I will provide a list of websites (0-50) and you will need to-do the following for each item:
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The following is an excerpt from my new book Don’t Go Back to School: a handbook for learning anything.
To someone who has never tried, it’s not obvious how to learn the things you want to learn outside of school. I’m on a mission to show you how. To do that, I became obsessed with how other people learn best, and how they do it without going to school.
My research based on interviews with 100 independent learners revealed four facts shared by almost every successful form of learning outside of school:
This interview with Harper Reed is a great example of how independent learning works. Reed served as the Chief Technology Officer for Obama for America during the 2012 election; before that, he was CTO at Threadless. He is an engineer who builds paradigm-shifting technology and leads others to do the same.
I love computers and I’ve always been around computers. I can’t really talk about education without talking about computers. I went to high school and I actually really loved it. I took all the classes I could, I was prom king, student council president. I did everything I could to be more involved in high school and that is obviously not the normal path you’d expect for a computer geek.
But, along with that, I was constantly getting into trouble with computers. Never with the cops, but I was always getting banned from all the computers in the school district. Then, they would let me back in, and I would mess up again for whatever reason. It happened over and over. I was caught in this dichotomy of trying to be involved, but whenever I was trying to get involved with computers, I messed it up because I was curious and experimenting outside what was allowed. After that, I went to a small liberal arts college. I studied history along with computer science, because I knew ultimately I was going to work with computers and I wanted to learn something else, too. I studied Catholic history and the history of science, which overlap a lot. I’m not Catholic. I’m not a religious person at all, but it was really fascinating to learn all of the idiosyncrasies of Galileo and Bruno and all these different weird scientists who got burned at the stake for their discoveries.
I realized about probably three-quarters of the way through my education that in terms of computers, I actually wasn’t learning anything I needed to learn to get a job later on. I did learn some coding concepts in college, but more importantly I figured out that I’m an experiential learner. I need to put my hands on things and really see them, and really chew on them. It was better to do it in a real context, where it mattered if I did it right. Like where there was money at stake. So, I did an internship in Iowa City, IA. I worked for a real company that was trying to make a profit. The company built ecommerce apps. As an intern I started learning web apps to build web pages. Given my way of learning, it was fascinating to see how the management dealt with me. I was a child. I asked questions like a child does. “Why is the sky blue?” They just said, “It’s just blue. Go with that.” I said, “No! Tell me why we’re doing it this way. What is this?” It was client services, so we were just doing it because the client wanted it done, with no thought behind it. But all the questions I asked gave me this opportunity to see how things worked and the value of asking things that seemed obvious to everyone else. It gave me a lot of hope. It really kicked off the career that I have now.
The methods I used to learn technology don’t work for everything. I’m struggling with learning Japanese. My wife is Japanese and I want to learn the language, but I don’t know how. I take classes, I fail, it doesn’t work out. I have to figure that out. With technology, I immediately find a problem I want to solve. It’s usually about learning a new programming language or learning a new technology. If it’s a real problem, I want to get to where I can actually picture the solution and be able to see it through from the beginning to the end. For me, I can’t learn from videos. That just doesn’t do it for me, although there’s a lot of video learning right now. I find it very frustrating. So usually what I do is I just go through a tutorial of some sort and then really start iterating, doing it over and over. I start trying to be creative on top of that, and say okay, now that I can figure out how to do this, how would I use it? So I set a new goal pretty close in difficulty, and when I achieve that, I do that again, until suddenly I’ve learned something. When you’re in that process, it can also be the best time to teach someone else. A tech writer named Mark Pilgrim, who writes manuals for learning coding languages including Dive into Python, and Dive into HTML5 said, “The best time to write a book about something is while you’re learning it yourself.” So you know what’s hard to learn and can talk in an excited, confident, honest way about how you got to the place where it’s not hard anymore.
For me this whole process is really collaborative. I treat everything like I’m the CEO of my life. CEOs have boards of directors and boards of advisors and these are groups of people who they’re using to really rely on for help and advice to be successful. I think every person should treat their life like that. So, if I’m stuck, I know I can reach out to a buddy, or I can reach out to my brother. I know I can reach out to these people who are experts in whatever I’m trying to do. I try to surround myself with incredibly smart people who are often, if not always, smarter than me. Because other people are so important to learning, I also think one of the most significant things about the internet is democratization of access. Anyone can email you about self-learning and you’re probably going to respond. Probably. I think it’s about how you phrase it. We are all very busy, but we’re probably going to respond if you approach it efficiently.
You can learn a lot about this from a really good book called Team Geek by Brian W. Fitzpatrick. It’s actually about project managing software development geeks, but it applies to most things with communication. It should really be called “Interacting with People,” because all it is, is just little tricks on how to interact with people, how to make those interactions better. There’s a section called “Interacting with an Executive,” and that part should be called “Interacting with Busy People.” It says if you want to connect with someone who is very busy, tell them three bullets and then a call to action.
So if someone wanted help from me, it might go like this: “Harper, I’m interested in what you’re doing with the campaign. I’m going to be doing technology for a campaign in the coming election. Do you have a hint for product management or project management software that you guys use?” I can answer that quickly. It’s very simple. Then all of a sudden there’s this person who probably wouldn’t have had an opportunity to talk with me, and I can help them out. I love what that kind of efficient communication does for you.
Kio Stark is a writer, researcher, teacher, and passionate activist for independent learning. She teaches at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. She is also the author of the novel Follow Me Down. You can find out more about her work at KioStark.com.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you videos of the keynotes and onstage debates from The Next Web Europe Conference Europe 2013.
To kick things off, here’s a fascinating conversation between two men with very different viewpoints. Andrew Keen has made a name for himself as a real skeptic when it comes to social media and the potential for ‘privacy invasion’ by modern technology. Robert Scoble, on the other hand, is a rampant enthusiast, who as we already know is never going to live another day without a wearable computer on his face.
Keen and Scoble chew over the privacy concerns surrounding Google Glass, whether wearable computing is a real paradigm shift and whether the next step will be to have computers inside your body. A telling moment is when a member of the audience tells Scoble “I don’t want you to look at me with your glasses.”
Go here to see the original: Google Glass and the future of wearable computing, with Andrew Keen and Robert Scoble [Video]
Today, our lives are spread across a growing array of digital devices, from smartphones and laptops to tablets and connected TVs. While each device tends to perform certain tasks better than others, as we use tablets to read books and shop, laptops for work-related tasks and smartphones to check the weather, stocks and email, increasingly, our devices are working together in concert and becoming interchangeable by keeping us connected to the cloudy Web. Yet, in spite of the fact that we live in an increasingly connected and multi-platform world, when it comes to texting, we find ourselves locked in to our phones.
As former Googlers, Maneesh Arora and Amit Sangani set out to develop a solution for those who find themselves sending and receiving text messages and phone calls all the live-long day, while, in turn, giving Android users an open, cross-device equivalent to Apple’s iMessage. In 2011, the two co-founded and launched MightyText, a cross-platform app that today works natively on Android tablets and phones (and as an extension for Firefox and Chrome), and allows Android-ers to view and reply to texts regardless of what device they happen to be using.
Given our growing reliance on our digital gadgets, by offering a tool that allows users to send SMS, MMS and make calls from your PC, Mac, Kindle, Galaxy S III and even your iPad, MightyText has been quick to find an audience and has grown steadily since launching officially in July of last year.
In November, MightyText launched its first tablet app and, since then, Arora tells us that MightyText has seen over two million installs, tripling its user base over the past five months to three million users in all. As of today, he adds, MightyText is on pace to hit six billion messages per year.
But, today, MightyText is looking to take the first step in a strategy that the founders hope will take the startup beyond texting and, rather than simply being an alternative to iMessage will begin to put it head-to-head with iCloud. “There are a lot of other things that people want to sync between their devices besides texts,” Arora tells us. So, this morning the startup is officially expanding to support photo and video sync, a new addition to its platform launching in beta that allows users to sync their photos and videos between their phone and computers instantly and securely — and soon to their tablets.
Since MightyText already syncs texts, calls and contacts between users’ phones and their other devices, adding photo and video sync capabilities requires no work from MightyText users, Arora says. Once users activate the photo service, as they capture photos and videos on their Android phones, that media will show up in realtime on their computer.
While Arora admits that MightyText is hardly the only company looking to provide simple, cross-device sync and backup — Dropbox being the foremost example — he thinks that the “daily productivity piece” is still missing from current options. While Dropbox does sync and backup well, people don’t have a reason to “check Dropbox” daily, he says. Meanwhile, people are sending and receiving texts every day en masse. So, for those already using MightyText on their computer, tablet and phones, the service now gives them a photo and video experience that’s tied into their daily SMS habit.
“We think the photo syncing and sharing solutions out there aren’t working at full capacity just yet,” Arora continues. “You don’t hear too many people raving about the iCloud user experience.” Photos and videos become far more useful and relevant if they are part of your daily activity stream. “Imagine if every photo you take on your phone were to show up on the left side of Gmail for easy consumption and sharing,” he says. This would make consuming and sharing media among your devices — and your friends — more frictionless, and that Gmail integration is something the founders hope to add going forward.
After all, sharing photos and videos on your phone tends to be a multi-step process — six steps are required to share a single photo on Facebook, for example. Sharing, syncing and storing content across your devices should be as easy as using an email client, but, while the phone is great at capturing photos and quick videos while you’re on the go, it’s not quite as adept at publishing and sharing. With the rise of the “Instagrams of video,” particularly Vine, people are increasingly beginning to share video from their phone.
But, traditionally, mobile video has been hamstrung by tedious uploading thanks to slow data networks, poorly compressed video files, along with the multi-step process of sharing. While Vine and others remove some of this friction and allow you to share videos on social networks and access the app on multiple devices, it’s still its own network.
MightyText wants to make uploading, sharing and viewing video that you captured on your phone happen in a couple of clicks — and enable you to access videos instantly on any device. That makes a lot of sense, and if the startup is able to follow through, removes a lot of friction from the process.
Lastly, MightyText’s new photo sync service displays your phone’s battery status on your computer or your tablet and will warn you when it’s getting low. The more nifty features like this it can add, the more stickiness MightyText’s service will create.
For more, check it out at home here.
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See the original post: #9: Acer One AO756-2617 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black)