Falling back in love with learning

Cyclone Gabrielle hit our small town on the east coast of Aotearoa New Zealand, leaving us cut off from the rest of the country in the most literal sense.

With the power out and multiple faults in the town’s main water supply, my wife and I, who work remotely, were essentially severed from our livelihoods. As I sit here writing in my notebook, I can’t help but reflect on the role of learning in my life.

My dad was always a working class guy who kept his working life pretty simple. He loved learning and was always an early adopter of new technology, even if it was just a gadget for us kids to play with. But as we grew up to be tech-loving nerds, Dad lost his spark for the latest tech. When mobile phones became more than just phones and transformed into computers, cameras, pedometers, calendars and more, it all became too much for him. We became his tech support, and he lost his love for learning. Does this sound familiar at all?

This got me thinking: when does learning become too hard to keep up with?

For the past seven years, technology has been woven into every aspect of my professional life. Keeping up with new systems, tools and opportunities is a necessity. The problem these days is that there is an infinite amount of information and content to learn and consume out there, and so many tools to access and interact with it. It’s overwhelming if you’re not in the internet ecosystem all the time.

In the early days of the internet, you could look up any number of recipes for making any meal you could think of. Now, you can punch in the same meal and have hundreds or thousands of different videos, curated by the most famous chefs, taking you step by step on how to prepare the food. But “just Google it” doesn’t cut it anymore. You must hone your investigative skills to filter and curate through the rubbish to get the specific content you want.

There are so many tools available that turbo-charge your learning in ways that were unfathomable pre-internet days.

So, how can we stay passionate about learning in a world where it’s so easy to get overwhelmed? 

The short answer is to immerse yourself in the learning eco-system. If you’ve fallen out of love with learning, then look to those who love learning to get you back on track. Your brain has muscle memory and will remember how to process new information. It just needs enough context to get going, and a friend, colleague or “trusted e-learning instructional designer” *cough cough* can help curate your learning journey through the overwhelming amount of information out there.

It’s never too late to fall back in love with learning. 

Technology will always move forward, so creating a curious mindset for adopting new technology will set you up for a lifetime of learning of discovery and growth. We have a number of introductory courses tailored specifically to ease you into online learning. Try one out and see if it sparks a romance with learning again.

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  1. I love this Jason. I like to think of your brain as just another muscle. If I haven’t been on a run for a few weeks or months, that first run back really hurts and is never enjoyable. But when I’m running regularly those runs become fun and rewarding. Its the same with learning, if you aren’t doing much in that space, the thought of having to learn something new can be pretty overwhelming. So keep learning new things!!! Learning gives us access to new things and that’s what keeps us young and engaged in living. If you haven’t learned anything new for a while go for something that builds on a skill you already have. e.g, if you are already a great cook learn a new recipe or technique. Once you are back in the groove of learning it will get easier and more exciting.