The knowledge society is about people, technology and knowledge. Technology and knowledge is making people and organizations perform better. You need information technology knowledge and skills to keep you ahead. How should we learn? What are the learning opportunities? It is an important issue in today’s learning world. The right option is critical in acquiring the electronic skills you need.
Learning option must be appropriate. I’m sure by now you know that digital literacy skills, IT professional skills and e-business skills are all important. But how do we acquire these skills? Let’s hone in on the learning options that are available to us. Acquiring knowledge and skills depends on the use of the right tools. For example, observations reveal that nine times out of ten, education failure is due to the use of the wrong learning options.
What is your learning need?
Before choosing an option, you must answer these questions: what is the gap between your present knowledge and skills level and what you require? What is your skills/knowledge gap so that you don’t waste your money, time and effort?
With some options the acquisition of knowledge is through reading, listening to and watching “how-to” materials.
Other options may demand the application of knowledge to gain practical skills. Be frank with yourself. Are you acquiring knowledge to be digitally literate, to pass a certification exam, to start an IT career or to start an e-business? These learning options often require serious investment of time, money and effort. When learning has a purpose, it’s easier to get motivated.
Note that while we have focused on technical skills, it is important to know that your soft skills such business, communications, presentation, leadership, and teamwork skills, are also extremely important for career growth and business opportunity. You need soft skills for solid growth.
Examine your knowledge needs; assess yourself: in which areas do you need to grow your skills and knowledge? Which skill areas – digital literacy, IT professional skills or e-business skills?
- Books, study guides, manuals, magazines, newspapers and other text materials are the most popular learning resources. Availability and cost makes texts very popular compared to other learning alternatives. Apart from published books, a vast amount of text material is available on the Internet.
- But will text materials be sufficient to meet your needs? For example, if it’s for certification purposes, do the materials cover all exam topics? But reading by itself is not enough if you need hands-on skills. Books provide a solid understanding of the concepts and techniques, but unless you have the right background and experience they may not be enough.
- You can get the most out of text by combining materials with other options, most often with practical instructor-led, classroom training. Textbooks have the advantage of portability, reference and learning at your own pace. You can do your reading at the bus stop, while waiting for your flight, or on your trip back home.
Text can however be dry and dull. There is no interaction.. And in view of the rapid rate of change in technology, you must always ensure that what you’re reading is relevant and not out-of-date.
But with the advent of portable tablets and enhanced smartphone facilities, what is the future of the text? I have looked at one important learning option. Let’s discuss others later. Create the future by developing your e-skills.
LET’S HEAR YOUR POINT OF VIEW: What’s your take on learning options? Please share your thoughts and opinions.
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT at Jidaw
ICT Development Advisory Support and Consulting