You Look Like a Thing and I Love You

19th November 2020

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It’s Making the World a Weirder Place, by Janelle Shane.  Shane is a Colorado-based artificial intelligence researcher who makes computer-controlled holograms for studying the brain. She also runs the blog AI Weirdness, where she writes about “the sometimes hilarious, sometimes unsettling ways that machine learning algorithms get things wrong.”  Shane knows her stuff, and she’s also hysterically funny—a rare, killer combo of talents for an author.  If you’ve ever wondered about how machine learning and artificial intelligence works, this book is for you. And if you’re an expert on machine learning and artificial intelligence, but want to learn more about its bizarre antics and foibles, this book is also for you. We love the simple, bizarre illustrations, but this is also a surprisingly good book for listening. Enjoy!

Barb at SXSW—with Your Help!

Barb is planning to share insights on how to engage zoom-fatigued students at @SXSWEdu in March. She needs your help with getting the talk selected. Please upvote Barb’s two panels today—the last day of voting!

Learn to Solve a 3X3 Rubik’s Cube

Four time US Memory champion Nelson Dellis is back with a video on solving a Rubik’s Cubeblindfolded! And don’t forget Nelson’s terrific books on memory: 

The Learning Ideas Conference

One of Barb’s favorite conferences, filled with friendly people and fascinating ideas, is the International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace (ICELW), now in its 14th year. In keeping with its innovative nature, the conference is changing its name and expanding its audience to include higher education as well as workplace learning, and to focus more clearly on new ideas and new uses of technologyhence the new name:  “The Learning Ideas Conference: Innovations in Learning and Technology for the Workplace and Higher Education.” It will take place June 16-18, 2021, both online and in New York. Proposals for virtual or online sessions are due by December 15.  

The University for Parents

We’ve become aware of a free resource to help parents help their families: The University for Parents. This great Atlanta-based institution focuses on “helping parent learners improve their self awareness, parenting skills, and workforce development skills so they can overcome the barriers to self sufficiency and become more empowered advocates for themselves and their children.” This program uses an “ecosystem approach to this community-restoring work with a laser focus on loosening the vicious grip of inter-generational Black poverty.” The program is also being built for replication nationwide.

Public School Enrollment Plummets, Private Schools See Gains

The nimble nature of private by comparison with public schools mean that, sadly, unequal access to quality education is increasing with the current pandemic.

The Queen’s Gambit TV series

We’ve been hearing great things about The Queen’s Gambit TV series. Along these lines James Haupert, Founder and CEO of the Center for Homeschooling, tells us:

“The Queen’s Gambit, season 1 on Netflix, is an extraordinary show.  It is set during the cold war era, about an orphaned chess prodigy Beth Harmon and her quest to become the greatest chess player in the world. While the plot is a little predictable, the sets and the clothing create a great “midcentury” (still getting used to that term) feel.

“What makes this show stand out is how they portray the chess matches. They do this in such an interesting way that even non-chess players find the action interesting, and understandable.  This show has created a great buzz about the world of chess among people who normally know nothing about it. I am amazed by how creative the productions are… I think it provides an inspiring example for all of us educators… This show proves it is possible, if done with imagination and with the audience in mind, to get people interested and excited about things they might not otherwise be interested in. Maybe there are some lessons we can extract from examining the production and storytelling that we can incorporate into our teaching?”

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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