#TheFeynmanExperiment – Deeper Learning

In my chosen field of edtech, there is a TON of information that comes out on a daily basis.  Emerging programs, options for microcredentials, new tech standards, new ideas about what education is, creative ways to recruit, retain and graduate learners, regulatory concerns, innovative accreditation options, methods for designing learning, etc., are always constantly developing.  It’s almost too much to keep up with.

Recently, the necessity of keeping up with so much information began to weigh on me.  I’ve read shallowly to simply keep up with it all.  I haven’t dedicated enough time to a deeper understanding of the important pieces.  It’s becoming hard to separate the signal from the noise.

So I decided to figure out a better way to do it.

I’m going to challenge myself to write a brief post every other day.  I will read an article (journal or otherwise,) listen to a podcast, read blogs, etc., and figure out what matters from it.  In turn, I will create something (post, infographic, me drawing on a napkin) in order to explain that concept/theme/pattern/information in a (hopefully) coherent fashion.

In order to do this, I’m going to adopt The Feynman Technique.

The Feynman Technique involves four steps in order to learn more deeply.  There’s actually a “pre-step” that isn’t noted in this explanation.

  • 0 – Consume some sort of info
  • 1 – Explain the topic in simple language to someone from outside the field
  • 2 – Use the act of explaining to identify where you haven’t fully grasped the information
  • 3 – Go back to the original info and figure out the pieces you missed
  • 4 – Repeat previous steps until it you’ve got the concept nailed down yourself

The explanation to another human should be short and sweet, and include a simple analogy.

For my experiment, I will use my husband.  His name is Peter.  He is not in edtech, so this will be a good opportunity for me to attempt to explain this “in simple language to someone from outside your field.”

I am calling this “The Feynman Experiment:  Explaining Edtech Concepts to My Husband.”  So.  I need to go tell Peter about this.  I’m pretty sure I can get him to agree.  If not, maybe I’ll make a nice, clear analogy, and then he’ll go for it.

He’s currently sick with the latest series of germs that Thing 2 brought home from preschool (children are essential petri dishes with cute chubby cheeks.)  I’m guessing maybe I can officially rely on his participation sometime this weekend.






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