By Randy Snyder
One thing we all agree on is that learning expands the mind, is good for self-esteem and opens the heart and soul of each of us!
The relative thing that has changed over the generations is the methods by which we learn.
As a preface, I share a few great quotations regarding learning and the importance of continuing to learn:
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” ~Attributed to Harry S Truman
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere”. ~Chinese Proverb
“Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.” ~Vernon Howard
The basics are via two senses for learning, auditory and visual incorporated methods.
We all can remember having to learn when associated with punishment for something we did wrong and were expected to “learn a lesson” by writing a sentence over and over as a reprimand and statement of not repeating that behavior. Another way was to repeat over and over the lesson learned due to our misbehavior. This was learning through repetition known as rote learning and although effective for the moment imposed a short time lesson. Repetition is necessary for learning but not sufficient for most learning.
Four methods of learning used in “kid’s related learning” that can be useful when we teach our kids and grandkids are still effective and used today – and useful for adults as well:
- Workbook Learning:
Workbook learning helps us understand and practice things in an organized way guiding us from easy to progressively more difficult helping the user master a subject deliberately influencing competencies. It is educative and is also fun to use.
This method of learning consists of visiting a variety of places building context around the information and facts that are learned. “Tourists” usually summarize their tours with essays regarding their findings, or using their reflections for further learning. Tours break up the day-to-day routine bringing more energy and motivation into the learning process.
As I mentioned earlier, this learning method is one we can all relate to and is associated with teaching students math, manual routines, writing and as ‘being taught a lesson’ due to misbehavior. All of us use some repetition to remember things and routines initially though a lot of that new information seems to disappear!
- Note Taking:
Taking notes is essential during lectures, presentations, discussions, meetings etc. for remembering key thoughts and insights. Notes can be taken in the learner’s own context or structure, but is an active process which reinforces memory.
Learning in most learning environments is not possible unless we listen. Remember that you need to hear things, not just see things, in order to learn well. You were given two ears and one mouth for a reason! Listen more and listen before you talk!
- Sit where you can hear.
- Have your hearing checked on a regular basis.
- Use flashcards to learn new words; read them out loud.
- Read stories, assignments, or directions out loud.
- Record yourself spelling words and then listen to the recording.
- Have test questions read to you out loud.
- Study new material by reading it out loud.
Technology is revolutionizing the way we are taught and the way we teach and learn in home and classroom environments. There are DVD’s, video instructional programs, You Tube, the internet, android devices, Google, the cloud, apps and much more offering a myriad of opportunities to learn. We are literally deluged with information every hour of the day. How we use it depends on our desire and our personal choices.
To prevent ‘overload’, a new learning process and methodology is evolving. It is MICROLEARNING, a process of building successful behaviors in small focused segments and is especially effective when learning is a group activity. Due to information overload, learners are uninspired, and focusing on smaller content is the way to engage learners in the process of building successful behavior.
As a learner or group of learners interacts with each unit of MICROLEARNING, behavior change happens and learning becomes a continual journey of self-improvement.