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I watched a Chase Jarvis interview, when he interviewed Zack Arias (you can look it up, it wasn't that long ago... few months.) They talked about learning technique, and they were both very different.
Zack Arias learned in a school environment with curriculum.
Chase Jarvis was self taught/trained.
My recommendation is doing the method that you'll learn the best. Being self taught is great and cheap, but if you don't learn well that way, then I don't recommend it (which basically was Zack's and Chase's conclusion. Zack said he needed the book learning, or he wouldn't have bothered. Chase preferred the way he did it.)
If you learn by reading, then there is tons of material out there. I would say the first thing to really learn is the exposure triangle and how each of the functions of the camera affect one another (specifically aperture, shutter speed, and iso/film speed.) Really, almost all photography comes down to the exposure triangle, composition, and lighting (that is of course outside of finding an interesting subject, and if you're doing modeling, or working with people, how to interact with them.) That sounds simple of course, but really those bitten by the art know it's a moving target, an obsession, and a lot of work.
If you have an iPad, I highly recommend using Flipboard and getting Flipboards photography feed. Outside of that, I would recommend using any RSS reader and subscribing to photography websites that give tutorials or articles on technique. The photoblographer does that a lot. I subscribe to dpreview, fstoppers, Joe McNally's Blog, Zack Arias' Blog, Vincent Laforet's blog, and others. Reading about their photography techniques helps me to work on mine.
Outside of reading books or stuff from websites, I recommend using a camera... a lot. Digital is cheap (as opposed to film.) I experimented a lot with aperture (as an example) so that I gained a ton of experience just learning how it would affect depth of field. For the first 3 years, I ONLY used full manual. Not Aperture or Shutter Priority on the camera. This forced me to really know the exposure triangle, and it also forced me to pay attention to the lighting level and all of my settings. I recommend doing the same thing (maybe not for 3 years) because as I mentioned, it will force you to take care of all your settings and know how they interact. Yes, at first it will slow you down a bit, but after you become proficient and understand them, then it won't seem like a burden. Now I shoot mostly in Aperture Priority out of convenience, but I am convinced that learning the nuts and bolts in Manual during the time was critical (I do still use manual of course, for certain things.)
Kinesthetic experience and learning was probably the most useful to me. Experiment a lot, change settings, angles, perspective often. Learn by doing. Experience will teach you more than anything.