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Making Self-Learning Less Lonely and More Fun

Find a reason

Don't just learn something for the sake of it or because you're excited about the idea of loving X. You may find yourself unable to sustain your energy and stop midway, or you may be doing an endless series of courses without actually putting them to any use.

  • Consciously find reasons that learning X is the absolute best possible use of your time right now.
  • Ask what makes you excited about X.
  • Hang around an online community of people who love X and go down the rabbit hole.

If you make sure that you really desire to learn X, it will no longer remain a task, but become an adventure. You will hunger after knowledge and have the energy to find answers to your questions.

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Making Self-Learning Less Lonely and More Fun

Making Self-Learning Less Lonely and More Fun

https://hackernoon.com/difficulties-with-self-learning-and-3-systems-to-solve-them-exbd32kb

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Key Ideas

MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses)

A recent study suggests that MOOCs do not disrupt world-class education as initially thought, nor are they accessible to the entire world.

  • Online learners are concentrated in the world's most affluent countries and neighborhoods.
  • Only 6 % of people who enroll in a course actually complete it.
  • These numbers aren't improving.

Self-learners

  • Teaching yourself anything can be draining and quite a lonely process.
  • When you care about what you are learning, it can lift your spirits and makes you more confident.
  • Having a few peers can make it a whole lot easier.

If you have a long-term system that you regularly practice you can increase your odds for success.

Find a reason

Don't just learn something for the sake of it or because you're excited about the idea of loving X. You may find yourself unable to sustain your energy and stop midway, or you may be doing an endless series of courses without actually putting them to any use.

  • Consciously find reasons that learning X is the absolute best possible use of your time right now.
  • Ask what makes you excited about X.
  • Hang around an online community of people who love X and go down the rabbit hole.

If you make sure that you really desire to learn X, it will no longer remain a task, but become an adventure. You will hunger after knowledge and have the energy to find answers to your questions.

A motivating environment

Nobody is born with a self-motivating ability. We become motivated when we place ourselves in an environment that is filled with people and ideas that inspire us to do more.

  • Use Twitter to follow people interested in X. They could be your role-models.
  • Stalk their profiles.
  • Spend a regular (but limited) time going through your newsfeed.

Incentivize yourself

A lot of self-learning can be draining despite having all the right reasons for learning. Incentivize yourself so that you can constantly push through this slump.

  • Work on a real project on the side related to your learning.
  • If you can't find a project, browse through other people's hackathon projects for ideas. You will pick up the skills along the way that will reinforce your learning.

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Make realistic, specific goals

Language learning is best when broken down into manageable goals that are achievable over a few months.” -- Donavan Whyte

Aiming to be fluent is not necessarily the best idea. “...

Remind yourself why you are learning

“Motivation is usually the first thing to go, especially among students who are teaching themselves.” To keep the momentum going he suggests writing down 10 reasons you are learning a language and sticking it to the front of the file you are using.

Focus on substance

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Maintenance Learning

Maintenance learning refers to you keeping current with your field.

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It is the kind of learning that adds new knowledge and skills to your repertoire. With growth learning, you’re acquiring new information that enables you to do things that you could not do previously.

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Shock learning is learning that contradicts knowledge that you already have. That’s the kind of learning that generates innovation

If you don’t ignore or resist the unexpected, this “shock” can give you insights to enable you to take advantage of a major change in the marketplace or guard against a serious reversal. 

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Learning how to learn

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Focused and Diffuse Mode

Focused and diffuse modes provide two models for how we develop, elaborate, deepen and broaden connections. Both methods are important.

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Listen

The more you expose yourself to the new language, the sooner you will become familiar with its sounds and structures. Familiarity, in turn, will speed understanding.

Copy

Repeating the sounds (out loud or in your head) will give you a feel for the language. Memorize not just words, but sentences and even songs to get the rhythm and intonation of the language. 

Read

Read words, sentences, children’s books, newspaper articles. Read as far and near as you can, whether out loud to an audience or quietly to yourself. 

Seeing the language in print helps you understand word structures. It also anchors the new sounds, and helps them get imprinted in your mind.

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Learning as a process 

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Learning is an investment that usually pays for itself in increased earnings. And in a fast-changing world, the learning skills quickly is becoming a necessity.

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