Technology doubles about every three years, an astounding fact that compounds the guilt many of us feel when it comes to staying current with technology. We all know how important keeping up with technology is to our careers and to life in general yet most of us know only the basics. We believe we don’t have time to learn anything new. Others just feel too overwhelmed with technology and don’t know where to start. Whatever your reason (or excuse), don’t throw in the towel.
Hiding under a rock won’t work but you don’t have to spend all your time immersed in technology either. After years as a technology educator, I have discovered four simple, non-technology tips that have helped me and I believe will help others as they strive to stay abreast of the latest technologies. Whether it be learning how to use different social media tools to learning how to program computer code, these tips are relevant.
- This tip is the one I believe is the most important. I repeat. This tip is the most important. Develop the mindset and attitude of a lifelong learner. Wikipedia defines lifelong learning as the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons”. In other words, lifelong learners are inquisitive and passionate about learning. They know that learning is not contained to a classroom but is on-going throughout life. They will be learning until the day they die.
- Set SMART goals for yourself whether it is personal or professional. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. People who set goals generally accomplish what they set out to do.
- Teach others. The best indicator to determine if you really know how to do something is trying to teach it to someone else. This does not have to be a formal classroom environment. Informal teaching is just as effective.
- Read, read and read some more. Reading is an excellent way to get where you want to go. In general, reading makes you smarter and keeps your mind sharp.