July 29, 2016: Friday news roundup

Before getting into the news, I wanted to share a quote from Vice President Joe Biden’s DNC speech earlier this week. Speaking of increasing pay for teachers, he said, “Being a teacher isn’t what they do; it’s who they are.” That line jumped out because it perfectly captures the ethos of instructors on the Udemy platform too. It’s why we created a marketplace where everyday experts can share their knowledge—because there are a lot of people who may not work in schools, but they are teachers at heart.

When it comes to brain function, you “use it or lose it”
Responding to a question on Quora, a neuropsychologist explains that learning one thing doesn’t exhaust your capacity to learn something else. On the contrary, as we’ve said here before, getting into the learning mindset actually helps you open up to new ideas and skills. You’ve got to make learning a part of your routine just as much as regular exercise.

Making it: The hands-on movement that impacts our economy, education and culture
We know lots of Udemy students consider themselves creators and tinkerers, and we love that! Most of them say they started young too. Here, the founder of Maker Media describes how kids today are playing with technology to fuel their imaginations and have fun, but they’re also developing valuable skills around problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, and more.

The golden age of teaching yourself anything
This is a long but fascinating deep-dive into self-motivated learners and the emerging crop of technology-based tools available to help anyone become an autodidact. The article posits that it’s “neither intelligence nor technique that holds people back from being successful self-taught learners.” Rather, it’s insecurity—fear of not being smart enough. People with a true growth mindset, however, “don’t worry about how smart they are. What matters is their openness toward developing their skills and talents.”

The incalculable value of finding a job you love
Plenty of research has been conducted showing that money doesn’t bring happiness. On the other hand, doing work that’s personally satisfying and aligned with one’s values doesn’t always pay the rent. This columnist advises readers to become experts at something people value highly and that also fully absorbs their hearts and minds, which, he acknowledges, is easier said than done.

eHarmony has a younger, hotter business on the side: job placement
Does it ever feel like finding the perfect job fit is as elusive as finding the perfect mate? Online matchmaker eHarmony sees the similarity and a big business opportunity. They’re using the same software that pairs compatible couples to connect employers with suitable job seekers. Could it be a recipe for true love?