Maps, maps, maps

28th June 2018

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

There’s something about a map that brings extraordinary meaning to what, where, and even who you are in life.  (The long and the short of it is, we’re among the map-obsessed minority known as “mapheads.”) So we couldn’t resist reading On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks, by New York Times bestselling author Simon Garfield. Simon takes readers through an insightful history of how maps and map-making unfolded over the millenia. If your sense of place isn’t complete without a map, and you’re a bit of a history buff, you will enjoy this book. (An earlier book we also enjoyed several years ago was Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks, by Ken Jennings.)

School Is Expensive. Is It Worth It?

This intriguing Weekend Interview with Bryan Caplan by James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal has a terrific description of Caplan’s signaling theory of education. “Suppose you have a bachelor’s in philosophy from Mr. Caplan’s doctoral alma mater, and you’re applying for a job somewhere other than a college philosophy department. What does the sheepskin signal? His answer is threefold: intelligence, work ethic and conformity. “Finishing a philosophy degree from Princeton—most people are not smart enough to do that,” he says. At the same time, ‘you could be very smart and still fail philosophy at Princeton, because you don’t put in the time and effort to go and pass your classes.’”

How to Do a Successful Online Learning Binge

Normally, we’re not advocates of binge learning—after all, cramming doesn’t build as good a neural structure.  But there’s some times when life intervenes and your only real option is to binge on the materials at hand. Here’s another excellent article from Pat Bowden with her recommendations for completing a MOOC when speed is your only option.

The most famous psychology study of all time was a sham
We’re always interested in psychology, and the Stanford Prison Experiment has long had our interest just because of its popularity, despite the obvious and deep-rooted flaws of the experiment.  This first-rate article by Ben Bloom, “The Lifespan of a Lie,” relates how experts have all the way along been suspicious of Zimbardo and his findings—and how Zimbardo has completely misrepresented key aspects of the experiment.  

As Bloom notes: “The appeal of the Stanford prison experiment seems to go deeper than its scientific validity, perhaps because it tells us a story about ourselves that we desperately want to believe: that we, as individuals, cannot really be held accountable for the sometimes reprehensible things we do. As troubling as it might seem to accept Zimbardo’s fallen vision of human nature, it is also profoundly liberating. It means we’re off the hook. Our actions are determined by circumstance. Our fallibility is situational. Just as the Gospel promised to absolve us of our sins if we would only believe, the SPE offered a form of redemption tailor-made for a scientific era, and we embraced it.”

If you’re a psychology enthusiast, Bloom’s article  is a must read.

29 of  the Best Flipped Classroom Apps for Highschool Teachers

There are currently over 80,000 educational apps available to teachers. So it can sometimes be tough to figure out the best.  This listing of best apps is particularly useful because it has a lot of apps that can help students create videos—something that can really boost learning on all sorts of topics, because students love to do it.

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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