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The Atlantic Turns a Profit, With an Eye on the Web – NYTimes.com

December 15th, 2010 Comments off

A great example of a complete revamp of corporate culture that has allowed a print institution to thrive in the digital age, when so many others have failed  Read more at: The Atlantic Turns a Profit, With an Eye on the Web – NYTimes.com.

Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits

September 19th, 2010 1 comment

Courtesy scui3asteveo on flickr

Here is an interesting article that challenges many of the long-held beliefs about how best to study/learn.  One of the most important lessons is that problem solving practice shouldn’t involve doing the same kinds of calculations repeatedly…it is important to mix up the problems to learn best:

“When students see a list of problems, all of the same kind, they know the strategy to use before they even read the problem,” said Dr. Rohrer. “That’s like riding a bike with training wheels.” With mixed practice, he added, “each problem is different from the last one, which means kids must learn how to choose the appropriate procedure — just like they had to do on the test.”

Another thought is that practice tests are useful:

“The idea is that forgetting is the friend of learning,” said Dr. Kornell. “When you forget something, it allows you to relearn, and do so effectively, the next time you see it.”

That’s one reason cognitive scientists see testing itself — or practice tests and quizzes — as a powerful tool of learning, rather than merely assessment. The process of retrieving an idea is not like pulling a book from a shelf; it seems to fundamentally alter the way the information is subsequently stored, making it far more accessible in the future.

As I’ve said, I think that students just need to know what works best for them.  To the extent that these tips help you do that they are useful…but since everyone learns in different ways there isn’t one “magic” method that will work for everyone.

Read more at this link: Mind – Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits – NYTimes.com.

An Interview With Kasper Rorsted

August 29th, 2010 Comments off

Kasper Rorsted photo courtesy nrkbeta on Flickr

I was alerted to this NYTimes piece because I follow Bill George on Twitter.  George is the former head of Medtronic and he spoke at the MNCPA Management & Business Advisers Conference in June.  If he thinks an article is worth looking at I usually find something of value in reading the article myself.

In this case, I love what Rorsted has to say about email (being less valuable that face-time and with the fact that cc: emails are usually to cover someone’s backside) and with corporate culture:

So I took a number of the yay-sayers out because I didn’t want them to be part of our corporate culture, a culture where the end result is most important. It’s not who got the idea.

He also had some interesting things to say on the kinds of people he hires including the fact that he wants to know the person and he never focuses on GPA:

I never look at grades from university. I look at what they’ve done, but I look very much at what they’ve done outside work. How do they spend their time? Who do they relate to? Have they moved? Have they been put in situations in their personal and professional lives that were not very straightforward?

I’m concerned about people who have come through their career with “A” grades throughout their entire life, and have never really had any setbacks and have always been in environments where they knew the environment.

Read more at: http://nyti.ms/a7anNJ