My mind map.
How has your network changed the way you learn?
Networking is very important to me, but to be honest I did not fully start networking until about 4 years ago. I say not fully because networking through contacts, emails, and websites has been a part of my life, but not until recently have I started truly networking. A lot of my education has come from hands on application and whatever I could not get through hands on I would always call an associate who worked in another location. Over the past few years I have really started to use “how to” videos via the web to supplement what associates help me with. For example, I have started to use instructional videos that my current employer has supplied us with via Skillsoft. Through Skillsoft I am currently learning the inner workings of Captivate and Dreamweaver, resources I would have never been exposed to if not for my current employer.
Networking has changed the way I learn by trusting sources outside of my immediate network (associates, manuals, and trial and error). By using technology and referred resources from associates, I have been able to expand my learning tools and gain more knowledge at a quicker pace.
Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?
Like I mentioned above, Skillsoft has been the immediate learning tool of late. My employer has given its employees over 100 different ways to expand knowledge. For example, every employee has access to IT training, whether its building Networks or learning Network Security, we can watch detailed videos that provide history, principles, and “how to” videos. Some of reason to using Skillsoft is the ability to come back to points left off, fast forward in training, and to complete lessons over and over. The users friendly application allows me feel too comfortable knowing I can be on the website at hours on end learning.
Another great tool for me is YouTube because it provides “how to” videos and also reviews of products I may consider using. YouTube provides users the ability to find pros and cons of possible products in a matter of minutes. Of course the challenge with YouTube weeding through drone and mundane videos to find the video that best suits my learning needs.
How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?
When I have questions on particular topics while learning I seek help through help desks if possible, but ultimately this depends on the resources available to me. I may make a call to the support line if I can to get help with a particular issue or I may seek professional advice from say the IT guru’s at my office if I need help in gaining knowledge setting up a LAN Network at home. I try to find the experts within the certain product I am using, if not I may try reading manuals, looking on the web for support videos (YouTube or Skillsoft), read through “After Action” documents posted on our teams share drive (read below) and last ditch effort is trial and error with the product I am using.
When I do gain knowledge with an issue I had, I am very strict on capturing what I learned through Microsoft Word or “Task Tracker” which are word documents in our company SharePoint website. Task Tracker is used more for business and tasks given by the company or customers. Otherwise, I do the same but keep records for myself and the team by uploading “After Actions” into various labeled folders on the teams share drive.