Sunday, March 29, 2009

Getting Feedback

A lot of times I think I'm on the right way. I think I'm doing a great thing and just continue what I'm doing. Untill someone suddenly says: 'Stefan, what the heck are you doing? That's completely WRONG.' Hmm, couldn't I get that feedback earlier?

Hell yeah, feedback is really important in whatever you are doing. Wether you are writing a book and keep saying teh instead of the, or you are playing pinball and sit wrong so you back will hurt. You would not notice!

Feedback makes you improve yourself. There are some critical points that you may be missing, and maybe someone else does see it.

Sometimes, you think you are completely on the good road to succeed in what you're doing. But actually, you aren't. And some will criticize you, give tips, but never say you are on the wrong way. What they do is just giving you a little push towards the good road, and those bumps are so small you don't even notice.

What should they do?
They should give you some real feedback. Make you stop, and tell you what they think. So you can stop, turn into the good way, and get back on the road again. So much better than those pushes you don't notice.

This can really be a smack in your face, but accept it. You are stuck in your own view, but your surroundings have different views, accept those different opinions and use them. Use them to improve yourself, use them to get back on the road to success!

What should you do?
Ask every week, month in what you can improve. Ask your classmate, teacher or mother what you are doing completely wrong, and make them stop you. Feedback is, as I said, most of the times a smack in the face, and people wouldn't like to give that smack. Ask them, give them your cheeck, and they only have to smack!

My next post will be about giving feedback, how to give it, and still be nice ;)

I'm running this blog now for a couple of months, I don't have many readers yet, but the readers I have, can you give me some feedback? Can you give me a smack in the face, please?

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Period Of Relaxation

After a week of tests, exams or any though brain-training sessions you need a week rest. You need a period to calm down, get yourself together again to start another period of hard working. Here are some great tips!

In my case, it is after a week of exams at school. I had 9 big tests, so had to learn, practice a lot. No serious, a lot. The weekend after it, I didn't do ANYTHING for school. What I did do was.
  • Sleep again. Finally some sleep again. Just sleep till 9am, instead of 7 am. Go to bed at 11pm, instead of 2am (because you just had to look at that paragraph again).
  • Play videogames. More for boys than for girls I guess. I didn't use my PS2 for like 4 weeks, so finally, again a good game of God of War! But some other great games: Pinball (of course the great 3D Pinball Space Cadett, the Windows one), Zombie Wars
  • Hang out with friends. Of course, the night you go to the bar, drink and have fun. But also some nice, relax at someone house. We made truffles and played monopoly!
  • Start again. Make yourself ready for the new upcoming period. Clean your room, refresh your note-map and get some order in your life!
These are my tips to do in a period of relaxation. The period you grab yourself together again. This period isn't over yet for me, so do you have any tips to do for me?

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Making Flashcards #2

Last week I posted 'Making flashcards' and I did it, and it worked pretty well.

How I made them
I said I was going to print the questions and add the answers, well I just wrote the questions and answers and that worked fine for me!
I didn't use that stupid program on my computer, didn't work at all. I wondered who install that program..

I used them for Biology, as I said, I made around 40 cards and carry them with me for a couple of days. I want to name some pro's and cons for it.

  • It takes a lot of time. I spent around 2 hours making them, admitting that I maybe wrote too much on it.. But a lot of time, for not that much cards.
  • They are ugly in use. I'm the only one in my class who walks around flashing those cards in front of me. I will name some questions I got: 'What are YOU doing?!' 'Hey Stefan, are you going to be a quizmaster?' But when I explained it, they got it and said: 'Let me know if it works out.' 
  • They are extremely easy to use. No serious, extremely. Just when you don't have anything to do, waiting in an elevator, or walking to class or something. Just grab them and test yourself!
  • You can always carry them with you. They are so small, I got 16 cards out of one A4-paper. Really small, instead of big papers which leads to accidents when you read them walking. ;) Put them in your pocket, and grab them anytime you want.
Upgrades (extras)
  • I wrote a big Q on the question-side so you will know what is the front and what is the back
  • When I was near a pen, I marked the card when I got it right, after three marks I lay the card on the 'done-pile.'
  • I'm going to try something with colours!
I'm really curious in other upgrades, maybe you can give me some tips!

When I was in my first year of high-school my Latin teacher mentioned flashcards. I thought: 'A lot of work and it won't work for me.' I was wrong. Yes, it was a lot of work, but they DID work for me. Easy to use, small and simply everywhere useable.
Will I use them more often. Definitly!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Frequent Breaks

I have been testing with breaks during study, and got some great results which works for me, and maybe also for you!

I heard about frequent breaks on the Wired Study Tips podcast and I've been thinking about it. How did I use breaks, and how do I want to use them?

How did I, and most of the students, use them?
We use our breaks as 'way-out' 'Finally, BREAKTIME!' including playing some video games, chatting on an instant messenger, making the best origami figures ever. And we forget the time and we waste another half an hour.

How should we use it?
As relaxation. Give your brain some time to process it all. And yes, we need to do some complete other things than what we did. That origami figure isn't bad. But don't do it too long. 

I have breaks every half an hour. Just set a timer, and after 30 minutes, I stop studying and do something else. After 5 minutes doing something else, I start studying again. And after 4 of those sessions, it's lunch time, or any eating time, which means a break for like, 15-30 minutes.

What to do on a break?
Well, you need to do something different than the subject. If you studying the industrial revolution of China, don't read an article about the industrialisation of China, but read an article about flying fishes!

Instead of reading, there are a lots of things you can do.
  • Cleaning your room. Jessica finds it usefull, and I agree with her. Not only something which doesn't require any thoughts, but also usefull, for if your girlfriend is coming over!
  • Get some tea. That is what I do most of the times, get a cup of tea, zipping a bit, and start studying again!
  • Just stare out of the window. Empty your mind, daydream a bit and get some fresh air. Lovely.
So, study for 30 minutes, stare for 5 minutes and study again for 30 minutes. When you got the routine, it's really easy!
Good luck, and, don't be afraid to share your thoughts about this subject with me!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Making flashcards

I want to try something new in my learning style. I want to use FlashCards.

Only I don't know anything about it, how you use it and how it works. I guess it is something with questions and answers, on the other side..

So, what I found, quickly on the internet is:

'Flashcards remain one of the best tools for memorizing information. The most common way to create flashcards is to use index cards. Students can simply write the question on one side and the answer on the opposite side and test themselves repeatedly. However, there are several ways to modify this process to enhance the learning experience.' Source

And how to make them:
  • I'm going to print the questions. And I will write the answers on it with hand. With that, I already have seen the answer, and learned it in a different way
  • I found a program called 'make bootable flashcards' on my computer, I will check it if it is usuable, or just some wacko microsoft thing again ;)
Where I'm going to use it for:
  • Biology, the same class as where I tested iPod Studying on. Because here I do have some questions and answers, which are hard to memorize!
  • Maybe sociology, because this is one of the classes with a lot of questions!
Maybe you have any tips for me with flashcards, because I'm just going to test it, do you use it, how do you use it? Let me know!

Keep in touch for the rest of the experiment!

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Presentation in class: The Middle

Once you had your killer introduction, you are ready for the middle of your presentation.

What is in the middle?
  • More explanation about the subject, some space to make the problem bigger!
  • You come up with different solutions, and arguments for it or against it.
This part is more boring than your anecdotic introduction and now it is even more important to keep your audience interested, because this is what you really want them to tell!

Keep being interactive. The key to a succesfull presentation. Keep asking questions to some people in your audience, as I said in the introduction. They will be awake, and stay awake if you question them more often. The second sort of questioning you have to do is the 'does everyone understand?' No, they won't react, but it is a good gesture ;)

Keep it interesting. Yes, this is a more boring part, but it doesn't have to be! If you keep the dry math and all short, the class will be kept interested. Keeping that guys, who aren't interesting in anything but girls, interested is a great challenge. ;)

Be humoristic. Your class needs a laugh one at a time. Just make jokes, be sarcastic and you know what I mean, just make them laugh.

With these tips, your presentation will be more fun and more interesting, what do you want more?

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