As remote work is becoming the norm, it is important to focus on your personal growth and development. The learning process should never stop. It is more important than ever to have access to the appropriate learning tools to maintain your learning path.
Technology has made distance learning very convenient for everyone. The internet is loaded with a wealth of learning material. There are plenty of learning resources available online to help you enhance your skills. Different organizations have created numerous tools to help enhance our learning.
Many of these tools have existed for a considerable period. However, quite a few new tools have been launched in recent years. Learning has many aspects. Here are the four main aspects of learning as far as online self-learning is concerned:
- Reading – this is the main source of knowledge
- Courses – these provide advanced learning
- Information Retention – this reinforces learning
- Knowledge Archiving – mentally searching for and accessing knowledge
Reading is a major source of learning. It inspires people to achieve more in their lives. However, it is a challenge to figure out which books should be read. It often happens that you start reading a book only to find out mid-way that this is not something you are enjoying. It feels that the time invested has gone to waste.
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Here are a couple of applications that will help you find out what to read. These tools will help you find new things to learn. You may stumble upon reading material that may not be in your comfort zone. They will assist you in skimming through a lot of books and narrowing your reading list down to your interests.
The internet is a great tool for enhancing your knowledge and learning. Before you browse through this list, make sure you are using a reliable connection like MetroNet Internet to optimize your learning.
Once you have read essential books on your chosen topics, it gets difficult to find new things to learn. These days, with the help of the internet, anyone can become a publisher. This means there is new content being churned out frequently. So, it is getting harder to go through this much content and choose something that you will enjoy reading.
Blinkist provides a smart solution to this problem. The app selects books and provides their summaries in audio format. These audio snippets are called blinks. It takes just 15 minutes to listen to these summaries. Blinkist also publishes transcripts of these audio summaries for those who prefer reading.
Blinkist has a strong tagging mechanism. You can choose books depending on the type of content you prefer reading. You will also get book suggestions based on your prior selections. It will help you greatly in selecting books to read so you may learn from them. It will also save you loads of time eliminating books that you know you may not be interested in reading.
Headway similarly to Blinkist. However, it is a much newer application. It is clean and has a much better user interface than Blinkist.
It gives reading suggestions based on what you have read earlier. Headway is an excellent tool to help identify your reading patterns. For now, its library is not as extensive as the one available on Blinkist. However, new books are added to their library as and when they get released. You will have to be a little patient and give the app some time.
There has been a huge boom in the online courses industry over the past decade or so. There are courses available on practically every topic for all skill levels. Teachers are available from diverse backgrounds, willing to share their unique knowledge with the world at large.
These courses are fairly easy to study. Most people will not have any issues learning from them. Numerous platforms are offering these courses. You can use their desktop version or can install their apps on your tablets and phones. This way you can study these courses at your convenience.
Since these courses are available for multiple skill levels, you can easily choose whichever skill level works best for you. If you start at the beginner level, you can move up to higher levels later on. For effective learning, use books relevant to your selected courses while you are studying them. Here are some of the platforms you can look into to study online courses.
This is one of the most popular platforms for studying online courses. They provide video learning material for their courses. There is a wide selection of courses to choose from. The courses on Udemy focus on professional and personal development.
Udemy has a user-friendly interface. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find your preferred courses. It has thousands of users who regularly post testimonials and reviews about the courses available on the platform. So before you purchase any course, you will have a fair idea of what you will be signing up for.
Udemy does not have a subscription option. You will have to pay separately for each course that is purchased. However, there are big discounts available as it is still trying to establish its user base. That being said, it is a great platform to learn any new skill.
This is another popular online learning platform. Coursera offers certification courses so this is something you can add to your resume when applying for jobs. The site mostly offers courses of an academic nature. You will have to pay extra for certifications.
Coursera was set up by a pair of Stanford University faculty members. So it is no surprise that they offer such certifications. Coursera claims they have provided services to close to 100 million students. It has had explosive growth since it was launched.
Unlike Udemy, it offers a subscription option. Subscribers get unlimited access to all the courses which also includes certifications. You can study the courses at your own pace so it is a very effective tool for learning.
The Great Courses
This platform provides a broad selection of courses to choose from. However, the focus is not on academics. It is geared towards courses on what people consider to be hobbies. With the Great Courses Plus subscription program, you can get unlimited access to all their courses.
The Great Courses have video courses that are professionally designed. The courses are taught by some of the best instructors you will find who have mastered their chosen field. It has a user-friendly interface. It can be integrated with video players and their courses are also available on Amazon Kindle.
Learning has little utility if you can’t retain the information you come across. You may have studied many courses or read a lot of books but it will be of no use if you are unable to retain the content that you went through.
Retaining does not necessarily mean you memorize everything you read or listen to. Retaining is organizing the critical aspects of the content you used to enhance your learning. Information retention will make it easy for you to make practical use of your learnings.
It is important to have a mechanism in place that you have at your fingertips. It will allow you to create and add to your learning database. Information retention tools will help you organize your information, store it, and make it logical. It will help you retrieve the knowledge you have gained and use it in your practical life. Here are some tools that will help you to effectively retain information.
This is a tool that will assist you in remembering what you learn and retain that information for later use. It is similar to paper flashcards that you may have used while studying in school and college. However, it is more efficient than traditional flashcard learning methods.
The tool adapts to your current skill level. It will adjust according to your learning progress. If you are studying a foreign language, it will provide flashcards. Anki will save the answers to questions asked in those flashcards. It won’t post those same questions, which have already been answered correctly, for another two weeks. Each day it will present only fresh flash cards.
The app relies on the power of repetition but at the same time, it will avoid asking you questions you already know well enough. This will ensure you retain information in a very efficient manner.
The tool is free to use. You can download it on both Mac and Windows computers. You may also download the app on your hand-held devices. It is an excellent learning tool. By using Anki, you will enhance your memory in a short time.
This is another tool that will help in information retention. It has transformed simple flashcard learning into a comprehensive system of learning. It has many intelligent features.
It is a great tool to help you learn at home at your own pace. Quizlet will adapt to your learning path over time. It will focus only on those areas where you show signs of struggle. It will eliminate those areas of learning where you already have a good command.
It may look like it is meant only for school students. However, even college students and other higher-level professionals can make use of this app. Use this app if you want to sharpen your skills and knowledge.
You may have razor-sharp memory. However, you can’t rely on it solely when you are looking to optimize your learning efficiency. You need to be able to store your learning and access it whenever you need to use it.
Here are some tools that will help you in archiving the knowledge you gain.
Diigo is a useful addition to your collection of learning tools. The more hours you spend online, the more captivating information you will come across.
The world around you throws in numerous opportunities for you to learn new things. However, most of these opportunities go by without us noticing. This won’t happen if you use Diigo.
It is a tool meant to perform a personal information organization and management role. You can highlight, bookmark, and archive any online information that you may deem to be useful. With Diigo, you can save data as and when you encounter it so you can see it later.
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This is an app used to take notes. It was launched in the early 2000s, so it is a fairly old tool. It was among the first organizations to adopt cellphone integration.
Evernote and Diigo are similar in some ways. However, a big difference is that Evernote users can create their content. Diigo users can only record content. Evernote users can organize and share content folders by putting tags on them.
Evernote is a good application to make your learning more efficient. You can take picture snapshots and convert them to PDF format to create content archives. Text snapshots can also be indexed so they can be searched easily.
Learning should be viewed as a responsibility rather than just a requirement. It should not just be limited to academic environments. You spend most of your life outside formal educational settings, so learning should continue even after you have completed your formal education.
Just like devoting time to learning is important, it is also important to give yourself a break after a full day of learning and hard working. Give time to entertain yourself. Subscribe to MetroNet TV packages to get the best home TV entertainment.
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