For years I’ve been peddling education workshops for graphics designers, web designers and marketers in the San Francisco Bay Area along with webinars for learning Adobe products, Microsoft applications and programming for people all over the world. When I first began this effort, I attended some of the classes. I wanted to be sure that our workshops were impeccable and our instructors, the best of the best. In addition, I always welcomed some extra education.
As time went on, I had more and more trouble finding the time for these classes. What a pity! All that shared knowledge about Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, not to mention the newer trends like WordPress and Social Media Marketing, and I was missing it. But practical responsibilities got in the way. I had a real job to do. I had to make things happen. That takes time!
Well recently I broke down. Perhaps it was the realization that unless I kept myself current with trends and technologies, I was sure to run out of those things that were keeping me busy pretty quick. I wouldn’t say that everything I knew, so did the dinosaurs. My brains still contains plenty of relevant knowledge even though a lot of it has been there a while. But at the same time, there is so much more. What we did just 3 to 5 years ago does not work quite so well today. I needed to learn my trade for 2015, and so, to class I went.
I spent two days on nothing but search engine optimization (SEO). The instructor was both patient and knowledgeable as my classmates and I attempted to mimic his demonstrations. If I could retain all I learned those two days, I think I might almost be an expert. But we all know, it doesn’t quite work that way. That said, I came away from that class almost a new person. Now I “get” what’s going on. I understand the issues and can talk to talk – or at least understand it when I listen. And, with more practice, I can do this! One other great thing is I can get a refresher. Hearing it all for a second time with the same instructor or possibly a slightly different story from a new instructor is certain to help my brain absorb that much more the next time around.
So, this was the “old fashioned” learning process. I sat in a classroom and listen to my teacher, following along and taking notes. I really enjoy the focus this process allows. But there are other alternatives for learning these days including webinars and videos. I like them all and can learn from them all but everyone is different. I’m very curious about how folks feel about different learning techniques and what their experiences have been. Please feel free to offer you thoughts. Maybe we’ll even come up with something entirely new!