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The Art of Self-Directed Learning

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The Art of Self-Directed Learning

  1. 1. by Blake Boles ! blakeboles.com facebook.com/blakeboles @blakeboles
  2. 2. Have you ever taken a class about… ! learning how to learn?
  3. 3. What is 
 “self-directed learning”?
  4. 4. What Self-Directed Learners Do
  5. 5. What Self-Directed Learners Don’t Do • vilify teaching or structure • hang around unchallenging places and with bored people • hide their passions and interests to please others • learn in total isolation • worry that if they don’t learn something right now, it will be too late
  6. 6. Self-motivation
  7. 7. Discipline, Dissected Are you avoiding work or are you working on the wrong thing? • If you don’t do this work, will you feel physically ill? • Do you feel like you’re making a difference? • Does self-motivation take over after the first hump?
  8. 8. Cages 
 and 
 Keys
  9. 9. Cage Key I can’t I could if I I should I choose to I don’t know I’ll find out I wish I’ll make a plan I hate I prefer I have to I get to One Right Answer —> Multiple Right Answers
  10. 10. 52 Weeks, 52 Jobs
  11. 11. The Writing Retreat
  12. 12. Ultimately, how do self-directed learners motivate themselves? ! They get consent. • Understand what you’re committing to • Know what the alternatives are • Retain the power to say “No” 
 (even after you’ve said “Yes”)
  13. 13. Don't you make your children learn anything?! ! Make? No. I don't make them learn anything. I inquire. I suggest. I offer incentives. But I do not make. I am not their central planner. That job is taken. My job isn't to decree what they will be good at or what they will do or how they will do it. I am not king in their lives. They are sovereign. Their minds belong to them. It is their property, after all.
  14. 14. My job is to approach them with humility and know that my ability to discern what they are to be or to do or to excel in is nothing compared to theirs. My job is to assist them in their discernment. To make experiences, work, play, resources, teachers, mentors, and collaborators available to them to help them as they construct themselves. To talk things through with them, but not talk it all to death. My job is to sit down, shut up, and serve when I can. I direct nothing. Less of me. More of them. ! —Ana Martin (“The Libertarian Homeschooler” on Facebook)
  15. 15. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” –C.S. Lewis
  16. 16. Learning online
  17. 17. lmgtfy.com
  18. 18. There are no stupid questions just “you couldn’t f***ing google that?” questions.
  19. 19. Can You Use Google to… • Prepare for a job interview? • Find someone’s email address? • Learn how to change an oil filter, butcher a chicken, or install a window? • Find any place of business and its hours, customer reviews, and driving directions?
  20. 20. Can You… • Read five different perspectives on the same piece of news? • Figure out the cheapest way to buy a flight, book, or any other consumer product? • Use search operators like: “quotes” -minus site: ? (Not sure where to start?) Just google it.
  21. 21. The Power of an E-mail
  22. 22. The Power of a Smartphone
  23. 23. The Power of a Digital Paper Trail
  24. 24. (girl walk video)
  25. 25. A Few Digital Paper Trails • Videos • Images (digital or analog) • Audio (podcasts, interviews) • Writing (blogs, articles, books, how-to) • Social media (e.g. tweets) • Functional things: websites, programs, apps
  26. 26. Learning offline
  27. 27. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
  28. 28. Want to learn what love is? 
 Throw yourself into relationships. ! Want to discuss novels? 
 Find other book lovers. ! Want to tell science fact from science fiction? 
 Meet an actual scientist.
  29. 29. The Fall Retreat
  30. 30. Only humans can teach: work habits, self-regulation, conscientiousness, grit, and focus. ! Only humans can serve as: motivational coaches, entertainers, and role models. “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” —Arthur O’Shaughnessy (or, Willy Wonka)
  31. 31. Practice, Deliberately
  32. 32. Deliberate Practice is: • focused on a very specific goal • designed to nudge you just past your current level of performance: not too hard, not too easy • repeatable • dependent on constant feedback • mentally demanding (5 hours per day, max) • not much fun: it’s strenuous and painful
  33. 33. To Find A Good Deliberate Practice Coach: (source: Daniel Coyle) • Avoid someone who reminds you of a courteous waiter. They should scare you a little. • Find someone who watches you closely, prefers jumping into activities over extensive talking, and gives honest feedback. • Seek someone who gives short, clear directions. • Seek someone who loves teaching fundamentals. • Other things being equal, pick the older person.
  34. 34. From self-directed learning to 
 “the real world”
  35. 35. Carsie Blanton & The Kickstarter MBA • • What are you building? • What are you offering? • Who cares? • How might you fail? • Jazz Is for Everybody Who are you? Do other people trust you? • How can I trust you?
  36. 36. Live Below Your Means (become time-wealthy)
  37. 37. Minimum Viable Personality MOST IMPORTANT STEP FOR BUILD PRODUCT IS BUILD PRODUCT SECOND MOST IMPORTANT IS BUILD PERSONALITY FOR PRODUCT.  @FAKEGRIMLOCK NO HAVE PERSONALITY? PRODUCT BORING, NO ONE WANT.
  38. 38. 1. HOW YOU CHANGE CUSTOMER'S LIFE? 2. WHAT YOU STAND FOR? 3. WHO OR WHAT YOU HATE? NOW HAVE MISSION, VALUES, ENEMY. THAT ENOUGH FOR MINIMUM VIABLE PERSONALITY.
  39. 39. My MVP: • How would change people’s lives? By showing them new educational paths. • What did I stand for? Self-directed learning. • What did I hate? Wasting young people’s time in compulsory schooling when there are so many other engaging, productive, and enjoyable things to do. (Carsie, Sean, Jonah, too)
  40. 40. “An organization filled with honest, motivated, connected, eager, learning, experimenting, ethical and driven people will always defeat the one that merely has talent. Every time.” ! —Seth Godin
  41. 41. That’s some of…
  42. 42. Connect with me! @ blakeboles.com • Cat on laptop: sskennel • Violinists: agullalee • Laptop group: Saad Faruque • Austin Kleon: Austin Kleon • (all other images used with permission or fair use)

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