My daily readings 09/26/2011

  • tags: learning

    • Wouldn’t that largely depend on what the topic is?

      If I want to learn a language, I’ll find a basic book on it and then grab as much native audio as I possibly can.

      If I want to learn about something in math, I’ll go to Khan Academy.

      If I want to learn about irrational decision-making in everyday life, I’ll read a book.

      And that all starts with the assumption that learning follows the waterfall method: pick what you want to learn, learn it, move on to something else. I find learning much more iterative: be intrigued by something, follow it, see what it leads. I never really decided to learn about systems thinking, but I came across the personal MBA reading list one day, thought it was fascinating, came back, picked a book that looked interesting (Thinking in Systems), and read it.

      A couple of weeks ago, I learned a great deal about writing fiction with characters of a different gender or race than you. I never set out to, but I do NaNoWriMo each year, and one of the most active posts on their forum was about “writing the other.” It fascinated me, so I followed it, and learned something for it. This, to me, is what lifelong learning looks like.

    • If you are interested in learning for retention (i.e. learning something and then being able to remember it the next week, next month, next year…) then you should look into Spaced Repetition software (search for “spaced repetition” on Wikipedia for a good overview). The software presents information in a question/answer format, like flashcards, but spaces out the repetition so that the material you need to review most you see more often, and the material that you remember well you see less often. There are several  programs available that support this form of learning including Mnemosyne, SuperMemo, and Anki.

      As for how I use the software, as I’m reading something I want to retain, I try to extract essential concepts as question/answers pairs and add them into a deck in the software. Then review the deck with the software on a regular basis (usually daily). The spacing effect provides maximum learning with a minimum time investment.

      As for choosing a topic, that’s entirely up to your personal interests. There are no shortages of posts on Hacker News listing books the readers are interested in. Search Hacker News for “good books”, go through one or more of the lists, and choose one (or more) of the books that sound interesting to you, and get started.

  • tags: flashcard learning education

    • As a professional student, I will save you all some time. The secret of studying is encompassed in three programs:

      * Anki[1] (spaced repetition[2])

      * SelfControl[3] (avoid procrastination, block websites)

      * Pink Noise[4] (block noise to study anywhere, anytime)

      [1]: http://ichi2.net/anki/

      [2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaced_repetition

      [3]: http://visitsteve.com/work/selfcontrol/

      [4]: http://simplynoise.com/

    • philfreo 334 days ago | link

       Would love to get your thoughts on Quizlet http://quizlet.com/

      —–

    • philfreo 333 days ago | link

       Point taken on the “default subjects” on the homepage – they were just meant to show off some of the most common stuff we have, but with 3 millions flashcard sets it’s not easy to show it all🙂

      LaTeX, SRS, and study reminders are all three on our ideas list. We’re making a big development push on audio first, and then are going to look more into these.

      Our “Learn Mode” keeps track of what you know and what you don’t – but only in the short term. We’d love to have better ways to help you remember things long-term.

  • Retain knowledge

    tags: flashcard

    • I read so much and retain so little. Everything new pushes out something old. Jason Calcanis might be a dick. I’m still working on my conclusion about that.
  • tags: education

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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