77 Ways to Learn

by Dr Davis on October 6, 2011

An article from 2006 just came to my attention: Hacking Knowledge: 77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better. The article lists 77 simple changes to life to help improve learning. Some of them make intuitive sense. Many of them I already do. Some of them are just odd.

What can I add to my repertoire?

Since I have been sitting at the computer for a while this morning, number one makes perfect sense.

Shake a leg. Lack of blood flow is a common reason for lack of concentration. If you’ve been sitting in one place for awhile, bounce one of your legs for a minute or two. It gets your blood flowing and sharpens both concentration and recall.

Another that always works for me is this:

Write, don’t type. While typing your notes into the computer is great for posterity, writing by hand stimulates ideas. The simple act of holding and using a pen or pencil massages acupuncture points in the hand, which in turn stimulates ideas.

I like this one, as it seems to be something both my students and I need to do more of:

Give yourself credit. Ideas are actually a dime a dozen. If you learn to focus your mind on what results you want to achieve, you’ll recognize the good ideas. Your mind will become a filter for them, which will motivate you to learn more.

My favorite, both as an English teacher and as an avid–nay addicted–reader is:

Read as much as you can. How much more obvious can it get?

This is one of the reasons I love teaching:

Do unto others: teach something. The best way to learn something better is to teach it to someone else. It forces you to learn, if you are motivated enough to share your knowledge.

Here’s a point that is talking about the beginning of success being the understanding that failing is not the end.

Persist. Don’t give up learning in the face of intimdating tasks. Anything one human being can learn, most others can as well. Wasn’t it Einstein that said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”? Thomas Edison said it, too.

One that I think falls in line with the creativity, play, innovation model I’ve been working on this semester is this:

Use information design. When you record information that has an inherent structure, applying information design helps convey that information more clearly. A great resource is Information Aesthetics, which gives examples of information design and links to their sources.

The linked source, Information Aesthetics is also very cool.

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