Did you know that not everybody learns in the same way? In fact, renowned psychologist Howard Gardner posits that there may be as many as 9 distinct types of intelligence, each with its own unique skills and ways of learning. With such diversity, it’s natural that the standard format of rote learning we’re familiar with from our school days isn’t necessarily the best fit for you. This is especially true when trying to expand your skill-set and learn new topics as an adult juggling responsibilities and work commitments.
Fortunately, there’s never been so many diverse and readily accessible ways to learn as there are today. Much of this is due to the beneficial impact of tech in our lives, from the internet, to our trusted smartphones, laptops and tablets.
Whether you work best on your own, preferring to research topics at your own pace, or benefit from more structured formats, our technology opens up countless ways to learn. Furthermore, it’s never been so easy to pick up a niche subject. In the past you may have had to travel to a nearby city to find classes or a tutor with expertise in the field you want to study, but nowadays you can just Zoom video call them from anywhere in the world.
Below we’re looking at four key ways tech can be used to supercharge your learning journey, so if you’ve been itching to expand your mind or train in a new skill, but didn’t know where to begin, this guide is for you.
Apps can be a great way to learn, especially with respect to ones that gamify the process. One of the best examples of gamification in a learning app has to be the immensely popular Duolingo language learning app.
To date, it has been over downloaded 575 million times and has helped countless people take their first steps in learning a new language, or refine their skills. By providing incremental rewards, keeping the experience fun, and encouraging users to check in each day, Duolingo and apps like it often get people who struggle with more academic contexts to engage with their learning material and take on new skills successfully.
Googling topics can be a bit of a double-edged sword. This is because it can be hard to know whether the source you’re gleaning information from is reputable. Fortunately there is a relatively simple solution to this: only learn from established, commendable sources. How do you do this? Well it’s simpler than you might think.
For example, if you want to pick up the rules of a new game—say the popular variant of poker, Texas hold ‘em—then learning the basics from a well known platform associated with the game such as industry mainstay PokerStars, is much more likely to yield up high quality information you can rely on. Likewise, if you wanted to learn the basics of personal finance, you could do worse than availing yourself of the free resources offered by popular finance website Investopedia.
Sometimes only a focused 1-on-1 style learning environment will do. This is especially true when you’re trying to learn something that requires careful and attentive feedback from a teacher, such as learning a new instrument.
Fortunately there are many platforms and services out there designed to connect you with teachers in any field of interest you may be seeking, from learning a language, to practicing calculus. One of the leading examples of this type of service is FirstTutors, which maintains a listing of thousands of accredited tutors with expertise in a huge range of subjects.
Platforms like Udemy and Skillshare are leading the way in democratizing learning all manner of subjects at your pace, and on your time. These platforms are especially beneficial for those who prefer a more structured classroom environment. This is because many courses listed on them feature homework and project coursework, encouraging users to demonstrate and integrate their learning as they make their way through an outlined curriculum.