The longer I live the more I believe that continuing to learn is important. Now, before you laugh at me because I dropped out of school last fall, let me explain just a little bit.
I quit school last fall in large part because I’m a hands on, visual type of guy. Reading a textbook and coming to my own conclusions is downright difficult. If, on the other hand, someone shows me how to do something and I do it on my own a few times, I can learn most anything. [At least I think I can learn most anything. I haven’t tested this to the full extent.]
After I quit school I fully intended to continue to learn. The first couple of months following my exit from the “normal” college system, I found myself in something of a rut. I just didn’t have time to learn. Every day brought work and other things that needed to be done.
And so I started to focus on things that didn’t involve learning. I built a few websites for clients. I started to build a few “brands” of my own. And when I stopped and thought about it all, I realized that I was learning.
We are always learning. Regardless of what it is we are focusing our resources and passions on. We are learning by getting things figured out. We are learning by failing. We are learning. We are doing. We are learning by doing.
Is the Education System Broken?
Now I don’t want to get too far into the murky waters of how things should be done verses how they are done today. But, I believe that in some ways the current education system that we have in the US is broken. How do we fix it? I’m not sure…
There are some interesting things happening in the education space. Trey Ratcliff, for example, is working on something called the Arcanum. Basically it allows “students” to become an “apprentice” of sorts to a “master craftsmen.” Students can tag along with their master craftsmen, watch how they do things and how they don’t do things. They can ask questions directly to and learn from some of the best photographers in the world.
In a lot of ways it is a virtualization of the “old” master and apprentice relationship. It used to be that if you wanted to learn to be a goldsmith you would go and “apprentice” with the best goldsmith you could find. After a number of years of working with and learning from the master goldsmith you would be released from your apprentice status and could start out on your own.
While I don’t believe that this model of education is necessarily better than the traditional model, it is a viable option! Education should be moving towards students having more options in the future, not about what they learn but options about how they learn.
I don’t know what the answers are to all of the educational issues of the day. But I do know, regardless of whether I go back to college or not I do intend to keep learning.
On that note, I’ve been spending some time over at codeacademy.com working my way through a number of their courses. A lot of it is pretty basic [at least so far] but it is a good place to get a feel for a coding language and where exactly I might want to focus my energy on in the future.
What are you learning?