Learning How to Learn: Week 1 of MOOC Coursera Class

Week 1 of Learning How to Learn.

What is Learning?

In week one of the class, Dr. Barbara Oakley explains the concepts of learning. How we grow to understand pieces of a larger puzzle and begin to recognize and understand patterns through the focused and diffused learning modes of our minds.

Dr. Oakley explains the different ways the brain works to observe, collect, store and recall the information we strive to learn. Through simple graphics and interviews with teaching and learning experts, we learn how important it is to focus on what we’re trying to learn and then step away from it, to give our brains the time necessary to make the deep connections.

I found the first week to be very interesting. A good lesson: The 30 Second Tip. After a meeting, phone call, lecture – what ever – take 30 seconds and write down the things that come to mind, the things you remember without referring to your notes.

Also, the Pomodoro technique of focusing on a task for a limited amount of time, and then taking a break from it. The Pomodoro method calls for 25 minutes. I find 25 minutes to0 short when it comes to trying to write, but it works well when I need to get something done and then move on, like making graphics for my posts. I like to extend my Pomodoro’s to 40 minutes when I’m trying to write. And then I usually hit snooze once or twice adding ten minutes at a time. But after 60 minutes, I have to get up. My body starts getting stiff.

Breaks away from focused thinking and sleep are also an important part of learning. So is exercise. During sleep and exercise, our brain takes in the information we’ve been focusing on and works to ‘figure out’ the problem we’re trying to solve. If we learn how to really tap into these two modes of learning, focused and diffused, we are really learning how to use our brains the way they are created to work. Pretty cool stuff!

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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Write, Publish, Promote. Words I am learning to live by. Want this to be your motto too? Join me and together we'll navigate the path to publishing success.

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