Archive for January, 2014

The Most Common Question

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

I’ve been asked a fair number of questions of the years, but there is one in particular that I tend to hear over and over again, and ironically, it’s always been the most difficult one to answer.

The question, for any given topic, is a variation of  “Where do I start?” or “Can you recommend a good beginner’s book?”

Now, I’ve been writing books for many years, and publishing courses on Pluralsight for over a year – not to mention learning technologies on my own, so you can imagine that this is a question in one that I care about very much. Yet I’ve always found it difficult to answer – because by the time someone asks me the question on a given topic, I’m usually well past the beginner stage and don’t really know what the best beginner’s resources are at the moment.

It’s only recently that I realized that resources aren’t the problem. The problem is that people are asking the wrong question. Beginner’s don’t need learning resources – they need learning strategies. Advances in technology have radically changed the way we can and should learn technology, and I’m not talking here about online resources and courses. Technology is beginning to fundamentally disrupt education, and it’s time to look at education in a different way – one that understands and leverages resources in a way that varies by individual and by the technology being learned.

That is the subject of my new Pluralsight course “Learning Technology in the Information Age”. Its purpose is to change the way you look at learning a new technology in order to make that learning more efficient. To help you to think carefully about what you want to learn, why you want to learn it, and what types of resources to choose and where to find them. In short – to design your own learning path before you start diving into resources. It’s a lot like designing software before coding – and we all know to do that, right?

I encourage you to take a look – Learning new technologies is a challenge we all face every day, and the time you spend on this short course may pay off many times over in time you save learning technologies going forward.