New inspiration and ways of learning

After receiving a canoe & kayak magazine recently (see image), I became inspired to learn more and explore kayaking further. It’s something I really enjoy doing but don’t have a lot of experience with yet. This past summer I did a ton of kayaking and really got hooked.

To further my knowledge and learn more, I did a few things that I now tend to do whenever I’m learning about something new.

  1. Went on google – to explore possible kayak adventures for the summer
  2. Went on Twitter – began following kayak lists and #hashtags
  3. Went on Youtube and Vimeo – to discover great videos and tutorials
  4. Went on delicious – to search for online resources that others had tagged

This is typically how I learn about new things whether it is education related or just for my personal interest and exploring things I am passionate about. I talked about this recently when I taught an online micro-lesson in my ECMP 455 course. These web tools are great not only for educational purposes but also for personal use and exploring things you are interested in. I feel like in a very short amount of time I was able to gain some valuable kayaking knowledge and began to make some connections with others who share this interest.

I’m interested in knowing how others learn about things they have a passion for.

Do you use various web 2.0 tools for exploring your passion? What type of steps do you take when learning about something new?

Below I have included a short clip of me kayaking this past summer. It is unedited and not the greatest quality but it is a start. Next summer I hope to start making some great kayaking videos like many of the ones I have discovered. I’m considering purchasing an underwater case for my iPod nano which has a video camera. I get excited just thinking about the possiblities…

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5 responses to “New inspiration and ways of learning

  1. My son and I went kayaking last summer and we got hooked, too. I can’t wait to get out on the water again this summer.

    Much like you, I use Google and Youtube to explore my interests. For example, I CrossFit quite a bit so I’m constantly googling or youtubing workouts, explanations, and tuturials.

    Similarly, I use google reader to connect with the crossfit blogosphere (it’s by far the largest folder in my reader).

    I use various other web 2.0 tools to enrich my other my other interests, as well. Specifically, I enjoy books and film and I’m constantly browsing wikipedia, metacritic, allmusic, imdb, and various other resources in order to explore books and films that I’m currently checking out. I’ve been playing with Google Books but find it’s pretty limited right now.

    I’ve only just begun to explore the possibilities of Delicious and Twitter. I’ve had accounts on both for quite a while but only in the last few weeks have I really started to use them. I’m excited to build my networks on both and see what I can discover.

    I really enjoy StumbleUpon as well. While it’s similar to Delicious, I enjoy spending a few minutes ‘stumbling’ across new and interesting web content.

  2. Back in September, I found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands since I my PE job hunt turned out to be fruitless. Not wanting to lose my passion for Phys Ed, I started doing a lot of reading and checking out a lot of websites. One thing I noticed through my web searches as well as my involvement with the Association of Physical Educators of Quebec (APEQ) was that there seems to be a severe lack of networking happening among Physical Educators. So, instead of sitting back and complaining about the problem, I decided to take action and create a website that would help Physical Educators connect, discuss, and share with each other. I launched the website in January, its called ThePhysicalEducator.com

    The thing is that I had zero knowledge in how to create a website or how to get teachers to connect with each other. My know-how in technology was limited to creating documents in office suites, using facebook to create groups, and how to waste a lot of time online. But with all that extra time on my hands, I decided to get busy.

    I can honestly say that YouTube taught me everything. Its amazing how you can just type in a question into the search bar and all of a sudden you become overwhelmed with video tutorials there to help you out. Between YouTube and Google, I’ve managed to create a pretty decent website that’s been pretty successful thus far. Now, whenever I come face to face with an obstacle with the website, I just YouTube it.

    I think its such a shame that school boards ban YouTube on their servers. As much as there is a lot of time-wasting videos on it (trust me, I know), there is such a great potential for education as well. Kids these days are used to learning from a screen, be it a TV screen, computer monitor, Phone, or iPod. I think educators should stop trying so hard to swim against the current and just go with the flow. It might just turn out to be better for everyone…

  3. I use Google often, but if I want to learn about a topic in general I’ll often go to Wikipedia first. If I ever want to learn specifically how to do something, I usually check out YouTube. It’s amazing how many “how-to” videos are on YouTube. I also try to comment on videos that I’ve viewed and enjoyed to let users know that I recognize and appreciate their contributions.

  4. @Paul I haven’t used StumbleUpon I’ll have to check it out.

    @Joey I’m impressed with the learning you have done and the network of active online physical educators that you have created.

    @Mike I like the idea of commenting to let people know that it has helped. This may provide motivation for others to post how-to videos and for that person to post more. The sharing of knowledge is a great thing.

  5. Pingback: 2010 in review | Jordan McFarlen's Blogfolio

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