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How to Learn 3

How to Learn 3

Version 3 of my series of talks on learning. This one gives you 3 tools to help you stay motivated on your journey of learning to code. This talk is for teachers, mentors, students and learners of all sorts.

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Toby Ho

June 23, 2017
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  1. How to Learn Toby Ho

  2. About Me • Toby Ho • Veteran software developer 14

    years • Blogger tobyho.com • Previously lead teacher at for an 16-week immersive code training program at DigitalCrafts • Organizer of ATL.JS
  3. Connect.Tech 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HcbjChlKjM

  4. 2016 I became a fulltime teacher.

  5. My Classes • up to 16 students per cohort •

    16 weeks • 9-4 each weekday • lecture + hands on coding every day • 1 - 2 one week group projects • 2 - 3 week final project
  6. What I’ve learned about learning

  7. This Talk is for • Teachers • Mentors • Students

    • Learners
  8. Learning to Code is Hard

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  11. My Classes • up to 16 students per cohort •

    16 weeks • 9-4 each weekday • lecture + hands on coding every day • 1 - 2 one week group projects • 2 - 3 week final project Only 16 weeks? Really?
  12. Why Learning to Code is Hard • No recipe •

    The TMI problem • Elitism/Ego in the community
  13. Programming as Cooking

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  15. The TMI Problem

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  19. Motivation is Everything Motivation is Everything

  20. How to Stay Motivated 1. The Big Picture 2. The

    Goldilocks Principle 3. The Growth Mindset
  21. 1. The Big Picture

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  24. Toby’s Career • Masters degrees at Georgia Tech 2003 •

    First job day 1: start learning Hibernate ORM • Second job day 1: start learning struts and servlets • Third job day 1: start learning J2EE and Weblogic • Fourth job day 1: switched to Python! start learning Turbogears and SQLAlchemy
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  26. What should I focus on?

  27. Technology Pyramid

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  34. Just because you are not using X tomorrow doesn’t mean

    it was a waste to learn it
  35. The bottom stack gets deep • Functions: higher-order functions, closures,

    functional programming, pure functions, currying, function composition, functional reactive programming, functors, monads • Objects: classes, inheritance, object-oriented programming and design, design patterns(observer, factory, MVC, strategy…) SOLID principles
  36. 2. The Goldilocks Principle

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  38. The Experience Sampling Method

  39. flow The state in which people are so involved in

    an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.
  40. What people in flow say • “It was like floating”

    • “carried on by the flow” • “In the zone” • “one with the mountain” • “In the pocket” • “Time stands still” • “Time flies”
  41. When you are in flow • You are really focused.

    • You are really engaged. • You are really having fun! • You are learning at a rapid speed.
  42. When you are in flow • You are really focused.

    • You are really engaged. • You are really having fun! • You are learning at a rapid speed.
  43. Conditions for Flow • Undistracted • Clear goals and feedback

    • Task should match your current skill
  44. Conditions for Flow • Undistracted • Clear goals and feedback

    • Task should match your current skill
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  46. The Flow Channel

  47. Not too hot, not too cold

  48. Goldilocks Principle Dan Pink’s Drive • Match the task to

    your current ability to maximize your enjoyment, motivation, and learning • If the task is too easy, make it harder • If the task is too hard, make it easier
  49. Strategies for making it easier • Choose helpful tools •

    Break it up
  50. Strategy for making it harder • 7 Stages of Competence

  51. Choose Helpful Tools Strategies for making it easier

  52. Helpful Errors

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  55. Programming Languages

  56. JavaScript is a horrendous first programming language. Try Python.

  57. Helpfulness: Things to look for • Good/easy to understand error

    messages • Good/easy to understand documentation • Good learning resources in the community
  58. </choose_helpful_tools>

  59. Strategies for making it easier Break it up

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  95. Did you know? Working Memory can only hold up to

    ~7 things
  96. Learn piecemeal Solution: Don’t eat the whole thing at once

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  98. Kevin Wang - founder of Launch School

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  105. Snowball effect?

  106. Did you know: Each of these skills is orthogonal to

    each other. React Redux JSX Classes Arrow Functions Webpack
  107. </break_it_up>

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  109. 7 Stages of Competence

  110. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching

  111. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching 2. Follow a

    recipe
  112. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching 2. Follow a

    recipe 4. Modify to do different thing
  113. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching 2. Follow a

    recipe 3. Redo w/o guidance 4. Modify to do different thing
  114. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching 2. Follow a

    recipe 3. Redo w/o guidance 4. Modify to do different thing 5. Make new thing from scratch
  115. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching 2. Follow a

    recipe 3. Redo w/o guidance 4. Modify to do different thing 5. Make new thing from scratch 6. Experiment to find out how things work
  116. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching 2. Follow a

    recipe 3. Redo w/o guidance 4. Modify to do different thing 5. Make new thing from scratch 6. Experiment to find out how things work 7. Reverse engineer your tools
  117. “I did Codecademy, and TreeHouse, and FreeCodeCamp, but still don’t

    feel like I know how to code.
  118. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching 2. Follow a

    recipe 3. Redo w/o guidance 4. Modify to do different thing 5. Make new thing from scratch 6. Experiment to find out how things work 7. Reverse engineer your tools Stuck at 1 and 2
  119. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching 2. Follow a

    recipe 3. Redo w/o guidance 4. Modify to do different thing 5. Make new thing from scratch 6. Experiment to find out how things work 7. Reverse engineer your tools Always get to 5
  120. Stages of Competence 1. Reading and watching 2. Follow a

    recipe 3. Redo w/o guidance 4. Modify to do different thing 5. Make new thing from scratch 6. Experiment to find out how things work 7. Reverse engineer your tools You have to get here yourself.
  121. </stages_of_competence>

  122. </goldilocks_principle>

  123. 3.

  124. The Power of Yet Carol Dweck

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  126. How do you react when met with a challenge?

  127. What if I fail? I might look dumb.

  128. I love a challenge! I was hoping I would learn

    something!
  129. Fixed mindset Growth mindset What if I fail? I love

    a challenge! I might look dumb. I was hoping this would be informative.
  130. Fixed mindset: the belief that your intelligence and abilities are

    fixed.
  131. Growth mindset: the belief that your intelligence and abilities increase

    with effort.
  132. The Praise Study

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  134. Praise Template 1 “Wow, you got eight right. That’s a

    really good score. You must be smart at this.”
  135. Praise Template 1 “Wow, you got eight right. That’s a

    really good score. You must be smart at this.” Ability Praised Group
  136. Praise Template 2 “Wow, you got eight right. That’s a

    really good score. You must have worked really hard.”
  137. Praise Template 2 “Wow, you got eight right. That’s a

    really good score. You must have worked really hard.” Effort Praised Group
  138. When given more difficult challenges

  139. Enjoyment • Ability praised group: “It’s not fun anymore.” •

    Effort praised group: “The hard ones are the fun ones.”
  140. Performance • Ability praised group performance plummeted • Effort praised

    group performance improved
  141. When given a choice to take a challenge

  142. When given a choice • Ability praised group chose to

    skip a new challenging problem • Effort praised group (90%) chose to work on the new challenging problem
  143. Self reporting

  144. Self Report • Ability Praised Group: lied to boost their

    scores • Hiding their weakness • Cheating (finding answers online)
  145. The Fixed Mindset • Failure is proof you are not

    smart • Choose easier paths assure themselves of their smartness • Avoid challenges • More likely to cheat or lie about their performance • Cover up their knowledge gaps • Performance plateaus
  146. The Growth Mindset • Failure is an opportunity to learn

    and get smarter • Embrace challenges, persist longer • Not afraid to make mistakes • Uncover knowledge gaps • Performance continually improves over the long run
  147. Mindset can be changed

  148. Changing your mindset • Start to notice your own thoughts

    • Is it a growth mindset or a fixed mindset thought? • If it’s a fixed mindset thought, fix evidence to the contrary and try to change it
  149. Change your mindset

  150. Growth Mindset Classrooms • In one year, a kindergarten class

    in Harlem, NY scored in the 95th percentile on the national achievement test – many of those kids could not hold a pencil when they arrived at school. • In one year, 4th grade students in the South Bronx, way behind, became the #1 4th grade class in the state of NY on the state math test. • In a year to a year and a half, Native American students in a school on a reservation went from the bottom of their district to the top, and that district included affluent sections of Seattle. So the Native kids out did the Microsoft kids.”
  151. </growth_mindset>

  152. Summary How to Stay Motivated 1. The Big Picture 2.

    The Goldilocks Principle 3. The Growth Mindset
  153. Resources • How it Feels to Learn JavaScript in 2016

    - Hacker Noon • Why Learning to Code is so Damn Hard - Viking School • Programmers: Please don’t ever say this to beginners • The Power of Yet - Carol Dweck • Flow - The Psychology of Optimal Experience - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi • Growth vs Fixed Mindsets - https://www.pinterest.com/ jackiegerstein/growth-vs-fixed-mindsets/