Learn Like Leonardo: Launch Academy Online

by Dan Pickett

January 11, 2015

You can learn like Leonardo. Not the pizza obsessed crime-fighting Ninja Turtle Leonardo--the Renaissance painter and inventor Leonardo.

Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci, quite possibly one of the greatest minds in our history, lacked a formal education? It was during his apprenticeship with Verrocchio where 14 year-old Leonardo discovered his passion for art and invention.

Throughout his teenage years, Da Vinci studied alongside Verrocchio and many other aspiring artists. He spent six years working with other artists, scientists, and creators, ultimately leading to a lifetime of inspiring creation.

Verrocchio taught Leonardo what he needed to ship. That is, he instilled the importance of taking knowledge out of a theoretical, academic context and applying it to the practical and technical skills that mattered in the Renaissance era.

Today, we live in a world where near-limitless technical knowledge is at our fingertips, yet we’re spending an average of $120,000 for a private college education. It gets worse. A recent Gallup poll tells us that only 13% of Americans think that a college education prepares us for the working world.

Leonardo didn’t learn in such an expensive and out of touch classroom—he learned by doing. Surrounded by a group of peers, with the guidance, perspective, and support of an experienced mentor, Leonardo learned practical skills that had immediate value in the Renaissance economy. 

You can learn like Leonardo. You can learn the skills that matter in today’s economy without spending years re-educating yourself and taking on crippling amounts of debt. Launch Academy Online’s apprenticeship-oriented approach is designed to teach you the practical skills you need to become a web developer, from web developers, surrounded by a group of learners just like you.

Our 1 on 1 mentorship is designed to foster a relationship between you and your teacher. You’ll meet weekly with a professional web developer to get the guidance and advice you need to advance your skills. Like Verrocchio did for Da Vinci, your dedicated mentor will demystify the skills and concepts you need to be effective and successful.

Our daily, live facilitations and clinics are designed to be interactive and directly applicable to what you’re learning. You can ask questions and benefit from the answers your classmates get as well. Join an instructor and a group of peers for virtual workshops offered throughout the week. All of our sessions are recorded, so you can go back and review the concepts that require more study. Most online programs offer just the latter, robbing you of the opportunity to discuss issues as they arise.

Our Slack Chat Room gives you realtime access  to our instructional staff and students. A lot of online programs use forums, where you often have to wait days for a response, wondering if anybody has even read your question. We think that’s a really inefficient way to learn. Learning is faster when you can get immediate answers to what’s tripping you up. Leonardo didn’t send Verrocchio a letter when he needed help: he looked up from his desk and said, “Yo Verroccio, you got a minute, bro? I need some help with this stuff.” Ok, so that's probably not a direct quote, but you get the idea: learning simply can’t afford to lose time waiting for answers.

Lastly, our challenge-based curriculum is where real skills and capabilities come to life. The challenges are designed to make you feel like you’re on the job, working as a software developer. We’ll assign real projects where you’ll have to take the new concepts you’ve learned and apply them in ways that may differ significantly from the examples in the curriculum. It’s all about learning to adapt your skills in creative ways to solve problems. This ‘learn by doing’ approach to learning really works. We’ve seen it in our on-campus program where we’ve helped over 200 students get their first jobs as web developers. We’re taking exactly the same approach to the online program. Da Vinci learned by doing, and so should you! 

Online learning doesn’t have to be antisocial. In fact, we believe that learning in general requires human interaction. You can learn more about our unique approach to online learning here.

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