I use a lot of youtube videos for anything from fixing washing machines to how to BBQ brisket.
What techniques or resources do you use to learn new things? Anything from complex subjects to simple stuff. What's great and what sucks?
I'd also like to hear your thoughts on self-paced learning (eLearning) courses. I think 95% of them are terrible. What can they do to make them better?
I use a lot of youtube videos for anything from fixing washing machines to how to BBQ brisket.
Needs an all of the above option.
Use every tool at your disposal, imo.
Probably do the least amount of learning in lectures, that's more about getting a strong overview of things. Then you read the textbook and probably watch youtube/khan academy and other videos. Possibly some wikipedia articles depending on the subject, sometimes it helps to have two textbooks so you get two different views of the same material (I know that helped me a lot with calculus), then start whittling away at the homework.
Solving problems/working with the material is how everyone actually really learns.
i make a thread on rerolled
Have you ever taken an elearning course? Did it suck dick?
I find most online elearning courses are just pages of text with some stock images and a next and back button. Could've just read a word doc.
They don't take advantage of the format to create actual simulations or useful interactions.
Often I will favor one side too much and either understand things at a very shallow level because I'm just memorizing facts, or will get stuck on things way too long because I'm just brute forcing the ideas into my head by trial and error. It depends on the subject, but I find a better way is to learn is to switch between different ways as you're learning a new concept or field. This means reading some wikipedia, then trying to figure out the problem on your own, then watching a youtube video, then asking for help, then trying the problem on your own again etc.
A good example is a basic concept of integration in calculus. You might need to learn it in a class or because you've always wanted to know calculus, whatever. So pop open:
Integral - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and read for ten minutes. If you're like me you'll know you've gone off the rails when you start reading about how Newton would pierce his own eyeball for optics research.
But you might see how integration is really good at calculating the area under a curve. You might say, "Fuck Archimedes I can figure that out.". Then you spend 15 minutes iteratively calculating the area ex:
and think, "Ok this sucks balls, there has to be a better way."
You may then look at wikipedia and get totally lost in the properties section and that's when you switch to youtube and watch a video from the first pretty girl you see.
At some point between starting the video and switching to 'brunette girls twerking' you may understand the concepts a bit and try again and boom, you've got a solution to the area under y=x^2 for a given distance because one of the videos you saw did that.
You then try to expand that to y=1/x and something is wrong. So you phone a friend and he shows you your algebra is shit and where you're wrong and also you've glossed over a few important parts of it.
From then it's just a matter of adding to that core knowledge.
Also I've found that for a topic you just don't get, sometimes the best recourse is to find the dumbest person you know who understands the topic and have them explain it to you.
The only class I've taken online that I felt like I learned anything was an intro to evolution course, because the labs and textbook and coursework were identical and the teacher did video lectures that were indistinguishable from the in class lectures.
When I took organic chem 1, the professor recorded all his lectures, and I used them for review, because you could pause, rewind, etc. and really dig into the material that way. So I attended the actual lectures, then as I did problems and shit at home, I watched those recordings as a review. I felt that, when I took O Chem 2 from the same professor and he quit using them because half the class wouldn't show up when he did them, but also failed to watch the online videos and ended up doing badly on the exams (which is fucking stupid), that I really missed having that extra tool to use.
E learning is a useful addition in most cases, but not a great way to go about learning all by itself, is my opinion.
Last edited by hodj; 05-27-2015 at 01:33 PM.
Another fantastic youtube video resource that isn't Khan Academy, for learning math is Patrick JMT
I think he has something like 100k solved problems on that website, with explanations.
For math I found the best way to learn was to read on the subject, follow examples in the text and then assign yourself homework from the section. I found chegg really good for checking solutions or even understanding math topics I didn't get - sometimes seeing someone's work step-by-step really paid off for me. Still, the best way to learn for me was doing example problems.
For CS stuff I always just tried to learn as much as I could until I realized I didn't really know shit and I'd be googling that shit or hitting up stackoverflow when I needed it. Looking at you, pointers.
Yeah the only way to learn math/chemistry and some other areas, probably engineering, physics, etc. is to just do the goddamn problems.
Over and over and over.
Just like the only way to learn a new language is to speak it.
Practice makes perfect and all that.
At least until we're injecting computer chips into our brains that facilitate instantaneous learning. Bring on the Singularity!
I've wasted a lot of my company's time/money by doing Khan at work. Better than ReRolled, I guess.
How do you think humour impacts learning? Making a fun/funny/entertaining video on a subject.
games, projects. Books and virtually all direct means of conveying facts are just too dry. Applying skills is the easiest way for me to comprehend.
I've been teaching myself gardening and picking up little bits of chemistry just because it helps me achieve my goals. If I wanted to teach people chemistry I'd probably just use gardening to do it. Of course that takes space and time that isn't available in most cases, and would probably limit the range of what can be taught, but I'm still in the realm of clueless so /shrug. I'm considering trying to set up an irrigation system off of a moisture sensor. There seem to be guides on do-it-yourself stuff for that on the net, so eventually my interest might segue into some light programming.
I've tried some of that edx stuff, and I just can't discipline myself to stick with it. Some of them are project oriented, but it's hard for me to adhere to an arbitrary timeline.
figure out what type of "learner" you are, i only learned/figured this out a few years ago and makes total sense.
Like for example, physical learners are like mechanics, they really get into an engine and can learn great, while a visual learner needs flowcharts/diagrams/how to videos, etc.
I also think that people read into that stuff then discount learning done from other methods. They say, "Oh I'm a visual learner, so I simply can't learn from reading from a book.". Or, "I'm a social learner, so I need someone to explain everything to me."
I learn best when I am interacting and doing hands on kind of stuff. Someone can explain things to me all day long, but it won't necessarily click in my mind until I try it out for myself. I'm not a fan of lectures for this reason.
As a language teacher I use this approach in my classroom to great effect. I also think making things humorous and interesting aids the learning process because it makes things more memorable.
As an adult these days YouTube is huge for hands-on stuff. For fixing or making things its the best thing that's ever happened. If I had to learn something academic, especially for a class requiring testing and the like, I'd still want some form of facilitated instruction. But I'm not doing any such thing now or probably ever again so it doesn't matter.
I learn from videos and self-reading. But i prefer to learn in a classroom setting. With a real expert and not some hack who is getting paid to fill a seat. Things seem to come easier to me int hat type of setting, although there is more satisfaction figuring something out 100% independently.
No "Hands-on" option. I mix that in with almost all of the above.
Really just comes from using any skills repeatedly until it becomes second nature.
I tend to over research everything. Like crazy. If I'm going to do my motorcycle brakes, I'll read everything ever published on doing that kind of brakes, and then I'll watch 20 youtube videos on it, and, to get me feeling really good, I'll go to a shop and observe a professional doing it. It's in watching the hands on after I'm well informed on the bits in which I find confidence.
If it's history, historiography, philosophy, or the like, I tend to over read on any given topic, and then gain better understanding through discussion with others who have read the same books.
For me learning happens a lot after personal reading moves to discussion or into doing. eLearning is really problematic to me, though I have taught quite a few eCourses for various universities. I stopped doing it, as it isn't something I could personally learn much from, and at one point I was doing it just for the paycheck or for tenure.
Humour in informative videos always helps, unless it is just plain lame. Bad, uncomfortable, failing humour in informative videos is an anti-learning tool.
Depends on the topic/material. Math stuff I mostly just preferred to read the textbook and jam some problems till I figure shit out for myself. Some things are better off being walked through once or twice then just have that person be available for questions afterwards. Random stuff is often just an instructional youtube video away.
I learn good by relying on good ole god-given common sense and blocking out your liberal book reading lies.
For math, I go by what Paul Halmos said about it:
"Don't just read it; fight it!"
Other than the definitions, nothing in the math book is to be believed. Everything must be challenged. Plus do all the exercises in the textbook and preferably more than just those.
Depends on whether we're talking about knowledge or skills.
For knowledge, find a good resource and pay the fuck attention. Don't move onto new concepts within a topic until you fully understand whatever you're currently looking at in the context of what you already know . Don't skim, space out or revert to simple memorization.
For skills, do it over and over and over until you don't suck at it anymore. If you get stuck, google a video.
Years of educational psych put to work here.
Calling me a Cunt is a lot like calling Hitler a Nazi, it's not exactly received as the insult you were intending.
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I am incapable of learning or changing to any degree since I was conceieved. Hodj taught me that my gayness was inflicted on me at birth, and nothing I've done since has mattered.
Sounds like mental subterfuge, but I had more trouble with precalc than calc 2. Calc 3 was pretty hard, though.
calc 3 was super easy for me. Calc 2 was the one that enraged me the most. learning maclauren series was easy, but it opened up my eyes to the hypocrisy of proof in some areas of math. Accepting things because they're pretty should not be a legitimate form of analytical reasoning.
Edit: not sure what you mean re the hypocrisy of proof comment. Our calc 1 and 2 were quite proof-based and while I don't recall what any of them were aside from the formal definition of the limit, I remember thinking they seemed more brutish than elegant.
I'll defer to a more seasoned mathematical mind with regard to the proofs' veracity, but I do know that some of the heaviest hitters in 19th and early 20th century math expressed profound unease with the lack of rigor in 'the calculus' and dedicated their careers to formalizing its laws and definitions.
I thought that for something to constitute a proof, it had to be shorn of things like hypocrisy and interpretive language.
Last edited by DoctorSpooge; 05-28-2015 at 10:14 PM.
Textbooks, instructor (teacher/tutor). Self-lernin is of a variable use. Works for some things just great and others not so great. For some things you need to check base with someone to make sure you're not forming bad habits that will screw you later.
But yeah, basically, all of the above.
These days, Wikimedia stuff and books and online resources and so on all fill that role. Fuck interacting with other people when trying to learn most things. People in person are great for "how do I do...?" but suck for anything else.
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