What is the Modegree?
"Modular Degree: Choose, Make, and Change Your Own Education!"
This is a system I created for myself in order to fulfill my desires to learn subjects that were not readily available in traditional learning systems. For other people your motivation may be financial, speed of learning, or even just that you can't learn in a schooling environment.
I realized that each and everyone of you may have your own style of learning, and I wanted to create a system that could be molded by you, FOR YOU.
Why should you go down the Self-Education Route?
For some people it isn't a choice, there is too much they want to learn, and not any way to do it officially. Take those who are more generalists, or even polymaths, and overall need a multi-disciplinary education.
Alternatively, maybe you are wanting to work in a field that is brand new, such as Smart City Development, as that was the case with me. Not to mention creating your own field if there is something you think needs to be done in the world.
As well as the simple fact of wanting to learn all of your life.
Why is it perhaps worse?
The main problem is that it isn't standardized yet, and even with the Modegree we would only be pioneering what systems could be created to make self-education look more good on paper. A majority of people go to college purely for the sake of that piece of paper, and you may get a LOT out of a self-education endeavor.
However unless you find a way to prove it, then to other people like employers it wouldn't seem like much.
Note: This is something I've been taking into account in many ways. For one you can start a personal brand documenting your journey through your Modegree, that is a powerful way of proving your knowledge (i.e. starting a blog or channel). Additionally, you can use crash.co or other modern job hunting sites to pitch yourself to a company with a video of you DOING the work, instead of just applying. There are other ways as well too to prove your knowledge.
Why is it better for you?
For one, speed is a major factor. I remember in both of my schooling experiences such as primary/secondary, as well as the year stint in college, they both felt akin to a snail-like pace. It was torturous to me how slow the progression was, and there were some classes like Math that I needed MORE time in, but others like Astronomy or graphics design that I was twiddling my thumbs for the next learning materials.
You get the choice of how fast you go, and you get to choose what you learn.
How does the Modegree System Work?
Currently I'm using a Notion database, but I started out with Google Sheets. Really anything that helps you collect and retrieve is what matters. You take the link and title of an educational material and put it into your master database. You categorize it with subject matter and platform it is from. Not to mention the type it is like podcast or course.
Then you organize it into a list or sprint, that allows you to have related materials in line with each other. Not to mention having a healthy mix of courses/videos/articles/etc, and then you can execute that list in a productive manner.
For me I organized them in a big way into semesters, but you can go smaller into sprints, or even weeks if you really want. The choice is yours.
That is the point, having choice!!
As a concept:
It is a tool and philosophy that allows you to manipulate your own learning pathway. Allowing you to focus on what truly matters to you, and not having to be confined to a standardized learning grid. I truly beleive in having generalized knowledge so that the population of a nation has a minimum level, but how we go about gaining that knowledge doesn't have to be steps 1-2-3. Maybe someone could get step 1 from learning computer science, they get step 3 from learning about their physcial health, and then step 2 from learning about their career.
Incorporating basic general knowledge into the specialized knowledge pools. I have learned a ton about history purely from learning about computers which interested me. Same goes for learning about psychology because of my fascination with marketing.
You can have this transcontextual thinking, and learn the basics by learning advanced concepts that interest you far more.
As a Tool/Template:
I created my own in a very MacGyver kind of way, and basically frankensteined my own degree together. The do it yourself ideology became what is known as the Modular Degree now. The Template was made for others to be able to build off of. Think of it like a buying a lego set, you have the instructions right there, but not everyone is going to follow them.
I for one always build it first through the instructions, then I take it apart, and then build my own model. Ten times over.
Other people forego the instructions all together and build something random.
The choice is yours!
There is a lot of learning psychology that goes into play, such as when should you quit an educational material? Are you feeling stuck because you are truly bored and don't need it, or do you simply need to push past it with grit?? That is something you have to explore yourself, for I can only give you the knowledge about the signs to look out for.
However many people quit too soon, when going at something for another day could lead to success. Other people spend too much time on one thing, and don't dabble enough to know what they like.
You want to be a jack/jill of all trades at first, and then explore all the various "cookie jars" out there. Find what you like then stick to that for a while, then go to your second favorite, and so forth.
People see learning as this linear path, but it is not. That isn't how our minds work, we are linky brains by nature, pattern recognition machines, and we need to incorporate that awknowledgement into our pathways.
Understanding that everyone learns differently, and finding a way to maximize everyone's learning.
In the Future:
When it comes to how the intention of how the structure of your Modular Degree should be, then that comes with the idea of what YOU NEED. Some people need a skill quickly to get a new job or promotion. Others need an alternative to college. Others still, they will need something to track their overall life long learning. I would even say some people would need all three in some shape or form.
These are the structures I have thought out thus far on how to formulate the Modegree for yourself.
Takes the Quibi approach where it sits in 10 to 15 minute ratios, and focuses on building a daily habit. Can also be used to accelerate learning, to accomplish the goal of getting a job quickly.
Medium (Degree-like Structure)
That is the actual traditional modular degree system where approaches a more traditional learning acumen for the credit hours type of deal. Focuses on interleaving, spaced repetition, and polymathic education.
Slow (Lifelong based learning)
You have no particular deadline, and you simply want a way to organize all of your lifelong learning into a practical plan. Whereas the life-learning track is more catered towards a longer learning process and is not rushed by any immediate deadlines. Catered towards autodidacts.
The platform is more aptly described here:
What can you do to get started?
The whole idea being expressed is that you CAN start today on your education, it is that quick. How well you do will depend on a few things, those being your discipline, grit, focus, urgency of needing the knowledge, and how much time you have to spend on learning.
When you equate that out then you can find out how much time you'll need to spend per month, per week, and per day. Eventually filling out your schedule, and the hard part is that you have to do that on your own. I don't know your life schedule, and so I can only assist.
I think a lot of people have more time than they realize, especially when you cut out unimportant things. Such as TV or videogames, but you do need a release every once in a while too!
What I would say is to figure those things out, so that you have the sole focus of learning at that point.
What is an Autodidact, and what does it mean to be one?
Let's be honest it is in our nature to be lifelong learners, and our traditional schooling does not support that. As a lifelong learner you will spend much of that time on your own learning something, a self-learner, that is what an Autodidact is. Being able to teach yourself is a powerful skill to master.
Just remember the trifecta though!
Learn > Relearn > Unlearn
When you start the Modegree.
Whether or not you were a self-learner before, once you start one of these then you become one. This puts learning into a unique perspective, and honestly makes it a bit more exciting. This is because YOU have control over what you learn.
When you're in control, then you are finally at the steering wheel of your education, jumping onto the highway for the first time. It can be a bit scary at first, but exhilarating!
Where do you take it from here?
You'll want to start somewhere, and the goal is to build up a habit. When you start reading blog posts on a regular basis, find a way to incorporate podcasts into your commute, and learn from courses and videos. There is a lot of potential for growth, and what you do with that needs to be organized.
If you let it get too freeform then you don't have a way to prove your knowledge when you need to, and more importantly it may not have an output for you to use it yet. Start small is what I am saying today, but also prepare for doing more in the future that will help you!
Keep Reading more Posts!
There are a lot when it comes to Modular Education, as well as when it comes to being autodidactic right here on this blog! Check out those posts with the tag linked below.
Check out the Education Innovation Playlist
Watch my videos on the Modular Degree
Just get started on a course or book!
Check out this slidedeck
What does it take to be Successful
Again it comes down to making it a habit. When you go to college they force you into a class time, and you either make it or you make it up later. Either way you go into the lecture, basically just listen and teach yourself, or you miss the lecture/watch it later/ and then end up teaching yourself.
It is a pretty lame cycle, and that leads to a lot of boring nights or cramming. Why thrust yourself into a old format of doing things when you can make your own path now? We have that power as internet users, but how we go about that is the key. The interesting part about the Modular approach is that you change things when they aren't working. Want to go into data science, but realize you don't know enough statistics? Well then switch to stats, and then perhaps some sort of DS supplement.
It is all about being adaptable, and that translates super well into the real world too. You need to be able to be light on your feet, and get things done. College doesn't teach you that, but when things are self-curated and you are the main person behind your education. Then you have no choice but to make yourself get up and do it. This is a bad thing either, we sometimes need that push, and when a course gets tough you don't just quit for another one. You gotta keep trying, and only switch if it is truly necessary.
Then you can be successful with not only the Modegree, but in life too!
Get Started Today!!
This is the first time I publicly shared my template for people to use for their own Modegree. It is currently in the beta phase, and so things are subject to change. Also I wanted to create templates for Airtable and Google Sheets/Tables, however for now I am going to focus on making this one as great as I can. Then I'll copy it to those platforms. Notion is far more powerful in what it can do, and so I think it is well worth signing up for free to.
I use it for my entire life operating system, and for learning especially it has been super productive for me.