By K. Al Khalaf
As most stories might begin with “once upon a time”, I’m going to start mine by saying “for many and many times in the past.” I say this because I’ve searched for something that I was yet to find until I had created myself. To concisely introduce myself, I’m a married man with two beautiful blessings as daughters, and I love self-development.
Whether investing my time in reading books, watching tutorial videos, or taking courses at different training centers, throughout my entire educational journey, I’ve always searched for a certain method of learning, a specific process of acquiring knowledge that I never found.
My learning process is considered as what is commonly known as a kinesthetic learner, which is someone who learns better by doing and applying what they learn. There are a few different learning methods, and each person has their strong suit in which they process or learn something new. I’ve noticed that many people enjoy practical learning, and that’s exactly what I’ve always looked for at these different training centers.
I’ve always wanted to apply what I had learned, and not just learn the environment of a program alone, for instance such as Adobe Photoshop. Whereas, I’ve wanted to learn how to apply what I learn as I’m learning it. This is what finally led me towards deciding to open up my own training center and do just that—facilitate an environment that nurtures the practical learning process.
I’m currently the proud owner of the Think Tank training center, which allows people to apply what they learn on the spot, and ignites their creativity. We don’t simply teach people what a specific tool does, instead we teach people how to think and view the world through the eyes of a programmer or an artist. Not only does this reinvent the way we process knowledge, this creatively feeds the mind, thought process, and positively trickled down to live application.
Instead of having a teacher simply relay any given information via a presentation, I looked for and hired people who are skilled in what they do, passionate about it, and have done their own projects in the past. That way, they’d be able to convey the information out of experience rather than just going by the book. These people can be considered as the expert consultants of a class, whereas the teaching environment is friendly and interactive, leading to a casual, conversation-like class atmosphere. In order to inspire attendees into thinking creatively and wanting to learn more, they are shown past projects that have been done by the expert, and during the period of their course, attendees will be able to create their own projects.
Classes are allocated a maximum of 8 students at a time, and this is implemented so that each student receives one-on-one time with an expert, taking advantage of the 2-hour classes. This way, every student can have the time and freedom to ask questions, apply what they learned without limitations, and get more attention from the expert.
One of the major issues that I realized with my team of trainers is that a lot of people want to learn something but don’t know where to start. Therefore, I decided to provide these starting points for people, and allow them to choose their own path in the creative career they like the most. This means that attendees will be able to go into a foundation course, and truly understand what is required for the next step, or what is to come. For example, some people want to become mobile app developers, but they don’t know where to start or which programming language to choose, etc. What the course does for them is clarify all of that, and give them the keys to unopened doors in their future path of becoming mobile programmers, so they can choose which specific doors to unlock.
Graduates of Think Tank will be capable of going on to the next step in their creative career and be fully confident with the proper knowledge and creative thinking that they need. Think Tank is not only about helping students learn the tools, but also having the experience and proper mindset to go ahead and further develop their careers.
**Editors note: Think Tank closed its doors in July of 2013.