Distanced Learning - 2020's new paradigm

Distance Learning - it's here to stay...

Colleges, schools, parents - we all understand the simple yet inconvenient truth. It affects all students - rich or poor, young or old, from rural to urban. The new classroom format is at home...for better or worse.

Education is shifting to becoming digital, continuous, and largely self-driven.

Digital content will reinforce more screen-time.
In turn, we must seek more time outdoors to get un-plugged.
Quality education must now be both engaging and entertaining in TicTock-sized chunks.

In the ocean of digital noise and swipe-left, he who can gather their attention wins.

We must adapt or risk failing our children's future.
Not one semester, not one year, but one generation.

Finding the right teachers and patchwork of content is key to mixing that magic "spoonful of sugar" to keep kids learning.

Spend $15 for a Lesson from a Tennis Legend

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Andre Agassi Academy on Udemy

Topics: All Strokes and Mindset
Length: 10 chapters, 1 hour
Skill Level: Intermediate to advance.
Coach's Rating: A-

Pros: Love Agassi's lectures; great stories, clean format. Invaluable tips for the tournament players; Udemy certificate included; lifetime review

Cons: Limited angles, displayed using 1080p video. Students should be familiar with tennis basics and fundamentals before starting.

Serena Williams on MasterClass

Topics: Fundamentals and Technique
Length: 9 chapter lessons, 2 hours
Skill Level: Beginner to intermediate
Coach's Rating: B

Pros: Great Filming, lighting; In-depth narrative; Beginner-friendly

Cons: Focuses mainly on only one stroke - the serve. Fairly basic advice.
Student video critique and review period is over;

6 Truths of Education in the Post 2020 world:

  1. Learn Anywhere - Social Distance is baked-in. Crowded lecture halls become obsolete.

  2. Dynamic Pacing -  smarter kids can accel at a rapid pace, not held back;
    slower students are not discouraged for not keeping up. Lack of comparison and peer judgment.

  3. Asymmetric Sharing - One Teacher can now deliver personalized 1-on-1 lectures anywhere in the World at any time zone. Sal Khan of Khan Academy: "variable time, fixed outcomes".

  4. Better Visuals - Classic topics must be modernized for newer viewers and younger audiences.

  5. Tests as Games - Fun, friction-less, and adaptive; knowledge retention should be interwoven and skill-checks sprinkled generously. Participation and Practice are the keys for success.

  6. Digital Badges and Points: Showering rewards for not just the right answer but also for showing the proper reasoning to arrive at those conclusions.

Learn and Watch - Tennis Classes at Home

TopCourt Tennis
5 Tips for Studying Video

#1) Feel free to jump around!

It's Not compulsory to go linearly from Chapter 1 to Chapter 10 in order. Explore all topics briefly at least once. Skip ahead and come back later.

This is known as "Interleaved Practice" - Make it Stick: the science of successful learning

#2) Don't Binge!

Yes, this is not like trying to blast through 5 seasons of a sitcom in one weekend. It's not a race nor a time-limited food buffet to see how many dishes you can stack.

The goal is to understand this stuff and retain it.

  • Watch a few videos, then take a break to think about it. I prefer my 90-minute "sprints".
  • Share or explain what you learned to a peer, in your own words.
  • Sleep on it - let your subconscious review the lessons and ideas overnight before bed.

#3) Learning to Practice Balance Ratio

How to Study Smart is a great youtube video to watch for any student.

  • Learn one or two drills max.
  • Practice each drill at least twice, separately during the week.
  • Repeat in your own words the keys points first.
  • Go out with a parent, friend, or coach. Demonstrate what you witnessed.
  • When you teach someone else, you reinforce it. Always be a student of the game.

#4) Maximal Screen Time Efficiency - 3 views for every 1 clip

1st time viewing any video - Skim through and just get the overall idea.
2nd replay of the video - Write on paper the key points (in your own words)
3rd / final replay - answer these questions in your head:

  • What are the basic mechanics?
  • When do I use it in a match? When should I avoid it?
  • Identify one good habit to focus on. List one bad habit to avoid with this drill.
  • Why is it used? Explain its usefulness.
  • Where should you hit the ball? How close to the lines do I need to hit?
#5) Have Fun! Use it in a Game or Challenge Contest
Set some progression goals to level up and challenges with friends.

Level 1 - Make 3/10 in a target area, Level 2 - 6/10 in a target area, go for Level 3.
Keep it interesting and yet challenging enough to keep going.

These tips can apply to any online education platform.

Other MOOC's I would also highly recommend:
Udemy, Khan Academy, Lynda.com

Tech Advantages for Learning

  1. Freedom of Choice Kids now have so much more free unstructured, spare time.

    How we fill this "idle time" could determine their future more directly than ever before. Off-court or outside school, alternative education plays a much larger factor today.

  2. Speed control - option to skim through chapters at 1.5x speed in the background, or carefully study and replay the last 30 seconds of the key idea. Bookmark and Highlight with time markers.

  3. Recorded replays For both clarity and re-enforcement, each student should be an editor.

    Imagine assigned to create a movie trailer for each lecture of only the most important parts. Encourage replays and shares - like reading a great book, we get something new on the 2nd or even the 5th time. Discuss what was learned.

  4. Boundless Exploration - Gen Z consumes video and memes the way the internet sprawled at its infancy. Allow for an easy transition into related sub-topics fluidly without stopping.

  5. Breaking the Self-Inertia to Create Habits - Avoiding lazy idleness. Know it, Be it, Do it.  It's not just a Nike slogan anymore. Building routines around actionable knowledge is key.

    Procrastination is sinfully easy now; parents must be responsible gatekeepers. Learning now takes extra diligence at home to prevent their kids from automatically being lured away by all the other digital media vying for their attention.

Mastery requires trial and error

Sorry - the last I checked Elon Musk has not gotten all the Neural Link bugs worked out yet. So we are not jacking into the Matrix anytime soon. You have to get your hands and feet dirty.

Remember these words: "Don't tell me - show me, Neo."

You have to go out to the real world and prove it can be done. It may not need to start on a tennis court. But learning must start with shadowing and rehearsing, or it won't stick.

In all likelihood, with anything challenging, we will not get it the first time.
Most people should go back to review the video (or take it along with you on an iPad or Tablet). Go back and replay it while practicing to get the steps right.

As a pro tennis instructor, I find it takes several sessions for each lesson to get comfortable for a student. It takes another few to get competent. With continued practice, it may require months to gain true mastery. But it has to be incorporated into your regular cycle of drills.

Get comfortable repeating it a few more times before moving onto the next topic.

Overlap the Practices with Match Play

I recommend 10-20 minutes max per set of drills. It can be repeated after a break or a different drill.

Do not simply repeat to a point of exhaustion because your body will not want to repeat it the next day.
The mind must be fresh in order to avoid making sloppy bad habits and one should isolate each step.
Put it all together once all the pieces are in place.

Generally, it is wise to stop *before* you start making too many mistakes. Repeat later.

Amateurs practice until they get it right, and the professionals practice until they can't get it wrong. 
Watch the pros on TopCourt - each one practices their craft religiously. 
They understand to bring that one skill into a pro match, they must be able to reliably compete for a living with it on the Pro Tour.

New tennis exercises need to be combined with old ones.
Just like interval training, moving to a different station, and always returning later.
Over enough time, it will blend in with the rest of the routine and workout circuit.

Each short video only gives you a small nugget of knowledge.

The viewer should decide what to watch first, last, or skip altogether.
Not all video clips are created equal.
Not all teachers are created equal.

3 Successful Tips for Distance Learning

Watch selectively.

Practice religiously.

Learn passionately.

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