Daily Prompt: Learning Style
What’s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?
To quote a picture I found on the Internet once: I work well in a group, especially when everyone leaves me the f… alone. So yes, I think if you are serious about what you want to learn, you should do it in solitude. Classes are good, but the overall performance is determined by how much you learn outside of the classroom (based on assumption that everyone take away the same amount of knowledge).
The key to successful learning is repetition and thanks to all the user-friendly technology is easier than ever. Google drive and keep are accessible from all devices, you take a note on a train and you can do your research once you go back home. You are no longer facing the risk of losing a notebook or spilling coffee on your precious calc-sheets: everything is on-line, backed up and ready to spill into your head.
But the same thing that makes it so useful is also the biggest danger to the learning curve: we are lazy as fuck.
Everything is there.
Just recently I figured out that my attention span has decreased over years and I struggle to focus on a topic for longer than several minutes. Instead of reading an article, I would scan it for key words. Read a paper instead of a novel. See a webisode instead of a full feature. The generation ADHD (I’m probably not authorized to go as far as to label a generation, but let’s go wild ) is super impatient, we expect results, we want them now. A fellow designer I work with told me when we were brainstorming ideas for a new delivery channel: ‘If I don’t get what I’m after within 3 mouse-clicks, I will have lost interest.’
It’s a shame we forget that nothing really comes easy and in order to truly master a discipline one needs to devote considerable amount of time to it.
That’s why I struggle to devote more than 3-4 hours to an illustration. I’m scared that they may not be good enough. And if they aren’t, the thought of wasting 3 hours as opposed to 3 weeks is more comforting. It’s a shame though; probably if I did spend more time, I would be able to raise the quality quite dramatically.
There are ways around it – memorize random facts. Try to learn something else every year, or even every month, at least to give yourself some foundations. Make the most out of your brain or at least make something out of it. We have the most incredible knowledge available at our hands, and I’m not just talking about user generated content of the world wide web. This webpage list the academic materials of world’s top universities available at no cost. And we play Angrybirds.
To close up my rant, I think we are slowly approaching a time where being an expert in a narrow field would be truly precious; in a generation when everyone ‘googles’ stuff and there are tutorials for everything (let’s call it ‘random access knowledge’), a real, organic knowledge will be priceless.
‘I’m a genius but nobody knows it but me’
Oh, they have no idea.