The Bottleneck Rules

15th February 2019

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

This week, we read the simple The Bottleneck Rules: How To Get More Done at Work, Without Working Harder, by Clarke Ching. This is a short, quick read that gives plenty of examples of bottlenecks (we’ll never look at lines in a coffee shop—or elsewhere—in the same way). Bottleneck Rules gets to some of the key ideas of the theory of constraints much more quickly than the famous The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement; at the same time, Clarke’s breezy style makes the book altogether fun. [Hat tip: José António Basto]

Do Stimulants Really Make the Brain Work Better?

Stimulants are something students sometimes look towards to help them with their focus. (We’re fans of caffeine, but that’s as far as we go.)  This article in Psychology Today by Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D., interviewing well-known neuroscientist Martha Farah, explores whether stimulants like methylphenidate (Ritalin) and mixed amphetamine salts (Adderall) really work to help you in your learning. When Martha and her colleagues “set out to explore the effects of stimulants on college students’ performance, they wondered not if the drugs would enhance cognitive ability but rather how big the effect would be, and whether certain mental abilities would be affected more than others. What they found was something quite different.”

Barb’s Cheery Welcome to “Tao of Learning” LearnersA Special Chinese Version of Learning How to Learn!
The Chinese version of “Tao of Learning (TOL)” was created by two “landing” instructors in Greater China—Kenzen Chen and Moo Ming Poo—along with Barb and Terry. TOL is tri-annually offered on XuetangX, CNMOOC, NetEase, and ewant, the major Greater Chinese MOOC platforms. College students may earn general education credits by completing TOL online (institutional rules apply). To welcome Chinese learners in the spring of 2019, Barb took an exciting video moment to say hi to all TOLers—check out her cheery greetings (and Kenzen’s, too)! (Note how the Taiwanese production crew—her favorite team member “Mushroom” in particular—got Barb all dolled up Chinese make-up style!)

Do You Want to Discover What Actually Works in Education?

Then you’ll want to check out the What Works Clearinghouse, which reviews existing research on different programs, products, practices, and policies in education. The goal of the Clearinghouse is to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. The Clearinghouse focuses on the results from high-quality research to answer the question “What works in education?”

All too often, teachers have programs or practices foisted upon them that have little or no backup research that supports their use—this clearinghouse gives tools to explore when you might be having a funny feeling about whether some new innovation in education is based on a solid research foundation or a fad.  Well worth exploring.

Nearly All Teens in the US Are Short on Sleep

Parents could have already told you what this important study found.

A Collection of Free, In-Depth Book Summaries From Arthur Worsley over at FASTER TO MASTER

We’ve been following Arthur’s growing list of book summaries over at FASTER TO MASTER ever since his first excellent synthesis of our very own A Mind For Numbers. We love that they’re all free to read. And also that he’s just released a free 10-step cheat sheet of the exact process he uses to write them! Expert Tip: In the “Learn Faster” section of the site you’ll find Google’s top-ranked reading list of books on “Learning How to Learn” (with plenty of summaries). Read more here.

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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