Let’s take a look back at our learning experiences – who did you really learn the most from? Was it your professors, or your classmates?
Professors and teachers are important. They hold the knowledge. And often times, they know it all too well. Sometimes the lectures are insightful, boring, brilliant, or inspiring. But when it gets down to the nitty gritty of learning the stuff – how does it really actually happen?
Often times – we work together to help each other learn, without even knowing that we do. Do we charge each other? Of course not. That would ruin the whole concept of I’ll help you if you help me. Peer to peer tutoring is a clunky way of saying, let’s help each other learn.
When I was undergrad and pre-med – there was a whole lot of study grouping going on after dinner in the cafeteria. It was a ritual. If I hadn’t had my classmates there to help me out – I wouldn’t have made it through the class. Harvard pre-meds weren’t all as cut throat as they were made out to be – there was a group of us that were, well – down right collaborative.
In the world of arts education too – filmmaking almost never happens entirely with one person. There’s lots of feedback from classmates about what’s working in a story, and what’s not. Of course – in an arts setting where everything is relative – we tend to take some classmates’ feedback more seriously than others, but there’s a general rule that the consensus is usually helpful around helping to clarify story, plot, emotion, and character.
Online education gets a bad wrap for sometimes not being collaborative at all. Isolating. Unmotivating. Or even downright depressing. But the solution to all of this is each other. We can become invested in one another’s education by sharing our educational experience – learning from each other’s questions – and getting deep into the problems that are stumping us and the solutions that are really working.
One of the reasons I love education is because it is so much about sharing and communication of ideas. Debate. Analysis. All of these things can happen online at no cost once we create the community and the ecosystem to have these interactions. So my challenge to you is to create a small community for some good old peer to peer tutoring (or whatever you want to call it) around a topic you care about – teach each other, share your knowledge, and not just good – but great things will happen.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you may also enjoy reading about Matt Manos’ branding and design company verynice Design Studio which gives over 50% of its work away for free to non-profits.
You may also enjoy watching some free lessons from our digital creator workshop.Tags: best practices, classroom, e-learning, learning, online education