Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lifelong Learning

(Week 1, Thing 2)

As mentioned below, this blog is my primary way of displaying what I have learned through the 23 Things program. All public librarians in the state of Maryland have to complete this project to make them better understand emerging information technologies.

To guide us through our learning process, the 23 Things program outlined seven-and-a-half habits of effective lifetime learners. They are as follows:

1 - Begin with the end in mind
2 - Accept responsibility for your own learning
3 - View problems as challenges
4 - Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner
5 - Create your own learning toolbox
6 - Use technology to your advantage
7 - Teach\Mentor others
½ - Play!

Of these, I think that I am best as #1. After finishing my undergrad work and before entering graduate school I spent about a year and a half "aimlessly drifting." I used the quotation marks there because that's how I usually explain that time, when really I was surprisingly focused. I went to Italy twice to work on film festivals and refresh my language comprehension, I got a hernia patched up, and I read far more in that period that in any other part of my life. As for "beginning with the end in mind," I began to download information about graduate programs that interested me and made lists of what to read and understand. By connecting what I was doing to what I wanted to accomplish, I was able to concentrate my learning activities on what was ultimately most useful when went back into school. This included putting my goals in writing while making notes about what I would need to do to succeed. The film festivals were also useful, as I learned exactly what not to do in communication\public relations work - but that's another story.

I have not been able to "teach\mentor other" as much as I would like. In the past I have been able to do so in a working environment, but the only time I have ever been able to share any of my knowledge in an academic environment was when I was an undergraduate teaching assistant years ago - and that was not in one of my strongest subjects. Hopefully, either when I am done with graduate school or when I am a little further into the program, someone will let me share what I have studied.

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