Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"How do you know how to do that? I figure it out." How I learn.

People ask me "how do you know how to do that?" or "how did you find that?' I explore.  I'm one of those people who just likes to figure things out. Probably why I became an engineer and physics teacher.

I explore things and figure them out on my own. I read the "help" files for apps, software and web apps. I go Google searches for information and forums. I figure it out. No one shows me. I look for books, websites, magazines and read about things.

This is how I find resources. I go exploring and then I figure out how to use it or look for resources on how to use it. I tinker. I take things apart. I play with them. I try different things. I don't like to sit and be lectured, I want to explore something.

Now, this sometimes leads to issues (computer crashes, locking up apps, etc.), but I learn more than if I followed a manual or instruction book. Sometimes I even find features and uses that aren't in the books.

This is how I want my students to learn. Why? Because it sticks with them longer. When you explore and learn on your own, you tend to retain that knowledge or skill much longer.  I want them to explore and find answers and solutions on their own. I give them support and advice, but I don't give them the answer. This also teaches them how to learn on their own. They need to be able to figure things out on their own and find resources to help them.

How about you? How do you learn new things?


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