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Fortnightly Links no.1

Every fortnight (two weeks) our editor sends along a few links with the most noteworthy quote from each article, a way of keeping our team abreast of what’s going on in the world around peer-learning, collective learning and knowledge sharing. We decided to share them alongside the magazine.
You can read them here or subscribe to the Tinyletter and get them straight to your inbox.


Peer Learning + Ground Game = Mozilla Clubs

An inside look at how Mozilla is thinking of its Mozilla Clubs, includes a good intro to a few forms of “peer learning”.


A Peek into Silicon Valley’s Newest Bet: AltSchool

Not that innovative in terms of what actually goes on in those “école alternative” but interesting for the fact it’s viewed and operates as a startups and the interface / software behind is as much the product / service as the schools themselves. Also interesting for the use of “playlists” as the path of each student. Interesting metaphor / angle.


The Cognitive Benefits of Doodling

A picture that’s utterly hideous may still have taught the creator something significant. Learning, not aesthetic sophistication, is the goal. Brown isn’t keen on “highly skillful doodlers” because she thinks visual language should be open to those who lack the talent or ability. In her role as doodle advocate, Brown believes that to make the practice into something that requires savvy would be as dangerous as suggesting that only people who excel at writing should ever compose sentences.


What It Takes To Change Your Brain’s Patterns After Age 25

While you’ll never learn and change as quickly and easily as you once could, you’re also not stuck with your thought patterns from your childhood … ways in which people can keep their brain agile—and become a better leader.

Focused Attention, Deliberate Repetition And Practice, The Right Environment


How Should We Learn?

Yet, these companies have barely started to build platforms for purpose-driven learning.

We have mostly neglected building up the more fundamental skill of simply learning what information is invaluable, merely valuable, and useless in a field.


Here’s Why Nothing Prepares You For The 21st Century Like A Liberal Arts Education

What a liberal education at its best does—and it really does this much better, I believe, than…let’s just call it an Asian style of education for now, even though that is a simplification—is to allow people to range widely, to read widely, to explore their passions. Let one interest lead to another and on and on. I think that kind of breadth and the ability to feed your curiosity and indulge is incredibly important. It’s what, now in the corporate world, one would call synergy, or out of the box thinking, or the intersection of disciplines. This has always been a central part of what a liberal education has meant.

Extras

Inadvertent dinosaurs

Underneath this question of empathy and responsibility in design is the question of normative systems. We humans have a deep need to fit into a group or community – it’s part of our evolutionary biology. A side effect of this is a tendency toward the normative when we design systems for mass consumption. But as technology permeates an ever larger proportion of our lives, this leaves less and less room for individuality. We (intentionally or not) lock our users into the patterns that we deem acceptable, and those who don’t fit are called outliers or edge cases and broadly ignored. That may be ok if you’re making something that’s optional, but increasingly we’re talking about systems – city infrastructure, home utilities, wearable medical technology – that will be difficult to avoid. Do we want to relegate those who fall outside the norm to the sidelines? Do we have the right to do so?

And

Software Above the Level of a Single Man

“Useful software written above the level of the single device will command high margins for a long time to come.”

That still seems true. But, as software really moves into the world, really needs to be built for people other than the people who mostly build it, I’d also argue that –

Useful software written above the level of the single man will command high margins for a long time to come.

 


Patrick Tanguay

Editor-in-Chief for E-180 Publications. Obsessively curious transdisciplinary thinker and learner. I help connect people and ideas.