Monday, March 3, 2014

Everything in Life I Learned from... YouTube #EdChat

Last week, two separate friends shared instances of personal learning with me. My near and dear friend Rafranz Davis was having more than her fair share of car troubles. After a run around with the dealership, her battery, and more rants on Glide than I will ever share, a young man just around the corner from her house was able to solve her problem. His solution? A diagnostic computer reader he had bought online and learned to use via YouTube. About that same time, a colleague was having problems with her computer. It had become infected with a small piece of adware. She "Googled it" and followed the instructions she found on YouTube to fix her machine. It got me thinking about the things I have learned from YouTube.

  • My clothes washer wouldn't drain. Turns out it was a sock in the pump. YouTube to the rescue.
  • Making butter in my KitchenAide. YouTube
  • Learn to knit. YouTube
  • Creating "bookshelves" for my youngest's room. Online! *Not really YouTube but you get the idea.*
Will Richardson has already started the conversation about Why School? No need to rehash that. Instead (or maybe even in parallel), what does it mean "learn something" or "be educated"? There is this generally held myth in society (for certain in American society) that the best plan for students post K-12 is college. Why do we hold to this context that you have to go to university/college to be able to do things? Certainly, it goes back to the day of old when that's where knowledge was stored. Of course times and technology have changed. Are we now raising and educating a generation that doesn't need (or maybe even want) a "formal" education? And if so, now what? How do we as a society become accepting of a "YouTube" education? At what point do we recognize that sometimes the ability to "do" is more important than the piece of a paper from an overpriced institution? Conversation welcome!

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