God bless my $20-limit Secret Santa this year for getting me a Google Cardboard. If you're a geek, it's definitely worth spending the cost of a NYC lunch or two on one of these dinky little devices. There's not a ton of content yet for Cardboard -- and most of it is demos -- but it's really fantastic what you can do with a piece of cardboard, a smartphone, and two lenses.
I recently wrote the following to a mechanical engineering student who was wondering how to develop practical electrical engineering skills, specifically in terms of electronic component selection, circuit design, and consumer product polish. While the following is an N=1 anecdote I do believe that this approach can work for many people and many fields as well.
Common wisdom says that teaching is one of the best ways to develop mastery of a topic. Why is this? It's the grapple - struggling to meet eye to eye with a student and molding your own understanding of the topic to their learning style.
In this series I explore learning -- specifically, why it’s difficult and how to get better at it. Sometimes I'll use science, other times I'll call on my decade of experience and observations on teaching a range of subjects -- both formally and informally.
Last week, I mentored a hackathon for beginners and intermediates at The Cooper Union and found myself repeating the same two pieces of advice over and over again. Since programmers shouldn’t ever repeat themselves, I decided to write it down and share with the world. This advice applies if you've been having trouble getting motivated to take the next step or learn new things often.