Helen Bullock is a primary school teacher who loves Irish, Science and drama. Her main interests lie in how we learn and learning styles which prompted a guest post on her site and led to the How I Learn book! Helen is an executive member of CESI, loves ICT in Education and is a regular attendee of the ICTedu Conference! Helen writes her own blog on www.anseo-a-mhuinteoir.com and tweets from @AnseoAMuinteoir and @HowILearn 

How I Learn

Learning styles vary from person to person and while I may be an expert at learning “by heart” you might find find that more difficult. It might be easier for you to learn by doing. For arguments sake and to back up my point lets say we’ve been set the task to learn all the bones in the human body.

More then likely I’d take the body section by section using a diagram and name each none so I know where they should be. I’d read through them a few times-ok a lot. I’d try to recall the leg bones first by repeating them over and over and over Again. I’d move up a bit and start the process all over again. Repeating and adding in more and more detail and bones each time. A bit like the game “I went on my holidays and I brought” where each player adds in a new item til the very last person has all the items to remember. I’d learn the bones of the body the same way. Sure it takes time but I like to think it works for me and I don’t generally forget. Of course I keep drawing out the skeleton and labeling it. Doodles help me and this would be a great doodle!

Meanwhile our other learner might find it easier to dismantle a skeleton name each bone as they reconstruct it. Repetition works here again, repeating the construction over and over adds to the learning experience and makes it fun! Like playing with Lego. Of course there are many apps available to do this with, skeletons aren’t in everyone’s closest after all! So games, apps or clever software would be an ideal alternative. The interaction is important to this learning style, doing it by yourself so you can learn it and understand it.

ICT is fast becoming a huge element of how we learn as a nation. So many of us are turning to apps, podcasts, online articles and even interactive games to update our skills or make our traditional learning styles easier for ourselves. While ICT is often seen as a stand alone subject to me it’s all about adding another layer to our individual subjects. It’s a tool to learn with and can enhance each of our individual learning styles. It’s a fun tool!

While I’m in no way disputing the need at times to teach ICT, the need in my opinion is less as ICT isn’t a subject you can learn the theory of and just work away. It’d be like having a surgeon who learnt the theory of surgery, but, after 10 years had never preformed a surgery. ICT is one of those areas where it’s best learnt by doing, practice makes perfect just like in Rugby! Practice Practice Practice! Play with the apps, explore Scratch, experiment with coding and new software, don’t be afraid of it, it doesn’t bite. Much.

These areas and more are explored in How I Learn, the book is out soon and all updates, news and stories can be found on twitter from @HowILearn or through the hash tag #HowILearn

If you want more details on the book, want to get involved or even to just talk to Helen about her work and teaching you can email anseoblog@gmail.com or tweet @AnseoAMuinteoir or @HowILearn