A New Milestone & Other Learning News
I am pleased to announce that Learning Life has just published its 50th quiz. The quiz on slavery in history follows on a quiz we published in May on slavery today in light of the troubling persistence of slavery in the world, despite its widespread illegality. This milestone prompts me to write to you about where we’ve been and what we’re up to in terms of the educational content we provide as we approach our second year in existence.
As you may know, Learning Life’s mission is to nurture a wider culture of learning by spreading knowledge on everyday surfaces, like napkins, cup sleeves, coasters, placemats and posters. As I have noted in a previous post, cognitive research shows that the more one knows about a given topic, the better one remembers, comprehends and problem solves on that topic. Thus, information matters, and it matters all the more in our era marked by deepening social and educational inequalities (more on this here). Learning Life focuses on spreading knowledge that matters to people’s lives, whether that be vital information about safety and health, about history and politics, or else.
Since our founding in August 2012, I have worked with talented advisors, volunteers, and student interns to:
- Build Learning Life’s website
- Launch our monthly newsletter
- Establish our Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest pages
- Establish our Big Questions Series (more on this series below)
- Partner with Washington D.C.’s Newseum to help inform area residents about President John F. Kennedy’s legacy using 10,000 napkins, street theater, and an online quiz (see our short video on this project)
- Partner with the City of Alexandria, Virginia to help engage area residents with the City’s rich history using thousands of wallet cards, tote bags, fortune cookies as well as two online quizzes (more about this project here and here)
Since December 2012, when Learning Life’s website went live, we have also been publishing two new quizzes per month. With this 50th quiz milestone, we will be shifting to one new quiz per month in order to develop other learning initiatives, like our Big Questions Series. The Series presents experts’ 1-2 paragraph answers to important questions of wide public interest. Last year, we launched our first three Big Questions on terrorism on the anniversary of 9/11. Three terrorism experts answered the following questions: How big a threat is terrorism? What are the underlying causes of terrorism? How does news media reporting shape terrorism and public perception of terrorism? You can read their provocative answers here. This year, Learning Life interns and volunteers are busy working on several new Big Questions, from the practical to the celestial, including:
- What makes for success?
- What makes for long, happy marriages?
- What should students do to get the most out of their education?
- How and why is economic inequality increasing?
- Is there intelligent life elsewhere in the universe?
Stay tuned as we begin posting answers to these Big Questions in the coming months, and if you have ideas for Big Questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learning Life is also expanding the array of information we spread via our social media pages as we grow our audience online, with a special focus on Facebook, the world’s largest social network with 1.3 billion users as of this writing. Thanks to the work of our interns and volunteers, we will be sharing more helpful facts on health and safety, more excellent information sources on the internet, profiles of famous political leaders, inventors, writers and others past and present in the USA and worldwide, and much more.
There’s more to tell, but I don’t want to reveal it all in this blog post, so stay tuned!Paul Lachelier, Ph.D. Founder, Learning Life