Learning

6 Rules Successful People Live By to Learn Faster and Better Than Everyone Else

While we were all born with a desire to learn, somewhere along the line, many of us lose our passion for learning. The pressure to excel in life with emphasis on exam scores takes away the joy that comes from learning. Whatever the reasons, once the basics are covered, many people tend to stick with what they know.1 They also avoid the difficulty in learning something new. Successful people are so because they learn in a systematic and result-oriented way. Thus, they learn faster and better than everyone else.

Many people wonder how they can be successful. They do not know they hold within themselves everything they need to succeed.2 Successful people set rules and standards in their habits. Habits determine 95% of one’s behavior; as a result, a unique learning style. These rules incorporated into the behavior of successful people make them do things differently. They lead to a remarkable learning style that in turn makes them learn faster and better. Thus, we have compiled six rules successful people live by to learn faster and better than everyone else.

They don’t memorize information but connect things together

Human beings are capable of forming patterns and connections. Computers can perform calculations at rates of millions per seconds. We can form connections, patterns than we can memorize information. Successful people don’t memorize! Learning via connections makes learning any subject easier. It is important to make connections between ideas. Learning faster isn’t magic. It is a process of figuring out what you do when you learn well and trying to repeat that more often. It’s about avoiding the trap of memorization. Thus, successful people learn faster and better by connecting patterns in a task.

They don’t multitask when they learn

Multitasking is an unfortunate pleasure we’ve developed in this era.3 This era…

Successful People Make Self-Learning Their Daily Habit By Using These 20 Apps

When’s the last time you learned something new?

Do you motivate yourself to learn new skills, tips, and hacks, or do you prefer to let learning happen naturally or only when the need arises?

Mobile technology has created new pathways for all types of learning styles to help people discover new information however they learn best. Whether it’s performing a quick Google search on the go or getting a daily dose of brain buster exercises, there exist a multitude of free apps that can help you learn valuable new things every day.

Knowledge Is Power – Get Both With These 20 Best Apps

If you want to take initiative to teach yourself new things, these 20 apps for motivated learning styles will put you in information paradise.

Motivated learning styles aren’t just about active learning. If you’d rather sit back and listen to new ideas, the TED app gives you instant access to thousands of “TED Talks” that showcase what’s happening in various industries. These short lectures can deliver insight into new technology, discoveries, art, science, design, and a range of other topics.

Perhaps one of the biggest advancements in the history of e-learning, Coursera has teamed up with top schools like Duke, Stanford, and John Hopkins to bring you direct access to real college courses in psychology, computer science, business, and technology. Each course features pre-recorded videos, projects, and quizzes, just like you would receive inside the classroom.

Similar to Coursera, users can access higher education courses without the higher education expenses. You can enroll in courses and participate in quizzes, lectures, and assignments at your own pace.

While Khan Academy doesn’t offer authentic university courses like edX and Coursera, they do feature well-crafted educational lessons that can fuel your passion for learning. With more than 4,000 videos ready to watch in a tap’s notice, you can brush up on a variety of topics ranging from grade school math and science to art, economics, and computers.

Sometimes, you just don’t know what you don’t know. And the Fact App can show you some truly helpful information your brain has been missing. The app delivers daily fun, useful facts and questions on a variety of topics, including American economics, politics, and social circumstances that are geared towards helping you make informed decisions about the world around you.

One of the most popular brain training apps available, Lumosity features three-game sessions that target many different area of brain activity: memory, speed, problem solving, and thinking flexibility. Each day you can engage in a timed session to sharpen mental prowess and track your progress over time.

Users can access over 360 unique puzzles and games geared toward improving mental skills. The games start out easy, then become increasingly complex…

Most of Us Are Similar When We’re Small, but Then Critical Thinking Differentiates Us

From the moment we are born, the process of conditioning begins. This is a necessity of course, and is the key to our survival. Our guardians help us to feel the comfort and safety of the world outside the womb. We are guided to feed, sleep and communicate in the first days and weeks of our lives. As our cognitive skills grow and our awareness sharpens, we start to learn the ways of the people responsible for keeping us alive. Our years of learning begin even before we go out into the world to assimilate into society and join the myriad of institutions and social systems that will shape us into hopefully intelligent, independent and functioning adults.

We must learn how to collect information, assess situations and make decisions. This is called Critical Thinking and will enable us to live successful and fulfilling lives.

Critical thinking is the ability to objectively assess information in order to make sound judgement. From the smallest decisions to the most complex, this ability will determine the trajectory of our life.

Knowing how to perfect critical thinking relies on a number of traits that develop over time; by learning from example, trial and error and eventual self-determination. Identifying these traits and allowing them to become like second nature will facilitate critical thinking and studies 1 have shown that critical thinking disposition is not necessarily inhale rent, it needs to be taught, practiced, developed and perfected.

Here are ten traits of sound critical thinking skills.

Empathy

You need to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to be able to think critically. That means imaging yourself experiencing something that someone else is going through.

Impartiality

You must be able to exercise objectivity. That means looking at an issue from two opposing sides and considering all the factors in between.

Evidence

You require facts. It is no good merely hypothesizing. You need to look at proven and tested information that support various aspects of an issue or decision.

Creativity

You need to be able to think laterally. Can you come to a decision unconventionally? Sometimes, the answer is not immediately obvious and needs a diverse perspective.

Ethics

You must ask what is the benefit and the cost? Do your decisions have adverse impacts on others? Are you only advantaging yourself? What is the collateral damage if any?

Survival

You must weigh…

How to Teach Your Kids the Most Important Soft Skills That Aren’t Taught in Schools

Ever ask a teenager a question and they shove their hands in their pockets, avert their eyes and mumble some incoherent answer. It makes you irritated, maybe even suspicious, but before you jump to any conclusions, that teen may not have learned the soft skills necessary for childhood development. These set of interpersonal skills are usually not taught in schools, but learning them in childhood can prevent future problems.

Unlike hard skills, like math, reading, science and social studies, soft skills revolve around communication, relating with others, and self discipline. Like balancing a check book and figuring out a mortgage rate, these essential skills are usually learned outside the classroom from their families and peers. Sometimes these necessary soft skills aren’t learned at all.

The Soft Skills They Won’t Teach You in School

Did you think that self-confident class president learned how to schmooze his way to victory from his history class? More than likely, he learned from mimicking a family member or through a mentor. But just what exactly are these soft skills1?

Social skills may include greeting adults and peers and interaction with people outside their immediate family, peers, and adults.

Please, thank you, you’re welcome, yes ma’am, no sir. Polite manners are all soft skills that usually aren’t addressed in the school curriculum. Ever hold the door open for someone? Who taught you to do that?

Communication

How to speak to someone. How to get your point across, clear and concise, with no mumbling, no hands over the mouth, or averted eyes and slouched posture.

Listening is as important as communicating, and due to our reliance on electronics, this soft skill has fallen behind for many.

Making friends and alliances. Again, due to our technology, we rely more on texting than face to face communication, which is necessary to build good rapport with others.

Seeing things from another person’s perspective. When you face an issue from another person’s point of view, you are less likely to barge through that situation without concern of how the outcome may affect others.

Sure, you learn what 2y is in Algebra, but there are so many real life scenarios that school kids aren’t usually prepared for – like what to do when the power runs out or how to gather help from fellow employees on a difficult task. Employers often look for independent problem solvers2.

Centering around sharing, controlling emotions, such as angry outbursts or even interrupting people, self-control is a vital soft skill that should be taught from an early age.

Self Esteem/Self-Confidence

No one is born charismatic and overflowing with high self esteem. This comes from learning to be happy with yourself and realizing that ‘you are enough.

How You Can Teach Your Children Soft Skills

You taught your kids their ABC’s, how to remember their address and phone number, and how to ride a bike and now you have to teach them soft skills?! Before you tear your hair out, children learn a lot of…

How to Have an Einstein’s Brain Even If You’re Not a Natural Born Genuis

Do you ever find yourself having to read an article several times before it makes sense? How about having to revisit online tutorials again and again because they just won’t stick?

Don’t worry… you’re not alone and you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at Cognitive Load Theory and discover how we can use it to make learning easier and start retaining everything in a single sitting.

Similar to the way athletes leverage the body’s processes to improve sports performance, we can leverage the way the brain processes information to make complex concepts easier to grasp. With that said… let’s get into a complex concept.

The 3 Essential Stages for Our Memory to Stick

There are several theoretic models that attempt to explain how the mind processes information. One of the most prominent is the Atkinson–Shiffrin model1, published in 1968. According to this model, external information has to journey through three stages of our memory in order to stick.

These three stages are:

  1. Sensory memory – a filter which discards unnecessary information
  2. Working memory – a gateway to the long-term memory, passing on information via repetition and schemas (explained below)
  3. Long-term memory – where information sticks

To complete the explanation above, a schema is simply a way to organise multiple memories into a single entity through classification and association. Once information is sorted into schemas it’s changed from something abstract to something familiar, connected and easy to recall.

Just Imagine You’re in a Cafe, and Here’s How the 3 Stages Work in Your Brain

You’re in a café, sipping on a cappuccino whilst reading an article about the discovery of a new, strange animal.

Your sensory memory filters out the background noise of the café, the taste of the coffee and the smell of the food, and allows you to retain the information about this new animal.

Next, your working memory searches existing schemas in your long-term memory for anything resembling the animal… and it finds a close match.

The animal is similar to a cat, so it’s added to your…

New Deep Learning System Allows AI To Solve ‘Catastrophic Forgetting’ Problem

A Wearable To Keep Humans Safe

Reading the news you’d imagine Artificial Intelligence technologies as almighty and unstoppable: after all, they beat human players in ancient Chinese board games, make self-driving cars smarter, under one form or another could soon replace bankers, lawyers and who knows what next.

Yet, as the CEO of Boston-based startup Neurala Massimiliano “Max” Versace would put it, in terms of developing and deploying AIs we’re still “technology cavepeople”. So far AI works great when it is set to focus on a single task, like forecasting bitcoin fluctuations, but it’s less reliable when it has to deal with a number of simultaneous, interwoven factors.

One of the current constraints of artificial intelligence is called “catastrophic forgetting”, and researchers have been struggling with it for a while.

In short this means that an AI system needs to forget the skills and knowledge it has learnt in the past, in order to learn new ones.

Shutterstock

In other words, to add a single object or a single task, while keeping the same overall amount of information, a neural network would have to be retrained on all of the objects, which is usually done using powerful servers located in the cloud.

Google’s Deep Mind researchers have demonstrated recently that this is not a insurmountable…

Perspectives Conference for Educators Convenes in Pittsburgh Next Weekend

From May 12-13, more than 400 educators from a dozen countries and five continents will converge in Pittsburgh for Project Zero’s Perspectives conference: a two-day gathering centered around making, innovating, and learning. With a special focus on creativity, the arts, and the maker movement, the conference will explore three central questions:

1. What can educators in the arts and the Maker Movement teach us about how to encourage creativity, play, and do-it-yourself “maker thinking” in learners?

2. How might visible representations of thinking be used as a force for student learning?

3. What do students need to learn — and deeply understand — in order to truly prepare for an unknown future?

Educational Epicenter

Recognized as an epicenter of the maker education movement, Pittsburgh is the perfect backdrop for these questions and others like them. From steel beams to self-driving cars, Pittsburgh has long been known for making things. Makers — with all their resourcefulness and do-it-yourself enthusiasm — epitomize and amplify the region’s resilience, turning a once-struggling steel town into a hub for research and technology.

Their emphasis on creation over consumption has led to innovations in nearly every field, from manufacturing to health care. Given the Maker Movement’s power to revolutionize entire industries, what might it do for classrooms?

Project Zero

Six years ago, Dr. Jeff Evancho — then an art teacher at Quaker Valley Middle School — decided to find out. He joined his superintendent and two others on a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend a weeklong summer institute hosted by Project Zero, a research group based at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Project Zero is a 50-year-old research consortium that attempts to understand how learning develops, what thinking and learning look like, what is and is not worth learning, and where thinking and learning thrive. Increasingly, this means looking to the Maker Movement for answers by establishing projects such as Agency by Design — a multiyear initiative at Project Zero that leverages support from the Abundance Foundation to investigate the promises, practices, and pedagogies of maker-centered learning.

Though the four had been interested in Project Zero’s mission to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity for some time, they were not really sure what to expect from the institute. “We were all at different stages in our careers,” said Evancho, “Some of us had been in education for five years, some for thirty-five.”

Regardless, by the end of the week, Evancho said, “That was the most profound professional development experience I’ve ever had. Period.” His companions agreed.

A Regional Hub for Research

Hoping to replicate his experience in Cambridge back home,…

30+ Life Skills That Aren’t Taught in School but Largely Affect Our Lives

What do you remember learning at school? Algebra? Shakespeare? Chemistry? Baseball? Chances are, your teachers taught you all sorts of useless stuff, without including any actual life skills. But don’t despair – there’s still plenty of time to learn.

So, what exactly are life skills?

Put simply, life skills are the skills that allow us to live a full and happy life. 1 Without good life skills, you might struggle through failure after failure, disappointment after disappointment, wondering why you can’t seem to do anything right.

A study which followed 8000 people for 11 years showed that those with good life skills were healthier, happier and richer. 2. Those without good life skills were more likely to be depressed, isolated and unhealthy.

Want to maximize your chances of being happy, healthy and wealthy? Check out the huge list of life skills below, along with links to helpful learning resources.

It’s never too late to start improving yourself.

Ways to Excel in Learning

How to master a new language

This is a hugely beneficial skill that can give you the edge in your career, and help you make new friends from around the world.

How to train your brain

Keeping your brain in good shape will help you learn faster and think up novel solutions to tricky problems.

How to boost your memory

Wish you could remember more? Spend some time learning clever tricks to boost your memory.

How to enhance your observation skills

Being able to make good observations helps us solve problems, avoid danger, and draw insight from different situations.

How to use online resources to learn more

The internet is an amazing tool for education, and many resources are completely free.

How to have fun

Life isn’t all about work. Learn to have fun wherever you are and you’ll and massively boost your health and happiness.

Ways to Be Better at Communication

How to negotiate skillfully

Negotiation skills can come in handy when trying to get a higher salary, haggling for a better price at the shops, or dealing with difficult clients. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.

How to talk to a stranger

All friends start off as strangers! Being able to talk to new people without feeling uncomfortable is a great way to make connections in any situation.

How to solve a conflict

People won’t always agree with you, and that’s okay. Being able to peacefully solve conflicts is a great skill for work and relationships.

How to have an interesting conversation

Good conversation skills can turn dull small talk into a genuine, interesting connection.

How to express yourself clearly

People aren’t going to know what you’re thinking unless you tell them. Learning to express yourself clearly and boldly is a key step on the journey to self-confidence.

How to stop caring what others think

Life…

Everything We Can Learn from the Most Famous Entrepreneurs Around the World

Does your business seem like it’s about to fail? Do bills pile up and customers don’t come no matter what you do? Instead of giving up, you can learn from the most famous entrepreneurs around the world and follow their examples in finding efficient answers for problems.

Their solutions are different in execution, but they all boil down to these principles:

  • Never stop trying – giving up removes any chance of success.
  • Grab every opportunity – it’ll provide you with resources to accomplish your ultimate goal.
  • Stay focused on your goal but expand your vision – developing in new directions will help you improve and provide additional resources.
  • Turn every failure into a learning experience – use the time you have now to learn something new and try a different approach.
  • Be patient and persevere – understand that success doesn’t come overnight and one has to work hard to achieve it.

Learn from the Most Famous Entrepreneurs: Examples of Perseverance

Let’s learn about some of the most famous entrepreneurs and get inspired by their stories.

1. Milton Hershey (Hershey’s)

Hershey started three candy companies in different cities, and each of them failed. He kept trying starting the Lancaster Caramel Company, as caramel was the most popular sweet at the time. Once it got rolling, he sold it to start Hershey’s as he believed that chocolate was the treat of the future.

Graves’ chicken fingers restaurant business plan was failed by the professors in class and rejected…

Let Go of the Learning Baggage

We all want to learn better. That means retaining information, processing it, being able to use it when needed. More knowledge means better instincts; better insights into opportunities for both you and your organization. You will ultimately produce better work if you give yourself the space to learn. Yet often organizations get in the way of learning.

How do we learn how to learn? Usually in school, combined with instructions from our parents, we cobble together an understanding that allows us to move forward through the school years until we matriculate into a job. Then because most initial learning comes from doing, less from books, we switch to an on-the-fly approach.

Which is usually an absolute failure. Why? In part, because we layer our social values on top and end up with a hot mess of guilt and fear that stymies the learning process.

Learning is necessary for our success and personal growth. But we can’t maximize the time we spend learning because our feelings about what we ‘should’ be doing get in the way.

We are trained by our modern world to organize our day into mutually exclusive chunks called ‘work’, ‘play’, and ‘sleep’. One is done at the office, the other two are not. We are not allowed to move fluidly between these chunks, or combine them in our 24 hour day. Lyndon Johnson got to nap at the office in the afternoon, likely because he was President and didn’t have to worry about what his boss was going to think. Most of us don’t have this option. And now in the open office debacle we can’t even have a quiet 10 minutes of rest in our cubicles.

We have become trained to equate working with doing. Thus the ‘doing’ has value. We deserve to get paid for this. And, it seems, only this.

What does this have to do with learning?

It’s this same attitude that we apply to the learning process when we are older, with similarly unsatisfying results.

If we are learning for work, then in our brains learning = work. So we have to do it during the day. At the office. And if we are not learning, then we are not working. We think that walking is not learning. It’s ‘taking a break’. We instinctively believe that reading is learning. Having discussions about what you’ve read, however, is often not considered work, again it’s ‘taking a break’.

To many, working means sitting at your desk for eight hours a day. Being physically present, mental engagement is optional. It means pushing out emails and rushing to meetings and generally getting nothing done. We’ve looked at the focus aspect of this before. But what about the learning aspect?

Can we change how we approach learning, letting go of the guilt associated with not being visibly active, and embrace what seems counter-intuitive?

Thinking and talking are useful elements of learning. And what we learn in our ‘play’ time can be valuable to our ‘work’ time, and there’s nothing wrong with moving between the two (or combining them) during our day.

When mastering a subject, our brains actually use different types of processing. Barbara Oakley explains in A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (even if you flunked algebra) that our brain has two general modes of thinking – ‘focused’ and ‘diffuse’ – and both of these are valuable and required in the learning process.

The focused mode is what we traditionally associate with learning. Read, dive deep, absorb. Eliminate distractions and get into the material. Oakley says “the focused mode involves a direct approach to solving problems using rational, sequential, analytical approaches. … Turn your attention to something and bam – the focused mode is on,…