Reader Come Home

25th July 2019

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week 

Reader Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World, by Maryanne Wolf. 

This lovely book uses metaphors to convey the extraordinary complexity of what happens when we read—and to describe how important it is to pause and read deeply.  As Wolf notes: “whenever we name even a single letter, we are activating entire networks of specific neuronal groups in the visual cortex, which correspond to entire networks of equally specific language-based cell groups, which correspond to networks of specific articulatory-motor cell groups—all with millisecond precision. 

“It takes years for deep-reading processes to be formed, and as a society we need to be sure that we are vigilant about their development in our young from a very early age. It takes daily vigilance by us, the expert readers of our society, to choose to expend the extra milliseconds needed to maintain deep reading over time.”

This is a book well worth reading, if only to remind us of the value of reading slowly and deeply.

Barb back in Australia in Jan-Feb 2020; and China and Korea in AprilWould You Like Her to Speak for Your Institution?

Yes, by popular demand, Barb will be returning to Australia in January and February of 2020 as one of Saxton Speaker’s Bureau elite group of traveling speakers who will be visiting Australia and Australasia this coming year, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, and other cities. She will also be in China to keynote for the East Asia Cambridge School Conference, April 18-19, 2020 in Wuxi, China; and from there she’ll be going on to South Korea.  Would you like Barb to speak for your company, university, or school? If so, please contact Saxton at 1300 799 823 or Hurry, before her few availabilities are taken!

The Making of the MOOC Learning How to Learn

Here’s a perspective by Barb for the npj Science of Learning blog on why Terry and she created Learning How to Learn, and what it felt like as filming for the MOOC first began. As Barb notes: “Initially, our Detroit area videotaping efforts were a disaster. I was so terrified of the camera that I looked like I was staring down the barrel of a shotgun. My voice would break, the audio would rustle, the lighting was too dim or too bright, pearls clanked against the microphone, lawnmowers erupted in the neighboring backyard, an errant buzzing fly would land on my nose. Back we’d go, take after take. ‘Is anyone ever even going to watch this?’ we wondered.” As they say, read the whole thing.

An Inspiring Message from a LHTLer with a Learning Disability and ADHD

We received this note from a dental student:

“I wanted to write and say thank you. A little over a year and a half ago, I completed your ‘Learning How to Learn’ course and read your book, A Mind for Numbers.

Today’s note came about because I can say with full confidence, and without hyperbole, your works changed my life.

A little background: When I was in 1st grade I was diagnosed with a learning disability and ADHD. I was lucky to have a family that could support and advocate for me, but I still struggled throughout my academic career. I read your book and took your course before matriculating to Dental School because I was so afraid of not being able to keep up with the curriculum, especially after taking a gap year.

The first two years is a really challenging curriculum. In addition to the basic medical sciences, students are expected to learn microsurgery skills (think fractions of mm) with a drill and restorative materials. In short, it’s been a nutty experience in learning both in the lecture hall and simulation lab.

Despite the challenges, personal and situational, I’m near the top of my class, and it is because of the application of these principles of learning you talk about in your book and course. It’s been a ‘graceful’ experience, free of all-nighters and feelings of inadequacy.

Due to my performance, I was given the opportunity to participate in a research experience this summer where I am working with my school’s pipeline program for minority and disadvantaged students. Talking to my mentor about your book and how I applied it in my studies, she asked that I share “A Mind for Numbers” and my experience with it with the students in the program. They are all reading it for the program and we have a discussion scheduled for next week.

I’ve enjoyed sharing your work so much, and I am really considering a career in education because of this experience

Don’t forgetBarb in Spearfish, South Dakota

Barb’s meetup is at 10:00 am on Saturday, July 27 at Blackbird Espresso, 503 N Main St, Spearfish, South Dakota.  If you’re in the Wyoming-Dakota area, come and have a cuppa, and share delight in learning!

Black Pen, Red Pen Mathematics 

We’ve heard great things about Black Pen – Red Pen: Math for Fun, a set of videos to teach math by  Steve Chow at Pierce College, Woodland Hills, CA. Want to learn some calculus? Give Black Pen – Red Pen a try!

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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