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Deep learning during COVID-19 Deep learning during COVID-19
by Joseph Gatt
2020-07-04 07:57:46
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Bored during this confinement period? I would recommend “deep learning.”

Different people define “deep learning” differently. I would define it simply as any activity that makes you gain expertise or think “deeply” on a certain topic.

Briefly, here are some deep learning activities that I like to engage in, and that could be fun.

For adults:

Activity 1:

-Get a pen/pencil and a notebook.

-Go to YouTube and search for “the top 100 hits” of every year, starting from 2020, down to 2019, 2018 etc.

-Either write down every single title and artist. Or only write down the names of the song and artist that you like.

-Spend hours listening to those songs. You can listen to the songs you like on repeat. But try to listen to every song at least once.

buscor001_400-Benefits of the activity: it will bring back memories, it will teach you the titles and artists of songs you vaguely knew, and it will help you in the future at any event where you need to DJ/play music.

-You can also create a playlist/playlists of your favorite songs.

-You will be surprised by some titles of songs and by the artists who you never knew sang that song!

Activity 2

-Download the Bible/Tanakh/Quran... any scripture

-Read one book/one surah/one chapter per day. Most chapters will take 2 or 3 hours of your time.

-Benefits: people make all kinds of claims of what is written/isn't written in the Bible and so on. There are all kinds of myths about what is written in the scriptures. You will get a first hand account of what the scriptures actually contain. And they contain a lot of wisdom.

Activity 3

-Name three of your favorite authors/writers. Should be an author whose life and works you admire. 

-Try to read as many of their books as you can. If possible, read all their books.

-Benefits: will make you more comfortable with the habit of reading. Will make you an expert of the author. Will encourage you to discover the pleasure of reading and do the same with other authors. Not to mention the cognitive benefits of reading: calm, enhances narrative skills, enhances writing skills etc.

Activity 4

-Got to IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes/any movie database website

-Take a look at the “top 500 movies of all time.”

-Pick 7 movies in that list that were huge hits and yet that you never had the time/the opportunity to watch.

-Watch one movie per day.

-Benefits: you won't feel guilty about missing out on the movie.

Activity 5

-Pick three dramas/sit-coms that you really liked but only watched a few episodes, one episode here, one episode there.

-Watch the drama/sit-com in order of sequence, three to six episodes per day. You should be able to finish a series in two weeks, and the three dramas/sit-coms in six weeks.

Activity 6

-Try to remember a time in high school/college where your teachers/friends were discussing this intellectual topic and you felt lost. Could be philosophy, history, physics, biology etc.

-Pick three academic disciplines that you really wish you could have mastered when your friends/teachers were having that great discussion.

-Purchase the Teaching Company/The Modern Scholar series on that topic (history, philosophy, chemistry, what not) or try to find free lectures on YouTube (the MIT, Yale, Harvard and others have a ton of free courses on YouTube... check out their channels!)

Teenagers and children

Activity 1

-Pick a game (like candy crush, angry birds, Tetris, etc.)

-Play, and keep track of your scores (write them down on a piece of paper)

-Derive statistics from your game scores (average, mode, mean, standard deviation etc.)

-Try to see if there are other patterns in your gaming.

-If you have siblings, organize “mini-tournaments” and then derive statistics together!

Activity 2

-I call this activity “our house has got talent” or “the voice: our house edition.”

-Everyone in the house gets to pick three songs they will perform on Saturday night at 8 PM.

-You have a few days to rehearse the song. Help each other rehearse the song. Get help from YouTube karaoke versions, listen to the song, rehearse until you're good to go.

-If one sibling plays an instrument, he could help with instruments. Otherwise the karaoke version on YouTube is just fine for instrumentals.

-Have fun on Saturday night. Bonus, you can all pick a song that you sing together at the end of the event.

Activity 3

-The three minute play (or 5 minute play)

-Family gets together and writes the dialogue for a play. Each person gets to write the dialogue for one character.

-Once the play is written and fixed, you do a “table rehearsal” of the play, or just read the dialogues (with the emotions and all).

-You then rehearse the play several times, and pick a date (Saturday night) for a performance (live via Skype for grandma and grandpa and uncle and aunty to watch).

Activity 4

-The speech contest

-Everyone gets to write a speech. A theme could be imposed (for example: “food” or “TV” or “school.”)

-Each speech has a 3 minute limit.

-Try to make a performance out of the speech, without looking at the notes (memorize the speech)

-Speech goes live on Saturday night!

Activity 5

-”Picture quiz”

-As parents (or older siblings) you go to “Google images” and get images of “categories” of objects, animals, plants, fashion items, furniture, houses, company brand logos and so on.

-Print the sheets out and hand them to your kids (siblings)

-Everyone should memorize the name associated to the image as best they can. Let's say you have a week for this.

-Parent (or older sibling) puts on a slide show of (let's say) 60 images without the name of the object/animal etc.

-Each person should identify the name of the object/animal (either in writing or the first to raise their hand and get the correct answer gets one point).

-Keep track of the scores.

Activity 6

-”Foreign language initiation”

-Pick a list of 20 words for each of the following languages (easy words that is): French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Czech, German, Russian, and a few others.

-Give the kids (siblings) a week to memorize as many of those words (and the language) as they can.

-On quiz day, they either get the word (but have to guess the language) or the English word (and have to find the Portuguese equivalent for example).

Activity 7

-”Historical events”

-Give kids/siblings a list of history dates and historical events (keep the description of the events short).

-Kids will get a fun quiz on those dates.

Activity 8

-”The bank”

-This is a simple game to teach kids how to think about money.

-Each kid gets a certain sum of money at each round determined by a throw of two dice (example: you get an 8, you get 80 dollars or something like that).

-After receiving that “paycheck” money, the kid them throws the dice four times (once for “groceries”, once for “rent”, once for “bills” and once for “miscellaneous”). For example, if they throw a 7, they owe the bank 21 dollars (or something like that).

-The game is exciting. The idea is to save as much as possible, and to avoid spending more money than the “paycheck.”

-You can add twists to the game (for example “loans”) and flesh the game out a bit more.

Have fun! And don't forget winners should get gifts!  

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