Due to the pace at which the world is developing, the number of things we need to learn to function optimally has also increased. At the workplace, school environment, homes, and other social gatherings, new ways of doing things have emerged.
With the hike in the number of things to learn, you cannot afford to continue adopting the traditional learning patterns, which are slower and less productive. Therefore, if you have not considered smart learning before now, you should.
Learning is a continuous journey we all have to experience even within our daily activities. The value we derive from this activity depends on your approach. While it might seem quite difficult to learn certain subjects, utilizing certain tools, such as the SMART framework could aid to create a mindset that enhances the process.
In this article, we would buttress what smart learning is and how we could use it to maximize performance.
Smart learning is the ability to use available resources to achieve an optimal learning experience within a limited time. It could have an intense impact on becoming more intentional about achieving your learning goals.
Smart learning strategies also help learners incorporate excellent learning approaches that become successful habits over time.
It helps students develop attention strategies, organizational skills, time management strategies, study strategies, and goal-setting skills. . This helps students’ academic performance and helps them acquire productivity, confidence, and independence.
How Smart Learning Works
Just like setting out career goals, learning could also be smart. Smart is an acronym for:
There are numerous things to learn which is why it is a continuous process. Therefore, it is essential to be specific about your learning interests to reduce distractions.
Being specific means your learning objectives are free of ambiguity, well-defined and concise. For example, you may have a goal to read every day. This is an excellent goal that is clear and which everyone can understand. However, it is not enough to help you achieve your goals.
A measurable goal will help you to know whether or not you achieved your plan. This could be in terms of number. For example, you might decide to cover your textbook in two weeks and it has a total of twelve modules. You can plan to cover one module every day or two modules every two days.
This includes actionable steps you hope to take to achieve your learning goals. List the actions in the problem question. More so, use words like “how” or “activities that must be taken” to map out step-by-step work to be carried out.
Also, try to be realistic with your goals because things might begin to seem overwhelming if you attempt to learn much more than you can handle at a time.
With the speed at which things are changing, one might want to flow with the tide. The best thing to do in this situation is to pause and analyze your prospects and what you need to learn to get there.
Following this method will help you to focus first on what is important so you can be the best at what you do. Also, this helps you to attain maximum satisfaction while motivating you to achieve better new things.
Though you do not possess the power to control time, you could learn to manage what you do with it because time is the most valuable resource you have at your disposal. Hence, you should allocate time to each learning activity indicating when the objective should be met.
Furthermore, setting timeframes could help you put things in check and measure outcomes effectively. Learning objectives could also be timed to ensure that you come up with viable solutions within the timeframe set.
Steps to Approaching Smart Learning
1. Define your learning path
Clearly writing out learning objectives is an essential component and foundation for aligning available resources to support this course as you have to start with the end in mind.
Therefore, identify your strengths and weaknesses. Then, note down what you hope to achieve in your learning journey. But ensure that whatever path you choose is relevant to your target.
2. Structure the learning path and generate ideas on how to achieve it
Setting a target is a good start, but what would you do if things do not go as planned? Therefore you should have a plan b, c, d and e
You can do this by organizing a premortem analysis, taking a mental tour from your target, and looking out for challenges that may hinder you. Then, prescribe solutions to those foreseen challenges.
3. Set your priorities
Place your tasks on a priority matrix. On the top left, insert all urgent and important tasks. On the top right, insert important tasks that are not urgent. At the bottom left, insert tasks that are urgent but not quite important, and on the bottom right, place tasks that are neither urgent nor relevant.
Begin with tasks in the top left, discard tasks in the bottom right, delegate tasks in the bottom left, and coordinate tasks in the top right of the quadrant to reduce urgency and fatigue. Tasks could be considered urgent or important based on the context, which in this case is your learning objective.
4. Plan and execute
The 80/20 rule is a good way to plan and execute your tasks. Considering the several things we have to learn alongside other daily activities, you could list out all your activities in the order of priority from the most important to the least.
For example, if you have ten things written on your to-do list, identify two of those tasks with the greatest impact. Start and focus your energy on those two tasks, you will most likely observe that you have gained majority progress, the satisfaction of some sort, and extra boost to perform other minor tasks.
5. Analyze and synthesize the plan
Your family, friends, and any other stakeholders involved in the circumstance could all be included in your plan because they are important aspects of your life that cannot be ignored. It is critical to align everyone so that you’re all working toward the same goals.
6. Make flexible amendments as required
Consider leaving out a few spare hours to accommodate unforeseen situations. For instance, if you leave with your parents, you might use these hours to do some chores, attend to your siblings and run certain errands.
If you have your own home, you will set out time for your spouse and kids. Whilst noting all these scenarios which have a likelihood of changing at any time, you should learn to identify the most suitable timing for your activities and adjust your schedule accordingly.
7. Consistency is key
Just like any other skill or habit, consistency is the goal. In most cases, it is not only about the amount of time you put into learning but how you make the shortest available time count. Take it to step by step, as you might not be able to sit for six straight hours.
Break each learning sprint into chunks of one to two hours. Set out a specific time for this activity. Even if it is for thirty minutes, ensure that the timing is constant. Remember, consistency is what makes a few drops of water pile up and fill a bucket overnight.
8. Take a break to reflect
The ability to reflect on your experiences is critical to learning. It is encouraged within learners to reflect on the tasks they have performed, as they are no longer simply concerned with the “how” of their assignment or activity, but also with the “why.”
Whether it is personal or professional, we have had to figure out why things followed a particular sequence and how we might have handled it better.
When starting out, you may consider moving from the known to the unknown or try to associate new terms with recent happenings. Furthermore, attempt to create a mental picture of how the knowledge acquired can be implemented to create an impact in the real world.
These mental activities will help to move the information from short-term memory to permanent storage.
Benefits Of Smart Learning
1. Energy saving
Working in short spurts, for instance, permits you to complete difficult jobs with more energy and create better outcomes.
2. Increases self-esteem
Working smarter allows you to generate a higher-quality product with less effort, which boosts your self-esteem naturally. Anxiety is replaced by purposeful planning.
3. Boosts productivity
Spending time wisely creates space for more productive activities. Breaking down projects into smaller pieces allows a student to do schoolwork independently (where appropriate). Procrastination stops for practices that encourage task initiation.
4. Increases your worth
Businesses are always seeking ways to get more done with less effort, and finding ways to work smarter, not harder, can help you save money for your company. Realistic expectations are replaced by the development of a practical awareness of what can be accomplished.
5. Increases motivation
It boosts your motivation by encouraging you to feel good about your job, your coworkers, and yourself.
The Present and Future Of Smart Learning
For individuals who want to get the most out of their resources, the smart learning education system is a lifesaver. Technology is the future of learning, without technology learning will be difficult for the learner. One can say that the future is now when it comes to using technology.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a remarkable change due to the diverse application of technology, as people sort out new ways of managing the challenge. The way we live and work has changed as a result of “becoming digital.”
Strategically gathering and exploiting data, embracing new technologies, and working in new ways, play a crucial part in transforming learning patterns. You will get more out of a learning experience if you start with a clear intention when learning new skills or knowledge. Technology advancement in learning has helped to develop the global educational system and make the learning process more efficient and convenient for the learner.
Learning is gradually moving from the conventional face-to-face, the in-person form of learning to a virtual, web-based form of learning. Different digital tools have been developed for learning as well as new learning methods that involve the use of technology.
With the use of the internet and other web tools, learners can maximize the internet to download learning resources and learn at will and at their own pace.
These learners can also collaborate with other learners across different countries of the world and share ideas, work on projects together and do a whole lot, and technology has made all this happen. Technology also gives room for sharing educational materials in a frictionless manner.
To facilitate the learning experience, technology helps in various innovative ways, from as little as using an alarm clock or study timer to as advanced as utilizing the internet and other platforms to search for information, connect with people all over the globe or collaborate with peers and mentors.
What does smart learning entail?
Smart learning entails activities that make learning less cumbersome. It involves the use of tools and resources that may or may not be physically made available, as technology has made things that seem far closer.
What is the importance of smart learning?
Smart learning presents numerous benefits by encouraging proper time management, self-awareness of gaps in the knowledge sphere, novel learning skills, etc.
Can smart learning be applied by individuals or only educational institutions implement it?
This mode of learning is utilized mainly by educational institutions but is most effective when adopted by individuals. Smart learning aids individuals to figure out the study techniques, and resources that are suitable to grant them the best experience.
Learning should push you to become your best version. Therefore, it is important to find what works for you, and use it to get what you want, whether a new career, higher position at work, or a transformed self.
Additionally, just like acquiring any other new skill, smart learning requires discipline. Also, it can grant you the spare time required to grab extra perks of knowledge.
Perhaps you want to grow your skills and knowledge, check the article on skills that can transform your life to learn more.
Thanks for reading