Today I paid my $9.99 and started devouring free books on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. I spend on average of $40 a month on hardcopy books, so this seems like a steal. Since I’m in the midst of writing a book on solo/DIY learning, I thought I might learn something from these freebies:
45 Elearning Tips and Tricks, by John Araiza. This is an instructional designer’s record of twelve years’ experience. Advice is for building courses. “Don’t buy photos until you get final approval.” “Use animation to spice up a course.” “remember that you are training adults.” “Become familiar with AICC and SCORM.” Not useful for solo learners.
Accelerated Learning. A How-To Guide on Becoming an Excellent Learner and Fast Reader. By Don Long. Brain training, speed reading, self hypnosis, mental clarity, the power of mind. Bummer. The book tells about speed reading, but doesn’t explain how to do it. (It ain’t that tough but usually wears off.) You might get his hypnosis directions to work; I have. At twenty pages, this is more a pamphlet than a book.
Effective Learning. Discover Accelerated Learning Strategies. Learn more, study less. Another pamphlet. 24 pages. Slight academic slant. Flimsy.
Think Smarter. Bulletproof tips to improve your thinking skills, make better choices and increase your overall intelligence. William Wyatt. Mainly an essay about thinking logically. About a hundred pages. Short on learning.
The Art of Learning: A Simple Handbook to Improve your Learning Techniques. By Laeticia L. How to study for school. English, Math, Science… Nothing about work.
Become a Super Learner. Learn Speed Reading and Advanced Memorization. By Levi, Goldentouch, and Goldentouch. Yawn. Those two techniques is all you get and the description of memorization is a little fuzzy. Otherwise, I guess super-learners don’t learn from people and events. The authors are quite taken with themselves.
Learning 300% Faster: 25 Learning Techniques. By Sebastian Archer. Not bad but focused 100% on learning explicit knowledge. Build good learning habits — he offers plenty.
All of these authors are stuck in the schooling paradigm: Improve your study skills, use memory tricks to pass tests, speed up your reading, take better notes. You’d think that all there is to learning is studying for the test.
They miss the most important learning: tacit knowledge. This is the savoir faire, know-how, life skills, and professionalism that can’t be told because it’s coded into your unconscious mind and shows itself only after battling with the conscious mind.
Explicit knowledge? That’s what an algorithm can figure out. Don’t make this your main job! Dealing with facts, figures, and logic will be delegated to robots. Soon. Slave wages ahead. That’s not what you’re after.
Tacit knowledge? That’s the intuition, judgments, and behavior that define who you are. It’s learning to become your true self and fulfill your destiny. This is the home of value creation and personal fulfillment.
Alas the largely self-published pamphlets on DIY learning tell you a little bit of how to prosper in school and next to nothing about how to get ahead in business and in life.
The most important learning is learning to be. That’s where I’m focusing my attention this year.