Learning about new Internet resources can be fun—and it might also make you a better massage student.
Many students benefit from using online study tools, but knowing which programs and websites to use regularly can be tricky. The best students know how to leverage their own skills, self-study tools and work ethic.
Troubleshoot Your Studying
Katherine Ferranti, a licensed massage therapist in Armonk, New York, affiliated with Armonk Physical Therapy and Sports Training, recommends students begin by identifying their own learning styles and previous experiences with learning new information. “Is it really that you need help with anatomy, or do you just need help with time management?” asks Ferranti.
Massage students, according to Ferranti, often need to troubleshoot their own home-study strategies and look for the real culprit behind common study problems. This allows you to connect with the right online tools.
If your study strategy could use a significant overhaul, consider looking for software that addresses your unique study challenges. Ferranti recommends that students with time management issues, for example, consider using a Pomodoro Technique® timer or another app that breaks each hour into manageable chunks.
To-do list programs such as Remember the Milk can also help students prioritize their studying and maintain their focus. Rather than becoming distracted by unrelated tasks, students can record those tasks for future reference. This allows you to free up valuable mental resources for learning.
For visual learners, mind mapping programs such as Mindmeister allow users to connect new pieces of information together and visualize the relationships among them.“I’m a kinesthetic learner, so that means I learn best by doing something,” Ferranti says. Knowing this about herself, she chooses study methods that favor active learning. She loves making flash cards and using them to test her own knowledge. If you’re a kinesthetic learner like Ferranti, consider using a flashcard website such as quizlet.com.
Some massage schools offer study help for students. Your school may offer testing to see which learning styles are best for you, or may be able to recommend outside resources, says Ferranti.
Connect with Others
For students who lack a study group, Ferranti suggests they get creative. “If a group doesn’t exist, why not make one?” she says. “Share information with each other, ask questions [and] support each other.” Using social media is a great way to start study groups and connect around common interests. File-sharing websites such as YouTube and Google Docs empower students to share study guides, learn about new techniques and prepare for tests. As long as students use discretion and choose reliable sources, these tools offer valuable information and turn learning into a collaborative process, according to Ferranti.
As a practicing therapist, Ferranti still meets online with her former classmates to share inspiration, ideas and resources. Using online tools, her group stays organized and connected—even after graduation.
Try Something New
Finding the right tools for you may be a process of trial and error. If you are not seeing improvements in your study habits, try something different.
Continuously improving your study processes allows you to improve your learning, strengthen your best habits and become a better massage therapist.