?

Log in

No account? Create an account
blogging as conversation, and learning styles - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2006-06-09 14:43
blogging as conversation, and learning styles
Public
language, meta
BTW, I'm going to try again to post more often, yet again. I can't tell you how often I write half of a post, or half-write a post, only to abandon it because I know the ideas aren't as well thought out as they could be if I did nothing but think about them all day, and that y'all are going to tear the post to shreds for it ... but this whole blogging thing is supposed to be a learning experience, not an attack, right? :~) I always learn so much more from conversations - especially those friendly, exciting, constructive, can't-get-the-ideas-out-fast-enough kinds of conversations that I love to have but don't have nearly often enough - than anything else, anyway. Got to have more of those in my life. So let's have some conversations, eh?

Just one of those moments of learning how I learn ... like in high school when I finally realized non-interactive lecture classes were about the worst way for me to learn, ever. (How do you learn best? Learn worst? I'd love to hear!)
Comment | 16 Comments | Share | Link






rubrick
rubrick
2006-06-09 22:36 (UTC)
(no subject)
I think I learn best through either one-on-one collaboration or reading and absorbing on my own, at my own pace. Non-interactive lectures don't suit me; for one thing, I'm a dreadful note-taker. I tend to adjust to lecturelike environments by trying to force them to be as interactive as I can manage: I try to think up good questions to ask, and ask as many as I can. Unfortunately, I this is sometimes to the detriment of the rest of the class.

I was just thinking earlier today about how our society really lost something when it mostly abandoned the apprenticeship system. (I guess the grad student/advisor relationship is still a bit like that.)
Reply | Thread | Link



Kris
anemone
2006-06-09 22:51 (UTC)
(no subject)
our society really lost something when it mostly abandoned the apprenticeship system. (I guess the grad student/advisor relationship is still a bit like that.)

Two things:
(1) One reason grad school can suck is if you end up with a bad advisor. Being apprenticed to a bad master would really suck.
(2) In most places I've been, whether there was formal mentorship system in place or not, there was an informal one at work. People recognize that and try to encourage it. How much would be gained by formalizing that?
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



rubrick
rubrick
2006-06-09 23:04 (UTC)
(no subject)
In some cases, I think quite a bit. In an informal mentoring system, the lucky / promising / well-connected / socially adept folks find mentors, and the rest can really struggle. And the mentoring is particularly lacking during, say, high school; there simply aren't enough adults to go around.

I think it would be quite interesting to see what the effect would be if every adult with skills spent 20% of their work time teaching.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Fata Morgana
chimerically
2006-06-09 23:02 (UTC)
(no subject)
I try to think up good questions to ask, and ask as many as I can.

I was better about this in high school. College, and especially all the highly technical classes I took, has squelched that in me. I stammer and forget my words when asking a question in front of a group, while I can have a very lively discussion with the same person one-on-one. (... as long as I didn't feel like they disapprove of me or are testing me in some way. I've gotten very sensitive to that, for some reason. Well, I have some ideas of why, but it's still damn hard to overcome!)

I was just thinking earlier today about how our society really lost something when it mostly abandoned the apprenticeship system.

I think so, too. Jean Lave (who I referenced in my previous post) wrote a great book on, basically, apprenticeship called Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation that explores it in more depth.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



rubrick
rubrick
2006-06-09 23:08 (UTC)
(no subject)
And such a catchy title, too. :-)
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Matthew Jones
stridera
2006-06-09 22:39 (UTC)
(no subject)
Yay for posting more!

How do I learn the best... well, I did learn really quick that those non-interactive lecture classes put me to sleep faster than anything else...

The way I learn the best is to dive in. When I first started programming, I took the code to CircleMUD and started hacking it. (CircleMUD is a text based multi-user dungeon/world that came from DikuMUD.) I started small by adding small tweaks to make the world my own. Eventually I added code to allow people to fly (or fall), a advanced scripting system for dynamic events, and finally a offline world editor that was never used since I abandoned the whole mud to work on graphical stuff.

So, to recap, I found things that I really loved doing (programming and gaming) and combined them. The gaming kept me interested to move forward, and the coding was challenging and creative enough to keep my interest. That combination of challenge and creativity is what keeps me coding today. Other things, such as hacking or what-not, is all read and do. If I don't do it, I won't remember it how to do it without the instruction material.

I can say this is pretty much true in all aspects of my life. I don't remember words in Japanese unless I use them in a conversation. I won't remember how to get to someones house unless I drive there. Well, you get the point. I like to write... I learn by doing.
Reply | Thread | Link



Kris
anemone
2006-06-09 22:56 (UTC)
(no subject)
I learn by doing, but I suppose most people do, so that's not so interesting.

But I am still amazed at CS people who read books. I just don't understand how they can do that. For a long time, I just thought these people must be smarter/better than me. At some point, I realized that it wasn't quite so--I'm just strangely lacking in an ability to read math from books. I've never read any of my math text books. In fact, the idea of reading a math or theoretical computer science textbook is something I've never done. (I do look at the books, but from a specific "how did they do this" perspective.)
Reply | Thread | Link



Fata Morgana
chimerically
2006-06-09 23:03 (UTC)
(no subject)
Yeah, me too.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Matthew Jones
stridera
2006-06-10 01:08 (UTC)
(no subject)
I've read an entire CS book before... but it was really well written. In general, however, I agree that they are better used for reference only.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Fata Morgana
chimerically
2006-06-10 07:21 (UTC)
(no subject)
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs? ;~)
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Matthew Jones
stridera
2006-06-11 06:03 (UTC)
(no subject)
Something like that... it was an Assembly book...

That book good? ;)

I could probably say I've read a few other programming books too... just not from start to beginning... just look up whatever is giving me problems and call it good. Hacking books too.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jeff
lbchewie
2006-06-12 18:54 (UTC)
(no subject)
Agreed. I've taken my share of math, and never found the text to be of any help. I learn by examples, and then by applying learned principles, that I've learned through my own devices, to new problems. This has always been the case with math, and computer science textbooks, two of my (once-thought) strongest aptitudes.

That 1,000+ page of Stewart Calculus could easily be whittled down to <200 pages, and I would have learned just as much - if not more. I hear Schaumer's (sp?) outlines are especially good for experiential/heuristic learning. (Tangental: any thoughts?)
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jeff
lbchewie
2006-06-12 19:02 (UTC)
(no subject)
I learn through interactive sessions - either by attacking problems by myself (assuming I have the appropriate tools to understand a problem - through textbook examples and/or a tutor/GSI/professor) or small group/one-on-one interaction.

I'm higly motivated by group discussions. Individual study isn't likely to be as effective, unless I'm intensely passionate about a subject. Even then, if I'm surrounded by people with the same passion, and we're bouncing ideas off of each other - that's even more effective for me than impassioned individual study. However, there are a few things which simply cannot be learned or practised through group interaction... but I'll leave those aside.

I also learn by teaching. It's probably the most effective way for me to commit knowledge to long-term memory. This also explains why I love group settings for study, because more often than not, I try to be one of the leaders of the discussion, and tend to be quick to offer explanations for difficult areas other people are having.

I've always been very decent at math, but since I never did homework in high school (or college for that matter), I would retain advanced concepts for about 3-6 months, and then forget the tools. I became a math tutor for three years, and as a result, it's unlikely I could ever lose lower-division abilties except by a major cardiovascular event.
Reply | Thread | Link



shallwedance_
shallwedance_
2006-06-15 20:46 (UTC)
(no subject)
I think it depends on what I'm learning. From high school to the present, for most academic classes, it was sufficient to listen in lecture and active process the data by taking notes, and I'm not one to ask questions or have discussions in class. The exception are programming-related classes, where I must code something to fully grasp the concepts and implementation. I don't learn from books very well because I get bored/distracted easily. :p

As for dancing, I find it impossible to learn without visually seeing an example to mimic, though verbal explaination of the finer details that may otherwise be missed are important. Similarly for sign language, it's hard to replicate something intrisically visual from purely a verbal description. And as with musical instruments, the only way retain it is to practice, practice, practice.
Reply | Thread | Link



(Anonymous)
2007-06-10 23:47 (UTC)
uswEuFyeL
dfgfdhgsd
Reply | Thread | Link



(Anonymous)
2007-06-20 23:45 (UTC)
OkhHATMvTvpciz
a6a7d2745ee994377352f07b209ce0d6
Reply | Thread | Link



browse
my journal
September 2013