adult learning

Language Learning + Business Win

Luis von Ahn presents a brilliant real-life example of how the internet can be used in new ways to solve multiple problems simultaneously using massively distributed online collaboration and provide value to all participants while doing so.

This is mind-blowing from a business perspective, and world-opening from a world education, learning and language perspective. Watch, enjoy, be amazed!

(Video after the jump)

Howard Rheingold's Mini-Courses

I like the format of Howard Rheingold's new mini-courses. Topics include:

  • Infotention - a mind-machine combination of brain-powered attention skills and computer-powered information filters
  • Network Literacy
  • Introduction to Cooperation Theory
  • ...and more.

Each is a single box on the web page with tabs: videos, more videos, resources, and fresh links.

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The iPad: Articles, Info & Anecdotal

THE IPAD was quite controversial before and during its launch, and it continues to be the year after its launch. People say that it is neither a laptop nor a pocket device, therefore it is doomed to have no functional slot in society. People say it is 'locked up tight' with Apple's OS and iStore, unable to be a user-open 'general computing device.' Among other thoughts and critiques.

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Climbing the learning curve: The Breakthrough Count

I think everyone loves breakthroughs. Call them "Aha's!", or "I get it!" moments, or whatever you like, these are events that the brain loves.

Breakthrough moments are a critical part of the learning curve for new skills, like learning a new language, learning a new sport, or maybe learning a skill like computer programming or sailing.

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Shake up those neurons: Dive into Alternatives

As we get older, the brain gets more set in its ways. The neural pathways and patterns get deeper, easier to run and harder to change. "In a rut," the saying goes, although when the saying was popularized we had no idea it was so apt all the way down to the neural level.

Why do old brains get into ruts? It isn't because old neurons work differently then young neurons. It's only because we get out of practice of re-organizing the neural net. We forget to learn new things and to shake up the old neural net by finding ways in which it doesn't work well and re-wiring to fix them. Since it takes time and energy to re-org, we'd rather not re-org, if we don't have to re-org.

Ruts and re-orgs are mirrored in the social and science levels as well, since society and science is, in a way, just a product and an extension of our beliefs and neural wiring interacting with everyone else's.

Here's a neat TED talk that may be able to demonstrate an opportunity to re-org at both brain and social levels. Maybe it will shake up your neural net a little bit and give you the opportunity to re-organize your beliefs and/or thinking the way you do a spring cleaning in the garage. It also proposes a shake-up and clean-out of current scientific thinking around how humans evolved to be the way we are.

In what ways are humans different than our closest genetic relative, the ape? Do those differences offer us clues as to the history or environment that shaped those changes? Elaine Morgan says yes.

Enjoy her TED talk, "Elaine Morgan says we evolved from aquatic apes."

Elaine is hereby nominated for being my new hero. :)

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