Friday, October 30, 2009
7 ½ Highly Successful Learning Habits is a short presentation by the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Here is a recap on the information provided, with my own tidbits thrown in:
1. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
It is helpful to identify your learning goal, or what you hope to gain from a particular learning experience. I’d even go so far as to write it down and paste it on the refrigerator-that makes it real and helps to keep your focus on track.
2. ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN LEARNING
Not only is learning an investment in your future-no one is more invested in your future than you. (i.e. you have the most to gain, or the most to lose.) Responsible learners do the work that is needed to master a skill or gain knowledge, and stay on the course of their commitment.
3. VIEW PROBLEMS AS CHALLENGES
Problems can create havoc and worry in your brain; challenges make you work at a solution and are their own learning process. The great thing about problems/challenges is that the terms are interchangeable. Every individual makes a choice if a situation, event, or circumstance is problem or a challenge!
4. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF AS A COMPETENT, EFFECTIVE LEARNER
No matter if you are studying to be a surgeon, learning a new language, or figuring out how to program your DVR, everyone has to start from somewhere, regardless of the level of knowledge to be gained. No one has ever learned anything by telling himself or herself that they can’t! Choose your self-descriptions wisely because what you tell yourself is what you will believe to be true.
5. CREATE YOUR OWN LEARNING TOOLBOX
The benefits of a learning toolbox can are multiple. It can be a friend offering support during exam time, a mentor giving guidance, or an online community of peers to discuss ideas relating to your profession. Of course, don’t forget about books, DVDs, journals and web sites that can be used for reference on whatever it may be that you want to learn. I’ve used the above for learning how to trim my dog’s nails and replacing a door, as well as starting up my yoga practice again. The best toolbox has a little bit of everything.
6. USE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
You’ll never reap the benefits of something if you are afraid of it, and technology is a big one. You can learn a language from a book-on-CD on your commute to work, start exercising with DVDs or free webisodes. Drummers can even download video tutorials to their iPods-what an incredible way to learn!
7. TEACH/MENTOR OTHERS
While I might not be at the stage where I can be a mentor, I do try to teach what I am learning library wise through sharing with others at my practicum and at work.
Always infuse some fun into your lifelong learning. Whether you choose to learn something for your own personal fulfillment, or need to learn new tools and skills for the workplace, finding the positives in learning something new can make the process as satisfying as the result!
Easiest: The easiest habit for me is definitely is number five. I have a lot of support and an ever-growing collection of books and media for learning new things. The intention is there, but the trick is to use the tools that I have!
Hardest: The most difficult habit would be number four. It can be so easy to feel or think that other people are so much farther along than you, or smarter, or more talented. We all have to begin at some point, most likely at the beginning. But it can be somewhat disconcerting when you see others at the finish line.