As I wrote about in my first week as a Smartly student, I’m supplementing the class instructions with additional books on the subject. Because the lessons are designed to be small and easily digestible, they can be attacked on the go. As a young urban professional (isn’t there some fun shorthand for this?), I appreciate being able to fit in an education around my schedule.
For fun, here are the places I Smartly’d from this week:
- On a bench at 8pm, waiting to be picked up after work
- On my couch on Saturday morning
- In an Uber on my way to work
- On my laptop at home before breakfast
- On my phone, waiting to go pumpkin carving
The wonders of a mobile education – and with Smartly’s stated goal of democratizing education overall – is how flexible it can be. The downside of a mobile education – and one of my larger concerns – is how distracting it can be.
While the convenience of learning-via-app is empowering, it can also be seductive. When an app is my primary source of learning (not dissimilar to Duolingo), I rarely take notes or process the information afterward, because it’s so easy to flip to another app, or to then focus on whatever the next task is. To counteract this, I believe assigning myself reading is a way of insuring I focus for extended periods of time. With bitesize lessons that can be fit in here and there, it’s easy for one’s attention to switch over to another idea. For me, I fear I won’t retain as much as I’d like. I’m using books as a defense against that.
The other avenue that will likely help, but that I haven’t been as committed to early on, are the discussion boards. Last week, I spread out my lessons over the course of a few days. In that time, our discussion leaders posted articles, and my classmates hashed out their arguments. By joining the discussion late, I felt behind, almost as if any point I would make had already been made.
For this next week, I’ve already finished the three lessons on Microeconomics, so I should be better positioned to contribute. I plan on having the requisite lessons done before the discussions get posted so I can be a more active member.
Week 1’s books (pictured above) helped to flesh out the introductory accounting terms and concepts. Though Week 2’s lessons are an extension of Week 1’s, the books I’m reading for Week 2 are not. Instead, I chose On Writing Well and The Copywriter’s Handbook. There will be weeks the books line up with the course material, and other weeks where I supplement the lessons with books I believe will make me more well-rounded.