My oldest brother led me this video regarding Google Helpouts:

    When I looked deeper into the site, I saw a few interesting things.  First of all, the site is growing and growing, and pretty soon you will be able to learn about what you want. From “art” to “home and garden”, there are a lot of options for a site that I am assuming that not many people know about.  Some are free, and some you pay for, but the interesting thing is that if you wanted to learn to play the guitar, you may pay $60 an hour, but there is also travel time, travel cost, and other elements.  Many will look at that and choose to stay at home and learn in their pajamas.
    This also opens up opportunities for smaller areas that may not have the same opportunities that are afforded in larger centres.  For example, when I was a kid and I wanted to learn violin, I would have had to travel an hour for this opportunity.  I wouldn’t now.  It is the shift from “Blockbuster to Netflix” for learning.
    The other element that I found interesting was the “user rating” system that was used.  Many of the paid courses had several ratings, and usually what I found was, the higher the rating, the more expensive for the “tutoring”.  A smart start is to give away lessons for free, get ratings, and charge based on what you get after that.  It had a very “trip advisor” feel to it.
    There are many questions that this has provoked for me…
    What changes in school when I cannot only access information, but connect with a “teacher” that is willing to give me one-on-one guidance?
    There are so many people that share their learning online for free now.  What happens to “sharing” when people learn they can monetize this teaching online because of the basic elements of “supply and demand”?
    Not everyone can afford to pay for this type of learning, but do we need to?  I actually learned to play the guitar from watching YouTube and using sites such as “Ultimate Guitar”.  I can’t see myself ever paying for this type of learning when I know that if I dig deep enough, I can find experts sharing in a field for free.  I
    f we don’t teach kids the skills to access the things that they want to learn about for free and turn on, as Howard Rheingold would say, their “crap detectors“, to know the difference between “good” and “bad” information.  Why do I have to do my own search and filter information when a community has done this for me already?  How many times do you go to a movie without looking up a rating for it from some type of community such as IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes?
    I am not sure how I see this type of learning playing out, or what it’s impact is on schools, but I do know that we should really pay attention.


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