Learning is omnipresent these days at Siemens. It’s been made a strategic priority. And the e-learning options available at My Learning World are just right for working from home. Nearly 100,000 items are waiting there for you to discover. As a learner, sometimes I feel like a kid in a candy store.
Click anywhere, and a short film or video starts. About travel photography, how an electric motor works, or how you can understand others’ feelings better. Courses from the Harvard Business Review that usually involve a charge are available for free, along with trainings from other outside providers like LinkedIn Learning and Coursera. Colleagues from Siemens also provide content. The variety is amazing.
For no money, and with an almost endless diversity of topics, a whole new world of learning awaits you. And any debate about attending language courses, and their professional benefits, now seems to be a thing of the past. If you search for “Russian,” for instance, you get 169 options for getting to know more about that culture.
What attracted my attention was a cooking lesson from the chef at a site in Hamburg, working with the company doctor. Title: “Cooking with Siemens AG.” It reminded me of our friendly old cafeteria – back in the days when picking up a meal was still understood as a convenience and a way to spend time together, and not as an act of heroism. So I started the video in a state of longing. It promised a healthy dish that could be put together in the time it would take you to stand in line at a fast food joint. On the menu: Buddha Bowl with Garbanzos and Quinoa.
In spite of the set’s kitcheny atmosphere, or maybe because of it, I was getting hungry. And was still hungry after the barely 18-minute video was done. So off to the market. Now what else was on that shopping list besides avocados … my memory used to be better … so today I guess I’m in for another round of Turkish takeout after all. And there I am again, waiting meditatively in line at my favorite doner kebab stand, and I come to a conclusion …
Next time, I’ll give some thought in advance to what I want. What I want to learn, and also what I want to eat. Just surfing around at My Learning World will certainly give you an appetite, but won’t satisfy it – any more than watching a cooking lesson without actually cooking. Setting learning goals helps you focus and find the right priorities. In the end, learning just to have the information on file has never worked very well for me. And to really understand something, you need to put what you learned to work in everyday use.
Sure, it would be nice to cook more often and learn to cook better – but realistically, that’s a goal I need to put off for a while. And next time, maybe not just at a computer screen, but at a stove!
It used to be that I’d cruise quickly through the content of required web-based trainings and then pass the final after two or three tries. But today, e-learning doesn’t work that way for me anymore.
There’s never enough time to learn everything that’s on offer. And to prioritize right, it’s important to set my own personal learning target – what I want to learn and get done. A discussion with a supervisor or colleague may help out here.
I’m well aware that a day later, my brain will remember only 20% of what it learned. Other than that avocado, not much of the Buddha Bowl shopping list survived. Summarize, write things down, structure, repeat – those are the keys here.
And finally, our brains also like to link things up. With images, and with things we’ve already learned before. Think of the tip that half an avocado will last longer in the refrigerator if you leave the pit in place and sprinkle some lemon juice over it – that’s neatly anchored in an image, and certainly also a big help for your avocado toast the next morning.
So in the long run, not only will your hunger for knowledge be sated, but you’ll find digital learning more effective!