This blog was created under the inspiration of the Coursera course: Learning How To Learn by Prof. Barbara Oakley and Prof. Terrence Sejnowski. In this blog are collected all the works of the second peer assement by the students in the course who have decided to build a wonderful scrapbook.
“ Guess what? ” said Tortoise as he left class after a lecture on study skills.
“ What? ” asked Dr. Barbara Oakley.
“ I am going to run in the annual Jack Rabbit Marathon. ”
“ Wow! That ’ s amazing! Tell me more, ” responded Dr. Oakley.
“ You told me how important it is to have an open mind to new adventures even if they seem impossible, ” explained Tortoise. “ I come from a long line of slow movers, but I know if I think about success and apply the concepts you have taught me, I just might surprise everyone. ”
“ Fantastic, ” said Barbara. “ When is the race? ”
“ Oh, it is not for 6 months but I have a plan and I am going to start preparing today. ” I am going to build up my physical strength and endurance by alternating between walking, swimming, and climbing. I will start with short periods of time and keep slowly increasing how long and far I can go.
“ Good thinking, ” said his teacher. “ What will be the hardest part of the race for you?
“ I think crawling up the hills will be the most difficult, so I am going to practice that first each day, “ answered Tortoise. “ I will let you know how it is going once I get started. ”
“ I can ’ t wait to hear how you do. Good luck ” , said Barbara as she waved goodbye.
Tortoise was true to his word. Every day he set a timer to help him get started on his workout routine. Besides his physical preparation, he wanted to become familiar with the race route so he would be able to pace himself.
He made a map of all of the obstacles in the race and started to memorize them from beginning to end. When his neighbor, Jo Boaler, came over to check on his progress, Tortoise gave her the map of the course and asked her to listen as he listed all of the obstacles in the correct order. He was quite upset when he mixed up the order of the wooden bridge over the river and the wooden path by the goldfish pond.
“ Don ’ t worry about making mistakes, ” Jo reassured him. “ Mistakes are good. It is when you make a mistake and then correct it that your brain grows the most. Remember, it is not so important that you can tell me about the course quickly. It is better to think deeply about it and really understand how the obstacles are arranged. Be creative! ”
After looking over the course again, Tortoise decided to break it up into 4 section that were each 4 miles long. He imagined the course in his own backyard. The section through the woods he laid out in his imagination through the bushes along the fence. An old sandbox that was propped against the fence served as the sandy hills he would encounter in the second part of the race. He filled a plastic swimming pool with water to practice crossing the river in the third section of the race. The last 6 miles would be on a paved road so he put a string across his driveway so he could pretend to run across the finish line.
Each day, after his workout, Tortoise walked through his backyard and tested himself about how far it was to each object and what obstacles lay ahead. Then he would sit in the sun and let his mind wander as he thought how proud his friends and family would be.
Of course, Tortoise ran into some trouble as he prepared for the marathon. He knew climbing the sand hills would be the most difficult and they continued to be a source of frustration. A day before the race, he stopped by his friend Terry Sejnowksi ’ s office to discuss his problem.
“ I am able to get up the hill quickly now that I have been practicing, ” he explained. “ But I hate the trip down the hill because I get sand inside the front of my shell and then it irritates me for the rest of the course. I have even tried climbing down backwards but that really slows me down. ”
“ Hmm, ” said Terry. “ That is frustrating. Do you think it would work if you turned on your side and rolled down the hill on the edge of your shell? ”
“ That ’ s it, ” cried Tortoise excitedly! “ I never thought of that. I am so glad I came to talk it over with you. Two heads are definitely better than one. ”
The next day, Tortoise went straight to the beach to practice climbing the dunes. He was anxious to try the new technique for getting back down the slope. He was aware of the stares he was getting from others who were climbing up and down the hills but he continued on with his plan.
“ What are you doing, boy? ” cried an older and bigger tortoise. “ We don ’ t roll on our sides!! We have been traveling on these dunes for hundreds of years and no one has ever rolled down a hill! ”
Tortoise moved a little further down the hill and continued to practice his new technique even though he could still hear the others muttering about his “ upstart ” ideas. On the way home, he stopped at the college to say hello to Dr. Oakland and he told her about the events of the day.
“ Ah, yes, a case of Einstellung, ” she said. “ It is very common for people to do things the way they have always been done and resist new ideas. When some people focus on a problem, they are not able to see that there is a better solution because they keep making same mistake. It is a left brain versus right brain thing. But don ’ t worry. You have a great strategy and you should use it. Good luck, I am routing for you. ”
Tortoise felt reassured and confident as he continued on his way home. He planned to look over the course map one more time before bed and then get a good night sleep.
As he passed the park he saw Hare jogging in place.
“ Are you ready for the big day? ” he asked the rabbit.
“ You bet, ” said Hare. I picked up a map of the course today and I am going to do 500 pushups and run 10 miles. I am on it! ”
Race day dawned. Tortoise, Hare and the other contestants gathered at the starting line. The rest of the story is history.
by Christine Lamby Hello. I am sending my project for Learning
to Learn in 2 parts to be added to the hall of fame. This is my cover
letter. I loved the course and was excited to complete the project. I am
proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks. I retired from my first
career as a special education teacher and now am reinventing myself. There is
so much to learn!
For my final project, I was really inspired by the idea of creating a shared space for those of us taking this course to learn from and about one another. With that general aim in mind, I put together a website with an interactive map, which I've titled "How the world is Learning How to Learn"
The website has a form with some reflection questions about the course and your personal learning experience. Once you submit the form, it'll be posted to the world map on the right-hand side of the same page, along with the responses of other people in the course. I've given my own response as an example, if you look for the dot over San Francisco from Julia.
I realize that this doesn't totally conform to the assignment prompt all that well since there's not much content knowledge embedded within the site, but regardless, I had a really great time putting it together and am very curious to see what other classmates have to contribute. It will be so much more interesting with more responses to explore from around the world!
Thanks in advance for your help :)
P.S. (as a quick disclaimer) I didn't have the chance to test this much, so I apologize if it loads slowly or breaks entirely or looks awful on different browsers...! (Julia Cambre)
The HALL OF FAME is the place where it is
collected and published all the works of the students of the Coursera course,
LEARNING HOW TO LEARN.
by Dr. Barbara Oakley, Dr. Terrence Sejnowski
As per tradition, which began in the first edition of
the course, for the second edition, I have decided to take up the work of those
who are going to build this wonderful scrapbook.
The HALL OF FAME is not a ranking of the best
or worst, it is a place where students feel proud of what they managed to do
thanks to the teachings of Prof. Barbara Oakley, and feel proud to have been
part of an amazing large group.
Each masterpiece will include the original link
in which the writers has posted his own work.
I hope that, as for the first edition, this
HALL OF FAME II, will collect a large number of works, for future reference and
help to the students of the next editions of the course LEARNING HOW TO LEARN.