I like taking notes.
Writing things down helps me to remember them more than just reading them, or listening to them. I don't necessarily go back and READ my notes, but I write a lot of them.
During the past few years, starting with my EMT-B class (the first formal class I had taken in quite some time), I've developed a method of note-taking that I find to be the most helpful.
I write down things that are easily listed.
I write down anything I'm not sure I'll remember.
I write down things that a person might highlight in a book, if they were the highlighting sort of person, which I'm definitely NOT. I don't write in books. Period.
Those are the obvious things.
The thing I do that I haven't seen other people do is to add notes in the margins.
I specifically draw attention to anything that I want to look up at home. This might be a website that is mentioned, or an organization, or some medical thing I want to know more about. It might be something that comes up in class that is related to specific patients I've had, or still have, in the case of repeat customers.
That way, when I get home, I don't have to reread the entire thing. I only have to look down the margin to pick out all the things I wanted to do more research on. It has worked out pretty well.
A few months ago, I came across another opportunity for my proclivity for note taking.
When I returned home from EMS Today, I went to their website to see if I could find out when they'd have information posted about next year.
What I found was the motherlode for fans of note taking.
In case you aren't aware of it... you can purchase audio files for the entire conference for this year and the past couple of years, for an extremely reasonable price of $149 for an entire conference. You can purchase them individually if you like, but that ends up being much more expensive.
So I bought the set of sessions for 2010. That's something like 76 sessions of one to one and a half hours each, for $149.
WAY less expensive than going there!!
Of course, there are benefits of going. Meaning audio files can't possibly be as good as actually being there, in some ways. You can't see anything they hand out or project onto a screen. You can't interact, or ask questions.
But you can do what I've decided to do with all of them.
LOTS of notes.
And if the speaker is going too fast... I can pause it and catch up. Or listen to parts of it over again.
I also can look things up in the middle of the presentation, instead of needing to wait until I get back to my computer. I love this. I have roughly 85 hours of audio. And so far, everything I've listened to, I've learned something.
I highly recommend it.
I purchased 2010 because I didn't attend it, but I plan to go back and purchase 2011 as well. I went to some great sessions, and would love to have the audio from them in order to keep things fresh in my mind.
And then I'll get 2009.
In addition to focused listening while taking notes, I can re-listen to things anywhere I like. In the car. In waiting rooms. In the freaking shower, for that matter.
Yeah. I know. I need to do some things that aren't EMS-related. And I do. But I also have a higher need than most to create my own opportunities for continuing education. And this is a fabulous one.
Plus... I can share it. There are three of us in this house who are interested. Makes for some odd dinner conversation, that's for sure.