I originally wrote this article for my personal blog, as an exploration of my own journey into learning and teaching digital skills to others. I am often asked by people who want to learn digital skills – how? how do I learn digital skills? The answer is simple: practice. The best way to learn digital skills is to stop trying to learn them, and start practicing them.
Practice makes perfect. It’s a cliché because it’s true. If you practice something enough, ideally while getting feedback along the way, you will get better at it. You don’t need a course or a book or a teacher – you just need to get started.
The problem with learning digital skills is that it’s very easy to procrastinate instead of actually doing the work. There are many ways you can convince yourself that you are learning (looking at blog posts and books) when in fact you are still a beginner. Only when you try things out yourself will you truly be able to say “I know this”.
I have been recently asked by a few people around me about where I learnt my digital skills. Some of them even asked me if I had a website to learn digital skills. Well, I don’t and there is no need for one.
The best way to learn anything is to practice it. Google things and try different solutions you find on the internet. If you want to learn how to code, build your own website or an app that you want to use, find out how to do things and do them.
You can also take online courses offered by big companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon or Microsoft but the best way is still to practice yourself.
Learning new skills is hard. The best way to learn digital skills is by practicing.
The question is: How do you make the most of your practice time?
I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks and came up with the following 5 tips:
1. You are not your brain, you are a pattern maker. Our brains are designed to solve patterns, and that’s what we need to do in order to learn new skills: find the patterns, and then keep repeating them until they become second nature.
2. The rule of three – It takes three times doing something before it becomes a habit or second nature.
3. You can’t learn anything you don’t like – Your brain will rebel if you try to force yourself into learning something you don’t enjoy doing, or that doesn’t interest you in any way. Don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t work out, just move on and try again next time.
4. Be patient but persistent – Learning new skills takes time, especially when we’re learning them outside our comfort zone, but if you give up too soon then the pattern won’t be reinforced enough for your brain to remember it and make it part of your natural behavior or habits.
5. If you
This blog is not a “How to”-type blog. It is about sharing what I’ve learned, so far, on the digital learning journey. I’m exploring digital learning and I want to share with you what I have found useful and important in my process of learning digital skills.
This blog started in January 2018, mainly as a teaching journal for myself, and became public in March 2018.
I am a teacher of English as a foreign language and I work in the British Council, Brazil. My main inspiration for writing this blog was the Digital Literacies course (BELMAS/British Council), that helped me find a new way to understand the digital world that surrounds us.
I would like to thank Aurelie Branchereau for her permission to use her beautiful photo “Digital Learning Journey” taken in London, October 2017.