Learning is a never ending process that is not limited to the four corners of a classroom, nor does it end when the school year is over. In fact, much of the learning that people get is from day to day activities and actual experiences.
The unfortunate case, however, is that most people do not realize their full potential because of the lack of knowledge on how to appropriately learn. Many think of themselves as incompetent and uneducated just because they didn’t have the chance to go to school, settling for low-paying jobs and hard labor, if not unemployment. In the United States alone, the numbers speak for themselves as the rate of underemployment is on the upwards trend.
For this reason, it is important that any dedicated individual is taught valuable recommendations that they can use in order to be proficient in the course or career they want to have. Although learning is an arduous process which requires a certain amount of time, money and effort, there are many ways to go about these challenges. One can learn a wide array of things and develop a plethora of skills, even just at the comfort of one’s home.
Find an Engaging Environment for Better Learning
Psychology tells that whether sitting in a large lecture hall, underneath a tree, or in front of a computer screen, students are engulfed by environmental information. Specific targets within the environment draw the students’ attention, such as boards, picture frames and decorations, and they continuously monitor the ambient properties such as the color of the board, the aesthetics of the pictures and decorations. In any learning environment, students are awash in environmental information, only a small fraction of which constitutes the sights and sounds of instruction.
Technically speaking, learning environment refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn. Since students may learn in a wide variety of settings, such as outside-of-school locations and outdoor environments, the term is often used as a more accurate or preferred alternative to classroom.
Education professionals are aware of the importance of a person’s surroundings whenever, or wherever for that matter, one attempts to learn. In fact, learning environments are extremely important for both students and for teachers. Everything, from the color of the walls to the arrangement of the desks, sends impressions to a person and can affect the way a student learns. The emotional environment can also affect the learning environment and how well a student receives instruction. As such, whether the learning space is one’s home, school, or workplace, there is variety of ways to induce a sense of wanting to learn and to absorb information even more.
An easier way to comprehend how to turn a home into an engaging learning environment is to think as if the student is about to learn math for the first time. Think about where a child would be most comfortable when they work at different tasks. Reading lessons can happen curled up on the couch, or on the grass outside. It might even be more comfortable to work with math sprawled on the living room floor or while playing with toys.
An adult can adapt this kind of thinking and be specific about a location where he is most comfortable learning. Can one be more engaged in front of a clean desk and lampshade? Can he be more into learning if he was sitting in his veranda? Simply put, location is one of the top priorities in making a positive learning environment.
On another note, it may be best to clear out clutter at home while engaging in educational activities. The effects of disorganization and clutter are, more often than not, negative in nature, and spans not only just at home but also in places of work and education. Researches also suggest that organizing one’s learning or working space can induce diligence and reduce stress.
Reap the Benefits of Online Courses
In this technology dependent age, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that even education has linked itself with the trend. The logic behind this is a no brainer, since the Internet has made it a lot easier for people to communicate with each other. In fact, it is so easy that it’s as if everyone else is just right across the street. Advances made in technology have transcended traditional ways of education, proving that learning is not limited in school.
Furthermore, many of the hard questions of the past can now be researched online through the use of search engines which provide thousands of links that conform to a set of typed in words. Books and magazines have become available in the form of electronic books or E-books, a cheaper and more accessible alternative than published copies.
Similarly, learning from another person or community has been more convenient than ever before with the use of social networking sites and academic groups online. However, the highlight of the shift of education in utilizing modern technology seems to be the introduction of Online Courses provided by educational institutes and universities.
Say, if one wants to learn concepts about programming and coding, one can just access courses from websites, like Team Treehouse, at a fraction of the cost of the degree curriculum at colleges. This is continuing to be the best gift that technology has been able to provide in the educational sector. In fact, even the high tier universities are making their courses available online. Some are even offered for free!
These online courses are offered in a variety of media such as video tutorials, coursewares, sound recordings and other platforms. Although these come available online, these courses are tutored by verified professionals and instructors. The diversity in instruction makes it more appealing to use at home, since it is much more convenient and more accessible anytime.
Tag a Buddy
While studying comes as a personal way to learn, there are actually more reasons to have another student along. Being at home learning new things may provide a number of challenges which include attention span and discipline. For all these reasons, it may be best to tag a partner in learning so that education is more effective at the same time.
Psychology dictates that groups not only satisfy the need to belong. They also provide members with more information, assistance, and social support.
Leon Festinger’s theory of social comparison suggested that in many cases, people join with others to evaluate the accuracy of their personal beliefs and attitudes. Stanley Schachter then explored this process by putting individuals in ambiguous, stressful situations and asking them if they wished to wait alone or with others. He eventually found out that people affiliate in such situations – they do seek the company of others!
This proves applicable in learning at home. The common understanding that learning at home is just a personal thing to do is misconception. Having a buddy who shares the same interest in studying the lessons almost always means a boosted interest for everyone involved. Similarly, solving problems in a group may induce more creative thinking and brainstorming which is important for gaining new perspectives. Comparing successes and feats is also a big benefit for a person who has a group or another person studying with him at home as both create standards for each other to achieve more.