8 Ways to Expand Your Knowledge in the 21st Century
Knowledge is the most valuable resource of our generation. It erases borders, allows starting a career in any field, and makes your life meaningful and diverse. And there is no need to get a university degree or work for several years in an entry-level position.
A smartphone and laptop are a source of unlimited information which is available to each and every one. With their help, you can read books and watch movies, learn foreign languages, and master a new occupation. In this article, we will tell you how to get new knowledge with the help of recent technologies and the Internet.
Table of Contents
1. Research and practice
The first and probably the most effective way to broaden your horizons and gain knowledge is researching. And with the help of the Internet, it is as easy as shelling pears.
Since elementary school, we are taught research skills that can greatly help not only during college but adult life as well. Instead of simply reading textbooks, you should dive deeper into the subject, collect information from several credible sources, and compare them using different analytical instruments. To sharpen the skill, you can start with the books everyone should read and then switch to industry-related ones. Don’t forget that perfect makes practice, so when you find new information, apply it to real-life conditions.
2. Listen to free podcasts and webinars
Some people believe that it is difficult to expand knowledge when you are busy with studies or work. However, there are many ways you can do it while walking in the park, driving to the office, or getting ready for sleep. For example, 10-30-minute podcasts on Tunein, iHeart, BBC Sounds, or Google Podcasts provide you with valuable information on thousands of topics. And you can boost your skills anywhere you are!
Webinars, videos with experts on a certain topic, are also a great source of knowledge if you need to master a narrow issue quickly and effectively. There are both free and paid webinars for any background and experience level.
3. Participate in workshops and masterclasses
If you are not ready to spend lots of time and money on expensive courses and tutors, pay attention to master classes. As a rule, they are held in local schools and colleges, libraries, and training centres. You can also choose from thousands of workshops on the Internet, so there is no need to go anywhere.
Usually, the participation fee is very low or absent. You get a chance to learn something new and network with same-minded people. We recommend you record streaming videos and keep the files for the future. This tip is especially useful if you attend a master class with huge volumes of information.
4. Find an online tutor
The best way to gain and consolidate knowledge is to study the subject one-on-one with a tutor. There are lots of online learning platforms where you can find a teacher for mastering a foreign language, economics and finances, oratory, and even musical instruments. Thanks to search filters, you can pick the most suitable tutor by age, experience level, native language, price, and reviews.
5. Take online courses
Nowadays, more and more students choose online courses and degrees over traditional education. Millions of them already study engineering, psychology, and other demanding fields from all corners of the world without a need to relocate and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can even enter an online business school for free! For example, the Small Business Administration is covered by the US government and helps new entrepreneurs to grow and evolve.
You can also master subjects on various free and paid websites. The best online learning platforms at the moment are Coursera, edX, Udemy, Lynda, and Udacity.
6. Use study materials
Quite often, even the top online courses can’t give you the necessary amount of information and you need to search for it elsewhere. Fortunately, the Internet has it all including worksheets, flashcards, and online databases on any imaginable topic.
Online study materials come in all shapes and sizes: digital workbooks and textbooks, video and audio guidelines, how-to articles, and applications. With their help, you can master a foreign language, understand how Archimedes’ law works, and even learn how to ride a bicycle. And the best part is that such materials are often free from any charges and you have unlimited access to them.
7. Exchange experience and knowledge
Undeniably, the Internet is a great source of information. But it is also a perfect place to get familiar with people from all corners of the world. Through social media, professional websites, and thematic forums you can gain knowledge and make friends without a need to go anywhere.
There are lots of apps where you can find people to learn a foreign language and get familiar with different cultures. You can also join Telegram groups where users exchange messages, pictures, and video/audio files on a huge variety of topics.
8. Learn from mistakes
To boost knowledge and master new skills, you should not only be curious, open-minded, and proactive but ready for mistakes as well. All of us try to avoid them but only those who don’t try never fail. Celebrate your failures and remember that they are a part of the journey. They lead to improvement and can be great teachers.
Don’t spend too much on overthinking the mistake and pondering on “what if”. Instead, take notes and make sure not to make the same mistakes in the future. Luckily, there are lots of online articles and videos where people share their failures and help you avoid similar problems.
Every moment of our lives is filled with opportunities to gain new skills and knowledge. Whether you are exploring local traditions on vacations or helping your mom with cooking a new dish. And with the help of technologies all these skills can be gained quickly and trouble-free. The only thing to remember is that not every source on the Internet is credible. Thus, you should always fact-check the information and stick to reliable websites.