I like to think of myself as an open minded individual, one that seeks out knowledge and insights, and welcomes new ideas, weighing the truthfulness of different viewpoints before coming to a conclusion about which way is right or not. However, it is difficult to get away from ones inherent biases, and many of us like to think the same about ourselves, when the truth is often far from that. It can be difficult to admit that I have biases, preferences, and a resistance to learning new things, but according to what we see in Derek Muller from Veritasium’s video, that is a truth we all have to face.
Many of my best or favorite learning experiences have to do with personal projects or hobbies that have struck my interest, which over the years include juggling, ultimate frisbee, home automation, sound equipment, and most recently, home theater and sound design. Let’s look into that last one. I’ve had an appreciation for tech, especially audio visual related tech for a while, and was wanting to create an immersive home theater experience, but was not sure where to start. My first step was admitting my own lack of knowledge, and to begin to do research. This is often the most time consuming and fun step for me, as I discover the terminology relating to area (surround sound, Dolby Atmos, OLED’s, 4k, bias lighting, etc), and see all the different technology that can be applied. I then conduct research on what are the best and most affordable components that I might need, what fits within my budget. Lastly, I start bargain hunting, searching for items used, reselling things that didn’t quite fit, and slowly assembling my project. It’s a time consuming process, and much more work than simply going to a big box electronics store and asking the salesman what to buy for X amount of cash, but I feel as though it gives me a better understanding of how all the components work, and I end up having a lot of fun along the way. I’d say that this method is strongly aligned with the constructivist theory. I consume a large amount of data, much of which are different opinions expressed on forums and reviews, and synthesize my own set of conclusions, which I apply to my situation. I like this learning style, because it requires me to separate good information from bad information, requiring me to think critically about the data I’m consuming. This makes it more likely that I’ll understand what I’ve learned, as well as recall it better in the future.