slow learners with Mike Bergin, the President of Chariot Learning and Founder of TestBright, and Amy Seeley, President of Seeley Test Pros. This is a hot topic in learning, so you’ll be interested to hear the latest!

A review of good flashcard apps

Here is a nice article by Ransom Patterson of College InfoGeek of five top flashcard apps, along with discussion of the pluses and minuses of each.  At a time when learners are increasingly realizing the value of retrieval practice, this is a helpful article indeed.

Long-term effects of using the MOOC ‘Learning how to learn’ to teach learning techniques

This intriguing study provided insight into the long-term effects of using the MOOC Learning How to Learn to teach learning techniques on students’ foreign language learning behavior over a two year period.  The upshot?  As author Beate Luo concludes: “Time spent on Learning How to Learn was time well spent.”

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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