Instant Pot

19th March 2020

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

This week, we’re going to shift to a topic many people are now having to address as social distancing comes into play—how to cook and eat healthily.  Let’s start out with a gizmo you might find useful in your cooking at home, and then move on to helpful ideas for handling home, work, and learning online.

Gizmo of the Year

Normally, we don’t like kitchen gizmos. They clutter up the counter and, after not being used for a while, end up relegated to the garage.  But we love, love, love the Instant Pot. It’s a pressure cooker that doesn’t need you to be standing around fiddling with the temperature on the stove—you can instead just set it and forget it, cooking a tender beef stew in half an hour; making beans (our favorite are lima beans with Vegeta, sweet paprika, stewed tomatoes, and if desired, meat that you can brown with an onion and garlic right in the Instant Pot before pressure cooking). You can also make artichokes, brussel sprouts, or other vegetables in far less time and in a more nutritious way. Now that eating out is mostly not an option, this gizmo is fantastically helpful. You can either get a cookbook or just Google whatever you want to cook—you’ll see all sorts of recipes online, and of course, very helpful YouTube recipes.  If you don’t already have this very popular kitchen device, we think you’ll really like it.

Pandemics Should Not Halt Our Education System

This fine article by old friend of LHTL and “super-MOOCer” Ronny de Winter describes the efforts Coursera and edX are making to help make quality online content available for learners for free. Key graf: “Do you have limited access and skills to prepare qualitative online content? Can the IT infrastructure of your school not cope with the massive demand for online access? Before preparing ad hoc material in an amateurism way, that will be difficult to engage students, investigate first the excellent opportunities that already exist. helps you to find quickly the relevant courses that will save you headaches.” Remember—you do not have to reinvent the wheel in your instruction—there are already some great online materials out there that you can use to upgrade your move online!

Coursera for Campus

It’s worth specifically pointing to this article by Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda about making it a LOT easier for instructors to incorporate pre-existing online materials into their classes. “Starting today, we’ll provide every impacted university in the world with free access to our course catalog through Coursera for Campus. Universities can sign up to provide their enrolled students with access to more than 3,800 courses and 400 Specializations from Coursera’s top university and industry partners. These institutions will have access until July 31, 2020, after which we plan to provide month-to-month extensions depending on prevailing risk assessments. Students who enroll on or before July 31 will continue to have access until Sept. 30, 2020.”

Many Companies Are Using This Time to Help Their Employees Upskill by Learning How to Learn

Barb will be giving webinars for IKEA and Hunter Industries, among others, in the coming weeks.  These visionary companies know that now is an important time to provide upbeat, future-oriented insights that boost both productivity and morale. And nothing boosts morale more than knowing that a company values and supports learning. Reach out here to schedule an inspiring and practically useful live webinar for your company on how to learn effectively. 

ParentsDon’t Lose This Opportunity to Keep Your Kids Up on Their Math!

Smartick, our favorite math program for kids, has come up with a solidarity campaign for parents who really don’t know what to do with the kids at home. They have expanded their free period to 15 days to cover for those weeks with the kids at home—see the video here. 

School Canceled Because of Coronavirus? A Homeschooler Offers Some Tips

Ever thought about homeschooling? This informative article—along with the enforced isolation of the pandemic, might cause you to take this approach seriously: “COVID-19 is in the news with new cases reported every day. The list of schools, colleges, and other institutions suspending their efforts is also adding up. But there’s one education sector that may get away with minimal disruption: homeschoolers. Families that take responsibility for their kids’ education have a distinct edge in terms of flexibility and adaptability when it comes to unexpected events like … well … a worldwide pandemic that has people on edge.”

Fluent Forever dropping their 30-day subscriptions to $0

Gabriel Wyner is the author of one of our favorite books on language learning, Fluent Forever. (The Audible version is read by Gabriel himself.) Last year, he released an app that automates the method in his book, and this past Wednesday, he decided to drop his 30-day subscription price to $0 while people are stuck at home due to the pandemic. If you are looking for productive ways to spend your time, there are few things better for your mind than picking up a new language! The $0 coupon code is STUCKATHOME, and he’s put instructions on redeeming it over here

Visual Classrooms

Visual Classrooms, a research-based collaboration and discussion platform which was initially an NSF-funded project at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach at Tufts University, (meaning it is solidly research-based), is offering their platform free through July 1, 2020 due to the pandemic. Visual Classrooms provides a good way to make online discussions more interactive and visual.  It integrates with all Learning Management Systems and is also useful for classes using Zoom as a way to get students interacting and documenting their learning in the background. Check out their introductory video.

Zoom: A Tutorial

This great tutorial by George Kao also describes how to use Zoom’s breakout discussions feature, which can allow you to emulate the group activity you do in a conventional face-to-face classroom.

How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students

Here is what looks to be a useful, free course on online teaching from FutureLearn—it starts on Monday. 

Handling Online Labs

This article gives useful insights into how to bring lab courses online (one of the toughest things to do online).

Simple Tips for Better Online MeetingsCOVID-19 Edition

This article provides a nice overview from MIT on how to do online meetings better in this new, perforce online era.

How to Use Set Up and Use Google Meetings

Here’s a nice set of short videos by Oakland University’s Andrew Dimmer that quickly walk you through using Google Meetings with your students.

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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