The Gift Inside the Box

20th December 2019

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

The Gift Inside the Box, by Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant, illustrated by Diana Schoenbrun.

Adam Grant wrote one of our very favorite books, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success (which also discusses Barb’s work on Pathological Altruism.) Adam and his wife Allison have been looking for ways to help teach kids about the joy of giving. The result? The sweet-natured children’s book The Gift Inside the Box. If you’re looking for something to read together with your little one to help inspire an attitude of giving, this simple little book is a great gift. 

Artificial Intelligencethe Killer App Is Education

The New York Times has an outstanding article on artificial intelligence in education. It quotes Terry and features our very own Learning How to Learn. Key ideas:

“For years, people have tried to re-engineer learning with artificial intelligence, but it was not until the machine-learning revolution of the past seven years that real progress has been made. Slowly, algorithms are making their way into classrooms, taking over repetitive tasks like grading, optimizing coursework to fit individual student needs and revolutionizing the preparation for College Board exams like the SAT. A plethora of online courses and tutorials also have freed teachers from lecturing and allowed them to spend class time working on problem-solving with students instead….

“‘Education, I think, is going to be the killer app for deep learning,’ said Terrence Sejnowski, who runs the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and also is the president of the Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation, which each year puts on the largest machine-learning conference in the world….

“There are gatekeepers at every step,” said Dr. Sejnowski, who together with Barbara Oakley, a computer-science engineer at Michigan’s Oakland University, created a massive open online course, or MOOC, called “Learning How to Learn….”

“[Sejnowski] said that by using machine-learning systems and the internet, new education technology would bypass the gatekeepers and go directly to students in their homes. ‘Parents are figuring out that they can get much better educational lessons for their kids through the internet than they’re getting at school.’”

Computational Neurosciencea Talk by Terry Sejnowski

And speaking of Terry, here is a brief video of Terry describing extraordinary advances in computational neuroscience for CARTA – Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny.

Visual Snow Syndrome

It can be very possible to turn a seeming challenge into a beautiful positive. Just such is the case with Barb’s daughter Rachel Oakley, an artist who has turned her visual snow syndrome into fascinating art.

Tell Us About Your Experiences in Our Learning How to Learn Course

Barb’s friend, Dr. Eulho Jung from Boise State University, wants to investigate your experiences on Learning How to Learn, MOOC online course. You are invited to participate in the study—click here to enter the survey. 

Tips on Language Learning by Chris Lonsdale

Chris’s TED talk on language learning has been viewed nearly twenty million times.  After watching it, you’ll see why—it’s got many great insights. [Hat tip Harry Taylor] 

The Disarray of Studies in Nutrition

There’s evidence that good nutrition, along with exercise, provides excellent support for learning. But what is good nutrition? This interesting article from the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal provides a general overview of the disarray of nutritional studies. Key graf: “In recent years, psychology has dealt with a legitimacy crisis. Many influential psychological studies could not be reproduced by other psychologists, discrediting some key insights and weakening academic faith in the entire field.  Nutrition science has a similar problem. The loudest critics argue that the methodologies relied on by researchers give bad data that are meaningless at best. Others worry that funding gives undue influence to the federal government, big business, or influential nonprofit associations. And some critics think nutrition science focuses on the wrong questions entirely about nutrition.”

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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