With the web- via computers, tablets, and mobile devices there is no good reason why someone couldn’t learn and become proficient at practically anything.
Whether it be knitting, learning how to become an astronaut or programming, the virtual environment of the internet offers unparalleled learning opportunities. Even compared with higher education, I would challenge that one couldn’t become more of an expert in a field by learning online at their own pace.
The two websites that I really enjoy are:
- Lynda.com-Where I learned how to design and program in WordPress. The Step-by-step tutorials are amazing. The best part is it’s all at your own pace. Each tutorial is broken down into 2-10 minute segments where it’s very easy to finish and then have a stopping point for the next session.
- Khanacademy.org– This website recently gained recognition from Bill Gates and many other prolific people. It is simply a game changer for learning. Currently they offer math, science, humanities, and test prep, but the word is that is just the beginning. Cost = FREE!
The other form of learning that I LOVE, simply cannot live without, are pod-casts. To me a podcast is so much more listenable than an audio-book. Why? Personally its easier for me to listen to a conversation than a lecture. One caveat- An autobiographical audio-book read by the author (i.e. Delivering Happiness by Zappos founder- Tony Hsieh). I listen to pod-casts nearly every time I’m in the car or doing anything mindless (like mowing the lawn, household chores,etc). A few years back I adopted the philosophy that any minute that I couldn’t learn or be productive is a minute I didn’t learn something I could’ve. Plus, it makes the time go by fast making your brain work a little harder.
In retrospect, I think I really started adopting learning at the age of 20 this when I worked on the assembly line at Ford Motor Company. I hated my job so much (assembling) that I had to find a way-out. I couldn’t quit as I was about to be a Father. So, I starting reading my text books while assembling Ford Taurus’ and Mercury Sables. I would read a paragraph, complete my job, read a paragraph, complete my job and so on. By the end of the night I had read and retained chapters of information.
So, today any chance I get I learn and you can to. It is remarkably easy if you have a smart phone and a Bluetooth connection in your car. Try it out- Go to iTunes, download a podcast and stream away. Before you know it you will be a library of knowledge or maybe even an astronaut.
“Six pixels of Separation” by Mitch Joel, “Yoast’s” podcast, and “This Week In” (there are many within that)