I recently had the opportunity to participate in Black Roots: New Media Bootcamp. Our class included a dynamic group of people with a shared dedication for community organizing and an interest in learning the skills of online organizing.
Kept to a tight timeline, the class content was intense and incorporated an arsenal of trainings and lectures including data mining, web design, excel lists, and email structure. There were many times when we wanted more time to go even deeper into what we had just learned.
To help each of us maintain the educational momentum set at the training, I've compiled suggestions for retaining and using the information we learned.
- Keep it organized. Create a folder for your presentations and notes and keep them together.
- Review and revise. Look over your notes and the coinciding lecture slides. Compare what you wrote to the content on the slides. Write out any questions you may have.
- Think it. Practice thinking within the subject. Devise ways you can go deeper into a concept or tool. (If you are learning HTML, explore HTML language, commands, and operations, e.g.)
- Teach it. Look for opportunities to teach someone else what you've learned. Be it a team member or a colleague. Test yourself by seeing if you can explain it to someone who is completely unfamiliar with the material. If you have difficulty teaching it, it is possible you may have not learned that subject well enough. Go back or ask for help.
- Google it. Google is your friend. Do a keyword or subject search if there is something you don't understand and you will most likely find a tutorial or answer on the web.
- Find related media. Once you get into the subject, look for books magazines or podcasts that relate to your learning. This will only improve your understanding and introduce you to new techniques.
- Fall back. Give yourself time to absorb and incorporate new ideas. Apply the trainings into the work you're doing. Start by incorporating small aspects of what you learned and scale from there.
- Learn with others. Identify topics you want to improve on and let your other classmates know. Create a discussion in a Facebook group or using Twitter.
- Ask the coaches. Hopefully the trainers and coaches from your event made themselves available. Use them as a resource (but be respectful of their time, too).
How do you continue to build on the learning you receive at trainings? Share in the comments!
Salim Mhunzi is a graduate of Black Roots: New Media BootCamp, and runs his own blog at Salim Bloggy Blog