Learntofish's Blog

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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Teaching kids the growth mindset

Posted by Ed on September 16, 2018

Today I’ve read an interesting article on Scientific American with the title The Secret to Raising Smart Kids. It is about teaching kids to have a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset.

With a fixed mindset you believe that your skills depend on your innate talent and abilities that you are born with. A growth mindset on the other hand emphasizes the belief that you can improve and learn.

Here is a concrete example on what this means. Alice and Bob are two students in school, and they have to solve a problem. Bob with a fixed mindset has difficulties, and believes that he is not talented enough, and frustrated he gives up. Alice with the growth mindset also has difficulties, however it never occurs to her that she is not talented. She is convinced that she can improve.

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Air Force to software engineer – an inspiring story

Posted by Ed on March 28, 2018

Read this story by Jordan D. Jackson, an Air Force vet, that became a sofware engineer. Despite not having any coding experience his persistence landed him a job at twitter.

He used websites such as FreeCodeCamp, CodeAcademy, TheOdinProject, CodeSchool and Hackerrank to teach himself programming. He also began networking and met the right people at the right time.

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Try Linux with these simple steps

Posted by Ed on March 26, 2016

Have you ever wanted to try Linux? Here is how you can do it, and all you need is a USB memory stick. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sugata Mitra’s new experiments in self-teaching

Posted by Ed on December 3, 2013

Here is a great TED talk by Sugata Mitra about giving children the possibility to learn with a computer. He found out that they will teach themselves and each other.

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Learn to read chinese with ease (TED talk)

Posted by Ed on December 3, 2013

Here is a great TED talk by ShaoLan that gets you started on learning chinese characters. ShaoLan cleverly uses pictures to create mnemonics for the chinese symbols.

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Free Online Courses by top Universities

Posted by Ed on March 29, 2013

Check out Coursera and Udacity. Both platforms offer courses online by top universities, and you can enroll for them for free!

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Wallstreet Journal articles

Posted by Ed on November 9, 2012

Recently, I’ve been reading the Wallstreet Journal. I particularly enjoy reading the section on life, health and work at the end. Here are two articles that I like:

Some Don’t Live to Earn, but Earn to Live By RHEA WESSEL
Self-Help for Skeptics By ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN

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Frankfurter Buchmesse – report and tipps

Posted by Ed on October 15, 2012

This weekend I went to the Frankfurter Buchmesse (Frankfurt book fair). Here is a little report: The book fair started on October 10 and lasted till October 14. Only on Saturday and Sunday it was open for the broad audience. First let me tell you that the halls are really huuuuge. It is almost impossible to view everything on a single day which is why I visited the book fair on Saturday and Sunday.

Also, I apologize in advance for writing so many things in detail that seem to be pointless but they will be a reminder for next year.

Saturday, October 13:

– From Frankfurt Main Hauptbahnhof I took the U4 to Frankfurt Messe.

– I arrived at the Frankfurt Messe where the book fair takes place at 13:30. There are two entrances. Just follow the mob that is probably also on its way to the book fair.

– When you reach the building inside you have to take the escalator to the first floor. Only there you can buy a ticket. A day ticket costs 16€, but you get a discount if you are a student or retiree. I only paid 10€ because I’m enrolled as a university student. Otherwise you can also buy a weekend ticket for 22€.

– Important: Take a bag or backpack with you. I forgot to take one with me on Saturday and bought some books. You can imagine how annoying it is to carry the books that you have just bought in one hand while trying to view more books. Also, I recommend using a backpack because you will eventually go to the toilet, and the backpack is a good place to store your bought items.

– I focused on halls 3.0, 3.1, 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2. Each hall is divided in long stripes that are denoted alphabetically (A to L). What I did was I started from A and moved through all stripes till L. Needless to say that it is overwhelming. Basically, at some point I just tried to soak all the information through my eyes while looking left and right.

– Be prepared to walk slowly. In fact you have to because there are so many people. I found that I could switch the halls very quickly when I took the back escalators (not the front ones where all the people are).

– You can buy food at the book fair. From sandwiches to ice cream, everything is there. However, it is also expensive. I bought a sandwich for 3,20€ and a bottle of water for 2,70€ on Sunday.

– I bought two books from Tibia Press. At their booth they had these interesting looking books called infocomics. that explained things in a graphical way. The booth exhibitor then explained that they translated them from English, where the original name is “Introducing , a graphical guide”. I bought these two books:
1. Quantentheorie (quantum theory) and 2. Ökonomie (economy).

– There were at least 3 booths that sold special post cards with either a 3D look or moving effect. With the 3D look you had the the feeling that the objects had depth similar to a hologram. Have a look at this video showing a lenticular 3D postcard. The moving ones looked like this. I bought 5 postcards for 10 Euro.

– I saw Tim Mälzer (a famous German cook) cooking live.

– Alot of people in costumes (cosplayers) wearing crazy monster suits, dragon tails, swords, blue and pink dyed hair and makeup.

– There was this cool booth by the physicists from CERN reporting about the Higgs boson. One guy was a computer engineer who set up two kinect sensors orthogonally to capture your body. So, as you move between the kinect sensors you could see your 3D body shape on a projector screen.

– A demonstration of a 3D cyber classroom. We visitors had to wear polarized glasses to see the animation in 3D (similar to a cinema). The presenter showed us a realtime animated view of the human ear and explained how it works. The company that build the system is VISENSO. What I found interesting is that he used a wiimote motion plus controller for the presentation. This makes sense to keep the costs of the system low.

Smartboards which are electronic boards.

– The book fair closed at 18:30. I always forget how to get back to the subway U4. Just ask the information desk.

– At the end of the day my feet and legs hurt from standing and walking so long, but it was definitely worth.

Saturday, October 14:

– Although my legs were a little sore I went back to the book fair on Sunday, the last day.

– This time I went straight ahead to hall 3.0 and 3.1 to buy some piano books. I bought 3 books at the Schott booth (Klavier spielen – mein schönstes Hobby 1,2 and Die Zauberflöte: Ein deutsches Singspiel in zwei Akten. KV 620. Klavier. (Klassische Meisterwerke zum Kennenlernen)). Unfortunately, they didn’t have any bags left where I could put my 3 books. Fortunately, I learned from Saturday and brought my backpack with me.
– At the Schott booth they also had an iPad with a music note playing app. I can imagine this to be useful for sight reading.

– I looked at some of the eInk ebook readers.

– At the Brockhaus booth they had these books called Literaturcomics. These are comics that illustrate famous literature, e.g. Odysee, Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Don Quijote. The books looked really interesting.

– At the Franzis booth they had some educational material for people interested in electronics such as the Arduino learning package and a microcontroller.

– At 17:30 a woman announced on the speakers that the Frankfurter Buchmesse is closed upon which all visitors applauded. I love that moment because it remembers me that it was a great experience but it also makes me a little sad that it’s already over. I already look forward to the next year.

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Inspiring advice from Marissa Mayer

Posted by Ed on December 27, 2011

Watch the inspiring commencement given by Marissa Mayer below.  She is vice-president for search products and user experience at Google.


Advice from Marissa Mayer:

1. Find something you are really passionate about.

2. “It’s not what Zoon knows but how Zoon thinks”
Knowledge is not as important as the ability to view things in a different way.
Become a good problem solver instead of a memorizer.

3. Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.

4. Find allies rather than adorers.

5. Find the courage to do things you are not ready to do.

6. Find places where you are comfortable.

7. Help other find things. Be an information foundtain.

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Fear Is the Mind-Killer

Posted by Ed on December 27, 2011


After having watched the video above one of the youtube commenters posted something interesting:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

I looked it up and found out that it’s from Dune, also known as Litany against Fear.

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