Technology is making learning much more dynamic — through the use of online learning.
In early education classrooms, young students engage with technology from day one.
Just 15 years ago, a student may not have used the internet until they reached middle or high school. Now, information technologies are integrated into libraries. As students age, K-12 programs introduce new technologies and ways to learn. These methods of learning make the experience much more hands-on.
From the get go, students today are introduced to technological learning, and it's shaping the way educational curriculum is formatted and presented. The technological transition in learning has also greatly effected higher education as well.
No method of education has had a greater impact on students than online learning.
Online learning is a method of engaging with education in a digital space. It's having a big impact on students across the world, and in a good way.
Education Goes Digital
The same benefits to learning at any level of experience are now online, ready to help those who desire to learn more about a variety of subjects.
While college students are engaging with new spaces in which to learn and take courses, others may be working in a career, but still desiring to learn new things.
Whatever the situation may be, there is a place for you to learn new things in online environments. Whether it be the independent method of reading articles, something more formal like an electronic textbook, or a full blown online course, online learning offers so much to every sort of lifelong learner.
In this article, we are going to review the ins and outs of learning online. We'll go over why so many are moving to online spaces for learning, as well as some different learning methods. But first, what is involved in digital learning, and how does it differ from traditional methods?
What does online learning mean?
Digital learning is a somewhat new experience. Although just a couple decades old, learning online grows annually in scope and resources.
The method involves a few forms of media and interaction in order to recreate a recognizable learning experience. A popular aspect of the method is utilizing video for instruction.
Video lectures, as well as digital conferencing, are great ways of building a learning space online. In pre-recorded videos, teachers can instruct content and learning methods. In real-time recording spaces, the process is also engaging.
Audio can also play a large role in the experience.
Auditory learning is a very important experience of an educational course. Lastly, information is distributed via texts as well. This can include articles, electronic textbooks, and other written material.
For a lot of students studying digitally, text still exists as the most popular form of educational tools. Just like in the classroom, written, visual, and auditory learning plays a big role in the process.
Is Online as Effective as In-Person?
There are many who wonder what method of learning is best?
As online resources grow more popular, the evidence backs up some digital spaces as being just as effective as traditional classrooms. As anyone knows, not all courses are created equal.
Likewise, not all professors and teachers provide students the same experience. It's tough to compare across forms of learning. That being said, within online learning methods, there are some that seem more effective than others.
Depending on where you go to learn, your experience varies. Hopefully, this article helps in determining which methods are most effective.
Ideally, students know which resources are better than others. The evidence behind superior methods is not hard to find, if you know what you're looking for. That's the goal of this article.
You should know the ways in which online learning takes place, as well as what makes certain methods superior. So, which method is the best when it comes to digital learning methods?
What is the best method of online learning?
There are three major methods of learning in a digital environment.
For starters, articles provide people all over the world with educational information.
Articles meant for education are not necessarily all created equal.
For example, a BuzzFeed piece on a new NASA program will not be as helpful as a breakdown from a professor of aerospace.
In a lot of cases, articles are only truly education when they come from credible sources.
A credible source can be tough to determine, which makes other methods of online learning more effective. That being said, articles are usually free to access and read.
Another method of online learning is also text based: electronic textbooks.
E-books cost less than their physical counterparts.
This can make them a great tool for online learning students. Because of their lower cost, many find them to be easier to obtain and read.
Unfortunately, e-books may not include any sort of instruction from a real life professor. This can make complex, complicated theories and ideas hard to navigate.
Likewise, e-books can sometimes lack an engaging tone that drives some students who prefer to engage more with their content. E-books are usually more effective than articles alone, but another method of learning is superior to these first two. In many cases, the best method of online learning incorporates both articles and e-books.
The best method of online learning is an online course. Some courses are even tied to real university class credit.
Even courses without credit can be incredibly effective in teaching in a primary and supplementary way.
On the one hand, students taking a course in a subject at college can benefit from further instruction in an online course.
In other situations, the course alone is enough to allow aspiring students to engage with the material.
What are the benefits of online learning?
Online learning is a response to two trends. The first being technological advancement, and the second being an emphasis on student success. Both provide benefits to the concepts of education and learning.
Technology looks a lot different in education than it did 30 years ago.
Even 10 years ago, classrooms did not have regular access to laptops for each student. Nor did smart boards and other technologies exist in the traditional classroom. Even today, some schools that lack the funding for technology utilize things like overhead projectors and chalk boards.
The old ways of doing things are not dead and gone. Rather, technology is at the point where access to computers is cheaper than ever before. Likewise, many school districts are hardwired to offer WiFi internet connection.
Thanks to an increase in technologies and a decrease in their overall cost, classrooms operate with a ton of technology. The transition from traditional classrooms to digital learning spaces is a product of this trend.
Technology allows students to participate in learning in a variety of different ways, including being in remote locations and working in their own time.
Technology has also allowed learning to not stop after high school. If someone cannot attend college, but has access to a computer or smartphone with internet connectivity, they can continue to learn. Technology is the biggest advancement in education of the last 50 years. Online learning is the culmination of all the best parts of technology in education.
The Impact of Technology
Thanks to more options for learning than ever, online learning offers students a new take on education. It helps to include more people into the world of education.
Even for those who were going to pursue college anyway, online learning provides benefits and perks of a different experience.
The benefits of technology to learning all exist in online learning environments, and make learning more accessible and engaging than ever before.
Students require a lot of help to succeed. Even at the high school or college level, students vary in learning abilities.
At the end of the day, the goal of education is to spread knowledge to everyone willing to participate in formal learning.
For a variety of reasons we'll get to below, education is not always possible past K-12 schooling. Adults need to earn money, pay bills, and take care of dependents in their lives.
In the same way that young students struggle to balance course work and chores, adults can have a hard time balancing life with educational aspirations. Learning is something many of us always strive to stay active in. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, life gets in the way.
Whether it's K-12 or college learning, student success is the key to educational resources.
Every new technology and tool needs to help individuals in their pursuit of learning. If students are failing to learn, then education is failing as an institution.
Online learning is the single largest contribution to student success of the last few decades. If the goal is to provide education to more willing students, then online learning provides the most dynamic set of opportunities imaginable.
The Impact of Student Success
Online learning provides students with a million and one ways to learn.
Traditional college environments thrive on structure, but online learning allows students to learn the way they do best.
Whether that's from home, at night after work, or at a subjective pace, online learning provides everything to the student that they need.
Now, let's dive deeper into a few of the core benefits of online learning.
Each benefit is a reason why online learning has become so influential and popular in today's educational landscape.
Learn at the time and place of you choosing
Not everyone can adhere to a set schedule of classes. In college, courses take place at set times, and attendance is expected. Online learning doesn't work that way.
Students who pursue online reading and courses can access the material at the time and place they choose. It's a major feature of online learning that entices many to give it a try.
For a long time, people working full time jobs couldn't also take courses on various subjects. Likewise, those who cannot go to college at this current time had no access to college-level information and learning.
Now, online learning makes it easy to access college courses. Not only that, but students online can learn at the time of day that works best for them, wherever they are.
In a lot of ways, online learning makes education easier. For some, flexibility is all that stands between pursuing educational subjects and not having time to do so.
Why This Matters
For some online students, a full course may not be possible. Whether it's money or time, a college course might not be the best option at the present moment.
Nevertheless, aspiring students can still be students thanks to the other major online learning methods. Articles from reputable sources can help get the ball rolling. Articles require no time or financial commitment.
Once a subject seems worth the effort, a student might want to put more time into a topic or field. At that point, an e-book is a good option to graduate up a level in educational scale.
At this point, an e-book can dive deeper into topics that articles don't have the word count to get into.
If the time comes that an online course seems logical, then an online student can purchase access to one.
The important part is that they learn at the time and place they can handle, and various methods allow for levels of intensity and time commitment.
The comfort of learning wherever you want
Think back to the most popular trope associated with college: moving away from home.
Considering the cost of room and board, as well as transportation to a top tier university, access to education costs quite a bit.
Living on or near a college campus is not cheap. Not to mention, sometimes it's not necessarily convenient.
Campuses are often like micro-urban environments full of parking shortages and overcrowded streets. For that reason, among others, online learning is a great option.
The comfort of learning wherever you currently are is priceless.
Sure, considering the cost of living near a college, it's a real dollar amount in savings. On top of that, however, it's the ultimate freedom to be able to study the way you want.
Coffee shops, libraries, and even home suddenly become classrooms. As long as you can access the materials, you can participate in online learning. While online courses may require internet, e-books often do not. This provides a flexibility in the way you learn based on what you have access to.
Why This Matters
Not everyone can learn at the same time. College courses take place at a set time, set place, and in a certain town or city.
Not to mention, those who take classes often need to focus on school above work. For some, working a full time job is a must to pay the bills. Despite this, the desire to learn may still exist.
After working, or even before going in for the day, online courses allow you to work the way that works for you. The comfort of learning wherever you are is a top reason many take online learning courses or access materials.
For some, it's a matter of convenience. For others, however, flexibility in location is the reason they can learn in the first place.
Learning at your pace
Online classrooms and resources for education can be accessed anywhere. That means students no longer have to live on a campus to get access to university quality classes. It makes the process of taking a course much easier in a lot of ways. None more so than the freedom students have who are taking the class.
In a traditional classroom, courses start at a certain time and end at a certain time. Online, students complete courses as they go along. In many ways, this experience is superior.
For starters, students work at different paces.
With online classrooms, nobody feels behind or ahead. Ideally, everyone would learn the same way, but that doesn't happen. Online courses don't put pressure on students to do something they cannot. Deadlines still exist, but pacing is up to the student. This is one of the largest benefits to online learning. It's also transforming the education experience.
Why This Matters
Students feel pressure in traditional classroom settings.
Whether the pressure is based on performance or comprehension, some students feel left behind. When this occurs, students feel disconnected from the material. It's not fair to put a pace onto each and every student. For too long, students fail due to the pressures of school rather than their own capabilities.
In a lot of ways, this is one of the largest contributions to education by online learning. Even as a convenience, setting an individual pace relieves stress and tension related to learning.
By allowing students to learn at their own pace, online courses and resources provide the freedom to succeed. Students still must perform well to get a good grade, but now, they compete against themselves rather than environmental pressures.
For students at various levels of knowledge and experience, pacing makes all the difference. It's another one of the benefits of online learning.
The lower costs of online learning
As many know, college courses can cost a pretty penny. It's a joke among many college graduates that they'll pay student loans the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, it's no laughing matter. College courses cost so much money, the sheer price tag deters thousands from a college experience.
If a degree is not a reality, some people may still seek out educational opportunities. A growing number of people use online learning to satisfy this need.
Between articles, e-books, and online courses, students can now learn a wealth of knowledge all from an online experience.
It's not fair to say that one learning experience is superior to the other. That being said, cost is a major factor. So much so that prices of classes deter many from college or university.
Online learning offers a solution to this problem, as well as a ton of resources. It's a big factor in the future of educational practices and experiences.
Why This Matters
Whenever education is being discussed, a theme emerges. Opportunity is everything in education.
Students with fewer resources in K-12 districts do poorer on exams. Likewise, technology helps students perform better in school. If a student does not have access to a laptop, or other digital materials, they do worse. This is also relevant to prospective college students.
The cost of college keeps many away from attending a university. With online learning, the cost is much lower. This encourages more people to pursue interest in education.
At the end of the day, many want to learn. Everyone has things they are interested in. The choice is not usually one of desire, but of economic opportunity.
With lower costs for courses and literature, online learning allows more people to access the content they desire. The lower cost of online learning may be the most significant benefit of online learning for many students.
Free online learning
Like any college or university, not all online learning is created equal.
Some resources online are less helpful than others. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, money plays a factor in the quality of education.
Whether it is a traditional college or online learning, someone's budget for their education is going to play a factor in how much they gain from the experience.
Free online learning can span all three of the major methods of digital education: articles, e-books, and courses.
Articles, more often than not, are going to be free. The exceptions are some academic journals and certain magazines or publications. Subscriptions are required for some of these sorts of outlets. For the most part, however, articles are free. They provide a great introduction to topics, and in some cases, are great for case studies on a particular phenomenon or theory in a field of study. They fail to dive deep into content, however, so their benefits are limited
Many e-books do require a purchase. These can vary in quality, and in many cases, the more expensive books are full of much richer content. Free e-books do exist as well, but these are often less educational and helpful than paid books. For the most part, if someone is giving away something for free, it may not be as informationally valuable.
Lastly, free courses pale in comparison to paid experiences. Free courses may be great introductory experiences, but for deep dives into meaningful content, paid courses yield much better knowledge and results. As with the e-books, it is not fair to say that free online learning courses are not valuable. That being said, these courses can vary so greatly in quality and content that it's safer to bet on a paid course than a free one. Also, be wary of free to start courses, that may give a lessor or two for free, then require payment to complete the course.
Online learning pros and cons
Like any educational tool or experience, there are pros and cons to online learning. Here's the shortlist of things to keep in mind when considering an online learning tool or platform.
There are numerous benefits, many of which are listed above. Above anything else, a general theme of freedom helps online learning stand out as a form of learning and education. No matter your situation, online learning resources offer you a way to engage with content that interests you. With a variety of prices and ways to learn, everyone can find something that works for them.
Likewise, a crucial positive to online learning is the mobility of it. Anywhere you can access a course or e-book can become a moment to learn. It's great for those who are on the go, or may be looking for something to do on the train or bus ride home from work. Likewise, it's easy to fit into your schedule, even if it's already full of hours at work. The dynamic flexibility of online learning makes it an easy to use and access resource in your education journey.
Unfortunately, online learning is a very independent experience. That means a lot of the onus to stay on top of readings and lessons is on the student, without someone in front of you regularly reminding you of deadlines and requirements. For articles and e-books, there may not be a set pace at which you are meant to read. That's good for those who can set their own pace, but sometimes it is easy to slack on things that don't have a set schedule. Likewise, it can be tough to organize a routine for using e-books or articles to learn about a subject. For this reason, it's recommended to be diligent in setting a schedule that works for you and not falling behind!
Which online learning platform is best?
Comparing the Others
A few popular platforms for online learning stand out as good examples of the quality of content you receive. One popular outlet is Udemy.
On this site, people upload their online courses and offer them for purchase on the Udemy marketplace. One negative aspect of the site is that course teachers do not need professional teaching experience. They may have never taught in a traditional classroom at a college or university. The courses are not tied to college credit, in most cases. Nevertheless, many people enjoy the platform.
Coursera is another platform that features a lot of online courses and experiences. Unlike Udemy, this platform is tied to accredited colleges and universities. Not only do you get college credit for the courses on Coursera, but you take the classes with real university professors. For students at these universities, it's a great way to add courses to your schedule that allow you to work from anywhere. Because these courses are tied to real universities, the costs are much higher than a resource like Udemy. An account on Coursera is tied to financial aid opportunities, but that should only clue you into the cost of this platform.
Lastly, Teachable is another popular platform. Teachable uses its own course building software to assist teachers in creating online classes. This is a great option for those who don't know how to form an online course, but have the knowledge to do so. That being said, using a pre-determined course builder does limit creativity and flexibility. There are a lot of options for customization in this platform, but still, you are limited to what the site has to offer. Like Udemy, you do not have to be a professor to upload and sell a course. In fact, many courses on Teachable are experts in a field who sell their knowledge, without any tie to education.
Online Learning at Direct Knowledge
At Direct Knowledge, online learning resources are available for you in every popular method. Given the ways in which various services work best for each individual, we offer options for any interest in online learning. Here are a few ways that you can use our resources to start your latest journey in knowledge and learning.
The articles hosted on Direct Knowledge are free to access and read.
Each author of articles on the site are handpicked for their writing and expertise on a topic.
By choosing credible authors for our articles, we are able to offer a free resource that leaves no question to the content's validity or utility.
Once you access the articles and find a topic that interests you, you can consider moving on to an electronic book.
Direct Knowledge offers books on a variety of popular topics. E-books offer a depth required to build a base knowledge on a topic. Our books are written by experts in the field about which they write, meaning you are getting quality content from the best in the business.
Many of our books are written by current or former professors in higher education. The books offered at Direct Knowledge are less expensive than the normal cost of college textbooks, meaning easier and more realistic access to the information that you desire.
An e-book is a great way to advance your interest and study of an online learning subject. Likewise, moving on to an online course is the best step in securing your learning experience. The library of e-books offered at Direct Knowledge are continuing to grow, and regularly feature products and subjects on sale with coupon codes!
Online learning courses are the most popular form of online learning. Many choose to purchase access to courses once they feel ready to put work into an academic interest of theirs.
Our amazing online courses are currently growing in number, and will soon range from hard sciences to the humanities to civil service topics.
For those looking to pursue an online learning experience meant to provide quality content at the fraction of the cost of a college course, Direct Knowledge aims to offer everything you look for in online courses. While our courses do not count for college credit, the things you learn and practice in them can help push you closer to success in your degree, or introduce you to a new topic that may spur an interest in a future passion or career.
Our courses go where you go, and offer the highest quality experience around.
We are taking online learning to a whole new level
Direct Knowledge helps students advance their knowledge, expand learning skills, and make connections. We help students with learning through educational online articles, video web courses, and books written and self-published by professionals.
Why Online Learning is Important
In a lot of ways, learning is the same as it has always been. Information from experts and scholarly sources lead the way in teaching new hordes of individuals how things work. Learning goes back quite literally to the beginning of mankind. It's important to know how online learning is changing things. Change sometimes scares people, but online learning is a tool which all can use. In one way or another, online learning is making knowledge easier to access. Here's why online learning is so important, and why it's our mission at Direct Knowledge to contribute to the effort. Between a universal love for learning, the benefits of digital spaces, and networking, Direct Knowledge really does offer everything you might want.
Learning is for Everyone
Online learning is ideally something anyone can participate in. For a long time, learning after high school meant going away to college. Now, users access information on par with educational institutions from home. This is important for those who can't afford school. Likewise, online learning is a gateway to a lifelong journey. Many who enjoy learning cannot pursue it full time. Jobs, families, and other things take up much of the day. Whenever and wherever, users can access information and knowledge while at home. Knowledge is available to all through online learning.
Digital Spaces Provide Flexibility
In a lot of ways, time and resources limit the ability to properly learn. This is not a reference to personal capability. Rather, the day can be full of responsibilities. Taking time to pursue interests is important to the learning process. Students carry a full load of work on their backs. In many cases, the day is full of classes, studying, and other educational projects. The efforts can become tiresome, leaving no time or energy for further study. That being said, it is crucial for students to have a place to access information when and where they see fit. Whether it is a supplementary e-book, or an article introducing them to a new subject, online learning is the key to finding a way into a new well of information.
Students Connect with Professionals
A trend in online learning is interactive communities. In college, students have access to message boards and spaces in which they can discuss content and information. On Direct Knowledge, resources are available to accomplish the same things. Learning is a collaborative process. The educational process doesn't need to happen in one place. Learning is best when done with others. When you learn, others can benefit from the experience too. Sharing insights on an article help others understand the information more clearly. Likewise, it can be helpful to work together to tackle tough problems. By any means, the process of engaging with information together is crucial to the learning experience.
How Can Online Learning Work for Me?
At Direct Knowledge, resources and tools are available in a number of styles. From articles to e-books, the learning experience caters to all in this online learning space. What exactly does Direct Knowledge have to offer? Well, there are a number of resources on this site. Between articles, books, and courses, as well as a community with which to work, Direct Knowledge is full of useful ways to learn.
Direct Knowledge is designed to be an educational resource for online learning
Every month, Wikipedia receives over 18 billion page views and Google processes over 100 billion search queries.
Both sites contain a large amount of information, but their primary functions are not online learning.
Direct Knowledge has everything required to meet your online learning needs.
Educational articles, written by experienced professionals, are available for free to anyone at any time.
Make Direct Knowledge your primary source of online learning.
Our online bookstore carries self-published titles authored by experienced professionals allowing for better flexibility and lower costs
Textbook costs have risen by more than 1,000% since the 1970s.
However, textbooks frequently have a resale value of 10% or even less than the original sticker price.
Magnifying the problem, textbooks are frequently overpolished, dry, and designed for too broad of an audience.
Direct Knowledge’s online bookstore is filled with titles that are created just for you.
Our educational books will help you with your course work, especially learning how to learn independently.
Instead of being aimed at every student around the world, they are focused on meeting your specific needs.
Our online courses are created by experienced professionals and are still more affordable than courses offering college or university credit
Over 30% of all students now enroll in at least one online course. Greater than 15% of all students were enrolled exclusively online.
Additionally, more students than ever before now have access to online courses.
However, are these courses designed by experienced educators and professionals?
Direct Knowledge offers a wide variety of webcourses that have been designed by seasoned educators.
They offer instruction from experienced professionals, so you do not have to worry about their quality, like you do from other sites where anyone can create a course. Yet, these courses are still offered at a price that is much more affordable than online college or university courses.
Our online community is designed so students can actively engage with other students who are taking the same course, reading the same book, or studying the same material
Students retain 50% of what they learn while engaged in a group discussion compared to only 5% of what they learn from a traditional lecture.
Additionally, over 70% of students view group discussion as a positive experience.
Despite these numbers, most courses, including online courses, do not emphasize group discussion.
Direct Knowledge’s online community offers a platform for students to have group discussions where they can engage with other students about their course work. The integration of the books, courses, and online community for Direct Knowledge truly sets it apart from other online instruction.
Frequency Asked Questions
Is Online Learning Effective?
In short, online learning is a response to the drawbacks of traditional learning. Many wonder whether or not online learning is effective. In reality, it does come with its cons, but overall, its pros are quite advantageous. In many instances, learning is limited to those who have access to it. Thanks to digital learning, the process of finding and obtaining access to educational resources is easy. The process of finding knowledge online is simplified to the benefit of the individual.
On Direct Knowledge, the goal is always to ensure everyone can learn the way they learn best. By providing articles, books, and courses, any student can approach the information in the way they see fit. Everyone learns differently. In many cases, one person's preferred style is different from that of their peers. Online content allows for everyone to engage with knowledge the way they understand best. For this reason, online resources are even more beneficial than the traditional styles of teaching. Knowledge is not to abandon traditional practices. Rather, the goal should be to use everything at one's disposal.
How can I use Direct Knowledge if I'm currently in school?
The resources on Direct Knowledge benefit current students as much as anyone. For starters, a slew of professionals and teachers contribute to Direct Knowledge. That means all content on the sight is scholarly, which is a crucial element to learning. What does a scholarly article do to help you in school? Well, many courses you are taking might require you to find scholarly articles. These can be used in papers, essays, or bibliographies. Hopefully, classes you take in college or high school give you resources as well. Nevertheless, Direct Knowledge is always available to serve a supplementary role in your education.
Likewise, you can directly connect to professionals and scholars on Direct Knowledge. It's a wonderful way to get to know others in your field of study. Likewise, those outside of your field of study can also provide you with new insights and knowledge. In one single digital space, you have access to people, resources, and texts that can further your academic career. Articles are free to read and utilize, and courses and books provide further insight into what it is you are learning. If a class is proving to be difficult, pick up an e-book on Direct Knowledge to help with the process. It's all right here for you to use.
What Does Direct Knowledge Offer in Terms of Online Resources?
On Direct Knowledge, there are a number of ways to engage with others, as well as scholarly content. For starters, making an account on Direct Knowledge allows you the ability to upload a profile and share information with others. It's a wonderful network of industry professionals from all walks of life. With an account, you'll also have the option to provide content to the site. One of the types of content Direct Knowledge hosts is articles. Articles are free to read and access, and provide snapshots of various current events, updates, and introductions to fields of study.
Next, you'll find access to electronic books. These books are deeper dives into a single study, such as calculus, humanities subjects, and more. In these paid books, you get an electronic guide that walks you through a subject. The key to this part of the website is the levels in which you can purchase books. For example, much like a textbook, there are some that are for beginners, intermediates, and experts. Following along with the books allows you to take what is essentially a class on the subject. It is all self taught using the electronic book. Of course, actual online courses are also available. Online courses provide you with a planned lesson. Much like a traditional class, each course lesson walks you through a subject.
How do Direct Knowledge Online Courses Compare to Other Sites?
On Direct Knowledge, each course listed contains the things you need to know to learn about that subject. Other sites allow anyone to post their course to the platform. On Direct Knowledge, however, only professionals, current teachers, or former professors are allowed to share a course. This means that you learn from the best of the best, and no less.
Online courses on Direct Knowledge can be used independently or as support to another class. For example, college students can use Direct Knowledge courses to help get through tougher content. Likewise, students utilize Direct Knowledge for the community. On the site, members can ask one another questions, as well as work on things together in groups. Overall, courses on Direct Knowledge provide a wide variety of information in order to allow for better understanding.
How do I Join Direct Knowledge?
Joining Direct Knowledge is easy. To begin, make an account and upload your information. This section includes credentials, job experience, and other important information. From here, you can see all other Direct Knowledge members. Add others to your friends list for easy contact. Plus, when you decide to look into a course, you can ask them to join a group with you and work together. It's easy to get involved with Direct Knowledge community right from the get go! Once you have an account, you can also post articles. This is a great way to boost your resume or CV with extra citations. Published work helps you find jobs, build credibility, and even build a professional portfolio. Overall, your career can benefit greatly from publishing work on Direct Knowledge.
It's easy to join Direct Knowledge, and the benefits are vast. Take the time to make an account today. Students and professionals all share on Direct Knowledge a similar goal: learning. It's time to make today the first day in your learning journey.
Most will probably agree that learning is an invaluable process that can open a world of possibilities. It can unveil some of the world's greatest mysteries, and grow unique skills. But why, then, can it often be so difficult and frustrating? Part of the problem is that learners can find themselves so focused on learning a topic that they don't stop to think about how they are learning. The phrase, “learning how to learn” has various definitions around the world, but generally refers to one's ability to begin and continue learning while taking into consideration the management of the process. To put it simply, it is making the most of the time and effort that you put into learning something.
The concept recognizes that, for most people, the best way to learn isn't just sitting in a classroom passively listening to a lecture, or even sitting in front of a book passively reading the words on the page. You need to actively do more to both make the information stick and make use of it. But, because the best method varies from person to person, learning what's best for each individual is a process in and of itself.
This article reviews the importance of taking a close look at this concept of learning how to learn. You'll find more resources to explore the topic and improve your own abilities to gain new knowledge and skills, as well as some coves of information to put your new skills to work. The concept applies to anyone in any walk of life, and can truly change how you gain new information and put it to use.
What is Learning to Learn?
Learning to learn isn't just a set of instructions that you follow to the letter in order to suddenly be able to soak up information like a sponge. If it were, we wouldn't need to learn how to do it so much as just follow the instructions. Rather, the process involves figuring out what works best for each individual, and then perfecting that method to optimize the process for that person. Once you know your optimal method, you can apply it to gaining new information in new situations.
Because learning is something everyone does throughout their lives, the process varies from situation to situation. Not only does this mean each person does it differently, but a single person might even use different methods during different times in their life. After all, the brain of a 70 year old is very different than that of a 15 year old.
Thus, learning to learn considers these variations by making awareness of individual needs paramount. Each person needs to be aware of their own needs and preferences when it comes to the best way for them to gain and use new knowledge. A learner must then identify available opportunities that fit these needs, and overcome any obstacles that are less than ideal. Through time, learners can build on previous experience and knowledge such that it helps with current situations.
Steps for Learning How to Learn
These steps help you to figure out what works best for you. They guide you through analyzing your own tendencies and preferences, and through making the most of them. You're then able to create your own personalized steps and methods for learning, and apply them.
Understand How the Brain Works
You first need to look at how the brain works and discover how to take advantage of its natural tendencies towards learning. Everyone knows the brain contains tons of neurons connected by synapses. But you might not know that the different ways neurons can communicate with one another cause distinct ways of thinking: the focused mode of thinking, and the diffused mode.
The focused mode uses all memory slots in the frontal lobe of the brain and requires intentional effort on your part to stay focused. It typically involves neural connections of things that are already familiar to you. The diffused mode, on the other hand, is a more relaxed mode where your thoughts are free to wander. During the diffused mode, your brain goes over both new and older neural connections while also creating new links.
Both of these states are important for learning, so you it's best to know how to use both. To do this, encourage short bursts of focused mode followed by diffused mode in which you relax.
Learn to Chunk
Once you know about focused and diffused states, you can apply them to learning. One important method is called “chunking.” In chunking, you “chunk” together smaller concepts one at a time rather than trying to look at an entire broad topic all at once. Seek out the most important sub-concepts first and then discover how to apply them.
During this process, be sure to identify the things you find most difficult. Then, practice those difficult things frequently until they become average to you. Especially practice what you just took in by immediately recalling it without looking back at it, such as summarizing an article you read right after reading it.
This helps reinforce what you learned, as well as identify areas that you didn't retain and should go back to. Over time, this recall method moves those items from short-term/working memory to long-term memory storage in the brain. Once you know the concepts better, you can stop practicing them so frequently, but still touch back every now and then. This spacing of recalling is a widely applied concept called “spaced repetition.”
Learning how to learn means fighting anything preventing you from making the most of opportunities to gain knowledge or skills. Most, if not all, of us experience at least some urge to procrastinate. This is especially true with topics we find difficult. It's important to figure out why it happens and how to combat it.
One of the most common techniques for fighting procrastination is the Pomodoro method. In this method, you work for a set amount of time such as 25 minutes, followed by a short break such as 5 minutes. But the Pomodoro method might not be for you, so check out some other techniques that might be a better fit.
Unlock Your Potential
Throughout the process of learning to learn you need to evaluate your own progress and compare it to where you want to be. Identifying problem areas gives you a reality check, but setting a goal for something more and deliberately working towards that goal will put you on track to reach your potential.
Throughout the process, be sure to remember that learning isn't always a linear process. You often won't just gain more and more knowledge every day. Sometimes you forget things, or get things wrong and need to reevaluate. Learning can slide backwards, and that's okay.
To help stay on track, seek guidance from others. Sometimes you need some help, but, at the same time, make sure you're not having others spoon-feed you. You want them to give you a leg up, not a piggyback ride to the top.
Books and Courses on Learning How to Learn
A great resource for improving your abilities in this area is the “Learning How to Learn” course found on Coursera.org. It contains about 12 hours' worth of material and subtitles in over 20 different languages. The course follows its own advice and provides more than just videos to passively watch. About a third of the course consists of exercises to practice the material. In addition to this course, you can find a number of others here focusing both on broad concepts and specific skills.
If getting your hands on one of these courses isn't possible for you, or maybe you just prefer reading a book, then “A Mind for Numbers” might be for you. This book, by Dr. Barbara Oakley, is the basis for the Coursera course mentioned above. Dr. Oakley started studying math at the age of 26, followed by becoming an engineering professor at the University of Oakland. She has also co-authored and published the book “Make It Stick” with a number of influential researchers.
Another book for optimal learning in any field is “The Art of Learning” by Josh Waitzkin. Waitzkin uses his experiences from leaning chess and martial arts, both of which he has successfully mastered almost entirely. On the other hand, “How We Learn” by Benedict Carey uses less anecdotes and more science to support its ideas.
If you'd like to hone in on certain fields, you can find books for that too. “A Mind for Numbers,” mentioned above, specifically aims to help you excel at Math and Science. Additionally, “The 4-Hour Chef” by Tim Ferriss gives cooking tips in addition to general techniques for any topic. If these aren't your cup of tea, be proactive and search for books and courses on your interests.
Learning on Direct Knowledge
Here on Direct Knowledge, you'll find the tools that work with your style of learning to get the results you're aiming for. A great place to start is with the selection of online articles. These are free and available to all, so as long as you have internet then you're good to go. There are five main sections — applied sciences, formal sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences — each split into a number of categories.
This library of articles is also periodically updated with new material, so it'll be tough for you to run out of new material. The topics include specific subjects as well as material for you to continue to focus on learning to learn in the Education category. You can also be confident in the quality of the material as each article is written by a qualified professional in the field.
While online articles are a great resource, they're typically only 1,000 to 3,000 words long. This can give a decent introduction to a topic, or a good explanation of a small subject or concept. But, books provide a space for much more thorough and profound analysis of a topic. They can make sure no stone is left unturned, exploring every question you have and some you've never thought of. And, possibly more importantly, they often provide practice exercises that articles don't. As mentioned above, just reading new material will only get you so far. Using recall and spaced repetition methods are what will really cement the knowledge into place.
The Direct Knowledge bookstore contains the same 24 categories found in the article library. Each book is written and self-published by professionals in the field, and available in eBook formats so that they're available to anyone anywhere in the world. They range in style from casual reading to structured learning material. This means you can find interesting books for the layman, as well as supplemental texts for academics, researchers, and educators.
In terms of efficiency and effectiveness, the courses on Direct Knowledge offer the best bang for your buck. They are the most effective of the options, with lots of hands-on practice to reinforce what you've learned. And, as many of us can probably admit, it's often harder to procrastinate or ignore a course you've paid for than some free articles online.
Each course comes with lifetime access, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not fully satisfied. But we think you will be, because these courses have so much to offer. Many of the topics correspond to common college courses, so you can use them to help get through a degree. They're available anytime, anywhere on your electronic devices, allowing you to customize your learning to your style. When you've finished each course, you even receive a certificate that you can use on your resume.
The pursuit of knowledge isn't always easy, but it really pays off in the end. Whatever your budget, time constraints, and topics of interest may be, Direct Knowledge is here to help you reach your goals. You just need to target the areas in which you wish to learn, and stay aware of how you learn. Do what works best for you so that you can make the most of what's available to you.