What am I up to

I’ve been studying, mostly studying how to study, something I need to do to continue with my degree, I passed my first module for last year, 76%, but I felt that I made it a lot harder for myself than I needed to, a lot more work, ie. written work, than was a requirement. I needed to learn the information, understand it and retain it in my head. So I’ve been refining and reflecting on what I did last year and coming up with a new strategy for this years study. I’m using the holidays to refine it and try things out that I hope will help make it easier, not in a I’m too lazy to work sort of way, but in a I can learn more and faster way, then I can increase the amount of stuff I learn rather than just get it done quickly. Lots more reflection each week and tweaking to make my learning beneficial.

Most of the new terms work will be maths stuff, algebra, complex numbers and the such. All looks daunting from my position now, but so did my last module back in July last year, so I assume it’s just me adding unnecessary stress to the situation.

I’ve been taking a course called “Succeed in Learning” at the Openlearn site, it has shown me that emotional conditions, distractions and other people’s opinions can have a massive impact on the way you learn. They suggest you keep a learning journal to discuss your emotional state and learning process with yourself so you can better understand how you learn. Everyone is different, everyone learns in different ways, and so I’m trying to find my optimum learning process.

Learning is for life, and is life, and you have to keep questioning things, yourself and the things you are trying to learn, taking time to reflect on what it was you hoped to get from your study for that day, week, month whatever. Learning is the process of gaining knowledge, not endless facts and memorising texts, but understanding what it is you are studying and being able to put it into your own words in a way that shows you yourself have understood the thing you have studied.

The maths I will be learning is not just about getting the correct answers it is just as much about how I got to those answers, and how I have understood the maths enough to explain the process I went through to get those answers. The maths is important, but the process is doubly important. You can solve equations, but there is little point in doing so if you have no idea why you are solving them and for what reason.

Ok, will go now. Talk again soon. Remember though, dreams can only come true if you act upon them, otherwise they are just thoughts in your head with very little substance.

Wrong one!

IMG_0353

Have 25 74HC595 devices, I originally thought, by not paying attention that they were IO extenders but they are in fact just OUTPUT extenders, will still be able to use them for something, have an idea for something to do with LED’s. As they are chainable I could have a lot of LED’s controlled from them, with 25 x 8 LED’s possible, would need some real power management though, lol.

I have now ordered some MCP23017 chips which give 16bit IO, using I2C, which will do what I wanted to do originally, also can chain up to 8 of them addressable. Though I only ordered 5, which should be enough for me for now.

Will punish myself later with a stick.

A new log

So today I started a new log, I’ve been keeping a journal since I was at school. I prefer the word to Diary, as Diary sounds like a stomach bug. Anyway, I decided recently to create a new log I call my development log, its a collection of my thoughts and ideas to do with the electronics, C++ programming, PHP, anything dev related. Just me thinking by fountain pen rather than keeping it all in my head, it should allow me to have more space for thinking new things, after clearing out the old stuff, will see in the coming months how that works out. I have lots of ideas as the day goes by, questions appear in my head, queries on things, and putting them down on paper will be useful, in the future and now, as I can read them back in years to come and maybe get fresh ideas from the old ideas, or finish something I thought of and never went anywhere with. It can only help I feel. No one else will understand it all I guess but its for me and me only, like no one has ever seen my personal journal.

I’m trying new things, trying to broaden my knowledge again, and to try to just do all those things I have question on, what would happen stuff, well want to know what would happen, try it and see, fail a few times, and learn from those mistakes and get better at it. Start practising what I preach, write it down, so I can go back and see what I did and try and understand why it failed. Something I should have most probably been doing all along, but sometimes I can be a bit slow to catch on, you know.