“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler (American writer)
Modern life demands constant up gradation of skills and knowledge. It is imperative for the present generation to become eternal learners. Otherwise, they will not be able to cope up with the fast-changing trends. We Indians tend to stop learning once we got a degree or diploma we pursued or a job. We ‘settle’ with it and live on further. We need to realise that education is an ongoing process that should happen, it will cease to exist.
Learning can be fun and rejuvenating. In our busy lives, it is very difficult to learn in dedicated institutions or organizations. Self-learning is the only option for us. We can find the best of gurus to teach us when we invoke the student lying dormant in us.
Become Gadget & Tech Savvy
We are all using gadgets like smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktops in our daily life. We are communicating, socializing, and getting ourselves entertained by these gadgets. Gadgets can do many things in a jiffy. Obviously, they can become excellent companions to our self-education. There are innumerable apps like Khan Academy, Photomath, Coursera, Duolingo, SoloLearn, Udacity and so on (the list is endless) to help us in our quest for knowledge.
Several reputed universities have gone online and so are great libraries. We can plan and study according to our time, interest and budget. Millions of books are available on the web covering almost all conceivable subjects. Apart from these, there are video sharing platforms such as YouTube, which offer informative content.
Sadly, self-learning is not as easy as it seems. It is a mirthless journey requiring tremendous perseverance and commitment. A strong will and self-motivation are vital to reaching our goals. Here are some interesting, practical and definitely useful tips for self-learning or self-education.
Prepare a Cozy Place to Study:
Set aside an area exclusively to study. Arrange an organized desk with nice, comfortable tools of the trade (notebooks, pads, markers, pencils, pens), a chair and a laptop or desktop or whatever gadget we are using in the study area and create a study environment. Once we are in our study area and sit in the chair, our minds should be ready to learn.
Write it Down
Our goals, the important points, the highlights of an engaging topic — We need to write them down in a notebook. It pays to take notes. We may use online methods or journals too. Writing helps us in focusing. Studies show that written material is recalled quickly. So, make it a point to note it down. It is interesting to note that unless we understand what we read, we cannot put it in writing.
Be Tenacious – study every day
Go to study area every day, preferably at the same time, and study. Don’t forget that each step, however small leads us to our goal. Routine is the key. We need to schedule our learning periods, in short, regular sessions to keep us focused on the material we are studying.
Join online communities of like-minded learners
Who wants to be isolated learners? It can be tiring. So, we need to search the internet and find communities/groups of our interest. We have to join them and take an active part. We should ask questions, get answers, involve and evolve. Be in touch with peers.
We need to subscribe to news aggregators and keep informed. It is the easiest way to know what is happening around the world. It saves us time consumed while browsing through various websites to be aware of current trends.
We have to streamline what we learned and put it in writing. We can attempt a detailed essay or report on any topic of our interest and publish it on our blogs or communities.
Become a Teacher
Nothing helps us in learning as teaching. In order to teach a certain topic, we need to assimilate the ins and outs of the topic thoroughly. There are several ways of becoming a teacher. We can volunteer, we can offer courses online or we can even join any online tutoring websites as teachers.
We know that the gray matter in our skull is more powerful and versatile than the best of computers. We should sharpen and strengthen it by learning.
Start learning a new skill, a new hobby or start a new project. — Happy leaning