I had the privilege of attending VMUG UK at the National Motorcycle Museum this week for the second year running. I felt like I got more out of it this year, in part due to the fact that I wasn’t spending half the time overwhelmed by attending my first proper IT conference (albeit a local free one).
One of the interesting things to come out of it for me was the closing keynote from Scott Lowe, entitled “Stay Sharp and Relevant in IT”. During this keynote, Scott talks about topics he feels are relevant to IT Pro’s learning over the next twelve months in order for them to stay relevant. What was interesting for me wasn’t actually the subject matters we defined, but the chatter before it surrounding learning.
All my IT life, I’ve studied and obtained my certifications predominantly using bookings and self-study, a hard thing to do for someone who’s never really liked reading too much. I took some time last night to take some online tests and assessments to try and calculate my learning style, and wow: it’s amazing how you can find yourself in printed verse doing these tests.
Based on the results of about four or five different tests I took, I come out every time as a kinesthetic learner. This means that I learn best from the act of doing with hands-on interaction, touching things. When I think about how I go by my daily life and compare the information online relating to kinesthetic learning it just all fits into place.
Take this report at Dirjournal for example (http://www.dirjournal.com/guides/study-tips-for-kinesthetic-learners/). They say that kinesthetic learners are likely to fidget and can’t sit still for long periods and when forced to do so, often resort toÂ tapping or bouncing their feet and legsÂ and like to fiddle and play with inanimate objects like pens or pencils when in classes. These two attributes alone describe exactly my behaviour when at work at my desk or when in classes learning new topics. Kinesthetic learners also find it hard to read materials and are more attracted to reading or looking and content when it is visually appealing which explains my passion for good design and striking documentation and materials.
So now that I’ve identified how I learn best and what I should be doing to aid my learning, I think it’s time to cut back on the books and get my hands dirty with more home labs and play time, and hopefully, that will give me the motivation and inspiration to learn more, faster and to be a better IT Pro.
I want to thank Scott for his keynote at VMUG for making me think to stop and asses my learning style, identify it and to help me to help myself. Thanks Scott 🙂