#14 Informal Learning

Well, we’ve made it through the first 1/4 of the year and I hope you’ve found at least some of these weekly tips helpful. Now it’s your turn to help me out a little bit. This week I’d like to take this opportunity to pick your brain and learn from you.

I’ve been reading lately that we do about 80% of our learning informally; online via web searches, help files, discussion forums or off-line via conversations, books, videos or from any of a ton of the various options.

So my question for you is this?

When you need to learn something new what do you do?

Take 2 minutes or less and think about….What was the last thing you learned? What was it? How did you learn it? Do you look for yourself first of start by calling someone else?

Click this link to send me your answer.

Personally, my informal learning approach looks something like this:

  1. Start with a Google search.
  2. Look it up on Wikipedia
  3. Check for relevant items I’ve bookmarked via Del.icio.us.
  4. Check any relevant blogs that I subscribe to
  5. Call someone I think may be able to help.

What does your’s look like?

A Look Ahead:

If you’re not familiar with some of the things I mentioned above I’ll be sharing more details about them and some other great resources like them in the upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, do a little informal learning of your own and check these out:

» Wikipedia is a wiki that is collaboratively edited by people from all around the world. Check out this great example and see how it compares to the sets of Encyclopedias we had as kids.

» A blog, short for ‘web log’, is journal or newsletter type website that is frequently updated and is usually related to a particular topic.

» Del.icio.us is a great site for accessing your web links from any computer. (Have you ever bookmarked something at work and wished you could get it at home or vice versa?). You can also share your links with others and discover new things here. Learn more…

Alright now…did you get all the way down here to the end of this email without sending an answer to my question? Shame on you! But I’ll give you a 2nd chance to redeem yourself…and you don’t even have to scroll all the way back up to the link.

Click here to tell me where you go when you need to learn something new.


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