The last three months have been extraordinary times for all people across the globe due to Covid19. However, during this time I have made efforts that I hope my future will thank me for. One of the main activities I have engaged myself in is taking short free online courses, and I am happy to share my experience with you.
Since we were introduced to the online learning platform- Future Learn- I have had the chance to study several interesting courses. Like most of us, my first course to take was Ideas For A Better World: Leading Change Through Policymaking. I found this course very relevant because of the great aspiration I have to bring a lasting solution to several issues I see in our Kenyan System of Education. To achieve this I have to approach it through policy making.
Through both the content presented by the educators and the discussions I engaged in with fellow learners, my mind was opened to the many possible avenues that I can follow in order to come up with good policies. Most importantly it taught me to think for myself in order to know what to do when and for what reason(s). Through this, I was able to answer many questions I had in my mind for a long time such as ‘whom should I involve when making my policy?’, ‘when should I start?’, ‘what qualifications ought I to have in order to influence national policies?’ among many more.
In addition to this course, I have also completed two more courses on Future Learn. These are Introduction to the Psychology of Learning (Monash University) and Becoming a Better Music Teacher (Associated Board for Royal Schools of Music). Both of these courses directly relate to my interest in the Field of Education. I have learned how people acquire different behaviour and how we can use different types of reinforcement to increase the likelihood of desirable behaviour and to suppress the unwanted ones. I also learned that ‘telling’ is not ‘teaching’. Sometimes, asking the right questions is a more effective way to make someone learn whatever you’re teaching them without necessarily ‘telling’ them.
Currently, I am taking a course in Teenage Psychology offered by the University of Reading on Future Learn. The other one is in Rhetoric offered by Harvard University, through which I am learning how to be a persuasive communicator both in writing and in speech. I believe this will be very instrumental in future.
I would like to encourage each of us to keep busy during this ‘lockdown time’. We currently have a lot of time and if well spent, can help us gain skills and knowledge in our different areas of interest. This will make us well equipped to face the future. Let’s always remember that whatever we learn today will always be taken with us and it can never be taken from us.