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Student of Life


I have twenty classes under my belt now, which makes me feel kind of awesome, actually. Some are free, some are not. I decided to crawl through the freebies on Udemy for a few hours, adding every single one I found vaguely interesting to my to-do list. I ended up with over 1,000 courses.

Maybe I have too many interests! One can never learn enough, however, if I’m being honest with you. To cease learning is to cease to live, if you ask me. I know you didn’t, but I’m putting it out there anyway. Here’s why…

Change is life. Growth is change. Growth is life.

Or, more formulaicly:

Change = Growth = Life = 🙂

Anyway, I’m working on my own instructional course for the world of information technology. I was a software quality assurance engineer for more than fifteen years. I somehow get things done in hours that take other people weeks, if not days… and I don’t know how that is possible, other than to blame my autism. My thirteen disabilities that I’ve learned to work around turn into one great ability, apparently.

But to get an understanding of what makes a great course, I need to take courses, too. I need to remind myself what the learning process is like. I need to struggle as a student to re-learn the terrible bits of instructorship and transform myself back into a teacher.

I found this incredible course on Data Science. I’m so excited, listening to this Indian woman and her musical accent. I could listen to her all day. All freakin’ day. Something about her warms my heart and sets my soul on fire. I want to be like that. I want my course to be just like this.

I noticed that she uses a PowerPoint. She doesn’t bother to show herself at all, which I like because I’m shy and I’m not going to show myself either. I’m going to create transcripts to read from, PowerPoint presentations to show visuals, and of course add jokes because I think learning is more fun if I’m laughing or smiling.

Her PowerPoints don’t have a ton of data, so they’re not overwhelming (or at least, that’s true in the introduction) and she can appreciate the first time viewer’s perspective. I clicked to a random part of a later video, which showed a much busier slide, and heard her say something like, “Yes, I know, this is a very busy slide…” That impresses me because she is aware of her audience and their potential ignorance of the subject in its entirety. ❤

She uses bright colors and simple icons (with color) to jazz up opening slides, so that it’s not too plain. My interest is drawn to the words on the slide, the colors, the images. Her voice is keeping me engaged; she is not monotone in the least. Sometimes, I can be monotonous. I’ve been working on funny character voices that I intend to use for my courses.

Her transcripts/closed captioning is very close to what she actually says, which also verily impresses me after another freebie course where the word “chakra” came out “chocolate” about one hundred times. I’m going to help that man fix his course, I cannot bear it to stay the way it is… especially when it’s the only one of its ilk on Udemy.

In Section 1, lesson 2, her slides got a bit busier. Tons of colorful icons in tidy little rows, then a slide with two simple boxes and plenty of color, then something less colorful. I’m not sure if this detracts or adds to my experience. She certainly ha a knack for taking complex ideas and reducing them down to their smallest components.

She does lack transitional phrases from one lesson to the next… but that’s not really a terrible thing. It’s just that I’m used to teachers mentioning the next lesson at the end of the current lesson.

I think something that would make a PowerPoint/audio presentation shine is more transition techniques in the PowerPoint itself… I mean that each section of the lesson could be made visible as she speaks about it, which would guide the eyes appropriately during the lecture.

Anyway, overall, it’s a great lecture. Expect to Google some of the terms, but that’s just what it’s like in an IT job. You look up what you don’t know until you know it.

I have plenty of take-aways for my future courses now, that’s all I care about. ❤

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