Learning How to Learn

Aug 25, 2013

My team has decided to use Sails.js for the first assignment. It is an MVC framework for Node.js that is pretty much like rails. It's time to learn a new framework/library again! And sadly, because it's a new framework, there isn't much documentation and tutorials for me to refer to. I learn best through doing and experimenting. As the saying goes: I see and I understand, I do and I remember. Getting my hands dirty and trying things out for myself is an important phase of learning something new.

Being involved in the rapidly evolving field of technology, one has to constantly upgrade oneself. Hence I think the most important skill is to learn how to learn anything, fast and well. I'm thankful that I teamed up with a strong team for the first assignment - Soedarsono, Viet Tien and Soon Chun Mun. They are extremely fast learners and talented programmers. We actually do a lot of pair programming and meet up very often to work on our Facebook app together. I have learnt quite a bit from them and hopefully they get to learn something from me too.

Tutorials start this week and it shall be my first time tutoring a class of CS1010S freshies. Prof Ben is an inspiration to many of his students and I also strive to be an inspiration to my student and spark their interest in Computer Science. In an email thread among the CS1010S tutors, we were discussing about our teaching approaches and about the neediness of the students; they were emailing Prof Ben and asking for help in debugging. I find it amusing because I personally have not done that before and this behavior is never seen in higher level modules. The goal of CS1010S is to rewire the students' brains to think computationally. A higher level goal will be to teach the students how to learn on their own, to Google their question whenever they meet a problem instead of relying on someone for an answer. It is hard to achieve that, but extremely important.