maandag 24 maart 2008

Head First

Some time ago O'Reilly came with a new series of books called "Head First xyz" with xyz being mostly about programming stuff (Java, Design Patterns, C#, ...). If you've looked at one of the books, you've seen they are different from the usual computer books. From the blurb:

"...Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First uses a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works, not a text-heavy approach that puts you to sleep."

This sounds mumbo-jumbo, but it's worked out as original books with lots of pictures, puzzles, scribbles and exercises. (Check the website for some samples: I had been curious about whether they are any good, I picked one up about Javascript. About halfway through I think it's funny and activating. It contains the right mix of text and pictures, explanation and exercises. Maybe it'll grow old if you read too many of these books, but it probably won't hurt a student to add Head First Java to his BlueJ book.

One final thing that struck me is the conversational tone they use in the book. Apparently this has been researched as adding to the learning experience. This is exactly the way I've written my study material from the day I came in de Hanze. I probably have some talent... :-)
Update: I laid my hands on "Head first Design Patterns" the other day and can recommend that one too.

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