Ninja skills: how do you manage your online learning?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/adulau/149754989/I recently had the opportunity to go through (a lot) of old papers and notes from elementary school, secondary school, and college. I saw years of attempting to stay organized: three-ring binders, portfolios, spiral notebooks, bound notebooks, index cards, loose papers, and the odd floppy disk. After nineteen years of schooling, I was just starting to get the hang of it.

Now, online and hybrid learning is rapidly becoming the major game in town, and even students who attend class in person are turning toward digital tools to keep on track. Organizational opportunities abound, but tastes and tools vary.

Which brings me to my point: how do you manage your online learning? Saylor has provided one tool in the ePortfolio, a place to view your transcripts and remember what Saylor.org courses you want to take, but the ePortfolio won’t take your notes for you or remember what unit you stopped at last Thursday (yet)…and it won’t help you much in your EDx or community college courses.

We have our own tips and tricks we’re willing to share (and plenty of difficulties), but we want to hear from you, too. After all, whatever problems you’ve had are still frustrating someone else. So what sites, apps, devices, and hacks help you keep everything together? Do you live in a world without paper, or does a printer and yellow highlighter remain your best friend?

Clue us in to your best organizational secrets (tell us in the comments or email me directly), and check back next week to see how others are becoming online learning ninjas…

Photo credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy via photopin CC BY-SA 2.0

4 thoughts on “Ninja skills: how do you manage your online learning?

  1. March 14, 2013

    Kevin Larsen Reply

    I have 2 notebooks, one that’s black and beat up with the binder broken, kind of like that one in the picture. I go through the entire Open Yale Course or MIT OpenCourseWare course, write down all the required readings, books, articles, everything, then I check if it’s in the local library, local community college library, how much it is used on Amazon.com. I put it as an Amazon.com Wish List, and mark how much the course costs in books that aren’t at the library. I then write a whole curriculum for a subject and list what courses I have available including the price.

    Your ePortfolio and having all the courses on one website helps very much, though I find that the Ivy League quality of the other sites makes me substitute them instead, even with the extra work involved.

    • March 18, 2013

      Marissa Citro Reply

      @Kevin Larsen: Thank you for the food for thought. It’s interesting that both you and Cristina use pen & paper notebooks as part of your skills/methods. Look to hear more from us about this on Wednesday! :)

  2. March 17, 2013

    Cristina Silva Reply

    I take notes of all the courses I do on two notebooks. One is my draught one, which is a total mess and covers whole units in the order I do the readings and lectures. The other one, is the nice one that has all the information but looking pretty. Usually I will rearrange and reorganize the unit order to suit my own understanding.

    Sometimes I use my desktop PC to access courses, though most often than not I will use my iPad for the added portability, even though I’m very much house-bound lately.

    If a course is on iTunes U, then I will access it there because it’s very easy to keep track of where I am and downloading the resources.

    Other than that. I use the YouTube app if I have wifi access, if on 3G, I’ll swap to the website so I get better quality. I use Adobe Reader for pdfs as I can highlight and write notes with it, and transfer to my notes later. If the resource is a website, then I’ll copy and paste it in a note-taking app, like Evernote or Moleskin, and summarize from there.

    • March 18, 2013

      Marissa Citro Reply

      @Cristina Silva: Thank you for letting us know about your ninja skills in online learning. Look out for more on this on Wednesday. :-)

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