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How I Learn Essay

2538 words - 11 pages

I am 24 years old and it seems like I have been in school forever. I hardly remember a time when I was not taking some kind of class or studying to become proficient in something new. As a learner, I tend to pick things up quickly. I have always been able to sit down at a new technology or at a new experience and pick up enough very quickly to get by. Very few distractions can keep me from learning, especially if I focus solely on the subject I am trying to learn. I scored strongly in learning by active experimentation in the LSI test. I like to touch and feel things as well as read about them.The only things that can keep me from learning are the teachers. Some teachers I have had or very ...view middle of the document...

One of the best examples for me of learning outside of formal education was when I was preparing to take my CCNA certification test. When I set out to take the test, I was not in the computer industry at that time. I was working as an AV tech at the Wyndham Itasca and I was miserable. I decided a career change was in order, and a friend recommended that I check out Cisco networking and the CCNA certification.I had never worked in networking before, so I enrolled in classes to help me learn all about Cisco networking. The class was a 6-week class that met for 12 hours a week. During the class, we would listen to a lecture on the theories of networking, including IP addressing, Ethernet, and dynamic routing protocols. The instructor would give us examples and we would be able to ask any questions we needed to. Once the lecture was over, we spent the rest of the class working on configuring the routers; practicing the techniques learned in the class that week. In addition to the hands on and lecture experienced from the class, I also read several books on the subject at home. I tried to limit myself to three chapters a week, so I would not be burned out. I also purchased router simulation software. This allowed me to practice the techniques I learned in class without having to purchase the equipment at $1000. As the weeks went on, I began utilizing electronic practice tests to prepare for the exam. These included Boson and Transcender. I took each test and then printed out the questions I missed and researched the answers. This allowed me to learn not only on a broad level, but to address specific shortcomings in my education.Starting the Cisco class was a difficult experience. I was extremely afraid of failing in achieving the goal I had set forth. I noticed that many other people had similar fears in the class. While some of the students were going because their employer required it, most of the people there were contemplating a career change. Because of this, we formed a common bond immediately. Every student was willing to help the others out, either with notes or explanations of topics the person did not understand. Before and after class we would meet to discuss what we had learned. It was interesting to watch how different people prepared. Some students had detailed notes and diagrams put into neat three ring binders. Others had everything on laptops, including the notes our teacher had given us. One student relied solely on memory, and amazingly did very well with it. I tended to use my books and notes as references but kept my original thoughts in my head. Ultimately, this group collaboration helped all us learn the techniques necessary to be successful.From my experience with studying for the CCNA, I learned a lot about group collaboration and study. By studying before and after class in groups, we became dependent on the efforts of the whole as well as the individual. If I did not do my work, I let down several other people who were...

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