Learn More and Study less.
- Learn More and Study less.
Free Microsoft Office Tutorials
I’d like to share with you some tips that have helped me to learn more and yet study less with regard to Microsoft Office. You may find them helpful.
I am talking here about computer skills. That is the scope of this article.
I find that the thought of sitting down and pouring through pages and pages of material is not much fun. So I don’t go down that path. But I love to learn. I’m continually learning new things and I like to do that as quickly as possible. I sure you are the same.
I’m going to take a moment to share with you the simple method I have used that underpins my learning path. It can have remarkable effects. Not everybody learns the same way. Some people like learning by rout from books and in many situations that may be necessary. But that’s not me. I am a visual learner and I learn by associating tasks. So I guess when trying to say here is this information may help you or it may not depending on how you learn best.
Meet my grandson Duke
I would like use an illustration to get stated………..
Let me tell you about my little grandson I call him Duke. That’s not his name of course, but he calls me Poppy and that is not my given name either. Well Duke is a three-year-old authority on airplanes, he just loves them. I live in inner city Brisbane and when he comes to visit he lives on our veranda watching all the planes fly over. The other day he saw his first turboprop airplane fly overhead (he is used to seeing jets). Excitedly he yelled at me while dragging me to the veranda “look Poppy look Poppy no engines just spinney bets”. He has a real passion for airplanes.
The point of this word picture is this. Duke loves to build things with building blocks (we have baskets of Lego , and Zoop at our house for him)and I’ll let you guess what his favorite building project is. You guessed it building airplanes and helicopters. Especially ones with spinney bits.
Now he doesn’t get too excited when all the blocks are poured out on the floor but when he starts adding one block to another block and then another block and builds a plane, well then he gets really excited.
OK. So what has this got to do with learning more and studying less? Well can do exactly what Duke just did with those building blocks. When he sat down with those blocks he had a project in mind and in order to accomplish that project he had a set path of adding one block to the next block to the next block. And then at the end of it he got real enjoyment at seeing his project come to life.
If we think about things for a moment, we could ask. How often do we study without putting all the pieces together? We study the pieces not how they snap together.
If you learn small pieces of information that are not snapped together what is the result. It is like the blocks on the floor. The value is limited, however when we put them together to accomplish a project only then do we see real value from learning. Have you heard the word is synergistic? You may have heard the term synergistic effect. Well that simply means that what you have accomplished is greater than its individual parts. It’s called an “enhanced affect”. Simply put 1+1+1 = 6.Mathematically impossible, but not with learning.
So how do we apply this more specifically to learning? I’ll tell you what has helped me. When I learn something I do it as part of a project. In fact it is more than that, if I want to learn something I find a project of which it is a part then I build that project. So like Duke when he started with those building blocks he had a project in mind. He saw the finished item and then snapped the pieces together to build his plane. I don’t learn unrelated pieces of information. The value is limited. To me this is short sighted learning.
Let’s get specific
Let’s say that you want to be more proficient in using Microsoft Office or programming in any language you want. If you apply the above mentioned principle to your learning program you will learn more and study less.
On my website you will see that I structured the site such a way to help people learn how to improve their computer skills with project based office tutorials. So each blog is about a project or information that relates to a project , each project contains multiple building blocks with skills set skills and the end result is you have something that you’re proud of and excited about as you see each piece of information snapping together to accomplish something worthwhile that can then be used by yourself and by others.
Just think for a moment there’s a big difference between knowing how to do something in theory or knowing how to answer a question about how to do something and actually performing the task with proficiently. By learning with the hands-on approach you will not only know the theory and the answer to the question you will also be able to actually do the work. Isn’t that really what it’s all about?
This is really the way to learn?
Please permit me to demonstrate
Here is a scenario. You want to become more proficient at desktop publishing using Microsoft products to get a better job or to secure you employment.
You like your work to stand out as being outstanding. Here is a list of three paths. Which one is best for you?
- You could go online and start researching information on shapes shape effects images, how to manipulate images backgrounds texts fonts colour schemes page sizes printing requirements and on and on. These are the skills that you going to need.
- You could buy a book and start reading it from the beginning to the end, pretty boring and pretty slow. I counted the other day I’ve got about 30 publications dealing with Microsoft office programming in VBA et cetera. I don’t read through them from start to finish. I pull building blocks from them as needed.
- But if you want to learn more and study less, find a project that needs to be done. As an example a poster or a brochure may need to be created to promote your business for your employer. The project must create something useful. This is one of my key 4 principles for learning. My 4 Pillars of Learning
The third option is the obvious winner. Start with a project idea. Build with blocks of information snapping each piece together. Break your project into small sections or building blocks and work from one section to the next, snapping the next piece of information onto the previous piece of information. As you see your project take shape you will be encouraged and you will learn very, very quickly. You will be learning by association.
If you want to learn more about this then look at the projects category in this website, you will see that it is all about building blocks outlined for each project. Why have I approached it that way? Because I know from experience that by learning with association, snapping building block of information together will expedite your learning experience. It will be synergistic.
So you can choose a project free of charge on “How to Create a Brochure” or ”How to Make an Employee Roster” or ”How to Make a Trifold Business Card”.
Excel Calendar – Spreadsheet
Excel Timesheet Dashboard
Excel Booking System – Part 4
Another example is “How to Make Your Files Friendly Shake Hands with the End User”. I don’t just show you how to use a table of contents or cover pages and hyperlinks. What I’ve done instead is set up a project about how to make long files user-friendly. You will be building a document road map an interface for your end user to guide them. On the way you learn all these workable skills.
This is the way I learn. Remember my little mate Duke he really got excited about his learning projects. This can be true for us and our learning experiences.
Learning should be fun
Last week I attended my daughter’s graduation, Duke’s mother. The student Representative Speaker was very inspiring. One of the things that she mentioned was the quote.
Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like no one is watching.
The part from that quote that really caught my attention was “Work like you don’t need the money”. Now of course we all need money to live but it is our attitude to the way we carry out our work that can make the difference between whether our life is enjoyable on not.
What struck me was it is all about our attitude and approach.
Our attitude to study and learning should be the same, it should be enjoyable. The way we approach this gift makes all the difference.
I hope this article has helped you to improve your learning experience.