All genuine learning is active, not passive. It involves the use of the mind, not just the memory. - Adler, 1987.
Practical is the act of actually doing something that you learned theoretically in your classrooms, be it the computer programs you wrote in your notebook or the circuit designs you drew on your sheets. Practical is a heuristic approach to learning, giving anyone who takes it seriously, a lot to discover and learn, beyond bookish knowledge.
You might some time consider not paying attention in your college lectures, but abstain from doing the same during your practical, because in the real world, hands-on experience will take you to places which academic learning cannot.
Here are some things to keep in mind during your engineering practical :
1. Care about it
‘Teaching is less about what the teacher does than about what the teacher gets the students to do.’- David Perkins
Sure, teachers might be around you to help and guide, but no one really cares much about practical learning in most of the colleges, hence you should be the one who cares about it! Simple. And you know what, being practically sound will reap you huge benefits in the future too.
2. Ensure that you do not bunk practical
Because those few hours in the entire week are where you get a chance to ‘apply’ all that you learned from your books, so do not compromise on that.
3. Internalize the real importance of practical learning
In engineering labs across colleges, you will see your friends completing assignments, discussing hot topics, playing games or simply wasting time sitting idly in practical labs. But know the fact that it would be your onus of executing programs in an IT firm (in the future), resolving tickets and solving errors, which should give you a good reason to take practical seriously. And if not that, know that practical learning stimulates lasting curiosity in you, develops your risk taking ability and improves your resilience, which are the much valued traits in the industry.
4. Get excited about learning
‘Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning.’ - Eugene S. Wilson
Practical learning is crucial to broaden your horizons, to work independently and become confident about your subject knowledge base. And it is the best way to retain new information, as compared to the dull method of lecture mode learning.
So, look at practical labs with a new perspective, and get all excited to truly gain engineering knowledge. Happy learning. :)