Being that this project is worth a substantial portion of the course I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to select as the focus for my online learning. I want to take you through my decision making process to show you how I came to choose my topic, and to help you get to know a little more about me.
First of all, when I started thinking about this project I knew that I wanted to do something that I would consider fun. This option is supposed to take 50-100 hours, which includes the time spent learning and sharing updates of my progress online. What is the point of trying to learn something online of my own free choice if I’m not interested in it? It would just make me resent having to work on the topic and update my progress, and having to do this thing weekly would become a much hated chore. That being said, I knew a lot about what I didn’t want to pick. I’m not interested in math, nor am I good with computers, so those are out the window. Then I also needed to pick something that would actually take 50 hours to learn and be able to notice considerable progress. There goes juggling and card tricks. I noticed that I was leaning towards picking a skill. Skills would be easier to document my previous knowledge and my progression. I looked at online courses under Coursera but I just didn’t feel like I would be able to do as much with that as a skill. Now I was stumped. My solution was to do a simple google search and hope something wonderful came up. It didn’t. Just to make my point, here is a link to a site that offered some areas of learning. http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/24-invaluable-skills-to-learn-for-free-online-this-year#.jmD85QzJ0 There was one option I momentarily thought about doing – learning more about the Microsoft Excel program. I don’t really know how to do very much with this program, and I did end up using it frequently for a class last semester, which meant I spent a lot of time getting assistance from my professor. This would be handy, but not exactly my idea of a fun way to spend 50+ hours. Next. Then there were a lot of ideas that were related to using computer programs or creating something online. Not my cup of tea. Learn how to knit? I’d love to, but my Grandma already taught me that years ago. Could I pretend I didn’t know how to do it and use this as an option anyways?…. I won’t lie, I thought about it. Then I noticed a lot of these ideas were targeted at becoming more efficient at a pre-existing skill, like tying your shoes more efficiently. Lord help us if we needed to google search “how to tie your shoes.” Still, there was no way any of these options would take 50 hours, no matter how many other online resources I consulted.
So now what? I still had to pick to do something, and I wouldn’t budge on the time factor or that I have to be interested in it. I started consulting friends for advice. One suggested that I do cooking. I said that wouldn’t really work because I already cook pretty well. Then it became more specific. Why don’t I try to cook a specific type of food? Ah-ha! Cooking is a hobby and interest of mine, and something that I need to do daily anyways. My interest was hooked. And if it was a type of food I could make it work with my time boundaries. SO… now what specifically? The first suggestion was a hit: Asian cuisine. There you have it folks. My online learning target will be about Asian cuisine. Look forward to tasty-looking photos (hopefully!) and videos to document my progress, as well as other helpful resources that I find online.