Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 10 - 30 Day Learning Challenge

As part of my Learning How to Learn course I have an assignment due by the 15th.  It is to writ a "Reflective Essay about a Learning Challenge"  Below is a draft:

1) Current learning career and trajectory. 
I am a Director of Customer Support and Operations at a Telecommunications company and also work on "learning software" for OLPC.   I have taken on a 30 Day learning challenge and part of that is to learn about AngularJS for a project at work and also to experiment with implementing something similar to Dan Ingals Lively Web demonstrations using connectors.  I have always been fascinated with how people learn and how you can create learning experiences that facilitate learning.
2) The learning aim that is of importance to me. 
I enjoy programming and do not have much opportunity to do it.  I manage some folks who write code and occasionally write some myself, so I want to be able to ask good questions and challenge my team and myself to think more deeply about the problems they are solving and how they are solving them using AngularJS.  Also as part of my volunteer work with schools I want to explore how to create better learning software and experiences.
3) Biggest mental challenges in achieving your learning aim.  
Managing my time, given a full time job, four home schooled kids and volunteer work.  The biggest mental challenge is having the discipline to spend at least an hour a day working on learning.  The other challenge getting a deep into understanding AngularJS model of writing code.  I am a quick study and can get going quickly, but need to be more persistent in understanding at a deeper level why things work. 
4) Outline existing research or learning techniques that are relevant to your challenges.
  1.         Carpenter, S. K., Cepeda, N. J., Rohrer, D., Kang, S. H. K., & Pashler, H. (2012). Using spacing to enhance diverse forms of learning: Review of recent research and implications for instruction. Educational Psychology Review, 24(3), 369-378. This paper tells us that it is very important to space your learning out over several days.
  2.         Procrastination--the Pomodoro technique.  This technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes and focusing only on the topic at hand without being distracted.
  3.         Merely glancing at a problem's solution and thinking you know how to do it —as per the “10 Rules of Learning” page.  Being a quick study I often fool myself.
  4.        Alternate different problem-solving techniques during your practice - as per the "10 Rules of Learning” page. This I think will help me learn deeper. "You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way" - Marvin Minsky
  5.        The following is a tip from Dr. Robert Bilder on how to learn effectively: Uses the "Powers of 10" way of thinking about a problem.  Where you "zoom out and then zoom back in" when thinking about a problem.  Below is the video that inspired the idea.

5) Applying knowledge of research findings or learning techniques to help me overcome my challenges.
  1. Spaced Learning - 
  2. Pomodoro Technique - 
  3. Don't just glance at it and think you know - 
  4. Use different problem solving techniques - 
  5. Powers of 10 thinking - 

Regarding AngularJS (remember I was learning Angular ;)  I did a code review today.  One way to learn is to study great literature.  I don't know that what this person wrote was great, but it is good.


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