Recently I have happened across a series of incredibly interesting blogs rather serendipitously.
It started off while I was researching a particular series of books under the banner of “Head First. ” I had purchased a book about half a year ago titled “Head First Design Patterns.” I didn’t get very far before I realized that this book was a little too advanced for me. However after reading the first chapter I was hooked on the style of the book.
Now that the semester is over and I work for the DMV web development team I decided to purchase the recent release of “Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML,” which ironically turns out to be below my skills! But anyways…
The hook their books have is that the format uses a more interactive style of teaching. Instead of traditional books that are analogous to topical lectures, these books use a very interactive and brain stimulating method of teaching. The intro of both books are very similar, it talk about
the style of the book and use cool words like “Meta Cognition.” It also talks about how your brain tries to prevent you from learning things you think are important so it can focus on things it thinks are important, like being alert for hungry tigers! It then tells you how to “bend your brain into submission” so you can learn the things you think are important.
So I was looking at some of their other books and discovered that they were coming out with a book in September 2006 tittled “Head First Object-oriented Analysis and Design” which is a step bellow Head First Design Patterns. In researching the book I came across a couple of web sites that the creators of the Head First series participate in. First I found the JavaRanch Saloon
and an interesting thread that ended up discussing how Head First was being used in several high ranking colleges. Then I found myself on another thread that talked about motivation and teaching styles, which was something I got turned onto from my MIS 160 class. From there I somehow found the official Head First site, HeadFirstLabs.com, and then found the authors official blog, Creating Passionate Users. My favorite post in there so far (there are a lot of good ones) is titled Crash course in learning theory, which discusses how people learn best. Then somehow i stumbled across this hour long web seminar about learning which I have yet to watch the full thing.
Then I stumbled upon the blog of Ben Casnocha who is an 18 year old entrepreneur that recently graduated high school and is contemplating college. He is quite a remarkable individual, obviously an intellect, but still exploring who he is. Fascinating stuff to read.
Finally I found the blog of Chris Yeh, who is a friend of Ben Casnocha. I haven’t read much of his blog but decided to post it here just to be complete with these blog listings.
BTW, I got the word serendipitously from Ben Casnocha’s blog and had to look it up to figure out what it meant. So don’t feel bad if you didn’t know what it meant either!