My boys start school again on Monday. I’ve already been attending classes. Of course they’re in my den at home or office at work. I’m a big believer in ongoing education. And while you might choose a distance learning course this year, or enroll in a local college class, you can continue your education as an autodidact, a self-taught person.
It begins with figuring out what you need to know. For someone who has traveled the world, my geography isn’t as good as I’d like, so that’s one of the things I’m studying up on this year. And while I have a degree in economics, I need to take a refresher course or two via some great websites and books.
Also focus on what you’d like to learn. I’m a car nut so always reading and learning about exotics, classics and hot rods. Actually, I like almost anything with an engine and I’m a licensed (although not current) pilot, so motorcycles and aviation are on my electives list. I also love etymology so I keep a few books about the origins of words on my book shelf.
Professionally there is so much change in the area of technology that most of us could benefit from a few courses. I’ve just started into social networking and am on a steep learning curve. I’m a private person who used to think that most social networking was for singles wanting to connect (a common perception, by the way, at least among older folks like me). I’m learning the professional benefits of smart social networking with help from my business manager and a consultant friend.
The hardest part of going back to school, however you choose to do it, is the time element. You don’t have time; you’ll need to make time. I’m a morning person so I get up early to read, pray and meditate before my day kicks into hyper drive. I also schedule time at the office for learning. For me, and I’d suggest for anyone, it is an MVP (most valuable and profitable) activity.
I hope you’ll share your tips for personal and professional education and development here.
Here’s to better learning in 2009!
My kids head back to school on Monday as well. They’re praying that this weekend goes by reeaaalllyyy slow. I would love to walk alongside and help you with any social networking steps you’d like to take. One of the things that I spent this Christmas break learning about was Twitter. As with any social networking site, it can be a constant vacuum that sucks your precious time away. But I’m finding (as I’m sure you already realize) that it’s a tremendous way to continually add more value to others.
A lot of people get connected on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn because they want to see what it can do for them. But I’m discovering all kinds of great ways to give things away and help complete strangers (who often become friends, if only virtual friends) get what they want and need. It’s a win/win.
So find me on twitter (@timage) or on facebook, or LinkedIn and let’s see what we can learn from each other!
Two places I like for college course materials are:
UC Berkeley Webcasts
I’d strong recommend Descriptive Physics (aka Physics for Future Presidents) from Spring 2008. The course link is:
http://webcast.berkeley.edu/course_details.php?seriesid=1906978515 and Professor Muller is NOT your typical Berkeley teacher.
Two other good sources for free classes are iTunes and YouTube. Universities are active in both. For a sampling of colleges on iTunes, visit http://www.apple.com/education/mobile-learning/. For YouTube, I’d suggest going to Google and doing a search for something like YouTube lectures site:.edu
Finally, since you are starting to get into social media from a business and communications perspective, I highly recommend the For Immediate Release podcast, available at http://forimmediaterelease.biz/.
Tim and Daniel, thanks! You’ve provided great ideas and excellent resources.