Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Learning Mind

 “if I am not young enough to know everything, I am certainly old enough to learn." (Oscar Wilde)

It’s important to be equipped with a learning mind because when you stop learning, you are stagnant; especially at the age of digital, information is only a couple of clicks away, but the knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened. There are so many things we don't know and we want to know them all. Unfortunately, there is never enough time to apply all the things we learn - we can pass some on to others, but we never know what applications will arise. Loving to learn and the passion to share, very much go together. What is a ‘learning mind’ thinking about and how to shape such a digital mind?

Digital learning is emerging: Social Learning is a concept wherein learning happens through networking on the social learning platform, you can learn anytime from anywhere. Such informal learning or virtual learning becomes complementary to formal learning and is emerged as the most popular learning method to make a learning experience more user-tailored and fun. A learning mind is always in the search for new things and a new way to learn! At today’s business dynamic with the information explosion, digital professionals have to adapt to a faster learning method and be truly convinced that online learning is the key option to learn anytime from anywhere and make learning a lifetime habit.

Unlearning and relearning is also a critical part of the learning cycle: It's important to make connections between pieces of knowledge. When these connections are structured in a meaningful way, we are better to retrieve and apply knowledge effectively and powerfully. Learning agility becomes one of the most important capabilities for digital professionals to compete for the future. Seasoned persons in life become aware when some of the long-acquired knowledge is no longer applicable in certain situations. You have learned to no longer apply that knowledge in those specific cases. This is unlearning. And then relearn the updated knowledge for gaining insight on the changing circumstance. Being learning agile means you can proactively manage learning, unlearning and relearning cycle more effectively.

A learning mind is humble and curious: The more one learns, the more one finds the vastness of knowledge, and how minuscule is one's own. Young minds are malleable and more fertile. Their attitude of "know it all" is at the surface which can be erased easily with a new thought. Youth has very little experience, therefore, they have to absorb knowledge, but it takes life experience and profound contemplation to gain wisdom. The mind of the older generation is usually more rigid. Their "know it all" attitude is difficult to erase because they are deep-seated with life's experiences and beliefs. If you only know two colors - Black and White; then perceptions are filtered into one of those two dimensions. You can only know what you know, but there are more dimensions which you don’t know; there’s known unknown and unknown unknown. Hence, the more you know, the more you feel humble, because even human as collective species, the things we know, compared to what we don’t know, is just the tip of iceberg.

Either formal learning or informal learning, learning is the means to the end, not the end. As we grow knowledge is acquired and accumulates within us. Learning is how to use knowledge through experiences. Learning is situational, though. Learning is exciting because your subconscious sees the potential. However, if you go on learning and not applying, your subconscious starts to tell you "ya, but you're not going to actually put this to use." Learning becomes less exciting, and eventually even becomes work. If you can do both, the learning cycle goes the other way, and learning becomes more and more exciting. Each thing you learn becomes potentially the thing to solve your latest failure, the potential secret to your next success!

Learning is a lifelong experience, It depends on who has an open mind to receive it. The future of learning will require us to break away from the current one-size-fits-all mold and move to a more customized learning platform to really encourage people in their strengths and interests. To that end, the current e-learning platforms and social learning concept can be quite advantageous if used correctly and make learning more personalized and flexible to fit your lifestyle. Lifelong learning is no longer a choice, but a necessity to compete for the future.


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