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The Joy of Practical Learning…What Can You DO?

An unfortunate number of people graduate from high school or college with a lot of knowledge and no practical ability. I’m a firm believer that practical learning (i.e. the ability to do something) is just as important as academic learning (i.e. knowledge about something). Practical learning encompasses anything that helps someone master a skill or ability. It includes skills that are sometimes considered drudge work…cooking, painting, fixing a car. As well as talents that are more recreational…skiing, drawing, dancing. Why Practical Learning? While skill-based learning comes naturally to some, many people are more comfortable with academic learning. When I graduated college, I loved reading and thinking. Over the next few years, I set aside time to escape from the written word and focus my energy developing skills. If you’re more of a thinker than a do-er, it may be difficult to focus on practical learning. There is great satisfaction in being able to accomplish something. Can you: Related:  osensei2001

The World As Your Campus: Design A General Ed Curriculum for Life One of the biggest hurdles people face when embarking on a journey of self-education is deciding what to learn. There are so many possibilities that it’s difficult to narrow down the options. If you still don’t know what you want to focus your self-studies on, may I suggest you take a bit of time for “general education.” In college, we think of general education as the series of courses one must take to get a broad understanding of academics. In the “world campus,” a general education is anything that helps you explore your own interests and share a common understanding with humanity. An inspiring essay from William Upski Wimsatt, published in Utne Reader, explores one self-educator’s personal curriculum: “I…enrolled as a student at the University of Planet Earth, the world’s oldest and largest educational institution. Here’s my curriculum: Live in a different city every year. Now, that’s an exciting curriculum. For a list of small steps to help you get started see: Deschooling Yourself .

The Lifelong Learner Infographic Continuing Education Infographics Lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. The Lifelong Learner Infographic explores why you should never stop learning, the perceived barriers of lifelong learning as well as its benefits and provides tips on how to become a lifelong learner. Via: Embed This Education Infographic on your Site or Blog!

How To Learn On Your Own: Make A Personal Scholar Resource Plan One of the most challenging and gratifying parts of learning alone is the opportunity to search for and select your own learning material. Students in traditional classrooms usually don’t get to decide how they are going to master course content. Instructors decide for them in the form of textbook selection, quizzes, tests, group projects, etc. As an independent learner, you can make your study time more effective by using only the learning methods that work for you. A resource plan is a document used to brainstorm the learning material you can use when you begin your studies. This article will show you how to create a resource plan to use in your independent studies. Step 1: Set a Goal The first step to creating a resource plan is to decide on a single goal. Ineffective Goal – Learn HTMLEffective Goal – Create several websites using HTML, referring only minimally to a coding book. Step 2: Collect Materials Books – The written word is still one of the best ways to learn a subject.

Memorizing Dates - How To Remember Dates For A Test Dates are often difficult to remember because they seem so random and obscure unless we can relate them to something specific. For instance, the American Civil War started in 1861, but unless you have a strong interest in the specific timeline of the war, there is nothing special about the starting date that separates that date from any other. What makes 1861 stand apart from 1863 or 1851? When trying to memorize a date, students can really benefit from a mnemonic system (memory technique) to help them recall the right numbers in the right order. For memorizing dates it might be helpful to borrow a practice from the London Cockneys. A Cockney is an inhabitant of the East End of London, England. In Cockney slang: Can you believe it? More examples: Whistle and flute = suit White mice = ice Tom Hanks = thanks Trouble and strife = wife Remembering Dates We can use the same method to remember dates. You can leave off the century, so that 1861, the starting date for the Civil War, becomes 61.

How I Study In An Organized Way I'm super crazy about organization. I'm no where near OCD, but anyone who knows me knows that I'm all about things being in order. Perfect example: my closet is organized by type of clothing and then organized by color. I like to know where something is when I go looking for it, but I'll put that in another post. I'll go through this step by step. Syllabi Let's start with the syllabi. Once an assignment, test, or reading has been finished, I highlight it so I know that it's done and I don't need to worry about it anymore. Planner My planner is my sidekick during the semester. My planner, much like everything else in my life, is color coordinated. Moving On...... Here's how I get my weekly assignments organized so I can do them: I like lists. I pick a color for each subject, and make a list on a piece of notebook paper, the Stickies on my laptop, and organize my syllabi with the corresponding color flag tags.

How To Memorize Things Quickly People like to joke that the only thing you really “learn” in school is how to memorize. As it turns out, that’s not even the case for most of us. If you go around the room and ask a handful of people how to memorize things quickly, most of them will probably tell you repetition. That is so far from the truth, it’s running for office. If you want to memorize something quickly and thoroughly, repetition won’t cut it; however, recalling something will. The problem is that recalling something requires learning, and we all learn in different ways. Before we start, you need to establish something: are you an auditory, visual, or experiential learner? Step 1: Preparation To optimize your memorization session, pay close attention to which environment you choose. Next, start drinking some tea. As we get older, toxic chemicals will damage our neurons and synapses, leading to memory loss and even Alzheimer’s. Step 2: Record What You’re Memorizing Step 3: Write Everything Down Step 9: Take a break

How To Learn Without Memorizing Photo by Edwin Stemp Rote memorization is an inefficient way to learn. Just retaining a single formula can mean pounding the same information into your skull dozens of times. If your computer hard drive had this accuracy, you’d probably throw it out. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with your brain. The good news is that you don’t need to learn by memorization. A few years ago, I noticed that smart people seemed to learn differently than most other people. While there are undoubtedly some genetic advantages that allow some people to learn effortlessly, I think part of this difference in success comes down to strategy. Is Your Brain a File Drawer or a Web of Ideas? A computer stores information as thousands of electrical 1s and 0s in a linear fashion. However, your brain isn’t a sequence of bits and bytes, so this approach doesn’t make sense. Other Forms of Learning There are lots of ways you can learn creatively: 1. Connect ideas together by relating them to something you already understand. 2.

10 Characteristics Of A Highly Effective Learning Environment 10 Characteristics Of A Highly Effective Learning Environment by Terry Heick For in-person professional development from TeachThought on how to create an effective learning environment in your classroom or school, contact us today. Wherever we are, we’d all like to think our classrooms are “intellectually active” places. The reality is, there is no single answer because teaching and learning are awkward to consider as single events or individual “things.” So we put together one take on the characteristics of a highly effective classroom. 1. This is not a feel-good implication, but really crucial for the whole learning process to work. The role of curiosity has been studied (and perhaps under-studied and under-appreciated), but suffice to say that if a learner enters any learning activity with little to no natural curiosity, prospects for meaningful interaction with texts, media, and specific tasks are bleak. 2. Questions are more important than answers. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Hacking Knowledge: 77 Ways To Learn Faster, Deeper, & Better If someone granted you one wish, what do you imagine you would want out of life that you haven’t gotten yet? For many people, it would be self-improvement and knowledge. Newcounter knowledge is the backbone of society’s progress. Great thinkers such as Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and others’ quests for knowledge have led society to many of the marvels we enjoy today. Life-changing knowledge does typically require advanced learning techniques. Health Shake a leg. Balance Sleep on it. Perspective and Focus Change your focus, part 2. Recall Techniques Listen to music. Visual Aids Every picture tells a story. Verbal and Auditory Techniques Stimulate ideas. Kinesthetic Techniques Write, don’t type. Self-Motivation Techniques Give yourself credit. Supplemental Techniques Read as much as you can. For Teachers, Tutors, and Parents Be engaging. For Students and Self-Studiers Be engaged. Parting Advice Persist. Sources For This Article Did you enjoy this article?

The Art of “Creative Sleep”: Stephen King on Writing and Wakeful Dreaming by Maria Popova “In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives.” “Sleep is the greatest creative aphrodisiac,” a wise woman once said. Indeed, we already know that dreaming regulates our negative emotions and “positive constructive daydreaming” enhances our creativity, while a misaligned sleep cycle is enormously mentally crippling. But can a sleep-like state in waking life, aside from lucid dreaming, actually enrich and empower our creative capacity? Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream. King likens the creative process to a kind of wakeful dream state. In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives. King’s advice, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt: As E. Donating = Loving

Six Famous Thought Experiments, Animated in 60 Seconds Each By Maria Popova From the fine folks at the Open University comes 60-Second Adventures in Thought, a fascinating and delightfully animated series exploring six famous thought experiments. The Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles comes from Ancient Greece and explores motion as an illusion: The Grandfather Paradox grapples with time travel: Chinese Room comes from the work of John Searle, originally published in 1980, and deals with artificial intelligence: Hilbert’s paradox of the Grand Hotel, proposed by German mathematician David Hilbert, tackles the gargantuan issue of infinity: The Twin Paradox, first explained by Paul Langevin in 1911, examines special relativity: Schrödinger’s Cat, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, is a quantum mechanics mind-bender: For more such fascination and cognitive calisthenics, you won’t go wrong with Peg Tittle’s What If….Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy . via Open Culture