Self-learning podcast

This is a rough idea that I am currently experimenting with. The basic idea is that as you learn a topic you also record yourself trying to teach yourself what you have learnt. On-top of being a mechanism to focus, this recording can also serve as a kind of spaced-repetition—you can later listen through your recordings to refresh your knowledge and perhaps even refine your own descriptions.

Inspired by the Education Bookcast where each episode discusses key learnings and ideas from different books around education and psychology. Whether you are trying to make sense of different research papers or learning a language, creating your own personal podcast can be a very interesting approach to learning.

I'm currently using this technique to learn to write Chinese characters, which is very interesting because it involves transforming between visual and auditory information. For each character I will describe what it looks like and the strokes/components that are part of it, then its pronunciation and what it means, often I will also look through a few common words it is part of to get a better overall sense of the character. It is slow, perhaps 2 - 3 minutes per character/radical but The rate of learning is roughly proportional to the rate of forgetting, and so by taking your time with each you will likely remember for much longer after a single exposure.