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Tagged with “learning” (21)

  1. The poetry of programming | Linda Liukas | TEDxCERN

    Linda Liukas believes that a movement in technology is already happening and that we need to engage everyone — especially the next generation — to take part. She wants to create a more diverse and colourful world of technology, starting with the poetry of code.

    Linda Liukas is a programmer, storyteller and illustrator. Her children’s book, Hello Ruby, raised a total of $380,000 on Kickstarter. She founded Rails Girls, which has organized workshops in over 230 cities, teaching the basics of programming to more than 10,000 women. Linda worked at Codeacademy, which she left to write stories that teach children about software and programming. She won the 2013 Ruby Hero prize and was named the Digital Champion of Finland by the EU Commissioner for Digital Agenda.

    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

    Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jRREn6ifEQ
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. The Student - Yesenia Perez of Intuitive Company

    Yesenia Perez Cruz is known by most as a designer but after this week we like to say she’s a designer and student. She’s had the privilege to work at great companies like Happy Cog and Intuitive Company designing websites, apps and interfaces for clients like Zappos, MTV and Chef Garces.

    In this week’s episode we spoke about learning on the job, working with talented colleagues and getting better every day. Yesenia’s had the privilege of working with someone of the Internet’s most influential developers and designers while at Happy Cog and needless to say she learned a lot. Things like the Gap concept or the Gray Box exercise. Big or small, Yesenia used all tools to grow her skills to become one of the leading designers in the industry.


    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. On Learning and Comprehension

    We often see blog posts about optimizing our images or HTML, or even our team’s work flow. But what about optimizing our comprehension? In an ever-changing industry where tools, ideas, and opinions grow exponentially, how can we keep up? This is a topic very close to my heart as somebody who is both stubbornly ambitious and also has a really terrible memory.

    Front end developers are often bombarded with so many tasks, options, and stimuli, that we end up being overwhelmed by choices, causing a complete paralysis and block to getting anything done at all. This is called option paralysis or analysis paralysis (that’s a real thing). And it doesn’t help that we work on the internet, where opening a new tab is like walking into a new room, causing us to forget what we were just focused on doing, and starting on a new stimuli instead.

    The Doorway Effect

    Tammy Everts wrote a really good blog post about this phenomenon — "The Doorway Effect" — where she relates neuroscience to the need for quick and efficient website performance. In short, the Doorway Effect explains why we can go searching for something in one room, walk into another room to look for it, and forget what we were looking for in the first place. This is due to our sensory memory, which works surprisingly similarly to a computer’s memory bank.

    This graphic demonstrates the theory of Persistence of Vision: a phenomenon where an after-image persists in human memory. A radially spinning rope is percieved as an unbroken circle if spinning faster than 100ms, while breaks are noticed when it spins slower. Sensory memory, responsible for Persistence of Vision, works in 100ms bursts. Once this time is up, we simply move on to the next sensory input to take up that space. Google’s Urz Holzle, in this talk at Velocity 2010, describes how their goal is to make web pages seamless — like they are pages in a book. He says, "we’re really aiming, something very, very, high here, at something like 100ms." Ironic? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Learning Modalities

    While there is some disagreement on whether people learn better when tailoring their experience to a particular "learning style" (AKA the "are-learning-styles-even-real?" debate), it is universally agreed upon that various stimuli do influence our ability to recall information. These stimuli come in four "modalities:" visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic.

    According to Sunni Brown’s research, in order to really comprehend information and do something with it, we must engage either two of those modalities, or any one of them paired with an emotional response. This is because memory is stored in terms of meaning, and activating multiple senses during any experience makes it more meaningful and memorable.


    Last week, Jodi Cutler responded to one of my Instagram photos of a doodle I drew in an important meeting with a link to this TED Talk. At first, I thought, "shit, I must be in trouble". But The TED Talk outlines how negative perceptions of doodling are ignorant and inconsistent with statistics based on education research.

    Doodling gets a bad reputation as something people do when they’re uninterested or unfocused, but that is far from true! According to recent neuroscience studies, people who doodle were more likely to retain information than those who did not (about 29% more to be exact). In addition to an increased retention, doodlers have proven to be more creative and spark more ideas. Drawing an image helps stimulate new images in your brain that spark ideas. Brown preaches that "doodling should be leveraged in … situations where information density is very high."

    This made me feel a lot better about my doodling, which has covered the sides of my school notes and has recently found itself creeping onto Post-Its and sketchbooks. It can be awkward, especially around new teams, where people may think you’re ignoring them or not listening. Education is key here. To further avoid distraction, I personally find that the best method for me is to doodle repetitive, geometric shapes; it keeps my body moving and my mind in a neutral state.

    The dot grid doodle from a morning meeting last week

    If you can see, the side comment in the notebook, says "Chemi’s class crits doodle page." Chemi was the professor.

    "Doodling helps you concentrate and grasp new concepts because it keeps the brain at an ideal state of arousal"

    This idea relates to a lot of the reasons why Developers Work At Night. When we’re at 100% brain power, and buzzing, we’re thinking about too many other things to concentrate on a single task. Swizec Teller’s theory of the "sleepy brain", says that we work best at night because "there isn’t enough left-over brainpower to afford losing concentration."

    Another fun fact from Teller’s book: we’re more productive in the morning, yet more creative in the evening.


    Something I just started doing lately (unlike doodling) is listening to blog posts instead of reading them. This stemmed out of my intense desire to multi-task as much as possible, and my enjoyment of the freedom that podcasts allow. I think its been working pretty well. If I really want to focus on the content, I will do both (read and listen to the same text). That way, if I get distracted and end up on another web page, there is still the auditory stimuli that keeps my sensory memory flowing (thus avoiding the "doorway effect"), and keeping me on track.

    I liked listening to my blog posts so much, that I started turning ebooks into audiobooks

    Listening also allows for that mild, ideal temperament to best retain information. One night, while relaxing and crafting holiday cards, I found myself going through 7 or 8 blog posts. The way I do this online is via a Chrome extension called Select and Speak. So blogs are a good start, but I also have several e-books on my iPad that I wish I could listen to instead of read. I discovered an app called Voice Dream Reader ($9.99) for the iPad, and have been using that to turn e-books into audiobooks. Voice Dream Reader also integrates with Pocket.

    Keep in mind, none of these are ideal solutions — TTS (Text to Speech) has a long way to go, especially when it comes to development or code-heavy posts. The screen reader trying to read code is just downright hilarious (but also very confusing/annoying). That’s why I’ve decided to provide an audio version for this post, and all future blog posts. It also makes the post less robotic to hear, since it’ll be coming from the author’s own voice. Regardless, audio works best for non-code-focused articles.

    The task you’re doing while listening is also important. For example, I can’t write while I listen to another audio source, making coding and blogging difficult. However, I do listen to blog posts while casually browsing the internet, driving, or crafting. Its a great way to passively absorb information, especially when you’ve got a long list like I do..

    Actively Avoid Your Other Tasks

    Focusing is something that I often have trouble with. I have so many ideas, so many thoughts, so many things I want to do right now! So yes, I understand how advising someone to "focus on one task" literally means nothing. However, one of my co-workers the other day told me the same thing, but from a different perspective. She said:

    Pick one thing and try not to think about any of the other things you’re not doing.

    Well, of course! That makes sense. Instead of actively trying to focus on one task, actively avoid doing other tasks. If you are making a conscious decision that It is in your best interest to put those other tasks aside, it alleviates the anxiety and guilt of not doing them.

    Distractions are doorways. Avoiding distractions (or avoiding "The Doorway Effect"), will help you in completing whatever learning you’ve begun rather than just getting lost in a tangle of disjointed links. There are a lot of tools I use to help with distractions while working.

    Self Control (the App)

    The Self Control App allows you to to block content on distracting websites (i.e. Facebook) for a set period of time. The app prevents your computer from accessing any of the sites on your self-determined "block list," reminding you to get back to focusing on the task and preventing you from falling into a black hole of distraction.

    Leverage Habituation

    Nutritional studies show that participants who ate the same food each day were more likely to lose weight than those who consumed a more varried diet (even when they ate mac & cheese every day). The researchers said "habituation" — the body’s decreasing response to a stimulus after repeated exposure to it — was the cause.

    When doing development work, listen to music that’s familiar to you. If I put on new music (i.e. someone else’s playlist), and hear something I like, I’ll end up researching lyrics, adding it to my own playlists, searching other songs by that artist, etc. You get the point. So what I’m basically saying here is, play music that won’t be an unintended distraction.

    tl;dr: Doodle at meetings, try listening to blog posts, and actively avoid unrelated tasks.

    I’m curious to hear if these tips help you out. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or tweet at me!


    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. Nicholas Negroponte: Beyond Digital - The Long Now

    In education, Negroponte explained, there’s a fundamental distinction between "instructionism" and "constructionism." "Constructionism is learning by discovery, by doing, by making. Instructionism is learning by being told." Negroponte’s lifelong friend Seymour Papert noted early on that debugging computer code is a form of "learning about learning" and taught it to young children.

    Thus in 2000 when Negroponte left the Media Lab he had founded in 1985, he set out upon the ultimate constructionist project, called "One Laptop per Child." His target is the world’s 100 million kids who are not in school because no school is available. Three million of his laptops and tablets are now loose in the world. One experiment in an Ethiopian village showed that illiterate kids can take unexplained tablets, figure them out on their own, and begin to learn to read and even program.

    In the "markets versus mission" perspective, Negroponte praised working through nonprofits because they are clearer and it is easier to partner widely with people and other organizations. He added that "start-up businesses are sucking people out of big thinking. So many minds that used to think big are now thinking small because their VCs tell them to ‘focus.’"

    As the world goes digital, Negroponte noted, you see pathologies of left over "atoms thinking." Thus newspapers imagine that paper is part of their essence, telecoms imagine that distance should cost more, and nations imagine that their physical boundaries matter. "Nationalism is the biggest disease on the planet," Negroponte said. "Nations have the wrong granularity. They’re too small to be global and too big to be local, and all they can think about is competing." He predicted that the world is well on the way to having one language, English.

    Negroponte reflected on a recent visit to a start-up called Modern Meadow, where they print meat. "You get just the steak—-no hooves and ears involved, using one percent of the water and half a percent of the land needed to get the steak from a cow." In every field we obsess on the distinction between synthetic and natural, but in a hundred years "there will be no difference between them."


    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. On Point: Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning

    A.I., artificial intelligence, has had a big run in Hollywood. The computer Hal in Kubrick’s “2001” was fiendishly smart. And plenty of robots and server farms beyond HAL. Real life A.I. has had a tougher launch over the decades. But slowly, gradually, it has certainly crept into our lives.

    Think of all the “smart” stuff around you. Now an explosion in Big Data is driving new advances in “deep learning” by computers. And there’s a new wave of excitement.

    Guests: Yann LeCun, professor of Computer Science, Neural Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York University.

    Peter Norvig, director of research at Google Inc.


    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. Flipped Model of Learning: A Podcast with Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams | November Learning



    Tagged with learning

    —Huffduffed by marshallkirkpatrick

  7. BYOD/BYOT in Schools

    Eric Curts (North Canton City Schools’ Technology Director)from The State of Tech was kind enough to point out that they have an entire podcast dedicated to this topic—BYOT/BYOD to Schools—available online: Summary: In this episode we talk about schools using Bring Your Own Technology initiatives (BYOT, BYOD, BYOL); where students bring personal laptops, tablets, smart phones, and other devices to school. We also explore practical uses, benefits, challenges, and resources. http://www.mguhlin.org/2011/10/byodbyot-podcast.html

    —Huffduffed by marshallkirkpatrick

  8. E-Learning 24/7: Mobile Learning - What You Need to Know



    —Huffduffed by marshallkirkpatrick

  9. #9: Usability. Don’t Be a Moron. — Emergent Radio

    special guest Julie “Usable Learning” Dirksen discuss usability, why you should care about it, how to start making sure your courses meet “table stakes”, and of course, Julie’s brand-new book, Design for How People Learn.


    —Huffduffed by marshallkirkpatrick

  10. ToolBar Episode #5 — Emergent Radio

    Reviewing iOS apps for learning.


    —Huffduffed by marshallkirkpatrick

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