So, as my son was describing his “summer” school college study habits, I told him something to the extent of “I don’t think waiting until 11:00 the night before your final to cram is the way to really learn.” Not withstanding (this is one of those “do as I say, not as I do moment”, I don’t “recall” how many “all-nighters” I pulled in college cramming for tests. The reason I don’t remember is because there was slogging into the test, regurgitating the pre-frontal cortex cues, and slogging back to the house; before hitting “dump”; i.e never letting the data hit my hippocampus for consolidation.
Now, knowing how much I love to learn, and love to optimize performance, I am disappointed that I couldn’t better explain a better way; beyond craming, procrastination, and video games? So, I started looking around, and man, what did I find… First, there are great programs available to teach you anything on the web (probably everything). I like “Coursera” or “udemy” or “edX” or all the big schools like “Harvard, Stanford, and Yale” offering online classes that might even be eligible for their degree programs. And then there is the “Kahn Academy” (I met Sal Kahn at an event four years ago, unfortunately it was over a urinal during the bathroom break, so we couldn’t talk too deep).
Anyway, I chose to take an online course through Coursera called “Learning to Learn” from the U of San Diego. This cutting edge course helped me understand how to learn effectively and quickly, change habits and avoid procrastination, memory neurology and tools & techniques to capture and consolidate learning fast. I’ll follow with details on another blog.
How cool. If I had only learned to learn earlier, I might know a lot more now…
Epilogue – kids aren’t excited about my new tools, they’d rather avoid; but that is also an another entry.
Cheers – Pierre