background preloader

Don’t Go Back to School: How to Fuel the Internal Engine of Learning

Don’t Go Back to School: How to Fuel the Internal Engine of Learning
by Maria Popova “When you step away from the prepackaged structure of traditional education, you’ll discover that there are many more ways to learn outside school than within.” “The present education system is the trampling of the herd,” legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright lamented in 1956. Half a century later, I started Brain Pickings in large part out of frustration and disappointment with my trampling experience of our culturally fetishized “Ivy League education.” I found myself intellectually and creatively unstimulated by the industrialized model of the large lecture hall, the PowerPoint presentations, the standardized tests assessing my rote memorization of facts rather than my ability to transmute that factual knowledge into a pattern-recognition mechanism that connects different disciplines to cultivate wisdom about how the world works and a moral lens on how it should work. People who forgo school build their own infrastructures. I learned how to teach myself.

Related:  Effective learning

The complete guide to taking notes effectively at work - Quartz Often, you’ll hear people say that you should “trust your instincts” when making decisions. But are first instincts always the best? Psychological research has shown many times that no, they are often no better—and in many cases worse—than a revision or change. Despite enormous popular belief that first instincts are special, dozens of experiments have found that they are not. While that may be a useful fact to bring up in an academic discussion, anyone who has ever made a decision in real life will undoubtedly reply: But I remember times when I made a correct choice, then changed my mind and was wrong. Clay Christensen takes closer look at how online learning will disrupt K-12 education When you first hear disruptive economics guru Clayton Christensen’s prediction that by 2019 half of all K-12 classes will be taught online, it’s easy to wonder if brick-and-mortar schools as we know them are on their way out. But a new study released Thursday from his think tank, the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, depicts a future of education, particularly at the elementary school level, that isn’t nearly as stark as that. The paper, which refines theories on blended learning Christensen and his colleagues have laid out in the book “Disrupting Class” and other studies, introduces the idea of hybrid innovation. While Christensen’s famous theory of innovation mostly focuses on disruptive and sustaining innovations, the new paper offers the concept of the hybrid. Often, the researchers argue, sectors experiencing disruption go through an extended phase in which old and new technology exist side by side, providing “the best of both worlds.”

Smoke and mirrors mask corruption at Pennsylvania’s largest cyber-charter school By Carmel DeAmicis On August 26, 2013 For the last decade, cyber charter schools have been springing up all over the country. Cyber schools give classes over the Internet to students in grades K-12, who get their education entirely online instead of in a brick-and-mortar location. Despite the lack of research into these schools’ educational quality, in recent years some states have removed limitations to their growth.

5 Steps to a Clearer Mind d13/Shutterstock Have you ever tried working on a project only to find thoughts from all the other areas of your life intruding in your mind, making it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand? This kind of distracted state can be debilitating. It might be a sign that you have ADD and could benefit from any of a number of treatment options or coping strategies. It might be a sign of other problems as well. But there’s a very good chance that you’ve simply acquired too many open loops in your mind, and you can get long-lasting relief within the hour.

Nathan Heller: Is College Moving Online? Gregory Nagy, a professor of classical Greek literature at Harvard, is a gentle academic of the sort who, asked about the future, will begin speaking of Homer and the battles of the distant past. At seventy, he has owlish eyes, a flared Hungarian nose, and a tendency to gesture broadly with the flat palms of his hands. He wears the crisp white shirts and dark blazers that have replaced tweed as the raiment of the academic caste. His hair, also white, often looks manhandled by the Boston wind. Where some scholars are gnomic in style, Nagy piles his sentences high with thin-sliced exposition. (“There are about ten passages—and by passages I simply mean a selected text, and these passages are meant for close reading, and sometimes I’ll be referring to these passages as texts, or focus passages, but you’ll know I mean the same thing—and each one of these requires close reading!”)

What You Need to Know About MOOCs - Technology We'll be updating this page regularly.Please check back for updates. Call it the year of the mega-class. Colleges and professors have rushed to try a new form of online teaching known as MOOCs—short for "massive open online courses." The courses raise questions about the future of teaching, the value of a degree, and the effect technology will have on how colleges operate.

How to Stop Being Lazy and Get More Done: 5 Expert Tips Some days the to-do list seems bottomless. Just looking at it is exhausting. We all want to know how to stop being lazy and get more done. I certainly want the answer. So I decided to call a friend who manages to do this — and more. Cal Newport impresses the heck out of me. Open online courses – an avalanche that might just get stopped These days there are plenty of prophets preaching hi-tech and digital solutions to the problems of expanding access to knowledge and higher education. Barely a week goes by without some new hymn to education technology, open-source software or open-access publishing. In the US, the growing chorus for online education through massive open online courses, or moocs, has been deafening. But in Britain, it has barely registered. Last December, the commercial launch of the Open University's mooc platform, FutureLearn, attracted the participation of a dozen universities and the support of David Willetts, but little response from Britain's beleaguered academics. No wonder that last month Sir Michael Barber, the chief education adviser of Pearson, the world's largest profit-making education provider, proclaimed that universities were powerless to stop the online avalanche.

Applying Cognitive Psychology to Enhance Educational Practice Edssential article from Robert Bjork : The primary goal of this research, which is funded by the James S. McDonnell foundation, is to promote learning and memory performance within educational contexts through the investigation of principles in cognitive psychology. Studies address issues of transfer-appropriate and material-appropriate processing between encoding and retrieval. Applying tests in order to enhance learning and determining the desirable amount and timing of feedback regarding an individual’s memory performance are methods that are currently under investigation.

ed_tech_promoters_need_to_realize_we_re_not_all_autodidacts Photo by Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters When Bill Gates was still a teenager, he would sneak out of his family’s house before dawn and ride his bike to a building on the campus of the University of Washington. He had discovered that the university’s huge supercomputers were idle between the hours of 3 and 6 in the morning, allowing the budding computer enthusiast to teach himself how to program—night after night, until the sun came up. At a young age, Gates was already an autodidact, someone compelled to learn for himself what he needed to know. Over the course of his life, Gates has maintained this habit: He dropped out of college after two years, but he has continued his education through incessant reading and conversing. Michael Specter, a New Yorker writer who profiled Gates for the magazine, has said that the Microsoft founder “is one of these autodidacts who reads, reads, reads.

I’m having a blogsistential crisis! I am a blogger. And I am an academic. But am I an academic blogger? Lynne Murphy‘s blog began life as a ‘limbering up exercise’ before she wrote work for peer-review. A somewhat accidental academic blogger, she notes that her online presence has become part of her professional profile… even if it occassionally serves as a distraction. Lynne also questions whether she is working for the University when she blogs, but doubts a future model of higher education that involves timetabling blog time for academics. I’m not sure that I would have agreed to write a post for the LSE Impact blog if I had known that it would send me into the depths of a blogsistential crisis. But here I am: I am a blogger.

The 3 Most Important Words You Should Learn Right Now 36 Flares 36 Flares × One thing I’ve learned at Buffer is that being open to not knowing things seems to be the best way to learn quickly and teach others at the same time. So many of our biggest hits on the blog have come from saying, “We don’t know the answer.