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MetaLearn

MetaLearn helps you learn anything...fast. Whether you’re building a business, learning a language or picking up a sport, you’ll learn the principles and techniques needed to succeed, as well as gaining insights from the thought leaders driving the global learning revolution.
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Now displaying: Category: metalearning
Feb 7, 2018

Tom Stafford is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Sheffield.

He’s also the author of the book Mindhacks, a book featuring 100 DIY mind experiments you can try at home, and he runs the excellent MindHacks blog dedicated to psychology and neuroscience news & views.

Tom has done some fascinating research into skill acquisition by studying the process of playing computer games (which can be tracked across the whole learning curve) drawing out some useful general insights that you can apply to any skill you’re learning.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- What Tom has discovered about the learning process through his research in cognitive science
- The tradeoff between trying new things (exploration) and doing what works (exploitation)
- The keys to teaching effectively and improving the classroom experience for students

So whether you’re looking for some cutting edge insights from cognitive science to apply to your learning or are curious about how it can improve the classroom experience, this episode has you covered.

Feb 2, 2018

Finding great teachers is a big part of learning anything. 

But for most people, the top experts are off limits.

They’re only available to the few who can afford to fork out for their services, or a select who have spent years working their way up in the industry have the privilege of meeting and working with them. 

So what if I told you that in 12-24 months you could be speaking to any teacher or expert you wanted? 

That you could create your own education, build your own curriculum and learn from the best in the world. 

You’d probably be interested. And you’d probably say I was crazy.

But in the last 18 months since launching the MetaLearn Podcast, that’s exactly what I’ve done. 

In this episode I'm joined by writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner Will Reynolds and we discuss:

- How to choose your niche and build a brand around your podcast
- How to reach out to guests, get the gear you need and interview them for your show
- How to edit and promote your podcast to share your learning with a wider audience

So whether you're looking to start your own podcast or are just curious about what goes on behind the scenes here at MetaLearn, this episode has you covered.

Jan 17, 2018

This episode is a special one on equations that changed the world. 

And what better one to start with than Isaac Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity – an equation that ultimately helped us put a man on the moon!

In simple terms the equation reads:

Earth’s Gravitational Force = (G x M x m) / D squared 

Earth’s Force = (Gravitational Constant x Earth’s Mass x Mass of the Object) /  Distance between the Earth and Object Squared

What this equation allowed the smart scientists at NASA to do was to to establish with accuracy where exactly the moon was, which was no mean feat in itself. 

And by calculating the rate at which gravity diminished on the way to the moon, they determined what size rocket they’d need and the best route to get there.

Today’s guest, Kalid Azad, is the founder of Better Explained, one of the world's most popular maths websites that makes hard concepts easy to understand. 

After studying Computer Science at Princeton, Kalid spent a few years at Microsoft as a program manager, founded a Y Combinator startup, and currently works as a developer.

Kalid uses an intuition first approach to explain difficult ideas in a way that anyone can understand and this makes him the perfect guide.

In this episode we discuss: 


- Newton’s backstory and how it influenced his work
- The mechanics of the equation in a way that you can understand
- The implications of the equation for our view of the Universe

So whether you’re looking to find out more about Newton, dive deeper into the equation and its importance, or explore maths and physics in a way that’s fun and accessible, this episode has you covered. 

Jan 3, 2018

Today’s episode is a special one for several reasons. 

First, it’s episode 100 of the podcast! This is a big milestone so thank you for supporting the show and I’m looking forward to taking things forward in the weeks and months to come.   

Second, it’s the first day of 2018 – so Happy New Year and all the best to you and yours for the year ahead.

And third, this episode is my review of 2017, so in it I’ll discuss 5 key lessons I’ve learned in the year gone by. I’ll take story from my own experience that demonstrates each lesson and then try and draw some generalisable advice that you can apply to your learning and life. 

In this episode I discuss: 

- The 3 qualities of all exceptional learners I’ve discovered from my interviews
- How to identify great teachers and filter through the average ones
- The importance of accountability and how to set up systems that create it 

So whether you’re looking to pick up a new skill in 2018, want to find a great teacher or are just curious about what I’ve learned in the year gone by, this episode has you covered.

Dec 13, 2017

Nat Eliason is the founder of Growth Machine, a new content marketing business and the host of the Made You Think and Nat Chat podcasts.

He is also a keen writer, publishing his work on self-education and self-improvement at his site NatEliason.com

I reached out to Nat a few months ago to discuss an opportunity that came up through the podcast and after that we had a few great conversations and I invited him on the show.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- How to teach yourself anything with the sandbox method
- How to run and manage self-experimentation projects
- Career lessons from building a thriving blog, two podcasts and a business

So whether you’re looking to upgrade your learning, run a few more self-experiments in different areas of your life or build your career in the 21st century, this episode will give you all you need and more.

Nov 29, 2017

Choosing what to learn is no easy task…if you’re doing it right.

But I believe that doing a bit of work in the selection process up front can save you a lot of trouble down the road. 

It can stop you from starting a project you won’t end up finishing…and it can help you focus on what’s most important to you! 

Ultimately, we all have a limited amount of time, money and energy and we have to allocate that as effectively as possible in a world of infinite options. 

In this episode I discuss:

- The major differences between passion and professional projects
- A simple framework for identifying the skill you should learn next
- The three skills everyone should be developing in the 21st century

So whether you’re overwhelmed with more projects than you can manage or can’t come up with what to learn next, this episode will give you what you need to take action and move forward.

Nov 22, 2017

Cecily Sommers is a futurist and global trends analyst, who speaks, writes, and consults on the emerging forces shaping our future. 

She is the author of Think Like a Futurist and the founder of The Push Institute, a non-profit think tank that tracks global trends and their implications for business, government, and non-profits over 5-50 year time horizons.

Cecily also has a fascinating, multidisciplinary background – she trained and performed as dancer for 25 years and has also worked as a chiropractor, a college anatomy instructor and a branding consultant.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- The universal principles behind mastering any skill or field of knowledge
- The 4 Forces shaping the 21st Century and what to do about them 
- The mental models and habits needed to think like a futurist 

So whether you’re looking for insight into where the world is going or want to learn more about the mindsets and skillsets needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world, this episode will give you all you need and much more.

Oct 24, 2017

Kyle Pearce is an entrepreneur, adventurer and the Founder of DIY Genius – a self-education platform that helps people learn faster online and offers courses in subjects from flow psychology to digital marketing. 

Kyle has spent the last decade launching startups and helping entrepreneurs automate their online businesses. His latest startup venture is Social Creators, where he trains people to build their brands and automate their sales process with chatbot marketing funnels.

When he’s not working, Kyle spends time biking, skiing and running retreats through his ecotourism organization Spirit Quest Adventures.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- How Kyle learns best and the skills needed to thrive in the 21st century
- How to access the flow state that produces optimal performance 
- Kyle’s travel experiences and what he’s learned from other cultures 

So whether you’re looking to learn more effectively online, build a mobile business, or get into flow to accelerate your learning this episode will give you all you need and more.

Oct 13, 2017

Noah Kagan is the founder of AppSumo and Sumo.com, two multi million dollar companies that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Noah was employee no. 30 at Facebook and employee no.4 at Mint where he grew the company from zero to a million users.

He also writes about marketing and his business experiences at OkDork.com and has recently launched a Podcast, Noah Kagan Presents, and YouTube Channel.

Noah is all around learning machine and at the time of this conversation he’d just got back from a sabatical where he travelled around Europe, including a trip to Israel where he spent time learning Hebrew.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- How Noah learns best and his experience learning a language from scratch
- The business lessons Noah has learned from building an 8-Figure business
- The secret behind getting your ideas heard in a world full of noise

So whether you’re looking to build or grow your business or accelerate your learning by seeing the world with fresh eyes, this podcast will give you all that and much more.

Oct 3, 2017

Dr. Alex Pattakos is a bestselling author, former Professor of Public and Business Administration and the founder of the Global Meaning Institute, which aims to help people discover meaning in their lives and work.

Alex has written best-selling books on the human quest for meaning including Prisoners of Our Thoughts, which was written at the personal urging of the world-renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Viktor Frankl, the author of Man's Search for Meaning and a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps.

By writing The OPA! Way, inspired by Greek philosophy, mythology, and culture, Alex reconnected with his Greek roots, and gained a deeper understanding of how people found meaning in their everyday lives despite being surrounded by economic and social crises.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The importance of finding meaning in learning and how to do it
- The lessons Alex learned from, the psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl
- The lessons that we can learn from the Greeks to live better

So whether you’re looking to find meaning in your learning or want to discover some of the strategies you can apply to develop greater self-awareness, then this episode will give you all that and more.

Sep 21, 2017

While your brain doesn’t come with a user’s manual, there are things that we’ve learned over the course of the last two and a half decades that apply to most humans on the planet.

A continuous stream of new studies is shattering long-held beliefs about how the brain works and what happens when it doesn’t function properly - and - these advances are also reshaping the landscapes of many other fields, from psychology to economics, and education to law.

Sounds pretty grand doesn’t it? But why should you try to understand the brain if there are loads of smart people in white coats using microscopes and brain scanners doing it for you?

Well, the truth is that every action you take, every thought you entertain and every memory you hold is the result of chemistry and electricity working across that network of squidgy grey matter that sits in your skull. So it’s definitely worth gaining at least a basic understanding of it.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- The most common brain myths dispelled including the common 10% myth
- The 3 biggest insights from neuroscience about the brain discovered in the last 20 years
- The MetaLearning strategies that build on these insights which you can apply to your learning

So whether you’re looking to learn more about your own brain and how to use it better in learning and life, this episode has you covered.

Sep 14, 2017

My first video course, Make Me A MetaLearner launches today and I’m doing a special episode here to celebrate the launch!

This course is the culmination of all my work over the last few years here at MetaLearn and draws on the latest cutting edge research on how we learn, the conversations I’ve had with the world’s top learning experts and my own personal teaching and learning experience.

Make Me A MetaLearner is an interactive course with 100+ HD video lessons (over 5 hours of content) and an extensive workbook designed to help you master your learning and pick up a new skill in record time.

In this short episode I discuss a range of topics including:

- Why I made Make Me A MetaLearner in the first place
- The learning problems that I’ve faced on my journey
- How I designed Make Me a MetaLearner


I believe that MetaLearning is the ultimate 21st century superpower.

Because once you’ve mastered it, you can apply it to anything and everything.

And once you've discovered the power of becoming a MetaLearner and picking up new skills in record time...you'll never want to go back!

Click here to check out the course and view the first 9 lessons for free.
http://metalearn.teachable.com/p/make-me-a-metalearner/


Make Me A MetaLearner will be available from this Thursday 14th September until Thursday 21 September only for the introductory price of $197.

After a week, registration for the course will close, so make sure you enrol to avoid missing out until the next opening. 

Aug 27, 2017

Play is one of the most heavily neglected aspects of learning something new.

Because learning at school and university involved pressure, fatigue, the possibility of failure, lack of choice, set goals and unavoidable drudgery, we often associate learning anything new with these same qualities.

If only learning could be more like play. Energising rather than exhausting, practiced for fun rather than to pass exams and relaxing rather than pressured.

Well, the truth is that it can be that way for all of us, if we adjust our mindset and approach. Virtually any activity can be made into work and most, if not all activities can be enjoyable.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- How to find a balance between play and hard work
- How effective gamification is in improving the learning process
- How to reframe whatever you’re doing to make it more enjoyable

So whether you’re looking to make your learning more fun or you’re curious about the process of gamification and how you can apply it to your own projects, this episode will give you all that and more.

Aug 20, 2017

The major problems people face when learning new skills can be broken down into different stages. And the chances are you’ve experienced one or more of them because I certainly have. 

Maybe you keep getting stuck right out of the starting blocks, or lose momentum after a few weeks. Maybe you burn out from doing too much too soon or struggle to fit the skill into your life after you’ve reached a target. 

While methods and techniques are important, a lot of these problems are emotional and psychological and we’ve all experienced them at one point or another. Most of the time, we know what to do, but we just don’t do it! 

After years of teaching hundreds of students as university lecturer and tutor, learning new skills myself and fielding your questions here at MetaLearn, I’ve broken these problems down into 5 stages and identified the solutions to them.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss the 5 major problems including:

1) Not getting started
2) Not getting momentum
3) Burning out and giving up
4) Plateauing and losing interest
5) Integrating skills into your life

So whether you're looking to get over the first hurdle of getting started, want to break through a wall you’ve hit or just want to find a way to comfortably integrate a new skill you’ve learned into your life, this episode has you covered.

Aug 3, 2017

Deliberate practice is more than just doing something over and over again – it’s carefully structured and goal directed and consists of repeated striving to reach beyond current performance levels.

Research on neuroplasticity tells us that this type of deliberate practice changes the structure of the brain and allows us to perform at higher levels.

But practicing the right way at the right time is more complex than just doing the thing – because you need to eliminate barriers to practice, prioritise for fast feedback and maintain a balance between quantity and quality.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- How to manage the tradeoff between quantity and quality of practice
- How to reflect on your progress to calibrate accurately
- How to build learning habits so that the process of practicing becomes automatic, allowing you to focus on improving

So whether you're looking to play a new instrument, pick up a new sport or learn to code, this episode will give you the ideas you need to structure your learning and get those crucial hours of high quality work in so that you can make progress faster, more efficiently and more enjoyably.

Aug 1, 2017

Rob Twigger is a bestselling author and adventurer who has written several award winning books on everything from accelerated learning to studying martial arts in Japan to a biography of the River Nile.

The main reasons people consistently fail to learn new skills are never starting, giving up or getting distracted. And all of these suggest that our perception of how hard something is to learn is crucial to our progress.

Rob offers a compelling solution to this problem in his latest book Micromastery, which outlines the process of taking a small skill, doing it well, and using it to experiment and painlessly learn about a new area. So instead of learning to cook, learn how to make the perfect omelette.

By making the learning task small, self-contained and manageable, you can get the quick wins you need to build momentum and make progress. But micromastery is much more than just a learning technique – it’s a new way of looking at the world and learning about yourself, as you’ll discover.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The process of using micromastery to learn new skills quickly and enjoyably

- The difference between the Eastern and Western philosophies of learning

- How to learn about yourself and the world through travel and adventure

 

We also discuss Rob’s experience learning martial arts with the Tokyo Riot police, his expedition across the Great Sand Sea of the Egyptian Sahara and the polymaths who have inspired him the most.

So whether you’re looking to rediscover your curiosity, pick up new skills and have fun along the way or learn how to make the most of your travel experiences, this episode will give you all that and more.

Jul 27, 2017

One of the challenges of learning a new skill is that very often, you don’t know what you don’t know – and if you can't structure your learning or keep making the same mistakes without correcting them your progress will suffer and you may eventually give up.

This where experts come in – because they can help you plan your practice, focus on the right sub skills and accelerate your learning through regular corrective feedback.

But whether you’re looking for an expert online or in person, it can sometimes be a challenge to separate the wheat from the chaff. That’s why you need to know what to look for in an expert and have a good understanding of their teaching and learning process before committing.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- The different types of expert and how to choose the right one for you
- How to get objective feedback so that you can improve
- How to balance your needs for self direction and guidance to accelerate your learning

So whether you're looking to hire coach to help you learn a new skill, or just want to improve how you learn from an existing teacher, this episode will give you all that and more.

Jul 21, 2017

We’ve all probably had glimpses of great teamwork in our own lives, where every one’s strengths complement each other and compensate for individual weaknesses, but these are often fleeting and temporary.

But examples of these learning experiences are few and far between in most schools and universities and in the organisations that many work in after finishing their education.

Collaborative learning skills must be continuously refined and practiced, not just things that people write about on their CVs and talk about in job interviews – because they can have a massive impact.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- The benefits of collaboration in learning and how to use it effectively
- The difference between dialogue and discussion and how to use both
- How to find a balance between competition and effective teamwork within groups

So whether you're looking to use collaborative learning to pick up a new skill or just want to work better in teams, this episode will give you everything you need and more.

Jul 18, 2017

Ulrich Boser is a bestselling author and senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress. Ulrich recently released Learn Better, a book on the science of learning designed to help you master the skills for success in life, business, and school - and become an expert in anything. 

Ulrich has interviewed some of the greatest minds in the field of learning science, including many of the guests on the MetaLearn Podcast and has thought deeply about the fundamental principles of learning how to learn, giving him a unique take on the field. In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- The most important MetaLearning principles Ulrich discovered in his research for the book
- How Ulrich has applied learning science to upgrade his basketball skills
- The importance of trust in learning and education and how to develop it 

So whether you’re looking to upgrade your learning skills, gain insights from one of the thought leaders in the field of learning to learn or understand how to leverage trust in your learning, this episode will give you all that and more.

Jul 18, 2017

Ulrich Boser is a bestselling author and senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress. Ulrich recently released Learn Better, a book on the science of learning designed to help you master the skills for success in life, business, and school - and become an expert in anything. 

Ulrich has interviewed some of the greatest minds in the field of learning science, including many of the guests on the MetaLearn Podcast and has thought deeply about the fundamental principles of learning how to learn, giving him a unique take on the field. In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- The most important MetaLearning principles Ulrich discovered in his research for the book
- How Ulrich has applied learning science to upgrade his basketball skills
- The importance of trust in learning and education and how to develop it 

So whether you’re looking to upgrade your learning skills, gain insights from one of the thought leaders in the field of learning to learn or understand how to leverage trust in your learning, this episode will give you all that and more.

Jul 13, 2017

Our natural instinct to compete with others can be a powerful motivator for learning. As someone who's naturally competitive, using competition has definitely worked well for me in the early stages of learning a new skill and if you're wired in a similar way I'll be surprised if it hasn’t worked for you too.

But anything in excess is its opposite and being overly competitive can also harm your ability to learn if you don’t manage it properly. It’s easy to focus too much on the competition and not enough on yourself.

The truth is there will always be people who are better than us and we need to accept that. If we can, then we can allow ourselves to celebrate others’ achievements and use them as inspiration for pursuing our own.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- The benefits of competition in learning and how to use it constructively
- How competition can harm learning if it’s not kept in check
- How to compete with yourself over an extended period of time

So whether you're looking to use competition to start learning a new skill or just want to try competing with yourself for a while, this episode will give you everything you need and more.

Jun 20, 2017

Will Reynolds is a videographer, writer and all around MetaLearner who has become a regular fixture on the MetaLearn podcast in our weekly short form conversations on learning and skill acquisition. 

We’re currently living in a world where it’s possible to learn almost any skill given the resources we have available for almost no cost. But taking advantage of these resources, learning hard skills and making a living from them is not without its challenges. 

Will is a perfect example of an autodidact who has taken control of his own learning and taught himself skills, including writing and videography, that he now earns a living from. 

In this conversation, we discuss a range of topics including:

- How to go from novice to getting paid for new skills like videography
- The importance of cultivating transferable MetaSkills
- The lessons we can learn from autodidacts like Eminem and Frank Zappa 

So whether you’re looking to pick up hard skills and get paid for them, upgrade your transferable toolkit or navigate the challenges of being an autodidact, this episode will give you all that and much more.

Jun 6, 2017

Gabriele Oettingen is a Professor of Psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg and a bestselling author. Her research focuses on human motivation and goal setting, exploring the impact of the way we look at the future on our emotions and behaviour.

We’re living in an age where positive thinking is all the rage – from pop music to political speeches thee message is the same: think positive, focus on your dreams and they’ll come true before you know it. The problem with following this advice is not only that it’s empty and hard to action – but that it can actually reduce your chances of achieving your goals.

Gabriele Oettingen has spent twenty years researching the science of human motivation and discovered time and again that conventional positive thinking falls short. By changing the way we think about the future her research has proven that we can become healthier, improve our personal relationships and perform better at work.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- How people normally set goals and what they’re doing wrong
- The pitfalls of positive thinking and how to avoid them
- The practical tools you can apply to get better results in your life

So whether you’re looking to make some major changes in your life or just level up that extra one per cent, you’ll learn the practical strategies needed to change your mindset and habits in order to achieve your goals.

May 30, 2017

Ellen Langer is a Harvard psychologist widely known as the “mother of mindfulness” and is the author of eleven books and more than two hundred research articles on mindfulness over the last 35 years.

Mindfulness is becoming more and more of a buzzword these days but very few people actually understand it and even fewer know how to apply it in their everyday lives. But there are few things that can have a bigger impact on your learning and life than improving your awareness of yourself and the world around you.

Ellen is the perfect guide to the field of mindfulness because she takes a clear, no nonsense approach, devoid of the mysticism that often surrounds it. This makes her ideas easy to digest and more importantly, easy to apply in practice.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- What mindfulness actually is and how it differs from mindlessness
- Some of the most common learning myths and how to combat them
- How to keep learning fun and avoid it becoming a chore

So whether you're looking to finally understand mindfulness, uncover some of the learning myths that we're vulnerable to at school or improve your awareness of your own learning, this episode will give you all that and more.

Apr 11, 2017

Kalid Azad is the founder of Better Explained, one of the world's most popular maths websites that makes hard concepts easy to understand. After studying Computer Science at Princeton, Kalid spent a few years at Microsoft as a program manager, founded a Y Combinator startup, and currently works as a developer.

For many people, maths is the subject they used to hate most in school and they carry this fear of numbers into later life. But it doesn't have to be that way - and understanding basic mathematical principles can be both fun and useful.

Kalid uses an intuition first approach to explain difficult ideas in a way that anyone can understand and this makes him a great person to talk to about any subject or skill including his current profession of computer programming.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- How to get better at maths and why some people find it so hard
- The secrets behind great explanations of tricky concepts
- How Kalid has learned skills from coding to snowboarding and weight training

So whether you're looking to get better with numbers, learn to code or pick up physical skills, this episode will give you the actionable principles and techniques needed to succeed.

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