What will remain in teaching post-pandemic?

15th July 2021

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

What will remain in teaching post-pandemic?

Barb’s distinguished friend, MOOC maven Shigeru Miyagawa, Professor of Linguistics at MIT has given a fascinating and thought-provoking brief talk for Kent University’s lightning talk series on what influences the pandemic will leave in its wake when it comes to teaching.  

Barb on “Talking to Teens”

Here’s Barb speaking Andy Earle on the popular podcast “Talking to Teens.”  We especially like the show notes and the specific guidance on what to say to your teens that grew from the discussion—this is a quality podcast. (Incidentally, Andy is currently traveling the world and living in a different country each month.)

Learning math through play in Roblox —help your kids catch up in math this summer!

We’d like to point you toward this important new learning platform for kids: Brainika.  (Barb has consulted pro bono in the development of this wonderful platform.) To help kids develop an intuitive sense for math, the platform uses Roblox to cleverly teach fundamental concepts through spaced repletion, recall, deliberate practice, feedback, and positive reinforcement. All of these approaches are some of the best ways possible to help the brain develop mathematical intuition through the procedural system.  And Brainika’s curriculum is compliant with Common Core Standards for K to 5th grades. If you are a parent looking to use the summer to help your child catch back up on learning, check out Brainika! If you are a school teacher or an educator who uses Game-based learning and would like to use Brainika Math game in Roblox in class or for home assignments for FREE reach out to Anika@brainika.co.

Becoming an Intuitive Coder

As these pair of brilliant articles show, James Bowen, a Java, DevOps, online teacher and author, has taken the fundamental concepts of procedural and declarative learning and applied them specifically to improving one’s coding ability.  This first article is an introduction to developers of the idea, and the second article applies these ideas to the learning of Kotlin instead of Python. Ultimately, James is trying to help coders unpack the ability to recognize an opportunity consciously, but execute the skill automatically. 

James has written an ebook for new starters in the world of software development that’s available on GumRoad with a 30% discount for LHTH folk via the link. (Here is a free sample so you can check it out.)  

Defining the skills citizens will need in the future world of work

This McKinsey analysis, based on a survey of 18,000 people in 15 countries identified a set of 56 foundational skills that will benefit all citizens and showed that higher proficiency in them is already associated with a higher likelihood of employment, higher incomes, and job satisfaction. These skills are ones that governments may wish to prioritize. Of course, the question then becomes, can some of the soft skills that the report advocates teaching actually be learned with current teaching methods?  [Hat tip: Prof. dr. Nick van Dam]

Quick overview of optogenetics

This nice little article gives a good overview of the optogenetic breakthroughs that are doing so much to revolutionize our understanding of neuroscience.  [Hat tip: Victoria S.]

Elderly ‘SuperAgers’ have memory skills ‘nearly identical’ to 25-year-olds

This fascinating article provides insight, not only into how some elderly individuals are able to retain good memory function, but also how memory encoding takes place. Key graf: “‘In the visual cortex, there are populations of neurons that are selectively involved in processing different categories of images, such as faces, houses or scenes,’ notes lead study author Yuta Katsumi, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Psychiatry at MGH [Massachusetts General Hospital]. ‘This selective function of each group of neurons makes them more efficient at processing what you see and creating a distinct memory of those images, which can then easily be retrieved.’

“As one ages, that selectivity (technically called neural differentiation) tends to deteriorate. As a result, neurons that at one time primarily responded to faces may activate for other visual cues. This makes it much harder for the brain to create unique neural activation patterns for various image categories. In simpler terms, this process of neuronal diminishment is a major reason why it is so common for older adults to have trouble recalling if they’ve read, seen, or eaten something specific in the past.”

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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