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How to get the most from The Edge Program
Learning, particularly if you have left formal education behind, can be tough. Even tougher is learning and then changing how we think and act.
I have been working in personal development for over 20 years and during that time, I believe that I have discovered what it takes to make learning stick and achieve growth. I will share more ideas on this as we progress through the course but for now I would like to mention 4 factors:
1 – Make Notes
If you’re anything like me, I am sure that you want to dive straight into the content.
However, you will gain more from the program if you have a simple means of taking notes. We are bombarded with so much information, that is easy for our insights and ideas to get buried. A couple of days go by and, like writing in the sand, they are washed away. (2 metaphors in 2 sentences; I’d better slow down).
We will do our best to remind you of the program content through our summary emails but the real value for you will be the connections that you make between the videos and articles and your own context.
I deliberately chose not to include note-taking functionality in the program because you may already have a system with which you are comfortable and ideas are likely to come at any time, not just when you are in the viewing program content.
Get Organized for Making Notes
At the simplest level, you could use a notebook and pen and I personally find that my thoughts run more freely when I can write, draw diagrams, underline and generally express myself without thinking about how to use a program.
But such notes are easily lost – and to be truthful sometimes, mere days later, I am not sure what I meant by certain scribbles. And so I now rely heavily on a cross-platform app called Evernote. There is a very full-featured free version. There are other similar apps, in particular OneNote, which is part of Office365, and Notion.
The great advantage of using a note app is that you can capture and organize information from many different sources – emails, web pages, documents, images – and, of course, your own notes.
[You may find tools like Google Keep handy for jotting down thoughts quickly and, for highlighting web pages, Lumio or Diigo.]
Whichever approach you decide to use, I would recommend:
- create a specific place for your notes from this program – in Evernote this could be a Notebook. If you are taking the pen and paper route, perhaps a folder with the program name on it. Be clear in your own mind where ideas will be stored.
- make note-taking a habit. At the end of a session, pause a moment and ask: “What have I learned? How can I use it?”
2 – Be an active learner
- reflect and ask yourself questions:
- can you relate the content to how you have behaved in the past?
- what will you do differently in the future in similar circumstances?
- how do your insights apply to others?
- discuss your insights with others – when you have to explain something to another person, it not only deepens your understanding, it makes it more memorable.
- engage with fellow course members by sharing your thoughts, experiences and opinions in the comments section of each topic
- use the forum to ask and answer questions
3 – Take Action
- act on your new insights as soon as possible.
- when you have an idea for a new approach, use technology by creating reminders in your calendar or with your phone. Don’t rely on your memory to drink more water, ask more open questions or … – let your phone remind you, at least at the beginning.
4 – Spaced Repetition
We rarely remember information the first time we encounter it. The most effective approach to learning is to use a technique called spaced repetition, which involves ‘increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect’. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. At the beginning of each module, we’ll provide you a brief summary of the the content covered in the previous module. In later modules, there will be additional summaries from earlier in the program. Finally, when you complete the online content in the program, you will automatically trigger a series of summary emails that will be sent to you weeks and months into the future.
However, to really get the benefits of this approach, before you look at the summary that we send to you, try to recall the content.