Friday Finds: The Best of Learning, Design & Technology | August 6, 2021

“Free education is abundant, all over the Internet. It’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.”

Naval Ravikant

Happy Friday! After some travel chaos, we made it home and are now preparing for getting everyone back to school. The state of air travel here in the US seems madness and I am in now rush to do it again anytime soon. I hope you’re keeping all the madness at bay and enjoying the last few weeks of summer (or winter for our southern hemisphere friends.)

Thanks for reading!

What I’m Listening to:  This “Chill Lo Fi Beats” playlist is one from the article below about science-backed productivity playlists.

Last week’s most clicked item:
Top 3 Ways to Discover Inspiring Content

Making Learning Objectives Explicit

Andrew Watson shares some interesting research about the effectiveness of making learning objectives explicit for learners. This is a common debate that I’ve tended to agree with him on. This is just one data point but it has me rethinking my perspective. I like his idea “that inviting students to think will have a greater benefit than teachers’ telling them what they’ll be thinking about.” TL:DR: Traditional learning objectives might be better than nothing, but they’re not nearly as helpful as learning-objectives-as-pretests.

How to Be a Great Curator

The shape of the Internet is changing. We know that curation is the future of how people discover new content on the Internet. But, what does it mean to be a curator, and how do you become a good one? Shane Neubauer shares some insights to help you with your curation efforts.

Elaboration Strategies that Benefit Learning

Although retrieval practice and spaced learning may be more well-known, elaboration is an instructional strategy worth our attention. Elaboration strategies refer to the many ways of connecting prior knowledge to what someone has newly learned. This has the potential to make the new material more memorable and meaningful. See what Connie Malamed has to share with you on this topic.

Science-Backed Productivity Playlists To Help You Dive Into Deep Work

The music I put at the top of this newsletter is consistently one of the most clicked links every week. So I thought you might like this collection of music from the Trello blog that can add some new listening options for you. I’m a fan of working along to these “Lo-Fi” options. What is your favorite music to work to?

What the Hell Is Going on in the Classroom?

This is an interesting interview with sociologist Victor Ray about the moral panic over Critical Race Theory that is happening here in the US. This is one of several manufactured “panics” that have recurred over the years and attempts to ‘white wash’ our history.


Tools & Tips

  • Refind is a great tool for discovering new content you’re interested in. It serves you 5 new items each day based on your preferences. Check it out! 
  • Integrately is a Zapier alternative for automating and connecting the apps you use. 
  • Sheet 2 SMS is a simple way to send text messages from a spreadsheet.
  • AHA Slides is an audience engagement tool for presentations & training.
  • NoCode Hunt is a directory of NoCode tools

Where You Can Find Me

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, I’d love it if you shared it with a friend. You can send them here to sign up.

Want more? Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Looking for a previous edition? Check out the archives 

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

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