2 Ninja Techniques to Learn New things and Never forget them
We are not taught how to learn in school, we are taught how to pass tests.
The most important skill we can learn is how to learn. During the school days, we all crammed a lot of junk information in our tiny brains and spilled it over in the exams. As soon as the exam was over we relieved ourselves by forgetting all of it. Obviously. Over the course of time, this experience prepared us to think of Learning as a cumbersome, boring, and compulsory activity. Damn the Education System.
Learning without understanding is just cramming. The actual Learning happens when we truly understand something. And it’s hard. But addictive.
Here are the 2 most profound neuroscience-based Learning Techniques.
Technique 1: The Feynman Learning Technique
If you’re after a way to supercharge your learning and become smarter, the Feynman Technique might just be the best way to learn absolutely anything. The technique was Devised by the celebrated Nobel Prize-winning physicist Sir Richard Feynman. There are 3 steps to the Feynman Technique
Step 1: Pretend to teach it to a child or a rubber duck
Take out a blank sheet of paper. At the top, write the topic you want to learn. Now write out everything you know about the topic as if you were teaching it to a child. You are not teaching to your smart adult friend, but rather a child who has just enough vocabulary and attention span to understand basic concepts and relationships. This forces you to understand the concept at a deeper level.
Step 2: Identify gaps in your explanation
Areas, where you struggle in Step 1, are the points where you have some gaps in your understanding. Identifying gaps in your knowledge—where you forget something important, aren’t able to explain it, or simply have trouble thinking of how variables interact—is a critical part of the learning process. Filling those gaps is when you really make the learning stick.
Step 3: Organize and Simplify
Now you have a set of hand-crafted notes containing a simple explanation. Organize them into a narrative that you can tell from beginning to end. Read it out loud. If the explanation sounds confusing at any point, go back to Step 2. Keep iterating until you have a story that you can tell to anyone who will listen.
Technique 2: The Spaced Repetition Technique
Spaced Repetition is a wildly useful phenomenon. We are better able to recall information and concepts if we learn them in multiple, spread-out sessions. We can leverage this effect by using spaced repetition to slowly learn almost anything. It works for words, numbers, images, and skills. It works for anyone of any age, from babies to elderly people. It works for animals, even species as simple as sea slugs. The effect cuts across disciplines and can be used to learn anything from artistic styles to mathematical equations.
Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909), a German psychologist and pioneer of quantitative memory research, first identified the spaced repetition technique. After earning his Ph.D. in Germany, he traveled to London. Like so many people, he found his life forever changed by a book.
His most important findings were in the areas of forgetting and learning curves. These are graphical representations of the process of learning and forgetting. The forgetting curve shows how the memory of new information decays in the brain, with the fastest drop occurring after 20 minutes and the curve leveling off after a day.
There is a way to slow down the process of forgetting. We need only to recall or revisit the information after we originally come across it. Going over the information later, at intervals, helps us remember a greater percentage of the material. Persistence will allow us to recall with 100% accuracy all that we want to remember. The learning curve is the inverse. It illustrates the rate at which we learn new information. When we use spaced repetition, the forgetting curve changes:
Essentially, repeating what we learned on the 3rd, 7th, 21st, and 49th days will effectively store it forever in your brain.
Rancho uses both the ninja techniques to help you learn effectively and retain efficiently. The byte-sized learning videos in Rancho invite users to write their own understanding of the learning video in the comments. Thus using the Feynman Technique. Every learning video that you like, is repeated and shown again to you on the 3rd, 7th, 21st, and 49th days. Thus using the Spaced Repetition Technique.
Try teaching what you learned to a 6th-grade kid.
Repeat what you learned on the 3rd, 7th, 21st, and 49th Day.