I Just Want to Get the Jokes!

Techniques for Teaching and Learning New Topics


Why This Talk?

  • Life Long Learner
  • Shareable Ideas
  • Getting the Jokes

Speaking of Jokes....

I was going to tell you all a UDP joke...

But I don't care if you get it.

A Quick Story

Do you ever get tired of learning?

My hopes...

  • Validate Some Current Ideas
  • Instill Some New Ideas
  • Entertain

Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning

In Three Acts

  1. Research
  2. Curation
  3. Delivery

Act 1: Research

(Remember, Understand, Apply)

Do Not Learn to Learn.
Learn to Do.

Project Work Over Just Learning

Structure the work as a project but...ensure the learning is transferable past it.

Projects can fail, never take off or just get reprioritized.

Learning without application will be forgotten.

I Never Set Out to Learn HTML

  • HTML Programmer
    March 27th, 2000
  • Web Programmer
    July 12th, 2000

Break Down the Project in to Smaller Chunks

Small Chunks are Easier to Digest

If the original project can not be solved, find the smaller problem that can be solved.

Understand deeply those smaller chunks, tie them in to bigger webs of knowledge.

Asking Exploratory Questions

How do I learn Linux?

  • The Scope of this Question is too Wide
  • Usually responded with "What do you mean?"
  • Linux From Scratch also a "good" answer
  • Install Ubuntu

What do I need to know to be a Systems Administrator?

  • Better Question
  • More direct end goal
  • Knowing enough to ask better questions

More on Exploratory Questions

Alternate Arguing Opposing Views

Being Honest with What You Don't Know

Being "wrong" is okay.

More on Opposing Views

Potentially having to implement a controversial change in process.

Spend 20 minutes beleving it could be done and describing what it would look like

Spend 20 minutes describing why it can not be done.

More on Opposing Views

After an hour or so we had solutions to research and obstacles to watch out for.

Also had some ideas which could serve as potentail improvements in other places.

Act 2: Curate

(Analyze, Evaluate, Create)

Start with the Questions People Should be able to Answer

Starting with Questions

You will want to curate down to a maximum effort / minimal time balance.

The questions will act as a fill in the blank guide.

You will already have a assessment if you need one.

Haikus Not Novels

Haikus Not Novels

What knowledge are you assuming?

Be concise with your text

Shorter is better; Break Up Ideas

Would you want to read it?

Get the "shitty" Version Out of the Way

Just DO IT!

Seriously just try it...

Nobody will read it

Easier to improve something already created

Act 3: Delivery

(Strengthen Analyze and Evaluate, and Create)

The Final Act is Sharing

Understanding Deeply

Presenting / Teaching = Practice

Are you able to explain the topic concisely?

Build a verbiage / sentence structure around the topic

Consider the Medium and the Audience

Length and Format

Is it in person or remote?

Video or Written Tutorial?

What knowledge are you assuming?

Remember What it is like to not know

You Didn't Always Know this Yourself

We forget the most fundamental things to us are new to others.

Be kind and be helpful to the learner

In Review

Act 1: Research

Learn to do. When researching a new topic, begin to build up a memory of jargon and technical terms and apply it to a project.

Act 2: Curate

In order to strengthen our knowledge we must practice talking about it or creating works. We must be able to evaluate how it fits together.

Act 3: Deliver

Remember what it is like to not know and practice talking about your topic.

Resources and Books

Resources and Books

Resources and Books

In Closing...

Contact Information

Alex Juarez
Principal Engineer Rackspace
twitter: @mralexjuarez

This hCard created with the hCard creator.

A short bio

Alex Juarez is a Principal Engineer at Rackspace, touting 8 years with the company. Alex enjoys all things Linux, especially training and mentoring others, and is incredibly qualified to do so as an RHCA/RHCI. When Alex isn't helping others he's crafting killer cocktails and finding the best spots to grub in San Antonio.

Thanks @jilljubs

Q & A

(Or we can talk about Whiskey)

Thank You! / Cat Tax