Spreeder CX can import and accurately convert files with the following extensions.
Now you can speed read content from 46 file types!

  • abw
  • doc
  • docx
  • html
  • lwp
  • md
  • odt
  • pages
  • pages.zip
  • pdf
  • rst
  • rtf
  • sdw
  • tex
  • wpd
  • wps
  • zabw
  • cbc
  • cbr
  • cbz
  • chm
  • epub
  • fb2
  • htm
  • htmlz
  • lit
  • lrf
  • mobi
  • pdb
  • pml
  • prc
  • rb
  • snb
  • tcr
  • txtz
  • key
  • key.zip
  • odp
  • pps
  • ppsx
  • ppt
  • pptm
  • pptx
  • ps
  • sda
  • txt
Open
Continue
Open
Continue

The Blog

Technology Is Inversely Proportional To Society

4­year­old children are efficient tablet users before their reading skills are even fully developed. Pen and paper correspondence is becoming obsolete. Is today’s society ready for technology’s dominion over all aspects of our lives?

Being human is defined these days not so much by our biology as by technology and how technology is gradually becoming a part of us, just as our eyes and hands are part of us. For example, take the technological “prosthetic device” most of us have attached to our hand constantly: the smartphone. It’s with you everywhere, even in the most intimate of moments. It’s an incredibly useful tool, but it also satisfies your craving for connection, providing the reassurance of being present in the ever-growing and constantly changing online community, calming your fears of missing out on the next big news item broadcast on Twitter. But is technology inversely proportional to society? Have we lost the race over who controls who?

Technology might be advancing faster than we care to admit or have the perception to realize, but this doesn’t mean it’s bad for society. Today more than ever, technology is changing education, making it decidedly affordable, democratic, and fun. From vocabulary improving software to speed reading improvement mobile apps, technology has never been a more faithful servant in the cause of advancing education.

With technology and its tools now affordable for and accessible by more and more people, society can finally take steps towards achieving a more fair and democratic status quo. People who otherwise couldn’t get into college can now enroll in one of the thousands of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that universities from around the world offer. Fifteen years ago you had a 6­digit debt by the time you finished a four­year undergraduate program. Today you can enroll in undergraduate courses free or for a fraction of the cost.

To consider technology as evil and the onset of the loss of human agency is to ignore the numerous ways technology helps us on a daily basis. It boosts our productivity, hones our skills, and helps us become better in small and large ways. These modern tools take learning out of the classroom and let us take new knowledge everywhere. They allow us to read on an e-­reader while on the subway, or practice our spelling skills on a spelling bee app while waiting for the bus to school. Technology is what we make of it. It’s not all bad, but it’s not all good either. It takes responsibility and conscious decisions to use technology to benefit yourself in particular, and society more generally, but no one can deny the potential for today’s technology ­ and tomorrow’s innovations – to promote learning and education.

Home-Based Businesses That Are Always In Season

Technology and the Internet have made home-based businesses a tangible reality for many stay-at-home mums. If the cut-throat corporate world doesn’t quite fit with your personality and sensibilities, you can create your own job opportunities from home.

Whether it’s a home-based start-up catering business, or a freelance typing job, there are currently plenty of options to choose from.

Call Center Agent

The requirements are usually limited but generally include verbal fluency, a headset, and a quiet home office or room. The working hours are flexible and pay can be weekly or monthly. Also, the pay can be either per hour or per talk minute depending on your contract.

Typist/Transcriptionist

A typing business is a surefire start when it comes to building any home-based business. Skills required are good English skills, typing accuracy and speed, sound research skills, and experience if the transcription project is technical (e.g. medical, financial).

Writer/Editor

Why not put your exceptional English language skills to good use? Freelance and telecommute jobs for technical writers, resume writers and other writing niches abound. The more specialized your knowledge is on a specific issue, the higher the pay.

Over the last decade or so, the Internet has been creating a parallel world and an unprecedentedly vast discourse in virtually every industry, so it’s rather easy to help small businesses jump on the Internet bandwagon and increase visibility and sales.

Blogger/Freelance Professional

Blogging is another home-based option that’s still a robust trend in the home-run business industry. Let the world know of your passion, skill or talent through a blog or website. If your talent or skills are worthwhile, before you know it companies and other bloggers will be asking you to guest blog at their blogs or give you opportunities to financially take advantage of your expertise either through advertising or other marketing opportunities.

Web designers, web programmers, graphic designers, and translators are but a few of the skilled professionals who are putting their skills and expertise in good use by starting their own home-based business collaborating with small businesses, institutions and other organizations.

Tutor/Teach

Whether you’re a teacher of English as a Second Language, a Math instructor with a PhD, or a Yoga trainer, you can use your hobbies, knowledge and education to make money from home.

Advertise your services in a blog or a job board online, detailing your expertise, experience and other technical aspects such as the learning medium you use (online, face to face), the class location (your home, a public park) and so on.

Virtual Assistant

Another service you can offer to other businesses is becoming a virtual assistant, taking over a wide range of administrative tasks including handling correspondence and calls, updating business social media and website content, managing appointments, and data entry.

Creative Services Business

Art, photography, catering, vintage e-stores, crafts, and “green” products are ways you can earn extra money without leaving the comfort of your home. Utilize a talent or art you’ve learned by promoting it through an e-commerce site, or a third party promotional marketplace.

These are time-tested home-based business ideas that you can consider for yourself, and they can allow you to earn a substantial monthly income. Perseverance, willingness to improve and professionalism are the three aspects of home-based businesses that will get you to a competitive, high-quality service level.

How Twitter Can Help Make You A Better Person And A Successful Professional

Twitter has astonishing potential that most of us never even think about. Used correctly, it can be your tool for growing into a better person. When you take advantage of its networking potential, it can contribute in advancing your career, too.

Friendly, Democratic, Interaction-Based Model Of Communication

Twitter lets you initiate or participate in trending discussions. What’s extraordinary about Twitter is that everyone can equally participate in a discussion and get back an assortment of different perspectives and interpretations on any given matter.

This plurality of voices is a crucial aspect of self-development. By exposing you to different views, including those that are often contradictory to your own opinions, these exchanges nurture your empathy and cultivate your tolerance. This is a type of emotional intelligence we often overlook.

Critical Thinking And Learning

Twitter is used for sharing what’s considered “share-worthy” – whether “worthy” means funny, inspirational, educational, or relevant. By following experts, self-improvement professionals and anyone else you admire or find helpful, the items that appear on Twitter will give you instant access to worthwhile resources for advancing your professional life and enhancing your personal one.

For instance, if you wish to learn HTML you can follow on Twitter professionals in the field to find your way to the best HTML classes and online courses and get recommendations on the best course of action. You can use Twitter to access virtually any type of learning, no matter if that’s a skill, a language, or an art.

Inspiration, Motivation, Support

Self-growth and goal realization requires a constant flow of inspiration, positivity, and support. Twitter is a potentially unlimited venue of pick-me-up resources. Follow a personal growth coach, a successful entrepreneur in the industry of your interest, anyone who already has what you’re after. They will offer you valuable insights and advice on how you can make your own dream come true.

Expand Your Learning Network

Why limit yourself to the friends, colleagues, family and extended network of acquaintances, when Twitter can offer you a chance to connect with experts and individuals who’ve made it to the top in their field?

Use Twitter to reach people you’d probably never meet in person. Ask them questions and benefit from a chat with them. Learn about their success habits and see how their wisdom can help you avoid certain risks, make smarter moves, and ultimately achieve your goals.

Develop Self-Awareness

Social media can become a tool we abuse in order to satisfy our needs for acknowledgment and applause. With Twitter, however you can concentrate on inspection and introspection, and re-focus.

Participating in Twitter chats lets you direct your gaze to things other than your immediate reality, it pushes you to challenge your views. It offers you the opportunity to critically evaluate your mindset, life approach and success plans through the simple action of hearing out what others say and believe.

Be The First To Know

The compactness and minimalism of Twitter makes it easier to be on top of new developments in the issues that concern you. Twitter is a must-use tool for announcing new releases, events, and even educational courses. With Twitter you’re the first to know about the latest approach to achieving a strong sense of self-worth or how to become more assertive professionally without putting off people.

Contribute

Most people tend to jump right into asserting their own expertise, be it a skill or profession. It’s best that you first test the scene and get something out of it, before starting to use it to teach, learn and influence others.

Use Twitter to promote your own blog or work, to show off your skills and talents and share your experiences of trying to attain professional and personal fulfillment.

People are more likely to engage with you if you are actively interested in sharing, discussing and creatively addressing issues that concern them. This will help you substantially in your efforts to become a better person and a professional.

Twitter can be your go-to social media platform for tips, techniques and insights as to how to achieve professional and personal development. No other social media platform offers such a level of instant, direct connection. Twitter, more than any other social media network, offers a greater chance of having your questions answered.

How Asking The Right Questions Transformed My Self-Esteem

It’s there, the elephant in the room that you have to face eventually. You have to stand up and acknowledge that your self-esteem is low and find ways to improve it in a sustainable and beneficial manner.

Looking back, I realize that for me the solution was a matter of asking the right questions; finding the courage to face my fears, I gave voice to those questions that have long been haunting me.

I’ve found that in order to let yourself grow and allow your self-confidence to increase, you need to become your own best friend; to encourage growth and motivate yourself, to help generate new ideas, and support yourself in your own journey of achieving a healthy, increased self-esteem.

Responsibility

One of the questions I found hardest to verbalize and answer was this:

Why am I letting my low self-esteem control my life?

You see, when we don’t believe we have worth or power, it’s easy to brush off any personal responsibility and ignore – or avoid – thinking about we are capable of doing to change it. We refuse to assume responsibility over our lives, making up excuses, saying that “this is how things are” for us. We say to ourselves we don’t have the talent or skill to take that promotion, or don’t deserve better pay. We self-impose a limited control over what we can do in life, condemning ourselves to a mediocre, unfulfilling life.

This question helped me understand that limited self-responsibility is very convenient; you live in a no-risk, bulletproof reality where you absolve yourself from all responsibility and refuse any type of change, growth and challenge.

I realized this wasn’t sustainable, and that my so-called limited self-responsibility was an artifact I created to hide behind so that I wouldn’t have to face facts.

To turn this around, I looked for situations where I would normally, out of habit, not participate. In the past, I would generally exempt myself from putting myself forward, whether that was giving a presentation at a meeting, or speaking up against an injustice. Once I really looked at the reasons why I’d avoided those situations in the past, I started seeing things differently.

Once I started looking at things from a perspective of responsibility, those things would immediately become personal. By making things personal, by bringing in the moral factor, and by connecting my life to the event, I was capable of overcoming my need to hide away.

So for instance, when I was feeling unsure about speaking to my supervisor about my work not being duly appreciated, I would stop and say to myself that it’s my responsibility to do so. My self-esteem might be telling me I don’t deserve this acknowledgment, but self-responsibility was telling me that it was my right to have my efforts appreciated. Gradually I adopted a mindset of assertiveness and increased self-respect.

Comparisons and Self-worth

Once I became aware of how my low self-esteem was a trick to get me out of situations that made me uneasy, or preventing me from going after things I needed in my life (asking for a raise, being more confident of my skills), then the next question became clear:

How should I measure my self-worth?

The answer was simple. I had to see others as a source for inspiration and motivation, rather than using them only in ruthless, self-destructive comparison to myself.

Previously I was only comparing myself to others to remind me of how much better, prettier, richer (and on and on) I saw those others to be. It needs time and mindful effort to consciously believe you’re as capable, worthy and strong as those you’re comparing yourself to.

The secret to achieving this was realizing that people with self-worth had something I was refusing to take: risk. The assertive, confident risk-taking approach to life that I’d started exploring when answering my first question.

I realized that the people I admired had a healthy sense of self-love and self-esteem because they believed they were worthy of it. People with high self-esteem believe they deserve to have opportunities in life and so they aggressively seek them out. In my case, I had the habit of thinking that I didn’t deserve much of anything. My lack of self-worth told me I shouldn’t be allowed the same opportunities that those people with real value and skill were given. I wasn’t seeing opportunities at all.

Again, this was a self-imposed illusion that I created to make it easier for me to accept my current situation as an unchangeable fact.

When I focused on change, I choose to surround myself with people who would support and acknowledge my worth. Even more important, I decided to completely avoid anyone that I knew – whether that was a co-worker, a friend, or even a family member – who seemed to have the habit of trying to make themselves feel better by belittling me. I also made a conscious effort to accept that, without even changing a thing, I was worthy of that support, worthy of love, worthy of success. I forbade myself to compare my achievements and skills to those of other people. I only let myself be inspired by them, not intimidated.

Gradually this nurturing environment has helped me gain little bits of self-worth that gradually became stronger and more assertive. The journey to building a strong self-esteem is open-ended, there will always be more room for growth and change for the better, and I am ready to answer any other questions that come my way in a positive and life-affirming manner.

How Early Should We Make Children Aware of Their Potential?

Are we putting too much pressure on the younger generation, forcing them to learn too many things in too little time? Should education become less intensive and more intuitive? How young is too young for making children aware of the responsibility for realizing their potential?

Letting Children Realize Their Potential on Their Own Time

It’s unhealthy to push children to start working towards life and professional success at a tender age. We ought to let our children play just as we had the opportunity to. Children are children, and they need play and fun, just as they need the experiences and lessons that come from the interactions they have with others in their age group, whether that’s getting (or giving) comfort for a skinned leg, becoming a leader (or an outcast), or inviting new schoolmates to join the group.

That being said, by letting children be children you help them cultivate — even unknowingly — social skills necessary for their growing up and advancement. What’s more, letting children savor their childhood enables them to become conscious of their potential on their own time. A child will come to understand he has leadership skills, when every single friend he has follows him and copies his actions, for instance.

Gradually Introducing Essential Skills to Make It A Bit Easier For Them

The most efficient way for letting children become aware of their potential is to indirectly equip them with skills, knowledge and tools they can use towards that end.

Don’t directly tell them “You’d be a good ____, you know.” Let them discover on their own what they can be in life and what they enjoy. You might think you know best, but your guess might be wrong, and you’re putting too much pressure on a child when you try to dictate their future.

Encourage Potential Discovery

So, instead of pinpointing what they should do, why not encourage them to discover it themselves? Urge them for instance to take part in a school spelling bee contest, or in the swimming club competition. This way you give them ample time and support to discover their call.

Ultimately, there’s no particular age for starting to make children aware of their potential. This is an ongoing process that can begin as young as 2 years old if you use the indirect, encouraging manner just described.

Remember to praise your child every step along the way too. Praise their efforts, even if these didn’t turn out to be sufficient. Praising them inspires them to become better spellers or swimmers, even if they seem to be terribly bad at it at first. In the end, the child will – in their own time – start to understand their potential and once they do, this is where you come in, supporting and guiding them through the hard work it takes to realize that potential.

Getting Access To Library Materials Today Is Easy As 1-2-3

Ever since the 1990s it’s been the case that people have less and less need to head straight for the local library to find references to use for a school report. Resources at home were usually sketchy before that time – if you were lucky enough you would have a 20+ volume encyclopedia you could browse through and find relevant but somewhat dated information. However, even the libraries had their limits, and information wasn’t always at the tips of your fingers.

Things have drastically changed today. Our access to quality information is more widespread, instant and effortless today. All we need to do is search for information online. Be it a book, video, DVD or audiobook, any type of information product can be retrieved and accessed through online libraries.

WorldCat.org

This website lets you search for titles in a number of libraries worldwide and offers you access to them online. It also has a feature for recommending nearby libraries that have the title you’re looking for. The website collaborates with a worldwide library network to ensure there are enough resources for whatever a person is looking for.

Something like the Google of libraries, WorldCat provides resources (some free, others requiring library subscription/membership) to about 71,000 libraries in more than 100 countries. WorldCat provides easy and quick access to valuable information, sparing you the need to visit local libraries.

Everybody’s Libraries

Everybody’s Libraries is a blog run by John Mark Ockerbloom, digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. Ockerbloom is also the developer of an online book catalogue which indexes over 1 million books available free online.

The rationale behind Everybody’s Libraries and the Online Books Page is that books and information should be easy to access online, as well as free of charge. Information access in the 21st century is gradually becoming a streamlined process that’s decidedly democratic. These two online book indexing services allow us to easily gain access to knowledge reliably, quickly, and electronically.

Libraries are no longer independent hubs of information, because the Internet makes it possible for these knowledge banks to connect with each other and form an infinite network of information people can access to educate themselves.

15 Facts About English You Should Know

English is an extraordinary language. Its history and growth, its little secrets, and its idiosyncrasies all make up a magnificent structure people love to love. Did you know any of these facts about English?

  1. English is the language with the richest and widest-ranging vocabulary. The Oxford English Dictionary numbers over 500,000 words and when regional and technical vocabulary sets are also considered, English vocabulary can boast of over a million distinct words.

  2. English is the most widely spoken language on Earth. About 375 million people have English as their mother tongue while about 750 million speak English as a second language. Others estimate the English speaking population at well over 2 billion.

  3. Every English syllable has a vowel, but not necessarily a consonant.

  4. The consonant with the most English words using it as the initial letter is the letter S.

  5. One in four people is capable of speaking English with a satisfactory competence level. Wherever you might be in the world there’s a 25% chance you will find someone you can easily communicate in English with!

  6. The letter cluster “ough” has many different English pronunciations. Can you pronounce these correctly? Dough, rough, plough, thoughtful, slough, through, coughed.

  7. There are only four widely used English words ending in –dous: hazardous, tremendous, horrendous, and stupendous. Technical and less commonly-used words exist, however, such as apodous and phyllocladous.

  8. The world of the Internet is primarily built and conducted in English. It’s the language most Internet users use online.

  9. Half the scientific publications and journals are in English which makes it easier for English speaking professionals to access the latest research.

  10. If you’re spelling out number words in English, you will have to spell a number above 99 to use a word that’s spelled with an ‘a’!

  11. There’s a reason why English is notorious for its pronunciation, and it’s aptly illustrated by this sentence: I deserted my dessert in the middle of the desert.

  12. Eggplants have no eggs and hamburgers contain no ham, and if you’ve ever tasted pineapple, it tastes nothing like either pine or apple! However, English is a creative and illustrative language.

  13. Shakespeare often invented words in order to capture the concepts he wished to describe. He came up with these words, among others: compromise, champion, lackluster, gust and dwindle.

  14. The English language is officially getting larger by about 4,000 words each year, based on the amount of words officially added to dictionaries annually.

  15. “Crutch words” are words we turn to when we need to fill in time when thinking, and they’re not the best aspect of English vocabulary. These words include basically, seriously, honestly, actually and the most-loathed of all, like. Improve your communication by minimizing these words in your everyday conversations!

Slow Down For Better Productivity

Sometimes, fast-paced lifestyles don’t cut it. You’d think that reading, eating and working faster would catapult your productivity into a new level of efficiency, but the truth is  that such an energy-depleting way of living can lead to burnout instead.

There’s only so much stress and pressure one person can handle. While power drinks and coffee might offer you that desperately needed push, sometimes to be productive you must slow down. Yes, I said slow down.

Before you dismiss my proposal as impossible, hear me out. It might sound ironic but it’s true; we’ve been trained to think that the faster we engage with tasks the better our results. But this is only partially true. If what we’re after is long-term, sustainable productivity then the key is to slow down a bit. With less stress burdening your shoulders you boost your clarity and efficiency, ultimately allowing yourself to be more productive.

Thanks, but no thanks

It’s important to turn down extra projects, overtime work, and anything else that puts extra strain on your already packed schedule. If people come to know you as the “yes, of course I will” person, then you will soon find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of tasks and responsibilities constantly deluging you, and you’ll find it increasingly harder to say “no.”

Saying “sorry, no” reminds people of your own humanity and limitations, and its nurtures others’ respect for you. Fewer responsibilities mean less workload, which then equals better productivity. Simple math here.

It’s all in the present moment

To manage to be productive even at a slowed-down pace requires that you practice mindfulness. Stop worrying over others’ future expectations and opinions of you. Rather, focus on what you need and should accomplish right now.

You can do this by focusing in the present moment. Forget the bigger picture and just be at peace with what you didn’t manage to do (your past) and what you should do (your future). This way you are mindful of what you’re capable of achieving right this moment.

This realization is what will boost your productivity, even if you are working in what it seems to be ridiculously slow-motion.

Sleep, what’s that?

It shouldn’t be optional, period. Sleep has been found to be more important than exercise and its essential role in your well-being is unquestionable. Sleep helps you better control your diet and food intake, while sleep deprivation makes you prone to mistakes and less resistant to fatty and sugary snacks.

With more sleep, you will achieve a consistent and enhanced brain functionality, increase your alertness, and overall perform better with less effort. No project, event or circumstance is more important than sleep.

Our society fosters fast-paced lifestyles; we’re expected to speed read, touch type at 150 wpm, and constantly multi-task so that we can fit everything we need to do into a tight 24 hour time frame. While this increased speed can improve our productivity in the short term, slowing down is important for both our well-being and work performance.  Having overwhelming schedules is not obligatory. It’s an option, and a choice we make each day.

You can change this by being more mindful of your daily routines, focusing more on your health and well-being by resting, turning down more responsibilities, getting enough sleep, and just slowing down from time to time, to recuperate.

Words For Better Negotiations

How can you find exactly the right words that will close a deal? What kind of words and phrases are key for negotiating? The art of negotiation is 50% confidence and 50% in how you frame your opinions, assertions, and complaints. The following key phrases and words can help you become an efficient negotiator and get everything you want out of the deals you make.

I’m listening

Would you even bother wasting your time with someone who doesn’t even care enough to listen to your own views? Probably not.

The first and most critical step for getting on the right foot with your fellow negotiator is to actively listen. Reassuring phrases such as “I see what you mean,” “You’re right,” and “That’s a good point actually,” tells the other person that you respect them enough to actively engage with them during their interpretation of a situation.

You can win the other person over simply by making them feel respected and listened to. Yes, it’s that easy – and sometimes that’s all it takes to conclude a successful negotiation. Extra Tip: Don’t assume you know what someone’s about to say. People find it annoying when someone else constantly jumps in to end their sentences for them. While occasionally this might show how much you empathize with and focus on what is being said, you might come across as a know-it-all, and nobody likes that sort of person.

It’s not you, it’s me: Offering the right perspective

Another important thing to consider when negotiating, whether it’s with your 3-year-old child or your manager, is adopting the right perspective. You don’t have to sacrifice your assertiveness and dynamism to achieve a good deal. What you need to do is not offend the other person, or make them feel uncomfortable or frustrated. That’s easy to say, but you might ask yourself how to achieve this. It’s actually easy to do, as well: simply say what you believe, feel, or think rather than talking about what the other person has said or done. By shifting the focus to your perspective, you are essentially making it easier from them to accept your assertions, because you remove any implication of blame. Therefore, the statement “I feel this is not what we had in mind” is much more effective and less offending than “You don’t understand what we are after, I’m afraid.”

The first introduces disagreement in a mild and indirect manner, with the sense that you feel it might have been your own explanations and descriptions that led to the misunderstanding. On the other hand, the second is full-on negative and slightly harsh, essentially telling the other person that they’re just not smart enough to figure it out.

Don’t ever assume you know what the person in front of you is thinking. To make assumptions is to risk losing that person’s attention and respect. Focus on “I” statements and steer away from speaking about what you think they think, want, or have.

Show Empathy

You have better chances at winning a negotiation if you show empathy. People are naturally defensive during a negotiation so managing to make them feel less threatened will win you some ground. Find something you have in common. This could be anything: you’re both young women, you’re both parents, you work in the same field, you like the same style of art, you just read the same best-seller … pointing out the similarities between you makes it easier for you to mold the other person’s opinion towards a direction that benefits you. Show your empathy with phrases such as these:

“I understand (where you’re coming from).”

“I feel the same way about (the situation, the problem, that point).”

“I would be (happy, upset, curious, disbelieving) in that case too, you know.”

Using these key phrases and being willing to listen attentively will increase your chances of achieving the deal you’re after.

If You Want to Learn Something New, You Need To Experience It

Experience fosters learning. No matter how much you may wish you could download skills and knowledge into your brain, the only foolproof way of mastering anything in life is through experience. And by experience, we mean “trial and error.”

Virtually any skill – speed reading, touch typing, walking, speaking a foreign language – requires substantial amounts of time invested in practicing. During a 1957 press conference, William Faulkner was asked for his advice to young, aspiring writers. This was his reply:

At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that — the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, train himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance.

On a similar vein, Aristotle asserted the same principle of experiential learning, hundreds of years before Faulkner:

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.

This is the basic premise that underlines experiential learning (learning from experience). We don’t first learn something and then do it, rather we learn it by doing it. In other words, practice precedes learning and experience is a prerequisite for mastery. You cannot expect to speed read just by reading a book about speed reading, but the moment you experience and practice that skill you become a speed reader.

Experiential education is what allows a person to fully immerse themselves in the learning of a skill or capacity, and it’s what produces the most impressive learning results. According to psychologist David Kolb, knowledge is the product of experience. When a person is having a concrete experience, for example when they’re learning touch typing, this physical experience is what will allow the beginning typist to mentally reflect on their performance and produce their own interpretation of the process. With these abstract interpretations of the learning experience the typist is then back in the physical realm, actively testing out their assertions; this cycle is what ultimately results in learning to touch type. We repeat this process of practice, reflection, concept formation, and re-testing until learning takes place.

This approach to learning, like all others, of course has its flaws. Many people point out this theory’s inability to explain how people also learn without reflecting on the learning process. A common example is the fact that a person can learn how to tie their shoelaces through repetition, rather than reflecting on the process.

Nonetheless, the reflective aspect of experiential learning has a wide range of benefits and functions. With experiential learning, for example, we increase our self-esteem because we succeed in teaching ourselves something new by actively applying the new knowledge. This process is rewarding and gives a big boost to self-confidence because it has tangible results the learner can immediately recognize.

Theory turns into knowledge when we’re allowed to participate in our learning in a mindful, receptive, and attentive manner. What’s more, experiential learning is what will offer us the confirmation that learning indeed took place, that we’ve mastered a new skill and we’re ready to advance it even further. Whenever you have the chance, choose to learn through experience and practice rather than in the abstract. The results will astonish you.