Exploring How To Best Learn Online? :)

Hello Humans!

I have one quick question to drop here in the forum.

How do you best learn online?

I am exploring this topic and then some, as I try to pursue an education as a Freelance Graduate Student and am really curious in what everyone’s approach is.

A hypothesis: the world would be a much better place if we utilize our computing technologies as a super power for learning!

Please share any wisdom you may have.

-Adam

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Pinging both @m3me (co-founder of Greaterthanlearning) and pointing to recent, related discussion you may find interesting: What makes a humane technologist?

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As it happens, Adam, we (at the OERu have a course designed to address just the question you’ve asked - Learning in a Digital Age. It’s fully openly licensed (the materials are Open Educational Resources) and delivered entirely via FOSS infrastructure… You’re welcome to take it (or point it out to others). There is no cost (unless you’d like to be assessed for formal academic credit which you can apply to most degrees no matter where you come from or where you’re undertaking your higher education) and you don’t even need to log in (you can take it anonymously, for fun, so no pressure)… Here’s the first microcourse.

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Yes, I really like the openness to the material you create, and to the organization in general, @lightweight.

I just found the personal blog of Shawn Wang who’s known from the Learning in Public movement (and otherwise works at a FAANG with a >100k $ side-project - see The Part Time Creator Manifesto - but that’s beside the point).

Here’s an excerpt from the blog post on how Shawn increases his learning efficiency, and also aligns with ‘working in the open’:


Learn in Public

If there’s a golden rule, it’s this one, so I put it first. All the other rules are more or less elaborations of this rule #1.

You already know that you will never be done learning. But most people “learn in private”, and lurk. They consume content without creating any themselves. Again, that’s fine, but we’re here to talk about being in the top quintile. What you do here is to have a habit of creating learning exhaust:

  • Write blogs and tutorials and cheatsheets.
  • Speak at meetups and conferences.
  • Ask and answer things on Stackoverflow or Reddit. Avoid the walled gardens like Slack and Discord, they’re not public.
  • Make Youtube videos or Twitch streams.
  • Start a newsletter.
  • Draw cartoons (people loooove cartoons!).

Whatever your thing is, make the thing you wish you had found when you were learning. Don’t judge your results by “claps” or retweets or stars or upvotes - just talk to yourself from 3 months ago. I keep an almost-daily dev blog written for no one else but me.

Guess what? It’s not about reaching as many people as possible with your content. If you can do that, great, remember me when you’re famous. But chances are that by far the biggest beneficiary of you trying to help past you is future you. If others benefit, that’s icing.

Oh you think you’re done? Don’t stop there:

  • Enjoyed a coding video? Reach out to the speaker/instructor and thank them, and ask questions.
  • Make PR’s to libraries you use.
  • Make your own libraries no one will ever use.
  • Clone stuff you like, from scratch, to see how they work.
  • Teach workshops.
  • Go to conferences and summarize what you learned.

If you’re tired of creating one-off things, start building a persistent knowledge base that grows over time. Open Source your Knowledge! At every step of the way: Document what you did and the problems you solved.

The tips above apply mostly to Programming, but the idea is simple, clear and applicable to any field that you want to learn about :slight_smile:

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