By User12601034-Oracle on Jul 12, 2016
So how do you learn in this kind of environment? How do you take information and make it meaningful for what you're doing?
In my own work, research I've done and just experimenting, I've come across a variety of practices that are useful to me when trying to both learn something and apply that learning, so I thought I would share a few ideas with you:
Write down your Questions. What are you trying to learn? Why is this important to you? What questions do you already have about the content you want to learn and its importance to you? Write these questions down so you can recognize potential answers when you come across them.
Find Existing Content. I like to use Google and Wikipedia. When it comes to Google, I look for links to reputable sources. Obviously, these sources will be different based upon the information you are seeking. I know some people dislike Wikipedia, but I often find it's a great source for getting a broad picture and jumping into additional sites and concepts. I also use industry and professional sites (ask colleagues for recommendations).
Keep a Learning Journal. If you've read any of my posts, this should not be a surprise to you. When you are reading through new material or thinking about a problem, write down the questions you have, the thoughts going through your mind, and the larger pictures that you see. This solidifies both your ideas and your questions and provides additional focus points for exploration.
Find Like Minded Individuals. Visit every social platform you are on (this includes OSN for Oracle folks) - read comments to see how others think; click on links that others recommend; look for opposing views to test your own theories. Continue writing down your questions, ideas, and new things to explore.
Hit the Coffee Shop. Invite someone who has more knowledge than you to coffee. Pick their brain; ask how they learned about the topic; have them recommend additional resources. You may want to go into the conversation with a couple of questions, but allow for a bit of serendipity in the conversation. (You can read more in my post on informational interviews).
Use Available Technology. I often cannot read everything I come across at the time I find it. But then I found this cool little app called Pocket - this lets me save online article to read later, even if I'm not connected to the internet. My only "gotcha" is that I have to remember to sync between my computer and my iPad. Think about the tools you already use and how they might help organize your learning and ask others for new ideas.
Popcorn and Movie, Anyone? Google your topic, and then click "Videos" at the top. This will give you a list of tons of videos you can watch - many of them by experts in their field. Again, I tend to look at sources (like TED) that are pretty reputable. I've also found that looking at the number of hits on YouTube and reading a few of the comments can give you an idea of whether or not something is worth your time.
Take a Break. In the course of everything you learn, you need to take time to reflect and think. Are you still on track for what you want to learn? Are you limiting your knowledge in some way? Does what you've learned help build a big picture for you? If you're questioning the validity of this, google <importance of reflection> for more data!
These are the immediate things that come to mind when someone asks how I learn about a new topic. What about you - What are the things you do or the tools you use to learn?