I discovered a way to make my notes more interesting.
This past week I took a 5-day history class.
Yes, it was educational. Yes, I learned a lot. Yes it was required for my ministry licensing.
There were just a few minor problems:
1. I don’t like to study.
2. I don’t really care for history too much.
3. I have a terrible memory for faces, names, dates and events.
4. I have a problem with sitting still for long periods of time.
5. I have a tendency to space out and daydream.
All this adds to a HUGE challenge in making it through a week-long history class.
The class was very traditional in teaching method, i.e. lecture, some with PowerPoint, some with a whiteboard. It was a class for auditory learners.
Unfortunately I am not a big auditory learner. My main learning style is visual. In fact, my learning styles are
So after a day of diligently typing notes and trying to stay engaged and squirming in my seat, I suddenly had an inspiration.
I opened up a demo copy of Apple Pages, clicked on the “Newsletter” template, and started taking notes directly in the newsletter template. Every time a new topic came up, I would make a new block or move information into another block on my template page.
Each day I used a different template file—just for variety.
I have a subscription to photos.com so I would download some legally-licensed photos to my document.
So in the end, this is how my notes from the class looked like.
It was a snap. I just opened up the program and started using it. Apple is very intuitive in its software. Okay, so I do know how to use Indesign and Pagemaker so I might have had a little bit of advantage in knowing how to layout pages, but it was VERY easy to pick up and if you have used Word, you can use Pages. (And I confess it does help to be able to type quickly!)
In fact, all these pages were created during the class. I didn’t have to go back afterwards and retype stuff or change information. It was so easy to use I was able to complete all these pages by the end of the class! And now I actually remember what we talked about!
So though in a sense this is a plug for Apple Pages, more so it is a plug for exploring different ways to stay engaged when you are in an environment that doesn’t fit your learning style. I am also motivated by learning new things, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone: learning about history, but also learning how to use new software. Plus I got to be creative, which made it fun!
So now for my final projects… making a history video… and creating a history curriculum that will utilize the different learning styles. 🙂