Learning Agility:

Learning agility: the most important skill for 21st Century success

Progressive educators have for decades  requoted ad nauseum the well known prophecy ( in 1970) of Alvin Toffler that “ The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” 

This was perhaps to challenge the exhortations of Francis Bacon “ Reading maketh a full man, writing maketh an exact man and conversation maketh a ready man”. 

In later times, arithmetic was added to make the 3Rs. 

In late 20th century, digital and computer literacy were added to the repertoire of a literate person. 

Having done nothing about it for so long we now have the George Orwellian spectre of  “A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses.”

It is time to wake up and develop learning agility ….

What is Learning Agility?

Learning Agility is the ability to continually and rapidly learn, unlearn, and relearn mental models and practices from a variety of experiences, people, and sources, and to apply that learning in new and changing contexts to achieve desired results. It is a mind-set and corresponding collection of practices that allow people to continually develop, grow, and utilize new strategies that will equip them for the increasingly complex problems they face in their organizations. 

We are well into the 3rd decade of the 21st century and it is a good time for self-reflection whether one is literate according to this criterion. Being digitally literate or learning AI at middle School alone may not be enough. 

Benjamin Franklin had said in the 18th century said “An investment in learning pays the best interest”. Fast forward to the present. 

The founders of the five largest companies in the world — Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Larry Page, and Jeff Bezos — all share two uncommon traits. Upon  studying closely the lives of self-made billionaires for many years now, it appears that these two traits are responsible for a lot of their wealth, success, impact, and fame.

Here are the two traits:

  • Each of them is a voracious learner.
  • Each of them is a polymath. 

Let’s unpack these two terms, and learn a few simple tips for using them in your own life.

First, the definitions. I define a voracious learner as someone who follows the 5 hour rule dedicating at least five hours per week to deliberate learning. I define a polymath as someone who becomes competent in at least three diverse domains and integrates them into a skill set that puts them in the top 1% of their field. If you model these two traits and you take them seriously, I believe they can have a huge impact on your life and really accelerate your success toward your goals. When you become a voracious learner, you compound the value of everything you’ve learned in the past. When you become a polymath, you develop the ability to combine skills, and you develop a unique skill set, which helps you develop a competitive advantage.

This is the link to the article from where I have extracted a part above: https://medium.com/accelerated-intelligence/the-founders-of-the-worlds-five-largest-companies-all-follow-the-5-hour-rule-and-they-re-9ca82e93f3fc

Drawing from the above 5 hour rule, I have created a suite of 12 weeklong courses on a range of topics which will supplement traditional academic credentials to be more successful in life. A good pragmatic approach may be to apply the Pareto principle of 80:20 to devote 80% of one’s time and resources to traditional academic qualifications and 20% to self-improvement and future readiness. The full list of weeklong, weekend, and other courses is available here itself at mmpant.com. It would take one between six months to one year to cover all the courses listed here. And by then one would have achieved the ‘escape velocity’ and become a self-directed lifelong learner. 

Of the various weeklong courses listed there, the one with code WLL03 is on Learning Agility. 

It is a 5 day WhatsApp learning experience: typically Monday to Friday. About one hour per day. The full program is of about 5 hours duration. It will be delivered in “ the augmented lecture” model, building upon the mechanics of flipped instruction and fast a-synchronous learning. The course material is shared in advance electronically as :

  • plain text
  • PDF files 
  • Images 
  • Videos
  • Audios

Then augmenting this is an (optional) WhatsApp ‘live’ session for a scheduled hour. During this time the course mentor ( Prof MM Pant) shares some resources ( with PowerPoint slides as a staple form) and posts several audio posts. During this live session, the queries raised by the learners, are responded to right there, if a short immediate response is feasible. All other queries are consolidated and responded to later, and posted as a consolidated document to the group. 

The flow of themes and topics is planned as follows. It may be tweaked during the  actual delivery of the program.

Day 1: The What and Why of learning agility?

Day 2: Learning how to learn ( and re-learn)

Day 3: Learning to Unlearn

Day 4: Learning to Ultra-learn 

Day 5: Your personal action plan

Detailed flow:

Day 1: The what and why of learning agility ?

1.1: What is learning agility?

1.2: What is the need for learning agility? 

1.3: The 5 dimensions of Learning Agility

1.4: Measuring learning agility

1.5: Cultivating Learning Agility

Day 2: Learning how to learn ( and re-learn) 

2.1: The criticality of learning how to learn

2.2: Becoming an autonomous learner

2.3: What is worth learning ( or re-learning)?

2.4: Learning with a mobile phone

2.5: Learning from MOOCs

Day 3: Learning to unlearn

3.1: Reinventing yourself 

3.2: Key concepts

3.3: Keeping an open mind 

3.4: Unlearning: How to do it?

3.5: Examples of unlearning what you learnt at School

Day 4: Learning to Ultralearn

4.1: What is Ultralearning ?

4.2: Future-proofing your career with Ultralearning 

4.3: The key elements of Ultralearning

4.4: Designing an Ultralearning project

4.5: Successfully executing the Ultralearning project

Day 5: Your personal action plan

5.1: Overcoming procrastination and becoming indistractable

5.2: Setting SMART goals 

5.3: The importance of diet

5.4: The importance of exercise/ physical fitness 

5.5: Grit : to execute your personal action plan

To know more about the program and further details of registration and fee payment you may send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724 or an e-mail at mmpant@gmail.com

About mmpant

Prof. M.M.Pant has a Ph.D in Computational Physics, along with a Professional Law Degree, and has been a practitioner in the fields of Law, IT enabled education and IT implementation. Drawing upon his experience in world class international institutions and having taught in various modes of Face-to-Face, Distance Learning and Technology Enhanced Training, Prof. Pant is now exploring the nature of institutions which will be successors to the IITs, which represented the 1960s, IIMs, which represented the 1970 and Open Universities which were the rage of 1980s & 90s. He believes that the convergence between various media and technologies would fundamentally alter the way learning would be created, packaged, and delivered to learners. His current activities are all directed toward actual implementation of these new age educational initiatives that transform education in the post Internet post WTO era.. Prof. Pant, has been a Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and has been on the faculty of IIT – Kanpur (the premier Engineering institution in India), MLNR Engineering College and Faculty & Visiting Professor - University of Western Ontario-Canada. He has been visiting scientist to research centers in Italy, England, Germany & Sweden and has delivered international lectures with about 80 papers published. During his association of almost 15 years with the IGNOU, Prof. Pant has served as the Director Computing and has been the Member of All Bodies (i.e. School boards, Academic council, Planning board, Finance committee and the Board of management). With his interest in Law, backed with practice of Law in a High Court, and his basic training in Science and IT, Prof. Pant has been particularly interested in the Cyber Law, Patent & trade mark issues, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues etc. and has been involved with many activities, conferences on “Law & IT” Prof. Pant is presently; • Advisor to Media Lab Asia - Chairman of working group on ICT for Education, chairman of PRSG handling projects on ICT for education. • Lead Consultant for an ADB funded project for ICT in Basic Education in Uzbekistan • Member of the drafting Group for India’s National Policy on ICT in education • Chairman of the group creating books for class 11 and 12 students on ‘Computers and Communication Technology’ appointed by the NCERT • Preparing a ‘Theme Paper” for the NCTE in the area of ICT and Teacher Training • Advisor and mentor to several leading Indian and Multi-national Companies in the area of education. Prof. Pant has in the recent past been ; • Member – Board of Management – I I T, Delhi for 6 years (two consecutive terms) • One-man committee to create the Project Report & Legislation for Delhi IT-enabled Open University • Advisor to the Delhi Government on Asian Network of Major Cities Project (ANMC-21) distance learning project in association with Tokyo Metropolitan Government. • Chairman Board of Studies, All India Management Association With his mission to create and implement new business opportunities in the area of e-learning & learning facilitation, Prof. Pant has promoted Planet EDU Pvt. Ltd., as its Founder & Chairman, along with a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals from Education & Training, Operations, IT and Finance.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply