We all know that education is one of the most crucial areas of our lives. At the same time, we accept that our children attend schools utilizing archaic teaching methods. They encourage learning schemes, which are unnatural for the human brain to process, like cramming or memorizing plain data. Fortunately, not everything is lost. Here are some techniques and apps to help you get to the top without spending money on private tutelage.
Understand what you want to learn
Statistics indicate that in years 2005-2006 in India, about 55% of students from classes IX and X worked with a private tutor. It means that parents of about 25 million students paid for the tuition of their kids. Why not use free Internet resources, social learning sites, like brainly.in instead?
Brainly is a place where people can crowdsource answers to their questions for free. What I really like about it though, is the fact that solutions can evolve thanks to advanced moderation of all the tasks. The platform focuses on creating a living community of people helping each other with homework and study. Finding peers interested in similar subjects is a child’s play; hence forming a mentor-pupil kind of relations is quite a common thing there.
Cramming your study material is the worst that you can do. You should rather break it into smaller steps and lay down your goals for the next week, month and even the whole year. No matter how complex the assignment, it can be tackled with an appropriate approach. Use a to-do app, like Todoist to schedule your study sessions and prioritize them. Todoist will allow you to keep track of the most critical responsibilities. You can also synchronize it with your calendar to inspect tasks in broader perspective.
Look for connections
Human mind automatically looks for connections between facts because they make them easier to remember and understand. It is one of the reasons why mind maps are a proven way to increase your memorizing capabilities. In the Internet era, great mind maps are just one click away from you. My personal favourite mind map creator is Coggle.
After registering, you can set your main idea and start branching out of it. Each path is given a different colour, so the graph is clean, distinctive and intuitive. Remember to include facts from different subjects to have a full scope view on the matter at hand.
Concentrate & avoid procrastination
Procrastination is by far the most dangerous enemy of learning process. There are countless techniques created in order to fight your time slipping away. One of them is the famous Pomodoro Technique. It is based on idea that the longer a person tries to focus; the harder it becomes to sustain this state. Therefore, you can be more effective if you work undisturbed for a shorter period of time, after which you take a short break – it is called an interval. Standard pomodoro interval is 25 minutes work and 5 minutes break. After four such intervals you should take a longer 15~30 minute break. It seems trivial, but it works wonders. There are tons of pomodoro apps over the Internet too – Google, download and give it a try.
Review and keep knowledge fresh
Knowledge that is merely memorized and not reviewed is bound to deteriorate eventually. On the other hand, going over the same things countless times is both, time-consuming and boring. There are two tools, which I use to review to keep my knowledge fresh – the before-mentioned Brainly and flashcards software Anki. I like to stimulate my memory with challenges, so Brainly seems like a natural choice to me. It is even better, knowing I help other people with their problems. On the other hand, short, regular reviewing sessions are proven to be extensively effective for the long-term memory. Anki automatically organizes your flashcards depending on how well you know them so you do not need to worry about preparing complicated schedules – it does that for you.
I believe that there is a lot of potential in technology that should be adopted in schools and those couple of apps, which I mentioned above, represent only a small fraction of this it. The great thing now is that nobody has to solely rely on his or her school methods. There are hundreds of free tools, which can help you achieve your educational goals.